Sunday, November 27, 2011

Season's Greetings!

I am so happy it's officially the Christmas season! The holiday decor, the festive music, the wonderful food....I love it all! But my favorite, favorite, favorite thing about Christmas....opening my mailbox everyday and seeing all the precious Christmas cards. I love seeing how families change through the years, and I love that most people these days go with photo cards. I'm thrilled to get a Christmas card, no matter what style, but the photo cards are everyone's favorite at my house!

Matthew and I have been married ten years, and I *think* we have done a photo card every year since we've gotten married. In our early years they featured us with our dogs, and now the dogs have been kicked off the card to make room for the kiddos. Christmas photo card options have come a LONG way in recent years. We had a great card last year, but I think my very favorite Christmas card we have ever done was 2009 when it was a combo Christmas card/Birth announcement following Presley's birth. I loved that card and we got ton's and ton's of compliments on it. Not only was it just so precious and sweet, the quality was exceptional. I designed the card at, and I was BEYOND pleased with the experience and product. I was able to pick a template, add my own photos, and then even change some of the text and add to it a bit to make it exactly how I wanted it. One of the best things, in my opinion, is they have a professional designer review your card before printing it. In my case, the Tiny Prints designer actually contacted me over a small grammar issue via email before printing. How awesome is that?

So this year, I am definitely going with Tiny Prints again for our cards. We are scheduled to do our photos next weekend, and I'm already eyeing several designs. I feel like I need to see the picture before I can make a final selection, but I know what I'm leaning towards. Tiny Prints has an amazing selection of holiday cards that you can find here:

One of the best things about their website is it's so easy to narrow down their huge selection of cards to find exactly what you're looking for. There are so many awesome choices, and there is something to please everyone, I'm sure! Here are some of my favorites:

I love the non-traditional colors on this, and the bold "Merry Christmas" message:

This one is kind of simple and classic, and that appeals to me. I love the full-bleed photo cards...ours last year was like that, and I think it makes a huge statement as opposed to a collage, although those are fun too:

I LOVE this colorful card...I'm obsessed with chevron stripes, and the back of this card is to-die-for!! I love the rainbow colors too:

So cute!
If you haven't already made a Christmas card decision, go here and be amazed at the quality and design that Tiny Prints has to offer. You will NOT be disappointed!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Party for Presley

About two months ago, maybe more, we began to talk to Presley about her upcoming birthday, telling her things like "you're going to be two!", "you're going to be a big girl!", "you're going to get to have a party!", all of which made her very excited. And at some point in those discussions, I asked Presley what kind of party she wanted to have, not really expecting her to understand what I meant or to have any idea how to answer. Well, she immediately answered "A CANDY party!", and she has stuck with that exclamation ever since. I tried to talk her into other ideas like a Mickey party, or an Olivia party, but she wasn't having it. We have talked about her candy party for months, and I have never seen a child this young so excited for THEIR own party. She talked for weeks about who all she wanted to be there, what all she wanted to have (candy, cakes, cupcakes, and more candy), and all this was done with pure excitement and joy. I really don't remember Mattie being that excited about her 2nd birthday party. But Presley was over the moon!

Truth be told, I toyed with the idea of not even doing a party. My thinking was that we did a fairly big party last year, and maybe we'd take a year off this year, and then do a party next year when she turns 3 and she could invite some friends. So much for that! I'm so glad we did go ahead and celebrate this sweet girl...she deserves it!

And just because I can't help looking and comparing how much difference a year makes, here she is at her 1st birthday.

These pictures are very out of order, but I'm not fixing it.

Here is Presley and her cutie pie friend Dylan:

Presley after blowing out her candles:

Miss Priss finally got some of her own dress up stuff so she can quit stealing sisters:

And she was blessed with two Furr-Real toy cats that purr and move when you pet them. She LOVES!

She was very uninterested in her presents...I kind of had to make her stop and open them all. Very unlike her sister who loses all ability to control herself around a pile of presents:

I caught her doing this several times....swiping candy off the table. The girl loves some candy!

Here is my little miss looking so grown. I made her little outfit and love how it looks on her:

This is the cheapest party I have ever put together, but it still turned out pretty cute. I spent around $25 all total for everything, including invites and postage. The biggest expense was the ingredients I bought to make the frosting for the cake and cupcakes.

I had planned to only make cupcakes, but the day before Presley kept talking about "my cake". I told her "you mean your cupcake", and she was not having it. She insisted on having a cake, so I had to throw this together last minute!

