Friday, March 27, 2015

Bryce 5 months!

I just realized that I never posted Bryce's 5 month post.  Shame on me!  When we don't visit the doctor for a monthly check up I tend to forget to post it right away.   I did take pictures so that's what counts!  Bryce is just growing so fast!  I can't believe 5 months have just flown by so fast.  When I say he is the sweetest baby boy, I mean it.  He is so happy, rarely cries unless he's getting hungry or starts to fight sleep a little, and he is FULL of smiles!  If you have met Bryce he has probably smiled so big at you.  His smile is precious and I am more than happy to take his picture all day long!  He is definitely a mama's boy right now naturally.  He is with me all day and I love to spoil him.  He is also spoiled by his big sisters who just adore him.  This month he has been eating rice cereal and is mastering eating it with a spoon.  Kate always wants to help me feed him as you will see in one of the pictures below.  She loves to help and is always loving all over him and telling him that she loves him.  She is fascinated by his baby noises and wants to know what he is saying.  He is "talking" more and more especially when he wakes up from a nap or in the morning.   The talking can quickly get to a fussy talk if we aren't quick to get the bottle in the morning.  He has learned how to stick out his little tongue too.   Some other big things for Bryce this month is he is using his Bumbo chair and even sat in the activity chair at church in the nursery.  I hold him a lot so here at home he is either being held or he does play on his mat or sit in his swing.  He is very attentive to what is going on and now likes to be sitting up where he can see instead of being held laying back.  He still loves his blanket and that is how we get him to sleep.  Snuggle the blanket up close and hold him tight.  I love being able to rock him.  He still sleeps in our room but has napped in his big bed.  Mama is just not ready to move him in the crib all night.  We did try once earlier this week but when he woke up in the night we moved him back in our room.   We continue to fall more and more in love with him each day!

first St. Patrick's Day!

Big Sis Cohen loves him!  Kate was not cooperating in this one...

My little fuzzy headed helper

wearing Denny's cap

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Miss Spring Jam!

This past Saturday was our third weekend straight of baton competitions but Cohen was just as excited about this one as she was the first one.  This competition was the Spring Jam competition in Anderson, SC which is close to home.  We did have to be there at 8:30 though so it was still an early morning.  Cohen had an awesome day and we actually were out of there by 3:30 or maybe a little before!   Unfortunately Kate had woke up with a fever so Kelly and the kids weren't able to make it but Cohen did have several other family members and friends there to cheer her on.  Aunt Sara, Sug, Savannah, Addison and Bebe were all there and some special friends came by too...Jarrett and Hazel and her friend Brooke and her mom Jennifer stopped in!  Cohen won her first beginner title too!  It was last year that she won a novice title so to win the beginner title was very exciting, and the big trophy was the best part to her.  Many of the novice categories will give medals while the beginner, intermediate, and advanced get trophies.  She has always wanted the trophies so she was very excited.    She even got to get the trophy from the Easter Bunny?!  I was so proud and happy for her too.  Hard work pays off, and all those times we have told her to smile, smile, smile have paid off too!  She did a great job along with all the ATRM girls.   It was a great day for Miss Amy's girls!

Cohen was 1st in her beginner strut, beginner marching, and was 0-6 modeling queen.
She was 2nd in open modeling and beginner solo.

modeling queen
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awards from the Easter bunny

carrying the big trophy

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Miss Majorette of Georgia Competition

Last weekend was our 2nd baton competition of the year.  This was the Miss Majorette of Georgia competition and it is held in McDonough, Ga.  We left on Friday night with a pit stop to see Papa, Grannie, Aunt Vicki, and Aunt Danette on the way.  Kelly was keeping Bryce and Kate at home and my Mama went with me and Cohen.  We were able to get to our hotel with enough time for Cohen to swim in the indoor pool.  When I tell you she never quit smiling it is true!  This child loves to swim and loves the water.  All the more reason we have started our summer countdown.  I need some warm weather, pool time, and beach time!  I told Cohen she had to be sure to keep that smile for the next day!

After the swim I had to get her showered and in the bed for some rest.  It was up early the next morning to get ready to compete.  The competition was held at Luella High School in Locust Grove.  Cohen competed in her modeling first and then it was hair up for the rest of the day.  This non-hair fixing mama likes to get the hair up and start the twirling.  Cohen really had an awesome day!  She was 1st place in all of her open events...solo, marching, and strut.  That has never happened for her so I was so proud of her.  In her titles she was 2nd and 4th. More to be proud of!  She also had a big mistake in one of her strut routines but how she handled herself was so awesome!  She got turned around backwards putting her in the wrong direction for the majority of her routine.  As a mom I wanted to jump out there and ask for her to start over or just help her but of course that isn't possible. I couldn't have been more proud of her though because she never stopped, never stumbled, never lost her smile and did her routine the best she could.  No pause or anything.  She knew pretty quick after heading the wrong way that she had messed up but it didn't stop her.  She did burst into tears as soon as she was finished but had held it all together up until then.  I told her how you handle these mistakes speaks more volume than any award and I thought she did great.  It took a little bit for her to get over it and I know she is still worried it might happen again but I know she will be able to handle it too.  That first place open strut which had been performed just minutes before this mess up was able to help cheer her up.  It was another great day for ATRM.  So proud of all of these girls.

