Friday, February 29, 2008


This is the first page of the adoption book I'm making for Cate. I'll try to post some more pages, but out of respect for the birth mother, most of the pages are more private because they include information about her or her boyfriend. But I'll share what I can.

This is a different kind of project for me for many reasons ...

Usually I just make albums of pictures for anyone's viewing pleasure, but this book is especially made for Cate. It's something she can have that tells her story.

And it has a lot of information in. There are some pictures. But lots of words.

It goes beyond the hobby of scrapbooking at this point and is a collection of words, pictures and thoughts that try to capture the blessing of Cate's adoption. It's a different kind of project because it is very close to my heart. And I want it to be something she treasures.

Leap Day!

So it's Leap Day. To be honest, that doesn't mean much to me. I mean, I think it's weird there's an extra day stuck in the calendar, but I'm not scientific enough to really ponder time and how it effects our lives. Even so, on this Leap Day, I thought I'd post "normal" pictures from our day yesterday on this day that doesn't even normally exist.

A glimpse into Cate and I at home ... um, well, OK, Cate at home ...

This is one of my favorite outfits Cate has worn this winter. I think the sweater is adorable and the jeans are cute and practical. (They're lined with red fleece!) And the shoes ... Cate loves her shoes, as much off as on!

In the last couple of weeks, Cate has learned to hold her own bottle! She's still figuring out how to tip it up when she needs to get more. But we're working on it. And then once she masters this, we'll move on to a sippy cup!

This is right after a nap. I just wanted you to see the cute face that greets me when I open the door. And those rosy cheeks!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Let it snow ... sort of

This was yesterday afternoon in Murray, Ky. ...

Yep, that's the most snow we've seen this winter. I'm not much on wintry weather, but I could go for one real snow fall and then move on to spring.

a page turner

Cate got a new book today ...

... and apparently she likes it!

Then she caught me taking her picture!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Welcome, Friends!

Katy and Chad came to visit us -- and their old stompin' ground of Murray -- for a long weekend. We really enjoyed catching up with them and meeting their daughter Megan, who is three weeks and a day younger than Cate.

Here are some snapshots and a bit of commentary from the weekend ...

Yeah, what a good host Cate was! Seriously, though, she got another runny nose, although it only seemed to sporadically bother her. Thursday night she especially seemed to be lacking energy, as you can tell. Usually she's all about eating, but she passed up her bites from some sleep in the restaurant.

We had friends over Friday night for game night. Fulfilling his role as "Ladies Man," Luke took a few minutes to play with Megan.

I just thought this was cute. She's messy from having just finished eating and having a runny nose. Lovely combination, I know! But I like her smirk, and her little teeth that are showing. Speaking of teeth, she cut her sixth one last week and is working on at least one more. That's four on the bottom and her two top "fangs."

Cate and Megan really played pretty well together. Together meaning at the same time, in the same mess of toys, without really bothering one another. They did always seem to be most interested in the toy that the other had. This music table was a hit ...

... although Cate tended to dominate. I guess it's those three weeks she has on Megan! Seriously, though, it was neat to watch their personalities come out. Megan is a bit more reserved than Cate, who always has something to say and somewhere to be.

We took them to a Murray State game. It's only appropriate that Megan be introduced to basketball in Kentucky, and we didn't want to fail her! She seemed pretty content taking in the atmosphere. Katy's picture from the game has a bit more action, with Cate enjoying the water bottle she had just taken from Megan, who obviously wants it back.

So Megan was ready for church and Cate wasn't. But they're still a cute pair!

Back to the popular music table. I must say, though, both girls are pretty good at standing up. For Cate, it's a rather new thing, like in the last week. (Side note: She also learned how to sit up from laying down rather well -- and consistently -- last week. And, let me tell you, every day she's finding herself in more places more quickly!) Megan even worked on holding something in her hand, in this picture a Nemo Pez dispenser, while she stood!

As you can see, Cate did eventually get dressed for church. Cute tights, huh?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Must be love!

This is how Cate spent her Valentine's evening ...

Luke came over to play, and she loved every minute!

Actually, Jaclyn and Bryan came over to watch "Survivor" and play Settlers of Catan. So while we were playing the game at the kitchen table, the kids played under the table. I think they liked the new rug!