I found a lady on Etsy who designed these cupcake toppers and an invite for me for $8, and I printed them both out at home and made them. Too easy and gotta love CHEAP! And I have learned the secret to pretty cupcakes with nice, neat piped icing is to make your own icing. Much better and holds up much better to being piped on.

I displayed several of her pictures in frames I got at the dollar store and painted with paints I had:

And all the candy jars I had or bought at Goodwill, and all the candy came from The Dollar Tree:

The only thing I forgot was a present for Presley. Yes, I'm the mama who didn't take a present to her own child's birthday party!

It was so fun to do this party and see how happy it made Presley. Her favorite part was having all her family there in one spot. She talked for weeks about everybody coming, and everyday she'd talk and talk about it and name someone and ask me if they were coming..."Gigi coming to my pah-tay??" "Nana coming to my pah-tay?", and on and on and on....and she did this for WEEKS! So, I was thrilled that everyone got to be there. Except Mattie....she came down with fever and a sore throat the day before and was still running fever the day of, so I had to make her miss it. She was SO devestated....OH how she cried. She had looked forward to the party as much as Presley had and she had helped me plan and get ready for it, so I just hated for her to not go.

Seeing Presley have a party has got Mattie's mind working on what she wants her next party to be, and she has got some big ideas! Lord, give me strength!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bye Bye, Baby

My sweet, sweet Presley Kate turned 2 last week. If she wasn't the cutest, funniest, happiest, most delightful little person I have ever been around, I might be a bit sadder about this transition from baby-hood to true kid-hood.  But I have to say, I love where she's at right now. This age abounds with cuteness. It's not without it's frustrations....I could write a book on the ways this child turns my hair gray(er) everyday...but OH MY at the hilarity of spending just one hour with her. At the end of each day, I could collapse from exhaustion, and usually I do, but I have spent my entire day laughing and and being entertained by the funniest comedian I've ever known. She knows how to make us laugh, and she delights in doing it, and some days I don't know how we lived as long as we did without her.
I’ll recap her little party tomorrow, but for now I thought I’d share some pics I took of her last week and a few facts about Presley at age 2.  I really wanted some two year pictures made, but I am trying to be frugal….so I did them myself.  And I got a few I love and will frame. 
Presley is my talker, and she has a pretty big vocabulary for a 2 year old, or at least I think she does. She talks constantly, articulates pretty well, and can communicate most anything she wants to say to us. Mattie was a good talker pretty early too, but I think Presley is even better than she was.
She is also Miss Personality, and has never met a stranger.  This is SO different than Mattie, who still to this day will hide behind my legs if a someone speaks to her.  But when I take Presley somewhere, I have to be prepared to talk to strangers, because most of the time she introduces me to them.  She insists on riding facing forward in the buggy (with her booty on the handrail, and her feet in the seat, with her back against my chest) so she can see where we’re going, and then as we pass people, she yells “HI!!” at them until they notice her, and then the stranger will say something like “oh hi there, aren’t you a sweet little girl”, and then she points to me and says “dis mommy!!” (this is mommy), to which they say “OH, is this your mommy?  Hi mommy!”, and I have to then say “hi, how are you?”.  This goes on and on and on.  Not sure why she thinks she has to introduce me to everyone, but I have met lots of nice people in the grocery store over the past several months.
This seems obvious, but Presley loves her family. Really, really loves all of us. She loves her aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, etc. so much and a lot of the conversations we have are about her family, and what an aunt or grandparent might be doing at that moment, or when we might see them again.  I think her favorite thing about her party was having all her people in one spot for a little while.   She is a sweetheart.

This child loves animals.  Loves them. I've mentioned before her love of cats, but she really loves dogs as well. We joke that she loves her dog relatives more than her human relatives, because she loves all her dog cousins so much. She isn't afraid of dogs at all, and we are blessed to have lots of kid-friendly dogs in our family.  I need to do a separate post with pictures of her and all her dog friends.
Presley has never been real interested in TV, but right now she is obsessed with the show "Olivia" on Nick Jr. This is the one about a little girl pig and her family. The good thing about "Olivia" is I don't mind watching it, and neither does Mattie. It's not irritating and annoying the way "Dora" or "Backyardigans" is. She also loves "Blues Clues", and Mickey is always a hit.  She got some “Olivia” toys for bday, so she is thrilled with those.
Favorite foods are yogurt, waffles, oatmeal, dry cereal, pepperonis, cheese, strawberries, apples, bananas, pb&j sandwiches, noodles or pasta of any kind, ketchup, chicken, and usually anything I cook for supper is a hit with her. She is my non-picky eater and will usually gobble up whatever we're eating.

