Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Abigail Alice

Remember when I told you I went to Mississippi to shoot (as in photograph) a baby?  Well, here she is!  Isn't she adorable?!  Miss Abigail Alice....

Oh, that first picture...I could just stare at it all day.  She is so cute, I could just eat her up! ;)

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

How We Celebrated...

The last time I posted, it was our Anniversary.  By some miracle, we were able to sneak away for the weekend to celebrate our 8 years together.  I still can not believe we were able to actually go out of town...ALONE!  We went to one of our favorite places --- The Beaches Of South Walton.  The weather was beautiful.  The food was wonderful.  The company was fun. ;)  And, we celebrated.  Each other, our marriage, our friendship, our love, our craziness, our struggles (because those are what have made us stronger as a couple), our time, and each other.  It was wonderful and we have officially decided to make it an annual thing.  Well, I actually said it should be a quarterly thing, but don't know if the rents will go for that since they were the babysitters...so, once a year is great!  ;)

I didn't have my camera out much.  I was too busy soaking up the sun, enjoying the breeze, sipping on my strawberry daiquiri and visiting with my sweetheart.  :)  But, I did take a few......and some with my phone.

Day 1:

We arrive and our condo wasn't ready, so we stopped to eat lunch...

We finally get to check in.  Here is the view from our condo patio:

And, our new view:

Us :)

That night, we ventured out to The Village at Baytowne Wharf and it was so much fun!
My  hot date:

And check these out!  I so wish I was a kid again.  They actually threw little kids inside these big balls and they ran around on the water in them.  I was so tempted to try to do it.

Day 2:

 We decided to not go into the condo to take showers.  We just stayed on the beach to walk and watch the sun set....

Then, we walked to SEASIDE and ate at one of our favorite pizza bars!

We walked around Seaside afterwards.....visited little shops.

The moon over the gulf on our walk back to our condo:

We had a great time and can't wait to go back.  It was truly a vacation full of rest, relaxation and fun!

We feel so blessed we were able to get away, just the two of us, and will remember it always.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Happy Anniversary

Today is our 8th wedding anniversary.  

8 years.

We've been through a lot together in the past 8 years.  Building a house, moving to another state, living with my parents (his in-laws), child birth, miscarriage, child birth, job loss (twice), starting a small business, family loss, sickness, health....

John Taylor,
I love doing life with you.  Thank you for listening to me, supporting me, encouraging me.  Thank you for cooking dinner for me.  Thank you for being such a loving, caring, sweet father.  Thank you for making me laugh.  Thank you for believing in us.  Thank you for your patience.  Thank you for putting up with me and all my ideas.  Thank you for spending time with us.  Although you are experiencing job loss, it really is a blessing to have you with us so much....some fathers never get to see their families because they work all the time.  That is a blessing to us.  I hope you know that I would never be the person I am today without you beside me.  All the things we've been through together --- the joys, sorrows, disappointments, life changing moments --- they have made us who we are today as a couple and as individuals.  You are strong, funny, kind, handsome, giving and God loving.  Again, I love doing life with you.  And, I think we make an awesome team.  I look forward to many, many more years with you and look forward to living out our dreams together.  Even in the midst of all our circumstances, I've never felt more full and closer to you.  It's because of where we are in this moment in our relationship with God and with each other and I can honestly look at those hard times as blessings that brought us to where we are today.  I love you!

Happy Anniversary, John Taylor,
Your wife, Catherine

"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you"
Philippians 1:3

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Long Term Investment

As you may already know, John Taylor and I are headed out early tomorrow morning for a little anniversary get-away!  We are so excited.  I'm like a kid on Christmas Eve.  I won't be able to sleep tonight.  Where we are going is one of my favorite places on earth! 

When I was expressing to my good friend the guilt I felt for leaving the kids, spending money, blah, blah, blah, she put it very nicely.  She told me this trip is a 'long term investment'. 

"A what?"

"Long term investment...."

Mom's need to rest, take care of themselves and relax, she said.  So, just look at this as a long term investment because it will enable you to be a better mommy and wife! 

I love it.  I think I'm sticking with that!  It's so true, too!

What I'm looking forward to the most is spending one on one time with John Taylor.  We haven't done that in a loooong time and it's long overdue.

So, while I'm on my long term investment....I hope you all have a wonderfully blessed weekend.  I won't be blogging. I won't even have my computer!  But, I will have my phone and you may want to follow me on twitter to get a play-by-play of our trip.  ;)

You can follow me HERE.

Oh, and if you want some good reading...click on over to THIS PAGE.  So many of my favorite blogs have such wonderful posts up right now!


