Happy 4th of July!

Normally we visit Misty’s family for the 4th of July, but Nora got really sick last week and just wasn’t up to traveling, so we decided to postpone our trip. Instead, we grilled hamburgers with our friends, took nice long naps, and then went to the river to watch the city fireworks display. Nadia loved watching them, but she was happier staying in the car. I don’t think she liked the noise. In her words: “Dey yittle scare me. I not yeave car.” But afterwards she kept happily telling us about all the fireworks she saw “like in Panda” (Kung Fu Panda, currently a favorite movie). And she had fun playing with some cheap fireworks in the driveway– we made sure to choose things that didn’t make any noise.

Happy 4th of July from our two little firecrackers!

Play dates and friends!

When I was pregnant with Nora, my sister happened to be in the middle of moving. So not only did she give my my nephew’s old crib, she also gave us a ton of hand-me-down clothes for both boys and girls (since she had both and I didn’t know what we were having yet). Once I found out we were having a Nora and not an Andrew, I had all these boy clothes my sister didn’t want back. So I asked our church’s children’s director if there were any other pregnant moms at our church who were expecting a boy… and that’s how I met Christina.

Christina’s kids are a perfect age match to ours– Grace and Rafe are both just a couple months older than Nadia and Nora. Once our tinies had their first round of shots, we started planning a play date! Now we get together just about every week (as our schedules and kids’ sicknesses allow).

Naturally, Nora and Rafe are pretty oblivious to eat other, but Nadia and Grace have become fast friends! Nadia is constantly asking when she can play with Grace again, and even though at age two they do more of the “parallel play,” they have so much fun together. It’s also been good for Nadia as far as learning to share and whatnot (you’d think goldfish crackers were made of real gold the way she tries to hoard them).

It makes me so happy to see pictures like these with my sweet girl making friends! 


Kids and God

Part of our bedtime routine is that we read a story out of one of Nadia’s kid Bibles each night before bed, then we say bedtime prayers. It’s fun to see her getting into the Bible stories– she loves to point out that Goliath is a “bad guy” or demonstrate how the giant fish spit out Jonah. Nadia also adds in people she wants to pray for (usually her grandparents, her aunt and uncle, or one of her friends). Tonight she even insisted that we pray that she gets to watch Kung Fu Panda tomorrow! 

It’s also fun because we’ve started laying the groundwork for talking about who God is. Explaining God to an adult isn’t very easy, so imagine trying to explain God to a two year old who takes things very literally!

The first thing we’ve started with is how big God is. Nadia will stretch out her arms and say, “God super big!” 

Then Marlin told her that God is so big that he is everywhere. So naturally, her two year old brain decided to look for God under her bed. Needless to say, she was confused when she didn’t find him there! So I told Marlin to say God can see everything instead– easier for her to wrap her mind around. It’s turned into a little game, where before we pray we’ll say that God is big and sees everything, and then she lists things God can see. Common ones are her bed, her toys, the cat, Mommy and Daddy’s room, the dark outside, and the baby. Then there was tonight….

Me: Nadia, what do you remember about God?

Nadia: God so so big!

Me: Yes, that’s right! God is sooo big and he can see everything!

Nadia (looking around her room): God see my bed? My baby doll?

Me: Yes, God can see all that.

Nadia (looking around to her clean laundry basket): God see my socks?

Me: Yes, God can even see your socks.

Nadia (suddenly frowning): No, my socks! No see! 

Nadia then proceeds to run to her laundry basket and hide her socks so that God can’t see them anymore. You know, because God might try to take them or something. (In case you hadn’t noticed, Nadia loves socks.)

Life is never dull with this girl– she never ceases to make us laugh! 

A playhouse!

One thing we’ve really put a lot of energy into the last year is fixing up our backyard more. Last spring we finished the fence and added panels to the back part. That part of the fence is going on 9 years old and was built by our neighbor. It has some loose boards, and we were concerned because they have some very aggressive dogs. So we put plywood over it and then painted the panels with colorful chalkboard paint. Now we don’t have to worry about the girls sticking their fingers through the slats and getting bitten. And they have a huge surface to color on with chalk!

My sister gave us a slide and picnic table her kids outgrew. Marlin’s parents gave us a fire pit for Christmas. We bought an outdoor table and chairs where we can eat dinner on nice evenings. A set of tiki torches light everything up and keep the bugs away. We also got a kiddie pool for Nadia. 

We’ve even expanded our garden. Nadia has a patch of flowers all her own– the marigolds that keep bugs away from the tomatoes! We’ve also planted fun things for her like blackberries, strawberries, watermelons, and sunflowers, and we added more of her favorite– blueberry bushes. And we hung a bird feeder so Nadia can see the birds.