She is in a phase right now where she has strong preferences about what she wears. She prefers dresses, especially pink ones, and she has one favorite pink dress that is now out of season and I'm only letting her wear it in the house these days. She prefers to sleep in gowns as well. Very girly!
We have been potty training for a while now, and as of right now, she is doing great. We've definitely had our ups and downs, and I've been beyond frustrated and ready to give up at times and try again months down the road, but we've stuck with it, and I think I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. She initiated wanting to start using the potty at about 21 months, so we took it slow and just let her go when she wanted, etc. The next month I got more serious with it, and began really putting effort into it. To be 24mos old, I am THRILLED with where she's at right now. Just this week I have been taking her out of the house in panties more and more, and we've done grocery shopping, doctors office, church nursery, and several other places with panties on and she's done accidents. Mattie started potty training right after she turned 2 and it took several months, so we're just a little ahead of big sister. 
Favorite toys and activities include playing with baby dolls, playing dress up in sisters dress up clothes (and now some of her own dress up stuff she got for birthday), playing in mommy's shoes and jewelry and walking around the house with it on, playing in sister's play kitchen, reading books, going to church, going to mother's day out, playing with Mimi's new puppy, and doing anything outdoors...she loves to be outside getting dirty.
Some of my favorite things she says or words she's using:

-Mattie is usually called "Tih-Tuh" (sister) but more and more she’s actually saying “Mattie”.  Especially when she yells at her.
-She loves Mimi and Papa's new Goldendoodle puppy who's name is "Jolie", but Presley calls her "Lo Lo" or "Lolie".  They were fast friends and are now two peas in a pod. 
-Church is "Turch", and she loves going.  She goes with me to bible study once a week and goes to the nursery, she goes to Awana on Wednesday, and then she’s there on Sunday mornings, and it is one of her favorite places to be. 
-Mother's Day Out is "Baby Cool (school)", and she LOVES it as well.  We have been so blessed with this MDO program….she is so loved and adored there, and we have felt right at home even though it’s not our home church.
-This week while in the car, she has started saying to me "slow down, mama" when I'm driving. And I'm talking about when I'm just driving in town going the speed limit. I have no idea where this came from, but she says it in this super sweet, pleading little voice over and over. So cute.
-We have two Bassett Hound dogs… the boy is Drake, and our girl is Roxie. Presley calls Roxie "Rocky" and Drake "Rocky Too". Not sure why she won't say "Drake", but to her they are the same dog basically, I guess.
-She can say big words like "Lemonade" and "Microwave"
-Mattie is playing soccer, so Presley has been to several soccer games now.  After the first one, she came home so excited and told Matthew (who had to miss the game) that “Tih-Tuh kick balls!  Hard!”, and this is how she has referred to soccer from then on.  If she sees me getting Mattie’s uniform out, she asks “Tih-Tuh kick balls tonight?”.  This has caused us endless amounts of laughter as you can imagine. 
-She says “Oh-Tay” (OK), “Tay-Too” (Thank You), “Peas” (Please) all very regularly…very polite and sweet.  Although “No” is another favorite word, but at least she doesn’t scream it much anymore. 
We have had a hugely busy fall with Mattie playing soccer, and Matthew having ball games every week.   But Presley has loved every minute of it, and has loved going to both soccer and football games.  She is usually just a social butterfly at both, and spends her time going from person to person to visit.  And eating snacks. 
We went to the doctor yesterday morning for her 2yr checkup, and she weighed 33lbs (95th percentile) and was 36" (90th percentile). She has consistently, since birth, stayed in the above 90th percentile range for both height and weight. A year ago, she was 27lbs and 32-1/2" at her 1yr checkup, so she's only gained 5 1/2lbs in the past year, but 4 inches. She is losing all her baby "chub" and is turning into a long, lean girl.
It’s so funny to me, but she is wearing a very wide range of sizes now. In some dresses, she can still wear a 12-18m, and it fits like a tunic or long top with leggings. But she can also wear some of Mattie's 4t stuff that Mattie *just* outgrew....if it's a smaller fitting dress, it just fits long. For new things, I'm buying 3T, but she can still fit into a lot of her 2T stuff from last year unless it's pants and those are mostly too short. She's in a size 8 or 8-1/2 shoe, which puts her wearing shoes Mattie wore when she was nearly 3.

