Hello all! I hope everyone had a good Christmas holiday. Ours was busy and hectic, but absolutely wonderful!! I will post some pics when I get a chance, but I wanted to give an update on my mother-in-law Janet. She had her other stint done on December 22nd and made it through with no trouble at all! She had to stay overnight for observation, but was home on the 23rd. The doctor has told her she can go back to work when she feels like it. She is taking things slow, but all in all, is doing fantastic. Thank you all for your continued prayers and support. I will post more with Christmas pics and all very soon!



Well, here we are again. Another month (at least) has passed and I am once again so VERY far behind in my posting. Things have just been, well, kind of WILD for the past few weeks and once you are finished reading this post, you will know what I mean. November started off pretty calm and normal, nothing out of the ordinary to speak of. Darren's brother Derek and his family came in for the first few weekends of October because the guys all wanted to go hunting.

Isaac even got to go out with Daddy one of the days!

The rest of the time, Isaac was pretty content playing with his cousins Jakob and Ethan. Here are some shots of them in the back yard at Mimi and PawPaw's house.

This one below is one of my new favorites!

Isaac also FINALLY got to experience a "first" that most kids have by the end of their 1st year. Isaac finally had his 1st haircut!! His Aunt Cathy was the lucky one that got to cut it and all in all, he did better than I thought. His hair really wasn't that long, but there were some parts that desperately needed shaping up. As you can see, we didn't get this done completely without just a few tears! (I think he just didn't like having to sit still!)

The rest of the time, he was an absolute angel!!

These next shots were of another day Isaac got to tag along to the hunting club. The only problem was, he missed his nap that day and could barely hold his little eyes open. Needless to say, he slept like a baby that night!!

Now, we are to the point in November when all the action took place. The week of Thanksgiving, we were all getting excited about our long weekend and the plans we had made. On Tuesday, November 24th, I was in an all-day staff meeting for a lot of annual training type things. One of our docs called me out and pulled me aside and told me Darren's mom had had a massive heart attack and I needed to go straight to the ER here in Savannah. Of course, I was shocked so I got out of there as soon as I could and called Darren. All he would tell me was to go to the daycare and get Isaac, then come to the hospital. I picked up Isaac and headed towards the hospital and called Darren back for him to come out and meet us. When he answered, he told me to come straight home and pack because they were air-lifting her to St. Thomas in Nashville. She had a blockage of 100% on one side and the other side was 90% blocked. So, off the house we go to pack up for an extended weekend. Darren was already packed when we got home so he left to drive his Dad on up to the hospital. Me and Isaac took our time packing to make sure we didn't leave any necessities, then took off for Nashville ourselves. We got to Nashville around 7:30 or so, but had a bit of a problem when we arrived. Turns out that due to the H1N1 junk, no one under the age of 15 was allowed in any patient areas of the hospital. Luckily, my Dad and Hope were there along with Derek, Jill, and Donny and between them all, they kept Isaac pretty busy. I didn't get to go up and see Janet that night, but Darren had said they took her into emergency surgery to do a stint on the 100% blocked side. Isaac and I stayed at my Dad's house and went back to the hospital the next day. Derek kept Isaac busy while Darren took me up to see Janet. I was not prepared at all for how she looked, but the doctors and all remained pretty positive that she would have a full recovery so I tried to stay positive. That night, Isaac and I went on to my Mom's house, where we had originally planned on going anyway. Later that evening, I got a call from Darren that really scared me. He said she had gone into v-fibb and they had had to shock her 3 times. I also learned that they had already shocked her 3 times between Savannah and Nashville. They were taking her back into emergency surgery and things weren't looking good at all. Something had gone wrong with the stint and they had to go back in and correct the problem. I left Isaac with my Mom and once again, took off to Nashville, but got a call while I was on the road. Darren called just after I had passed Lebanon and said that she had made it out of surgery and was stable and that I should turn around and go back to be with Isaac. After the surgery, they decided to leave her sedated and on the ventilator so that her body could rest and reouperate so there wasn't much for me to do there anyway. Since it was already kind of late, I took his advice and turned around. Thankfully, she made it through the night ok and things slowly improved from there.
I also had other exciting things going on for Thanksgiving. My aunt, uncle, and cousins, who live in North Carolina were coming to visit for Thanksgiving. I haven't seen them in SO long and I can't tell you how wonderful it was to spend time with them all. Even though it was short, it was definitely one of the highlights of the holiday for me. My cousin Haley will finish medical school next year and also recently got engaged. Her wedding is set for next May and I am so excited and happy for her. My other cousin Casey will graduate in December with his Masters and has already passed his CPA exam. He will begin working in January as an auditor. I am so proud of him too!
Anyway, we went back to the hospital on Saturday for a visit and Janet looked MUCH better. Her breathing tube was out and they were even beginning to get her up and about a little bit. Sunday, we went to church and then ate lunch at my grandmother's like we usually do. We had to cut things a bit short since Isaac and I were going to stop by the hospital on our way home. Again, I got to see Janet and she again looked better than before. Darren didn't want to leave her just yet so Isaac and I took off for Savannah by ourselves. It was a lonely couple of days, but Darren came home Tuesday night and Janet got released on Thursday. She was sent home with a d-fibb vest, which has electrodes attached to her to monitor her heart and has the ability to shock her if necessary. Luckily, that has not happened yet and hopefully won't. She goes back to St. Thomas on December 22nd for them to stint the other side and to do some maintenance on the side that's already been done. Hopefully, things will go smooth and she will have a complete recovery. Please pray for her and the family as we prepare for this event.
My other big news is this............Isaac is both peeing and pooping in the potty!!!! I couldn't be happier for my little guy. He peed in the potty a few times over the Thanksgiving weekend and then that following Monday at school, he did it several times along with pooping. He has slowly increased his frequency and now goes to the potty all day long at school! We aren't yet to the all-night fase, but most mornings, he wakes up dry. My problem is that he is NOT at all a morning person and is hard to wake to go potty. The only time he will wear a diaper now is at bedtime and the rest of the time he will tell you he needs pull-ups. Maybe it won't take long for us to graduate to underwear. Either way, I am so proud of my little man!! Mommy and Daddy love you Little Buddy!!


