Our little Hootie had a very eventful week! We call Avery, Hootie
(named by Pappaw Gary), because her eyes are so big and bright they
remind us of an owl. And, when you come in the room and she is
excited to see you or wants to be picked up, she sits up on her knees
and flaps her arms excitedly trying to get your attention…it’s her
trademark move! So, when I saw some owl themed birthday décor, I knew
it was a match.
My Grandma Dee came in town for the big event and we planned a family
dinner to celebrate. I love having her in town and the kids get so
excited to play with her. When she is here, she is ALL in…games,
coloring, teaching the baby new things, and hugs galore.
Tuesday evening we went to Millington and spent some fun family time
out there. We took a ride on the four-wheeler all around the land and
checked up on Hayden’s corn and hard work. Avery loved the ride…all
our kids will grow up “Country” and that makes this Mama proud. Trey
was so cute trying to immitate each thing Hayden did. At one point
Hayden had a hammer and was hammering a rod into the ground…Trey
grabbed a stick and started pounding at a rock so he could join in.
Wednesday morning was spent with our friends, Sara, David, and Walker
Shepherd. They came out to Millington to check out the place and have
lunch. (By the way, if you haven’t tried the new cookies at
Chik-fil-a…proceed with caution! They are incredibly good!!)
Wednesday night was Avery’s birthday party and she not only looked
adorable in her birthday outfit (no, not her birthday suit!) but she
had a blast being the center of attention. She really got into opening
the presents because Haley and Trey were so excited about it. They
helped her and almost let her play with the toys that she got! Aunt
Julie got her a stuffed owl and that was definitely the hit…with all
three kids. Avery was hugging it and doing her signature “bird”- arm
flap when she’s excited- move. Haley and Trey were so excited about
celebrating Avery’ birthday too- they sang to her several times a day
throughout the week.
My favorite part of the night was watching Avery experience her first
cupcake. She reached out and almost touched the flame of the candle
while we were eating and so we all yelled, “NO!” So, after that shock
she was a little hesitant to touch the actual cupcake. Not to
mention, each time she almost touched it someone would say, “AWW!”
because it was so cute and she got a little hesitant again. We let
her patiently decide how she was going to tackle the treasure in front
of her. After many almost attempts to touch it, she just grabbed it
and put it full on her open mouth…icing side in. Then she just
sucked off all the icing…without taking a breath. It was hilarious.
The whole cupcake made it down and she was one chocolate covered
girl! Most people said she looks just like me, and seeing her take
down that cupcake I saw that she acts just like me too! After
dinner and dessert we went outside to shoot off a few fireworks and do
some sparklers…it was the Fourth of July. The kids LOVE fireworks.
There is actually a burn ban going on right now due to the lack of
rain. We explained that to the kids and only lit a few. For the next
two or three days Trey would wake up and ask, “Did it rain last night?
Can we shoot off Fireworks today?”
Putting our tired little princess down for bed was really hard. I’ve
been hit with emotion several times in the past couple days. Since
Avery is possibly/probably our last baby, it was so sad to tackle this
milestone because it means our baby really is growing up! But, on the
other hand, I am so happy with the young lady God has blessed us with
and so excited to see her growing and developing. I’ve said it since
day 1- she is the BEST baby! She is so content, happy, cheerful,
joyful, busy, curious, adventurous, busy, bold, loving, snuggly,
wiggly, observant, and expressive. Avery loves to sing…in her own
language, of course. She loves to pull things out of boxes and
cabinets…which is less than helpful when packing boxes for the big
move! My biggest challenge with Avery is keeping her from going
upstairs. She loves to climb and is really good at it. If left to
her own devices, she will crawl upstairs to the playroom and just
play. Especially if Haley and Trey are upstairs playing. Avery can
feed herself (hands, not utensils), likes most foods- not carrots, but
loves broccoli, steak, applesauce, bananas, hot dogs, graham crackers,
and everything else she can find on the floor. That girl puts
EVERYTHING in her mouth. She takes 1 or 2 naps a day, depending on if
we are out/about during nap #1. She is a great sleeper. Her “tired”
cue is to suck on her index finger and hold her ear. She has six
teeth that are razor sharp. Avery laughs at everything and is a true
source of joy in my life. I don’t know what I would do without my
little Hootie. Every night when I put her to bed I pray for my sweet
little girl that she will grow into a woman who chases after the Lord
and will be used mightily to bring others to Him.