Luke is getting a baby sister in April, so Cate is practice! He's really sweet with her. And they really like to give each other kisses! But she also likes to "wrestle" with him, even though he's significantly bigger, as you can see.

(Jodi, do you see why barrettes and rubber bands are necessary?!)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

As Cate gets old, she'll hear our "First-Date Day" story more times than she'll probably care to! Greg and I went out for ice cream at Baskin-Robbins on Valentine's afternoon in 1998. It wasn't so much the Hallmark holiday that prompted the date, rather we met through a mutual acquaintance the weekend before.

I just learned that Cassie and Zac also had their first official date on Valentine's Day. Then they ended up getting married 4 1/2 years after that ... just like we did. Our anniversaries are a day (and five years!) apart. I love the similarities.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

... Playing under the table and dreaming ...

Cate enjoys being under our coffee table, although she sometimes thinks she's stuck. She's not ... just part of the way over the piece of wood you see her contemplating in this picture. This all, of course, when she's not pulling up on it.

(The title to this post is courtesy Dave Matthews Band. It's a line from "Ants Marching," which is on the album titled "Under the Table and Dreaming.")

Monday, February 11, 2008

Lasting Love

Nana and Papaw (Greg's grandparents) are celebrating their 60th anniversary on Valentine's Day. The family surprised them with a lunch cruise on a yacht on Kentucky Lake yesterday afternoon. The boat is based in Louisville but spends January and February down this way.

Besides the fact my back and head ached and I had chills, it was a fun outing. Then I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening on the couch with my friend The Heating Pad. I feel better today, but still not great.

Anyway, back to the boat ...

A few people shared thoughts and stories with Nana and Papaw. Lots of looking back over the years. And I brought a Brad Paisley song to share. I heard it the other day while I was in the car, and I reminded me of them. So I said a few words about how I appreciate their commitment to family. (Side note: Cate's middle name is Anna, which is Nana's name.)

Here are the words to the song:

A baby's born in the middle of the night in a local delivery room
They grab his feet smack him till cries he goes home the next afternoon
’Fore you know he's off to school and he graduates in May
Goes out and gets a Ph.D. and then cures all sorts of things
Wins a Nobel Prize and saves a million different lives
The world a better place for all he's done
It's funny when think about the reason he's alive
Is all because two people fell in love

Right now at a picnic shelter down by canyon creek
You'll find potato salad, hot dogs and baked beans
The whole Wilson family's lined up fillin’ their paper plates
They drove or flown in here from 15 different states
Stanley Wilson said that sixty years ago he knew
That Miss Sama Tucker was the one
Now five generations get together every June
And all because two people fell in love

Yea there ain't nothin’ not affected
When two hearts get connected
All that is, will be, or ever was
Every single choice we make
Every breath we get to take
Is all because two people fell in love

Well, I recall a young man who was driftin’ aimlessly
And a young waitress who seemed lonesome as can be
In a little cafe right off Fourteenth Avenue
With a whole lotta of help from up above
We met and things sure turned around for me and you
And all because two people fell in love

Baby, there ain't nothing; not affected
When two hearts get connected
All that is, will be, or ever was
I'm glad your dad could not resist
And mamma’s charm to you exist
All because two people fell in love

You know, to me it's all so clear
Every one of us is here
All because two people fell in love

A baby's born in the middle of the night in a local delivery room
They grab his feet smack him till cries he goes home the next afternoon

Trivia Night

Greg and I got a group of family members together to play in a Trivia Night fund-raiser for Murray Main Street, a non-profit organization that works to preserve downtown. We had played a couple years ago with the newspaper and wanted to participate. So we recruited Greg's two brothers, sister-in-law, aunt and one of his cousins and his girlfriend.

While finished probably slightly above the middle of the pack in point total for the actual trivia, our theme did give us a third place prize in that category.

Even our food had the blues ...

That's the whole group, minus John. But, no worries, here he is. He and Jennifer got into some dancing!

That's Charles with his head down and Greg trying to be serious.