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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Life Lately + BIG News

I've been exercising.  Here is proof:

I did get faster than that, but it was hard to tape while running.
I've been listening to Pandora lately.  I decided it might pump me up and I might run faster/longer if I listened to some old school rockin jams.  So, I searched "90's Rock" station.  After hearing Don't go chasing waterfalls, by TLC and a few NSYNC songs, I realized I had hit the 90's POP station and I had enough.  So, I then searched "Faith Hill".  Ahhhh, that was much better.  I heard a lot of old songs that reminded me of college.  My roommate and I used to ride around with This Kiss blaring and singing to it.  Good times.  All that to say that I then set it back to my regular Chris Tomlin station and heard this song by Laura Story.  Oh.My.Goodness.  Tears.  This is my life.  This is my theme song right now.  It's so pretty and so well written.  I now have it on my blog and you can listen to it by clicking here:

This post is going to be pretty random, as you can already tell....

I went to Mississippi last week to shoot a newborn.  Shoot as in photograph, that is.  She was precious and I have a some to show you soon.

I also have a few more posts left to share in the Encouraging Husbands series.  A couple of them are guests posts!  And, one more from me.  Can't wait to share those with you.

Oh, I got my hair cut and darkened.  I used to darken it all the time, but that was a luxury I had to give up. I felt like a queen getting to go spend time alone at the salon and get my hair done.  I didn't know what to do with myself when she told me I could go sit down and read some magazines for a while!  Magazine?  What's that?  ;)

Here it is the day before:

And here is right after:

Do you like?  It was a little dark for me at first, but I'm getting used to it.  I forget about it and then I walk past a mirror and it's like WHOA!

I just have to share this.  If you know my son, you'll understand why this is so funny to me.  For those of you that don't know my son personally, I'll provide a little back story.  My son loves Nutri Grain Bars.  I mean OBSESSED with them.  When he was 2, we had to hide them and he would throw tantrums when we wouldn't let him have one....after he had already had 2.5!  We have pictures of him making John Taylor hold him up to look in the cabinet to make sure we were telling him the truth about them being all gone!  He still loves them.  Eats two every morning.  Anyway, he also LOVES, loves, loves the movie Cars and has just about every character and plays with them all day long.  We can't go to Walmart or Target without him spotting the display a mile away and wanting a new one.  So, imagine my surprise and disbelief when I walked by and saw this in Target the other day:

It's blurry, but you get the picture.  I swear that the marketing team for Target must know my son!  Ha!

The Doodlebug likes to get a BIG stack of books and read them to herself every night.  We can't really make out what the story is, but we do understand "THE END". 

She takes after me.  My nightstand:

I've started 4 of these books.  Sigh.

The big announcement.  I hope haven't hyped it up too much.  It's HUGE to me and I'm so excited I can't sleep at night!  No, John Taylor didn't get a job.  Please keep praying.  But, our Unniversary is next week and my parents have offered to come here and watch kids so we can have a weekend ALONE!  Do y'all know how excited this makes me?!?!?  We are both so excited it's hilarious!  We  just really can't believe it and we're so blessed to be able to go somewhere alone and celebrate each other and our marriage.  We're leaving really early Friday morning and hopefully by 10 am, we'll be here:

SO excited I could pee in my pants!  :)  Counting down the hours.

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Thursday, August 4, 2011


When my Google account got hacked last week, I sort-of freaked out.  But, it taught me a few important lessons.  It showed me just how 'connected' I was.  I mean think about it.....sometimes we are OVER connected with all that we have.  Blogs, Facebook, Twitter....

Since I've been doing some design work on the side, I've spent a lot of my spare time "working".  It takes a lot of concentration to work on stuff like that and I've had to leave and go to a local WIFI hot spot some days because it's just too stressful to "work" at home with kids running around.

So, when my Google account got hacked, that meant I could not get into my Gmail.  I almost went insane thinking about all the people who I needed to reply to.  All the blog design clients I had waiting on me!  I quickly saw just how connected I am!  Way too connected.  I felt my whole life was in something that I could not get into!  Not to mention that I could not get into my family blog which I have documented my kids whole lives!

I decided I needed to be disconnected a bit more.  Take a breath.  Stop feeling like I have to do it all.  Ya know?  It's been nice to be sort-of 'dis'connected.  I even turned my phone on silent at the salon yesterday and actually really enjoyed my time there by myself!

It's really easy to get wrapped up in our online lives.  I feel like the friends I've met through blogging are the greatest, coolest, funniest, most spiritually mature, smartest, most sound, profound, most encouraging women I've ever met and I'm so thankful.  But, I also have to remember that I absolutely can live without all *this*. 

I'm reminded of an email I got from a blog reader/blog friend, Whitney.  Which, I will now publicly apologize to since it's been so long and I still haven't responded to her.  One day, we were writing back and forth and talking about blogging --- how it can sometimes feel so one sided....

 "But maybe the Lord is wanting us to get affirmation from Him. I know, it's a long-shot. Do blog comments have anything to do with God? I don't know. Maybe."

Love it.  :)  I absolutely think blog comments have something to do with God!  He is everywhere trying to get our attention and teach us something.

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