laurel's first camping trip

had a fabulous weekend with our friends marjorie, derick, and andre. can't wait to do it again!

apache standing guard at the "potty." then, of course, baby ellen had to go. ha!

i'll post some more pics soon.


summer fun in the bings

we're pretty excited to be back in "colorado bings," as laurel calls it. i'll try not to rub it in for all of my southern friends and family, but i just can't get over how nice the weather is here right now. we can have coffee on the back deck in the morning, and laurel and i eat lunch out there most days. can you imagine? i'm trying to soak it all up so i'll remember what i have to look forward to when it's still snowing next "spring" in may.

we've already had visitors!

joey and gwen and julie came out for their friends' wedding up near denver. they drove all the way from oxford. yikes! it was a quick visit, but it was so good to have them here!

we had another visitor last week, but failed to get a picture. paul sheets was in town and had dinner with us. paul was the very first person pat met when he came to the academy as a cadet in 1996. it was great to catch up with him, and we can't wait til he and laura come back for the 10 year reunion in september.

*laurel didn't have much to do with paul when he was here that night, but in typical fashion, her first words the next morning were "mommy, where paul sheets?!?"*

p and i put together this little glider. we're pretty proud of ourselves. it wasn't as easy as the box said it would be...

laurel's second, and my first, skysox baseball game. it was sold out, so we had to sit in the grass. as you can see from pat's and laurel's pants, the grass was just a little wet. also, we need to work on laurel's "cheese" face. wow.

ahhhh HOME sweet HOME!

we spent the 4th of july in our car. thankfully, it was a beautiful day and we live in a beautiful country. we made it to buddy and kissy's house and spent 2 nights. i needed a day to recover from the first 11 hour trip...

it worked out perfectly that ginger had already planned to be in colleyville with her 2 boys.

more fun with cousins!

finally, on july 6th, we made it home. laurel and i had been gone for 5 weeks. let me just state for the record that i do not miss the south's humidity!

it is just gorgeous here!

laurel was so excited to see andre.

this is the view from our bed. doesn't do it justice at ALL. i guess y'all will just have to come see it for yourselves!

it's a hard life

pat and laurel and i had a couple of days by ourselves at the lake. it was wonderful!

then it was time to celebrate the 4th of july with abbi and pops and the bham crew. we missed rich and all of his girls.

lizzie being a great babysitter

my buddy "bills"

our friends sims and leslie hill and their little boy williams came to see us for a couple of days. other than getting caught in a horrible thunderstorm in the boat, we had a blast. we love watching "bills" grow up and can't wait to meet his little brother or sister, arriving in december!

here is a taste of what i listen to everyday. she sings NONSTOP. most of the time it's mary poppins, but a lot of the time it's all laurel katherine. "it's no use!!!"

rayner "beach" week

the oil chased us away from our annual trip to perdido key. thankfully, we were able to relocate to north alabama, to my parents' house on smith lake. thanks abbi and pops! and thank you buddy and kissy for a fabulous week, as always.

cousins! warner and laurel and jackson had a blast.

more photos to come...

heading north

wonderful dinner at blair and erin riley's house with the rileys, the youngs, and the currys. alas, no photos. :( breakfast with meme in laurel, farmers' market in hattiesburg, then we hit the road heading north.

stopped in jackson for lunch with the riles (jack has gotten so big!) and the hassells (should've gotten a picture of emily's growing belly :(

then on to oxford. dinner at proud larry's with macon, the tyners, and the barretts. and laurel got to give her friend maggie mae mcclendon a big hug. never long enough in oxford. :(
it was a very long day. around 9:30 that night, on the drive to tupelo, laurel said "mommy, it hurts to open my eyes!" what a good traveler!

a night in the big easy

pat had a great week in nyc at his conference, but man - i sure was glad to have him back! i left laurel at B and Mamaw's house for the night and drove down to new orleans to pick up my honey at the airport. although i (foolishly) have no pictures to prove it, we had an amazing meal with our fabulous friends, mike and sarah atkinson and wes and marion curry.