That's Greg's cousin Zak and his girlfriend Alysha.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Comfy Together

My sick baby and I have been hanging out at home this morning while Daddy works at a booth his company has at an annual Home Show here. I'm hoping it brings good deals his way. And I'm hoping Cate feels better soon.

But not everything about her not feeling well is bad. We do get a cuddle a lot.

One of our Christmas presents from Katie was these "Mom and Tot" socks. (That's what the package said ... I didn't make that up!) Anyway, I've been saving them for the right time to share in their comforts. This morning definitely has been the right time. Aren't they cute? And they're comfy.

Greg and I each were up with Cate at different times last night, so nobody slept great. At one point around 3 a.m. I woke up and Greg wasn't in bed, but I didn't hear him up either. So I peeked in Cate's room. But neither of them were there either. I glanced in the living room and didn't see anyone. Um ... so then I saw the blanket on the couch move. There they were. Cate cuddled on her daddy's chest in just the way that helped her breathe easier, thus sleep more soundly. I don't make it a habit of keeping my camera near in the middle of the night; we are a bunch who like our sleep. But, you'll have to trust me, they were cute on the couch. Even so, I told Greg they should come to bed. So they did. Cate continued sleeping on her daddy until about 5 a.m., when he took her back to her own bed. Seven o'clock, or maybe a little after, came quick this morning.

That's why Cate and I needed comfy socks from our dear friend and some quality time on the couch. It didn't hurt that the Wildcats won. Hey, at least there was something on TV while we were comfy together.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Around our house ...

Cate and I have stuck close to home today. So close I totally forgot I had an appointment with the dentist to fix one of my back teeth that is strangely broken. Anyway, we've been at home because she's congested. I hesitate to say sick, but definitely congested and lacking energy. More tears than usual, but no fever. And she wants to be held more than she wants to play. This after she had a fever Tuesday but otherwise acted normal.

Isn't she pitiful?

But it hasn't been all tears and snot today ...

She started feeling bad (and sounding hoarse in her babble ...) yesterday afternoon. She went to sleep really well last night (right after Jonny Fairplay got voted off of "Survivor." I know, weird vote, huh? I really thought it was a ploy.), but then she woke up at 1 a.m. I waited a few minutes and it didn't sound like she was putting herself back to sleep, so I went in there, only to find her sitting straight up in her crib. Now, keep in mind, I've never seen her go from laying down to sitting up without help. Maybe she used her crib to help her. Or maybe she just can do that now. Anyway, I rocked her a for a few minutes and then laid her back down, and she was off to sleep again.

Speaking of yesterday ... Greg and I met 10 years ago on Feb. 7, 1998. Hard to believe we've known each other for a decade. I'm sure I'll mention it again next week, but we went on our first date on Valentine's Day that year. So now the holiday is affectionately called First-Date Day at our house. Anyway, we're really terrible about keeping gifts surprises very long. So I asked Greg yesterday if I could give him his First-Date Day present a week early, plus it would recognize the anniversary of our meeting through a mutual friend. I bought him the Settlers of Catan Card Game, which can be played with just two players. He's not much for Scrabble and Boggle like me, so I wanted to find something else for us to play in the evenings. Oh, and he gave me the Cricut font I asked for (Jasmine, you scrappers!) and two Five for Fighting CDs.

In addition to enjoying my new music, I've been reading some books. In an effort to learn more about nutrition, I'm reading "Eat to Life" by Joel Fuhrmann. And as Greg and I develop our disciplining philosophy, I'm reading (well, we're both reading ...) "To Train Up a Child" by Michael and Debi Pearl. You know, I really agree with a lot of the ideas in that book, despite the dog and mule analogies and the horse-drawn covered wagon drawn on the front.

And speaking of food (the book, you know ...), I cooked dinner four nights in a row. (The new kitchen, especially the dishwasher, definitely helps!) On Sunday night, I planned four meals for this week and then went to the grocery to get everything. Successful! All four meals involved a new recipe for the main dish, and all four turned out well. We even ate leftovers for lunch throughout the week. Greg and I really love eating out, so four straight days of eating every meal at home is good for us!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Random Moments with Cate

If she can help it, Cate hardly ever has socks on when we're inside. I usually take her shoes off when we come home from being out, but yesterday I didn't have a chance to. Now worries, Cate took care of it ... almost.