Birthday Breakfast for our Princess!
I know this post is getting long, but when it comes to talking about
any of my kids, it’s hard for me to keep it short. Avery’s actual
birthday was really fun. We dressed her up and went to get her
picture taken. It is really hard to admit we went somewhere to get
her one year pictures taken because Hayden does such an incredible job
BUT I took Haley to get her One Year pictures taken and got a picture
with this “1” block. It was so cute that I took Trey to get his
picture with it too…so, of course, I had to take Avery and finish
the trilogy. My Mom and Grandma went to help out and then we did
lunch at one of my favorite restaurants- Crepe Maker. Haley’s friend
had a birthday party at Pump It Up that night so we all went. (We
told Avery the party was for her!) She LOVED climbing and having free
reign on the jumpy equipment. She laughed the whole time and it was
so much fun to watch her and the kids having fun together. A precious
We just got home from a wonderful trip from the beach. My whole side
of the family was there- my parents, Kathleen and Jason, Julie and
Reed (Julie’s boyfriend). The weather reports looked terrible for the
week but our first day, Sunday, was the only day that was even cloudy.
That day was a double red flag day and unfortunately I took the kids
to put our toes in the water. The waves were bigger than we expected
and instead of getting our toes wet, it went up to our knees and
knocked Trey over. This made him terrified of the ocean for the rest
of the trip. Luckily, he still loved playing in the sand!
Haley and Avery on the other hand were beach bums! Haley kept busy running back
and forth and creating games. Jason and Haley made quite a shell
finding team. Although, Reed won the prize for finding the most sea
creatures- 2 oysters (no pearl), a sand dollar, and a hermit crab!
The hermit crab did not want to be caught and escaped our bucket many
times…the crab also tried his best to get back to the beach but did
not make it, due to the 5 floor fall he took after climbing out of the
bucket and off the balcony over night.
Avery loved being outside and playing all day. She was content
sitting in the sand, under the umbrella or sitting in the surf with me
and splashing as the waves rolled in. I was a little nervous that she
would hate the sand but it didn’t phase her. (very little does) More
evidence of how laid back she is. And, thanks to God granting all of
our kids Hayden’s skin, we avoided sun burns all week!
It was really nice getting to spend quality time with Kathleen and
Jason. KJ was reading her Pregnancy books and we got to talk a lot
about all the thoughts running through her mind. In case you hadn’t
heard, KJ and Jason are expecting…TWINS!! We are so excited and
can’t wait to find out what they are having- boys, girls, or both? KJ
was definitely experiencing the symptoms of pregnancy- incredible and
immediate hunger several times a day, being tired and nautious, and
even starting to grow a little belly. We all swear it got bigger over
the week we were there!
My Mom kept the kids busy with making beach cupcakes, blue jello with
Swedish Fish, and umbrellas for their drinks. Grampy kept the kids
occupied with playing on the beach and on his ipad. Haley and Trey
ate every meal that they could sitting on the balcony watching the
ocean…Avery was NOT to be left out. She ate out there with them too.
The kids had a blast sleeping in bunk beds- Hayden and I loved sitting
and listening to the giggles and stories they would share in their
room. Haley and Trey got along really well and all of the kids did
fantastic on both the ride to Florida and home. I am glad we were
granted such good travelers…a lot of credit goes to the Leap Frog
Leap Pad that the kids got for Christmas- and rechargeable batteries.
(My Dad got a new tattoo while we were there!)
Memorable Moment: When we got to Fort Walton, and after we got the
kids to bed, I walked out onto the balcony and was overwhelmed with
the sound of the waves (the storm had stirred up the power of the
waves.) It was dark and you could just see the white caps. All I
could think of was the recent scriptures I’ve read about God being
awesome Creator. The sense of His power washed over me- He controls
the intensity of each crash. I just felt really lucky to be able to
stand there and witness part of His work that I don’t get to see every
day. Pictures can’t portray that!
Thanks, Mom and Dad, for a wonderful vacation.
Here are a few pictures that I’m sure you’ll see again come Christmas time…and one I had to include because Haley set up the prop and posed all on her own for Hayden to take a picture!