know what that is? that's a New Orleans Saints super bowl ring on pat's finger... yep, the saints were having their ring ceremony at the hotel where we were staying. pretty cool, huh? we certainly thought so...

cafe du monde. perfection.

quintessential nola experience. can i go again tomorrow, please?

meanwhile, this princess had the time of her life at B and Mamaw's house. THANK YOU!!

summer 2010 tour continues...

laurel and i got to spend some time with meme in laurel, ms. (little girl laurel thinks it's very silly when you say laurel, mississippi. she says "no, mommy mississippi!")

very special time with great grandmother meme

just a taste

weekend #1 at smith lake

laurel had some quality time with abbi and pops

one of the dozen or so places laurel slept in june. thank you, B, for the princess sleeping bag!

miss priss

the bham johnstons came over to hang out. laurel swam with and drove the boat with "uncle." she and caroline were attached at the hip, too. so cute!


we spent about a week in tupelo. mom did a lot of babysitting and i did a TON of sleeping. the timing was pretty perfect.

happy 40th birthday big brother! i'm glad we were there to celebrate with richard and his girls. they wrapped up 40 presents for him. such a lucky daddy!

cousins! lucy, laurel, rebecca, maury, and celia

laurel has so much fun with these girls and they are so very sweet to her. we love y'all!

lala with the mcgraw girls, lilla, katie bell (aka "the baby whisperer"), and mamie.

the trip east

my incredible mom flew out to colorado in order to drive all the way back to tupelo with me, laurel, and apache. what a trooper. thanks mom!

i drove the whole time, but believe me, mom had the harder job! laurel did a good job and you would've never even guessed apache was in the car! we spent the first night in a hotel in amarillo. it was like a 3-ring circus getting everyone settled, but we made it.

next stop - colleyville, tx. we got to spend two nights with kissy and buddy. just enough time for a fun trip to the neighborhood splash pad and one of freddy's famous homemade pizzas. yum!

then on to little rock, where we visited and spent the night with our good friends, the swearingens. joseph has gotten so big and jacob is right behind him!

june 7th: last pit stop - the new halliday home in midtown memphis. isn't it lovely? laurel got to see one of her besties, betsy. after lunch we headed to our final destination, tupelo, ms. pretty fantastic way to celebrate my birthday. meanwhile, pat was at a history conference in the big apple. we sure were missing him!

catch up attempt #1 - april and may

we're baaaack! we've had an eventful few months. i'll try to summarize in photos...

i think this snow was on april 23rd. the picture in the bottom right corner was taken that afternoon. pretty crazy!

we love hanging out with marjorie and andre! can't wait to meet andre's little brother in august...

still best buds. laurel loves to read books to apache and even play dress-up with him. he's a pretty good sport.

BIG NEWS in april - this is a shot of lala's last diaper! (the top right picture is what happened when i told her to "face" the wall. ha!) we researched and studied before we started, of course...

then we went cold turkey. bye bye diapers. hello cutest little panty booty i've ever seen!! (i used something i found online called "potty training in 3 days" and it worked! so proud of my little big girl. :)

let's see - laurel's first baseball game with daddy (while i was in bed with the stomach bug. yuck!), blowing bubbles on the back deck, and a few more shots of big girl panties. i must've taken dozens, but i'll spare you all!

swimming lessons with daddy. refused to blow bubbles in the water, which is pretty much step 1. but she loves jumping in!

we had some special visitors in early may. dale smith came to see a friend and stayed here for a couple of nights. it was great to visit with him.

kissy's here! she and buddy were here over mothers' day weekend while i took a quick trip to atlanta to see my college buddies -

and to celebrate maureen's big ole belly! (more pics to come, hopefully.)

speaking of big ole bellies... on may 1st we found out that i'm pregnant. needless to say, we've been a bit nervous, but it has given us another opportunity to trust in our faithful, sovereign, and GOOD God. at the time i'm posting this, i'm 15.5 weeks pregnant and it looks like this one's a keeper. blessed be the name of the Lord!!