Apparently she got distracted and only managed to take off one shoe and one sock. Then it was dinner time.

Just yesterday, the nurse practitioner at the pediatrician's office asked me if Cate was pulling up on furniture. Just her bed, I told her. Well, today she made it to her knees holding on to the coffee table.

(Notice the lack of socks!)

And oh how interesting the new view was!

(Jodi, can you see how her hair is fixed in the bottom picture? It's pulled to the side with a rubber band. Is that too close to a ponytail? When she wasn't messing with her socks yesterday, she was pulling barrettes out of her hair ... so I had to move on to stronger means of keeping her hair out of her face!)

Hey, sports fans!

I know not all of you are sports fans, but if you are ... Do you notice anything on my grocery list?

Greg pointed out that if you read the two words on the left you have a basketball player's name and not just two items I need to purchase next time I'm at the grocery.
(He noticed this BEFORE I added "sliced cheese," but, hey, my camera was downstairs and I didn't want to forget I needed sliced cheese!)

Anyway, ironically enough, I wrote a story about O.J. Mayo in January 2002 when I worked at The Associated Press and he was just a seventh-grader at Rose Hill Christian in Ashland, Ky., not a kid in college just waiting to go pro, like he is now.

And, now for you non-sports fans ... Isn't the grocery list paper cute? It's a magnetic pad Greg got for free when he bought marketing material from I have cute address labels too!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Nine Months

Three-fourths of a year! That's seriously hard for me to believe. Cate remains in the 95th percentile for height (28 3/4 inches long) and on the slender side (18 pounds 4.2 ounces, putting her in the 50th percentile). That means she's grown 1 1/4 inch and not quite two pounds in the past three months.

As you can see, she's always got her mind on something. I think in this shot it's a combination of a book on her shelf and my camera.

I've told you about the bear project, so here's a sampling. I figured nine months was a good time because more interesting things (like eating cake) will be happening when she's a year!

So, here's nine months ...

And here's two months ...

The New-to-Us Table

This table came from a house (a beautiful, beautiful lake house ...) that Greg's company bought and is getting ready to re-sell. Greg included some extra money for some furniture, including this table that now has a nice place in our kitchen!

Monday, February 4, 2008

sealed with a kiss

The first page of 2008! The color is better than the picture makes it look, but I think you get the idea.

Lights, Camera, Action

This brings my Christmas page total to 10. I realize that might be a tad obsessive, but it was Cate's first Christmas and I really liked the paper I was using! In addition to finishing this page yesterday, I started what is going to be the 11th and final Christmas page. I ran out of Xyron adhesive, so I couldn't finish. I also experimented with an 8-by-10 photo and printed out what is going on my first 2008 page!

Fellow scrappers ... I've told you before that I use albums that have cardboard fronts and backs. I want to embellish them, but I'm not sure what I should use. I was thinking about wrapping them in ribbon and adding flowers or buttons or brads or something randomly. Have you all ever decorated the front of an album like this? If so, what did you use? If I use paper, do I need to reinforce it with Mod Podge or something so it doesn't get ruined over time?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Family Moments

Greg's great uncle Dwain has an open-door policy for lunch at his car dealership on Saturday. Any family -- and friends, really -- can just call to say they're coming and then partake in the food that he orders for his employees each Saturday. I think it's a pretty nice set up, plus it's fun to get to know extended family better. We go a couple times a month, especially now that Cate particularly likes visiting with Dwain.

I need to get some better pictures of them together, but here are some of Cate and her cousins Elijah and Ethne yesterday.

Ethne was saying "cheese" because she caught me trying to capture them candidly. Cate was just in her own little world back there!

Cate was apparently telling some kind of joke here while Ethne remained in her own 2 1/2-year-old world and Elijah detected me trying to discretely take pictures.

And then Cate decided she better get moving. Too long in one place!

Then later Saturday we had a birthday party for Greg's brother John, whose birthday is actually at the beginning of January. But this is farther removed from Christmas!

Greg got Ethne ready for the basketball game that followed ...

... while Elijah enjoyed a horse ride on Granddaddy!