We are still sleeping in a baby bed, with no plans to change that any time soon. She loves her baby bed, and I'm fine with her being in it. She sleeps like a champ, so I see no need to mess with a good thing at this point. Mattie was 2-1/2 when we converted her crib to a toddler bed, and a few months after that we moved her to a full size bed, but I see Presley staying in the crib till closer to 3.  Mattie is dying to have sister spend the night in her bed at some point, and she reminds me all the time that when Presley was a newborn and she wanted her in the bed, I told her that we’d revisit the idea when Presley was two, and maybe by then she’d be old enough to.  Mattie never forgets anything!  But the few times I have put Presley in bed with Mattie, she will only stay a minute and then she cries for her baby bed, ha! 
There is just no way to articulate what a joy this child is.  She is so loved, so adored, so cherished by everyone who knows her, especially her family, and I just cannot believe I get to be her mama.  I can’t wait to see what this next year holds!
Since Presley is not the only little girl I’m crazy in love with and over the moon about, I have to include a picture and mention what a big girl my Mattie is.  I think as much as Presley has changed in the past year, that Mattie may have grown and matured more.  I think about her a year ago, and how she acted at Presley’s birthday party last year (major jealousy meltdown!), and some of the issues we were having at school around that time, and I just can’t hardly believe what a young lady I’ve got now.  I think there is such a huge growth spurt maturity-wise that happens around age 5, or at least that’s been the case with Mattie.  She ended up being sick the day of Presley’s party and didn’t get to go to it, and it nearly broke her heart.  She adores – ADORES - Presley, and I tell Presley all the time how lucky she is to have Mattie as her big sister.  I never see any meanness, any unkindness, or any hatefulness from her directed at Presley….only love, adoration, sweetness, and tenderness.   The love Mattie has for her baby is just so sweet, and as the mama, I’m so incredibly thankful for it. 
I was not planning to take Mattie’s picture this day, she was just being my “assistant” with taking Presley’s picture, so I didn’t have her hair fixed and these were the clothes she wore to school that day, but I snapped this quick pic of her and I love how it turned out.  Such a sweetie and so photogenic! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

School and Soccer

We are on our fifth week of school this week, and Mattie is doing great. It took about 3 weeks for us to kind of find our groove, and for her to get adjusted and used to the longer day, the separation from mama, the short lunchtime, the homework and tests, etc. But I think we're finally in a good place, and can say with some confidence that she is liking school. She is learning to read and I have never seen the child so excited, which thrills me.

With the start of school also comes the start of fall activities, and this year Mattie is playing soccer. She had her first practice last week, and loved, loved, loved it. I think she's going to enjoy sports, unlike her mother....she's seems to be athletic, and has a huge streak of competitiveness in her, so we'll see. Soccer for kindergartners is mostly just cute! Here's some pics of her first practice, and they're all out of order, but I don't feel like moving them:

Sweet, precious friends:

After practice was not that hot, but Mattie wouldn't be Mattie if she didn't have to throw a towel on her head for extra effect:

Go team go!!:

Playing goalie, her favorite, and taking it very seriously!:

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Beginnings

Last week, I sent my baby off to face the cold, cruel world all alone, without me by her side. Or rather, my baby started Kindergarten.  This mama has taken it hard.

Here we are before leaving on her first day:
No, not really. But that's how it's felt to I'm taking my baby, who should still be little and new, who can't possibly be 5 years old, to elementary school. How in the world did this happen, and why in the world is it so hard on a mama?  

This has been the hardest thing I've faced in my 5+ year mothering experience, and I've wondered, am I being overly dramatic? Am I exaggerating emotions? Am I being stupid about this?

And the answer I've give myself is no. It is hard to cross this threshold. It is big, and there's no going back. So, while I’m excited for her, and all she’s about to embark upon, I’m sad for what we’re leaving behind.  And I’m in utter disbelief that we’re here already.  I spent the night before her first day drinking wine and looking at her baby pictures.  I just cannot believe how time has flown. 

So I did cry quite a bit on the first day, and in the days after, and even some this week, but I held it together in front of Mattie on day one.  I waited until I was in the safety of the parking lot before I really let the tears flow.  I met a group of friends for a post-first-day-drop-off breakfast that morning, and I had to drive around for a bit to compose myself before going.  And I might have scared Presley, because she was with me.  Sorry P!