September & October

Ok all, just like I promised, I have finally finished this post. It is full of fun and I have lots of photos to share so get comfy, this may take awhile! You may have noticed I have changed my layout again. I decided it was time for a change and I liked the "fallish" colors in this design so I hope you enjoy it too! Me and Isaac are home today. He had a little round with what we think was a stomach bug yesterday. He seems to be much better now, but I kept him home today just in case. Anyway, this post should bring everyone up to date with what's been going on with us so I'll not keep you waiting any longer!!
This first photo is a the bargain I found for Isaac at a consignment sale back in September. He just LOVES his little Gator and rides it all over the yard! I was impressed at how good a driver he is already so come spring, he will be a pro!! (Notice how he's hauling his little 4-wheeler in the back end!)

Darren has been working on a play set for Isaac in the back yard. For those of you that have priced them, they are quite pricey so Darren decided to take it upon himself to just build one on his own. Isaac has been helping him and they've had such a good time with this project. Isaac will have a ball playing on it this spring when the weather is nice again.

The second weekend in October, we went to Grandma's (my Mom) house for the weekend to visit. We hadn't been there to Carthage since August so we were long overdue. We got in pretty late on Friday night, but made it in just fine. On Saturday, we had to get up and head to Murfreesboro for Jakob's birthday party at Chuck E Cheese. We tried to get a family photo while we were all together, but Isaac wasn't cooperating very well. This one was the best we could get!

This was Isaac's first trip to Chuck E Cheese. By the look on his face, he was pretty overwhelmed when we first got there, but it didn't take him long to join in the fun! I think Darren had just as much fun as Isaac did, if not more!

Instead of a cake, Jakob had Spiderman cupcakes, some with red icing and the others had blue. Isaac chose a blue one and as you can see, he thoroughly enjoyed his cupcake! Happy Birthday to Jakob and thanks for inviting us to the party. We had a great time!!

After the party, we went back to Grandma's where we just visited for the rest of the evening. Moms (my grandmother) and Uncle Patrick came by too and it was so good to see them both. We got up Sunday and went to church and it's always good to be at my home church. It's funny how you take little things like going to church for granted when you are younger, only to miss them so very much when you are away and unable to go every week. As always, we went to my grandmother's house after church for Sunday dinner. I was able to snap a few photos of my little guy before we ate.

