Monday, November 29, 2010

Our Thanksgiving

The trip to my parent's house is not a familiar one to me.  It's not my childhood home that I drive to each Thanksgiving and Christmas season.  I feel as though I need to explain see we were in the same house the first 15 years of my life, but since then my parents have moved a total of 8 times (I think).  It's a running joke in our family that my parents will be announcing their next move any day now.  So it's not the house or the road there that is so comforting and familiar to's the people inside the house.  

On this particular day, Thanksgiving day, in addition to my own family,  it's my mama and daddy, my sister and brother-in-law, my nephew, my niece and my aunt who make up those people I have known most if not all my life.  It's those people, not the house, that have provided years worth of cherished memories for me. 

When I see them, I am reminded of my grandparents who are no longer gathering with us in this life but are pouring out their thanksgiving at the very feet of the Most High.  I am also reminded of my cousin and her family and my aunt and uncle who were celebrating Thanksgiving out of town this year. 

Our kiddie table...

Another first to report for our girl...certainly not SK's first Thanksgiving but it was her first time to eat from the Thanksgiving table.  

She had dressing w/gravy and sweet potato casserole.

And this is what she did after she had her fill...

Caught her mid yawn, so funny!

One of Sophie Kate's favorite spots at my parents house is their front porch.  The only thing that could make it better is someone to hold hands with and talk to...

Aunt Betty and Sophie Kate

I am so thankful that everyone was healthy enough to travel this year.  Several of Sophie Kate's friends have been in the hospital lately and some even over the Thanksgiving holiday and my heart goes out to those families who may have been separated in some way.  Also, some of SK's friends are spending their first Thanksgiving in the arms of Jesus and my heart has been heavy for their families this week as well.

Our family has so much to be thankful for and I felt it in such simple ways...nothing complicated or manufactured just the simplicity of being together, playing with cousins, the genuineness of heartfelt conversation and good ole laughter.  It did my heart and soul good and that was just Thanksgiving day.  I have so much to share from our trip to Mimi and Pawpaw's house...the picture taking has reached unhealthy levels...hope y'all can handle it.

Thanks for checking in on us.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Somebody please tell me there is a difference between this picture...

and this picture...

Because the first picture was taken with my "old" camera and the second picture was taken with my "new" camera.  I'm having so much fun with it, looking forward to learning about all the bells and whistles. 

It really doesn't matter which camera I use for SK, she's darling to me through any camera lens.

Sweet sleeping baby...

Preschool has been going really well for Sophie Kate.  She is loving it, she is having fun there, making friends.  It's just been such a positive experience so far.  Everyone associated with this program has been so kind and welcoming to our girl.  

Here she is before school one morning...

This is what made me cry real tears today...

We're looking forward to a short school/work week.  Looking forward to spending time with family and eating some good food.

Our family is so blessed, as long as I am with them this week, I'll be happy.

Thanks for checking in on us.  Hope you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving.

SK says it way better than I can...


1 Chronicles 29:13 "  Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Things that make me happy

by Sophie Kate McManic

-A good nights sleep

-The warmth of the sun on my skin and my face

-My brother Cooper reading a book to me

-Someone to pay attention to me and talk to me...I hear you and I love to be included

-To be tickled by my brother Jacob 

-My new Sunday School class

-My cutest bob on the block

-To be carried on my daddy's strong back

-Having my brother Grey sing me a song

-To take a nap in my mama's arms

-Being at home

-Nurse Kelly

-Spending time with my family and friends

-My new preschool class

-Sitting in my rocking chair looking at the Christmas tree lights

-My sweet new boots...check 'em out...

Thanks for stopping by, hope your weekend is wonderful.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Christmas Decorations

The Holiday season is fast approaching, I can't believe that Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away.  My fondness for decorating early for Christmas manifested itself in our house this weekend.  Christmas is probably my favorite holiday if I had to choose one and I have always thought that one month isn't long enough for all the work that is put into decorating one's house for Christmas.  

I think I said this last year around this time in my defense..."I was not raised this way."  We always decorated the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving when I was growing up.  In fact, I don't remember us doing the shopping thing (to my mother and sister's dismay I'm sure) but I do remember us pulling out all the decorations and putting up our tree.  Those are wonderful memories for me.  