In the weeks leading up to school starting, Mattie’s nervousness was outweighing her excitement.  She had a whole list of things she was worried about, and we had several occasions of her crying with me reassuring her that it would be OK, and she would love it when she got there, and everybody is nervous, even the teachers, because it's a new year for everyone, etc. etc. etc.  By the time the first day got here, she was more excited than scared, and she had no tears at drop-off.  A huge blessing for me!

On to the pictures!

The week before school started, we did some back to school shopping, and Mattie proved that she is 1) not too big too ride in a stroller, and 2) she is not too old to nap.  We got some stares, and some ladies at Hobby Lobby even questioned her age, and embarrassed her terribly.  But she stayed in it all day.

The day before school, we joined some friends for back-to-school pedicures.  She loved this, and even though it physically hurt me when I saw the bill, I’m glad we did it.  It took her mind off her worries, and let us both relax for a while.  For the record, she smeared her toes within 30 seconds of leaving the nail place.  Still worth it.
Mattie’s signature was required on some of the school forms.  This was so precious to me:
And here we are, just before leaving.  Our school has a theme on the first day, and this year it was a “sports/go team” theme, so we wore a Wildcat (our mascot) outfit.  The school was AH-MAZING the first day….band, cheerleaders, football run-through…..all greeting the kids when they showed up for school.  Definitely made it fun!

Sister had to get in for a shot, and even though she wasn’t going to MDO until the next day, she wanted her backpack in the picture too.  She’s doing what we call her “cute face” here…she puts her hands on her cheeks and smiles.

My girls.

I have teared up just about every time I’ve looked at this picture.  This was just before I left her in her room.  She looked so BIG:
I let Mattie choose a special something for her first day after school treat.  Ever the woman, she chose chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting.  So I spent the first day of school baking these:
This is some of the work she brought home the first day.  I just love this….so funny and sweet….it’s a self portrait:
  And here we are this week, with our first homework (blah!):
And here’s the grade we got on our first homework (yea!):
Mattie has had a very good start to school.  The separation from me has been hard, and she told me almost everyday last week that she cried a little bit while on the playground because she starts thinking about me.  Yesterday I asked her how she did on the playground, and she thought for a second, and said “I didn’t think about you at all, I forgot all about you”.  So.  We’re making some progress. 
I’ve also been putting a note in her lunch box each day, just a little love note written on her napkin, and she has brought them home every single day, all used and smeared with cheetoh dust and jelly, because she said they make her happy and she wants to keep them.  Kill me now. 
I know she’s going to have a great year.  We chose an amazing school for her.  She’s got the kind of teacher that you dream of your child having for kindergarten.  She’s got tons of friends in her class.  The staff at the school is just wonderful.  And Mattie is a smart girl who enjoys learning.  So, as long as I can hold it together, we are in for a truly special year.  But no one can tell me that it’s any harder to take your child to college than it is to take them to kindergarten.  I guess I’ll find out in 13 years. 
And not to be outdone, baby sister started back to Mother’s Day Out a week ago.  In the past few weeks, we have made several trips to the store to get Mattie’s school supplies all bought, and each time, Presley wanted something for herself, but left empty handed.  I finally caved the last time, and let her get this cat folder, to keep all her cat pictures in.  Even though we don’t own one, this child is absolutely cat obsessed.  We cut pictures of cats out of magazines for her, and she carries them around for days.  Now she has a place to keep them all.  
  And here is the little mess on her first morning of MDO:
I’ve already asked her, and she said she’s never going to Kindergarten, she’s going to stay with me forever.  OK!
We ended last week by going the Purple and White game here in town, which is the kickoff of football season for our local junior high and high school teams, including our daddy’s team.  Here’s my girl’s in there purple and white, looking maybe as cute as I’ve ever seen them. 
I’m very happy to be in a little bit of a routine again, even though it’s about to get crazy with dance, soccer, football games, etc.  And I’m very, very ready for fall!!  Hope everyone had a good start back to school. 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

iPhone Pics

We have been having the best summer, and although I haven't picked up my camera as much as I should, I do always have my iphone handy for pics, so I thought I'd post some of those. These are ALL out of order, and span from about May to Current, and are basically a bunch of randomness, but some cute ones too. Promise to update more often!

We went to to College Station, TX over 4th of July weekend to visit my brother and his family, and that Sunday we drove over (down?) to Houston to a baseball game. This was SO FUN! I'm not big on baseball, we are definitely a football family, but I have to say, I can't wait to do this again....we all loved it and had the best time!

Mattie at Minute Maid Park in Houston at Astros vs. Red Sox game...SO FUN!