After we ate, Isaac was having a fit to go outside and play and since it was so nice and we had such a long drive ahead, we let him have at it. He was all over the yard playing with sticks and such and just had a ball. Although it was a quick trip, it's always nice to go home and hopefully, we will be back to visit soon.

The next weekend, we headed up to Papa (my dad) and Hope's (my step-mom) house for the weekend. Again, we got in fairly late on that Friday night, but Isaac did great on the trip in. We got up early on Saturday and headed out to MTSU to tailgate and watch the game against Mississippi State. Isaac had never been to a game before so we weren't too sure of how he would do, but of course, he did great!

Mama & Isaac before the game

Isaac & Papa tailgating

Amanda & Callie Grace at the game

Mama & DaDa

Family shot!!

This was one of my favorite pics of the day!!

Although MTSU lost, we still had a big time. After the game we headed back to Papa's house to visit and play the rest of the day. Isaac and Callie Grace got along great and just played and played. I love how you can see her MTSU bloomers and his MTSU socks in this shot.

Later, Isaac decided he was going to show Callie Grace how to dance. She wasn't too sure about this, but it was very cute anyway!!

Isaac and DaDa playing later that evening

I just think this one is precious!!

Isaac and Papa playing peek-a-boo outside

We headed back home that Sunday afternoon. Like always, it was good to visit and we hope to be back very soon. Thanks Papa, Hope, Amanda, and Callie Grace for such a great weekend!

Isaac ready to hit the road home with his shades on

Once we got home, we hurried to get Isaac into bed because he had a big day ahead of him. After a lot of thought and prayer, we decided to take him out of the home daycare setting and place him in a more structured environment. We placed him at Cumberland Child Development Center. This is a daycare/preschool located at First Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Savannah. The teach a Bible based curriculum and have lots of educational activities. I was a nervous wreck about him starting! He cried a little bit that first morning, but has done great every day since. He comes home most days with projects he has done at scool and always has a smile on his face. He loves his "new school" and Darren and I truly believe we made the right decision.

Last week, out of the blue one night, Isaac's breathing started sounding all croupy and congested. That morning, when he got up, his nose was just POURING so I asked him if needed to go to the doctor. His response was "No Mama, I had my flu shot!!!" I guess he remembered me telling him the flu shot would keep him from getting sick and he thought it would take care of ALL of his sickness!! Anyway, off to the doctor we went. Turns out he had a touch of a respiratoy infection and an ear infection. So, here we went again with another round of antibiotics and we were also doing breathing treatments for him at night to help with the croupy mess. He finally started doing better with that, thank goodness, but we still have the rest of the week to finish out our antibiotics.
This past Friday, Jakob, Ethan, Uncle Derek, and Aunt Jill came in to visit for the weekend. Isaac is always glad to get a visit from Jakob and so he stayed the night at his Mimi and PawPaw's house with them all on Friday night. On Saturday, he and Jakob went with the big guys out to the hunting club for the afternoon. They both had a big time out there and love to go any chance they get. When they finally came in, it was time to get them cleaned up and in their Halloween costumes. Needless to say, Isaac did much better this year than last year.

This was the best of MANY attempts to get the 3 boys in a photo together. Poor Ethan was not happy at all!!

This is my little lion!

Is he not just the cutest lion you have ever seen???

Anyway, all went well with them trick-or-treating, but they didn't last long because Isaac and Jakob had not had a nap that day so they were pretty worn out. Isaac stayed the night with them again and we thought all was well. Darren's Mom (Mimi) called us Sunday morning though and said that Isaac had thrown up twice during the night, but seemed to be ok now. We thought maybe he had just eaten too much junk the night before, but then she called again and said that shortly after he had been up awhile and eaten breakfast, he got sick again. Darren got dressed and went to town to pick him up. He came home and seemed to be ok, even though he was a little pale and just not quite himself. He wouldn't eat anything, but kept telling us he was thirsty so we just kept giving him liquids. A little bit later, he came into the den and was whining saying "Mama, I wanted you!!" I immediately picked him up and put him on my shoulder and almost instantly, he threw up again all over him, me, and the recliner we were sitting in. Luckily, Darren was close by and was able to help get us both cleaned up. He was a little puny the rest of the afternoon, but he never got sick again. He had a low grade temp last night so I dosed him with some Motrin. He slept pretty good last night too, but I stayed home with him today just to make sure.
So, here we are, completely up to date again! Again, I apologize for the great length of this post, but as you can see, we've been quite busy lately, thus the reason for my lack in posting. Hopefully, the sickness bug will leave us alone for awhile and my little man will get better soon. Keep your fingers crossed for us and until next time....