Celebrating the birth of our Savior was always forefront in my childhood home, we knew what Christmas was all about.  Yes, Santa came and dropped off presents each and every Christmas Eve, but it didn't end there.  I remember spending time with family and wonderful meals and my grandparents and their love for the Lord.  

I so enjoy a lighted Christmas tree when everything else is dark, I always have.  I like getting out the decorations and seeing my grandmother's things or something my mom has given me that we used to set out in our home when I was a little girl.  It brings sweet memories to my mind.  I like having new traditions now with my own family as well.  The kids are always excited to get the Christmas decorations out.

I think back to when my dad had surgery around the end of October.  I can talk about it now and share b/c it was years ago but it was a very difficult time for our family, my father had never been ill.  I was privileged to be able to care for him.  I was able to stay at the hospital with him and hope I was of some help and comfort while my mom was able to rest up for when my dad came home.  

So many of you have been through the same type thing with a loved one.  We were worried, scared, know all of those things.  It was just an emotional and stressful time.  On my way back home I distinctly remember telling Chad that I wanted to put our tree up.  I don't know, there is just something calming and comforting to itMaybe it was seeing those ornaments and such from my childhood, I'm not sure, but that's what I wanted to like the first or second Saturday in November we did just that. 

Fast forward at least 5 or 6 years to the Christmas of 2007, the year our little girl was born.  Before Sophie Kate was born a friend of mine who also has a December baby (SK's due date was Dec. 7th) was telling me what a sweet time of year it was when her little one was born.  Sitting up with him late at night feeding him with the Christmas lights on all around them, sweet memories...I couldn't wait.

For the month of November 2007 our baby girl was in the NICU, things were never going to be as they had been, we were changed.  I spent as much time as I possibly could at her bedside, rarely to never missing an opportunity to be with her, to bond with her, to let her know we were there.  Chad graciously allowed me that time with our daughter even the many late nights I spent there with her.

One November night however I did not return for that late night visit, we decided to put up our Christmas tree with the boys.  We needed that, our boys needed that...not the Christmas tree necessarily but the normalcy, the time spent with just mama and daddy...mama and daddy needed that time with them too.  It was bittersweet, but more sweet than bitter.  More sweet b/c we had hope and it wasn't the hope that everything would be ok if Sophie Kate got better, although believe me we prayed fervently for that.  It was the hope we have in our hearts that even if Sophie Kate was never healed this side of heaven that we were going to be okBecause of the birth of Jesus followed by His death and Resurrection, we have nothing to fear on this earth.  

Our boys in front of our Christmas tree, December 2007

Our little Charlie Brown Christmas tree this year.

SK likes looking at the lights on the tree more than I do I think.

Christmas is a beautiful time of year, the lights and decorations are so festive, but what makes it truly beautiful is the birth of our Savior.  Our pastor has been bringing us the Word in his Sunday morning series on Table Manners.  Just talking about taking Jesus with you wherever you are this Holiday season, whether it is in welcoming folks into your home or in being a guest in someone else's home.

1 John 3:18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

No matter when our Christmas decorations go up, His love and His truth should go with us wherever we find ourselves this Holiday season.  

Thanks for indulging me in my Christmas tree memories.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sophie Kate goes to Preschool

Sophie Kate goes to preschool, sounds like the title of a book, doesn't it?  I don't even think the pages of a book could hold all that has gotten her and us to this point.  Three years ago I would have never thought this day would be possible for our girl.

This day...where Sophie Kate gets up and gets dressed in her "first day of school outfit" and heads out the door with her very own school's all very unreal...I can't believe we are at this place in her life, glory to God.

Y'all knew the G-man would have to be in on the action, he was excited about SK's first day too.

Here SK is about to go into her new classroom. 

I know she doesn't look as thrilled as one might think she would be, but keep in mind that this was 8AM, some days SK is still in the bed at that hour.  This was early for her. 

Sophie Kate is going to school two days a week.  She receives speech and vision therapy on one day and then physical therapy and occupational therapy on the other day.  All of the therapies are fitted in and amongst a regular classroom setting so that SK can be an active member of the class.  