Us. We left PK with Mimi which was a VERY wise decision:
We went to a mall in College Station that had a pet store where you could hold the puppies....basically a little girls paradise. Mattie fell in love with several that day. It looks fake, but this is a real puppy she's holding:

My girls were HORRIBLE on our trip to TX. It's about a 5 1/2hr drive, and we left at naptime hoping that would sleep most of the trip...they were awake and whining THE ENTIRE TIME....until about 30 minutes before we got there, and they both fell sound asleep. My nerves were absolutely shot!

In early June, we made our family beach trip to the Gulf Coast. I'll post more pictures hopefully, but this was Presley at the beach....she would stay at the beach or pool as long as you wanted her to, as long as she had a snack handy. She's eating her favorite, cheese doritos, here:

This pic is from vacation too. My precious nephew went with us, and Matthew being the good sport he is, let the kiddos bury him in the sand. Someone (I won't say who) added the "feminine chest", which is hard to make out in the picture, but really.....who would do that?! (it was me)

Presley is always running away from me! I have been very aware that this is probably her last summer to wear these little bubble suits, so I have been putting her in them as much as possible, because I LOVE to see those baby legs!

Mattie and a restaurant while on vacation:

Gaming nerds! Many times while my nephew was visiting, we had to tell the kids to "put the devices down and GO PLAY!"

This has been a popular activity this spring/summer....going for a 4wheeler ride with daddy:

I am so addicted to "Smocked Auctions" on Facebook. It is SO ADDICTIVE....precious smocked clothing for very reasonable prices, but it's sold "auction style", so you have to be a quick bidder. I got this little turtle dress for PK back in May

Mattie's preschool class went on several field trips the last week of school, and I went on several of them with her. Here we are at the fire station:

Mattie has just about completely given up her nap, which is good since she's going to kindergarten in a few weeks. Some days I make her take one (like today) when I KNOW she needs it, but most days I let her play or watch a movie during that time. And every now and then, she will accidentally fall asleep while playing. This time she happened to be dressed up as Sleeping Beauty, ha!

Sweet friends:

Presley in pigtails....she's saying "Ti-Tuh doh?", which translates to "Where'd sister go?"

This is Presley wearing a gown that belonged to Mattie. It's a little girl's size 4, and Mattie had just been wearing it up until the week before, although it was quite short, so I decided to try it on PK....and it fit. There's been several things I've been able to move straight from Mattie's drawer/closet to Presley's, even though there's 3 1/2yrs difference.

Mattie's first lemonade stand with her neighbor friends:

Presley had a VERY nasty fall a while back:

If ever there were a daddy's girl, Mattie is it....this was one night during the NFL draft, and Mattie watched with daddy as long as she could before falling asleep:

This is from May, I think....I worked so hard and planted all these gorgeous planters, and for a while my porch looked great. All that's living at this point is the sweet potato vine : ( I don't think anything can survive South Arkansas heat!

A while back I found this paper and when I asked Mattie about what it was, she casually told me she was drawing naked people and "booties". Lord, PLEASE do not let her do this at school! I don't think I would survive that embarrassment.

Sometimes I just have to cage them:

Mothers of young girls, please listen to me now: never, EVER, give your child bangs. Because there will come a time when you and she will want to grow those bangs out, and it will be the most frustrating, exhausting experience of your life, and you will end up with a child that looks like this in pictures...this will forever be remembered as "The Summer Mattie Grew Her Bangs Out":

Presley is a rocking baby. She went through a phase where she was over it, but we are back to rocking before bed every night, and I will admit, I absolutely love it. We don't rock long, just long enough to sing a few songs, but oh my, is that not the sweetest time? Typically I'm the bedtime rocker, but lately Presley has decided she will wield her toddler power and make bedtime rocking demands....usually Mommy, but sometimes Daddy. And one night last week...she requested Sister. And while my instinct was to not allow it, I let them, and Mattie rocked baby sister for a good 10 minutes in the dark, while singing to her, and Presley laid completely still. It was the sweetest I had to ruin it by turning on the light and snapping a picture:

My little teenager fell asleep listening to the "Tangled" soundtrack on my iPod before bed...all wrapped up in her blankie.

This horse swimsuit belonged to Mattie when she was a baby. It's a size 18m, which Presley has outgrown, but it's SO cute, I had to see it on her one time. It's hard to tell, but it's denim colored and has a fringe on the sides of the legs. It gave her just the slightest "muffin top" : )