We love our backyard because it is such a fun place for us to relax in the evenings. Nadia loves playing outside, whether it’s coloring with chalk, digging in the garden dirt, watering the plants, splashing in the pool, sliding, or (her favorite) looking for the two frogs that frequent our yard at dusk.

I’ve had three things I’ve wanted to add to our little oasis this summer, and I’ve managed to get all three this week! (Facebook garage sale groups are the best!) First up was a toy barbecue grill. Marlin grills out a lot for us, especially in the summer, and Nadia always wants to go with him and help. So we got a play grill just for her! (Just ignore our messy patio in these pictures!)

The next purchase was one I have been working on desperately– a playhouse. At $200-$300, a new one was really not something I could justify. But a used one? They have them on the marketplace sites all the time. But the problem is, they go so fast. I’ve tried to get several, but unless you catch one that’s only been listed for a few minutes, you’re usually out of luck. But I finally got one! The woman said she would give preference to whoever could come get it soonest, and since we were out in town with the girls, we could come right then! And when we got to their house, they told us they were moving and also had a few other things we could buy. What do you know– they had my third and final wishlist item, a water table!

I’ve still got to do a little more cleaning and fixing up on the playhouse, but I’ve gotten a bunch done already. The stove knobs were missing, so I’m going to get a set to replace them. I’ve read that Armor All on the roof will give it shine and protect it from fading, so I plan to do that too. I’ve given it a once-over with cleaner already though, so it’s good for Nadia to play it. There are a few stubborn dirt spots (like on the threshold) that need a little more scrubbing to get them gone. I replaced the batteries so the doorbell and toy phone work. We bought a cute battery-powered nightlight that looks like a light switch, so as the evenings get darker, Nadia can flip the switch and it turns on a light for her to see. Then the fun stuff– Marlin put down an outdoor mat so he wouldn’t have to worry about weed-eating inside the playhouse. Then I added some cute plastic picket fencing and a pot of flowers out front, along with a couple more solar lights since that part of our yard doesn’t really have good lighting in the evenings. It all came out so cute! 

I don’t have any pictures of the water table, but Nadia likes it too! 

Nadia’s favorite Easter gift

Nadia got lots of fun things in her Easter basket– ring pops, new socks, lip gloss, a new magnadoodle, toy ponies– but her favorite was definitely her photo book. We got a pink sparkly photo album for her and filled it with the pictures of her family (including pets) as well as some of her adventures like seeing a cow, a goat, chickens, a fire truck, and a helicopter. She loves looking through it. She even sits next to Nora and shows her all the pictures!

Some of the people she names in this clip are Mormor and Papaw (“Momock” and “Papock”), Grandmomma and Granddaddy (“Ginny-mama” and “Gin-dayee”), Granny (“Ginny”), Aunt Nikki and Uncle Zach (“Nikanik” and “Yak”), Grandmomma’s cat Callie (“Cayee”), and Mormor and Papaw’s dogs Mick and Bubba. 


Naturally, we’ve been working on the important things with Nadia… her interest is not high though. Letters? Eh. Numbers? One, two, and eight (the biggest number she knows, so her equivalent of a million). Colors? Pink and “purkle,” the only two that matter. She does know animals and their sounds though, because she likes those.

And there’s also the Avengers. For whatever reason, Nadia loves them, particularly Hulk and Hawkeye (but especially Hulk). Marlin read her this book ONE time while she asked who all the people in the pictures were. Now she can identify them all. Because #priorities.

Cooking up some fun

Okay, not technically cooking, but that’s what Nadia calls it. I found this gingerbread man decorating kit at Publix today and couldn’t resist it. Nadia had a blast smearing icing around and putting sprinkles and candy all over the cookies. She also sampled quite a bit of the toppings too! She had a lot of fun decorating her cookies and proudly took two to Marlin so he could eat them. She kept saying, “I cook! I cook!”

Sweet traditions

In my family, we always loved making snickerdoodles at Christmas to put in the snowman cookie jar. I have pictures of me and my sister helping my mom cook this very recipe to put cookies in this very jar! My mom passed the cookie jar on to me last year, and I’m so glad I’m getting to share this sweet tradition with Nadia!








Officially a BIG SISTER!

As of November 3rd at 6:23 p.m., Nadia is officially a big sister!



The hospital threw Nadia a “big sister party” when she came to visit Nora at the hospital for the first time.


Nadia loves her little sister! She also loves being a helper. She will hand us diapers, find Nora’s paci, and help pat Nora’s back when we burp her.




The Force is strong with this one!

Happy Halloween from Nadia (dressed as Rey from the new Star Wars movie)!

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A few days before Halloween, we went to the church fall festival, where Nadia got to eat popcorn and snow cones and play lots of fun games!



IMG_6252My sister invited us to come trick-or-treating with her family. Her neighborhood is known around town as the absolute best place to trick-or-treat, so we were excited to come along. Marlin brought Nadia’s wagon along, so she got to ride around in style!