The reports I have received this week have all been very positive.  Sophie Kate was smiley and happy at school, which I knew she would be, she loves being around other children.  She made a hand print this week.  She has activated some switch toys and sang the "Hello Song" with the help of a switch with her classmates.  I love me goosebumps.  

The pictures below are courtesy of her teacher.  Thank you, Mrs. Bowlin...

I think she was a little bit excited to be at school, don't you?

I've got 4 kids in school now.  I've always had someone at home with me.  Even when all the boys were at school, yeah the house was quiet but it was still SK and I.  It has been just her and I for so long, this is all unfamiliar territory for me.  I am happy, sad, nervous, excited, and protective of her and for her all at the same time. 

I am trusting though...trusting the One who created her...releasing my tight grip on her as He leads me to do.  He is always with her even when I am not.  I am in awe as I see how God continues to work out His amazing plan for our little girl's life.

What a week...thanks for checking in on us.

Monday, November 8, 2010

She's Three

I have said it both to myself and out loud to others, mainly in her first 1 1/2 to 2 years of life...why God, why did you allow her to live if this is how she is going to be...this is no life, this is not fair.  I have thought that her birthday and just this whole time of year would be so difficult for so long, maybe even forever.  When would the time come that the pain and hurt of November 3rd 2007 and the days following would not be the prevalent emotion of the day for me. was good this year, it was happy, it was fun.  The tears only came in quiet moments by myself.  It was a celebration of her 3 years with us and it is something to be marked and remembered.  I cannot tell you what it means to my heart for our family and friends to come together in celebration of our girl's birthday.  

Minnie Mouse was the theme this year and it all works in so well for us to have a Halloween birthday party as we have done for the past 2 years.

My friend made the cupcakes and they turned out so cute.

I bribed Grey with candy to get him in this Mickey Mouse costume for just a few pictures with his sister.

He'll do anything for candy.

Opening presents...

SK trying on some of her fun new lip glosses...

Our happy little girl enjoying her party.

Thank you God for this little girl and her smile.

We had our own family celebration on SK's actual birthday.

Everyone is always excited about a reason to eat more cake, right?

Yes, her shirt has a number 3 on it, it's so cute.

Can anyone guess why the boys school clothes have a pink outfit stacked on top of them?  Yep, SK starts preschool today.  Stay tuned...there will be more to come on that later.

Thanks for checking in on us.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Until I Met You

Until I met you, I never knew what it was like to have a daughter.  

Until I met you, I had never felt so helpless and such a loss of control.  

Until I met you, I had never been faced with losing one of my children. 

Until I met you, I did not think I could survive my worst nightmare.

Until I met you, I had never been before God in such utter brokenness.

Until I met you, my faith had never been tested through the fire.

Until I met you, my priorities were a mess.  I didn't think they were, but they were.

Until I met you, I was living the life I thought I wanted to live.

Until I met you, I didn't know the true compassion and selflessness of my boys.

Until I met you, I did not know that quiet strength existed.

Until I met you, I did not think an earthly relationship could exist in which no words were ever spoken.

Until I met you, I didn't know a smile would be all I would ever need.

Happy Birthday baby girl, you enrich our lives more than words could ever express.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Trick or Treat

Halloween weekend was packed full for us...SK's birthday party, trick or treating, football games and time spent with family and friends.  We had a fun time and hate for it all to come to an end.  I'll start with the Halloween part of our weekend...the pumpkin carving and the trick or treating.

Ewww yuck...diggin' out the guts.

It was another Star Wars Halloween for our boys, we had Boba Fett, Darth Maul, and Count Dooku.  The difference between this year and last year is that we went to the dark side for Halloween 2010.

And then there is our little Minnie Mouse, I will not allow her to be pulled in by the dark side .

It's so fun getting to trick or treat with our cousins.

This is the only way to travel while trick or treating, it sure beats walking door to door.  Thanks Moore's for pulling us around the neighborhood.

Details about the Minnie Mouse birthday party will be coming soon.  SK's birthday is Wednesday, Nov. 3rd so look for something special to be posted that day too.

Thanks for checking in on us.