Cohen was so excited when she saw Nicole Jensen who is the college Miss Majorette of America, and also happens to be a feature twirler at Georgia! She came to me and said "Mama will you please take my picture with the feature twirler?"

Getting ready to model!

First place in open strut!  Only her 2nd competition competing in strut!

Both girls won their age groups in strut

Cohen & Lexie

All the ATRM girls with Miss Amy

so proud of our little twirler

Getting her trophy...Thank you Mandy for taking this picture!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Art Shows!

Last week both girls had art shows for school.  Cohen had a piece of her artwork from school that was chosen for the art show/art display at the high school.  We had a lot of things fall in one day but we were able to make a quick stop there to see her pretty picture hanging.  Her art had been chosen for the use of primary colors.  I was definitely impressed with all the colors she had been able to make and use with just those 3 primary colors.  She has always liked drawing, coloring and painting so I'm proud that her pretty heart was chosen to be hung.  I really enjoyed looking at all the artwork.  There were some talented little artists from all of the schools!

Thursday it was Kate's turn for an art show at the preschool.  Again the day was packed with soccer, dance, and other things so Kate and I had to stop by earlier in the afternoon.  Everything was so cute! I love artwork, especially things using her hands and feet and this show was full of that.  Kate's teacher, Mrs. Lori, always has the cutest artwork and I love it.  She was very proud to show me all her pretty work too.  I think my most favorite though was her free hand drawing of her giraffe.  Now I know she is 3 but I could definitely see the resemblance to a giraffe!  I love it!  

Monday, March 16, 2015

Calling All Prayer Warriors

The last week (really less than a week) has delivered some news for our family that is never what you want to hear.  Last Wednesday my mom was told a recent biopsy revealed she has breast cancer.  If you're like me the word cancer alone is just scary and even more so when it hits home.  A lot of thoughts go through your mind but mainly right now I want any and everyone who reads this to pray. Share this post, spread the word, add my Mama, Brenda Haley, to your prayer list.  We serve an awesome God who is in the healing business everyday and I have no doubt he will come through on this one too.  Mama is already a cancer survivor having beat melanoma skin cancer and so she is a proven fighter.  Right now though she is anxious and scared as anyone else would be.
Today she and I met with her surgeon, Steve Shirley, who discussed her surgical options.  As with most cases I'm sure the options are to 1.) remove the area where the cancer is, a lumpectomy, and save the breast, or 2.) have a mastectomy and remove the breast entirely.  With option 1 radiation would be a must and with option 2 there wouldn't be radiation.  He could not determine what stage this is right now, and said that would all be determined based on the pre-op blood work and what the lymph nodes showed.  Since Mama had many of her lymph nodes removed when she had melanoma, they have got to pull those records to determine if they can remove any lymph nodes in that area.  They will run a dye the afternoon before the surgery to get the lymph node answers.  Surgery has been set for April 8.   Right now she is leaning towards the mastectomy and is just trying to come to terms with this decision.  As you can imagine it is just hard to soak it in not only on the physical level but also on the emotional one.
Today during the appointment as I was trying to write down notes,  which can be tough with so many big medical words, I couldn't help but think that I too may be in that position one day and what would I do.  I also hate having to watch my mama have to go through this too.  In my mind she has been through so much already in her life.  While she has beat this mess one time in her life, she is now prepping to fight again only this time without her main Daddy.  Instead she will do this with both me, Paula, Kelly, and so many wonderful friends and family members and most of all with God. I remind myself daily that this is all apart of his plan, which is perfect even when it doesn't appear perfect to us.  Every situation will have something good come from it.
Over the next couple of weeks please be in prayer for Mama for strength and comfort throughout this entire situation.  Pray for the peace that only God can provide.  Pray for the doctors involved, especially Dr. Shirley who will be performing the surgery.  She is in very good hands.  And please pray that there is no cancer in her lymph nodes and that this is contained to this spot only.   We appreciate every prayer that goes up lifting her name and for all the out pouring of love and support.  This community is awesome and really shows out when a member of it is in need.  I love that!
I also love this bible verse that I have clung to since losing my daddy...and it is very fitting in this situation I believe :)
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."   Jeremiah 29:11

And what is a blog post without a pic, right?!?  This is from B-Ren's birthday this year.  Cohen had used her Lalaloopsy Easy Bake Oven to bake her very own birthday cake for Mama.  We attempted a picture with my kids...hmmmm