Quick Update

Yes, I know that once again, I'm slacking in the blog posting department. October has been an extremely busy month for the Howard household. We've made trips to both of my parents' homes, had a couple of bouts of sickness, and started Isaac's new school. I have pictures to share from all of these and as soon as I even have time to take them off my camera, I promise I will share! Just wanted to let you all know that I haven't forgotten about this site and hope you haven't forgotten about us either! I'm going to get off here and start getting my little lion ready for trick or treating tonight, which of course, I will share pictures of too! Hope you all have a Happy and safe Halloween and stay tuned for another update very soon!!


Happy Anniversary

5 years ago yesterday, I married my best friend. Little did I know at that time how much we would accomplish in the next 5 years. We moved to Savannah, started new jobs, built our house, got pregnant, and had the most wonderful baby boy in the world. Life has been so good to us both and I am so very thankful for our blessings every day. When we got married, we were just husband and wife. Now, we each hold an even bigger role as Mother and Father. I hope that we continue to prosper and as partners, can teach Isaac about the important things in life and how to grow to be a good, strong, Christian man. Marriage isn't always easy and we have our fair share of disagreements and bumps in the road but the truth is, I can't imagine going through life with anyone else. To Darren, I look forward to the years to come and finding out what else life has in store for us both.
I Love You Sweetheart!


I'm Still Here!

I know, I know......once again, I've let my blogging take a back-seat to things. Sorry! I haven't been busy doing anything too major......just been enjoying life!! Things here have been going pretty good. Darren and I survived our trip to Branson and really enjoyed ourselves. Our little guy, on the other hand.........didn't even ask about MaMa and DaDa!!! Although I was relieved he did ok, it was a little ego crusher to learn that he DID indeed survive without us ok. Oh well, guess that's part of growing up. Also, Isaac has cut 2 of his 2 year molars within the past 2 weeks and has done just great with that. Last weekend, my Mom and Grandmother came for a visit and we had such a good time. They came Saturday morning and visited a little while, then we went to Nathan's birthday party and they went to town to shop a little bit. We got to visit the rest of that afternoon and evening and it was soooooooo nice! We got up Sunday morning to a snotty, crusty-nosed little boy, which was NO GOOD!! I got him an appointment yesterday afternoon and low and behold, he had a double ear infection. Poor little guy! We got some good meds though so hopefully he will get cleared up pretty soon.
For those of you that already have little ones, you know what I'm talking about, but Isaac has hit this stage where he says some of the funniest things! I try to write them down when I can, but I can't always remember them all. Here are some of his latest:

Isaac and Darren had been outside playing and when he came in, he was covered in dirt and had dirt all over his face. My grandmother said "Isaac, have you been eating dirt?" and Isaac said, in his most serious voice, "No, I don't eat dirt"

Isaac was outside in the shed with Darren and they had been doing something with wood. I asked Isaac what they were going to do with the wood and he said "We're going to build a house in a tree"

He was with me in the kitchen last night while I was cooking and he started singing "It really don't matter" and he would sing it over and over. I said, "Isaac, what are you singing?" He said "MaMa, I singing Big Green Tractor!" (What can I say? His MaMa likes Jason Aldean too!!)

And I saved the best for last....
Isaac has recently gotten into taking showers with his DaDa because he thinks its very cool. After showering with him one night, I was getting him ready for bed. I was trying to put his diaper on and if you have little boys, you know how fascinated they are with their parts! I said "Isaac, quit that so I can get your diaper on!" Isaac's response then was "Isaac's got a little peeper MaMa!" I said "I know". Then he said "DaDa's got a BIG peeper!!" I called Darren in there to hear what he said and Isaac repeated it for him. Darren's response was "That's my boy!"

I guess little boys never grow up....


Blog Hop!

Hello all! Thought I would give this blog hop thing a shot again. This week's theme is Baby Pics so you know I just had to play along with this one!! These are from Isaac's very first photo session when he was just 3 months old. These are some of my favorite pics of him ever and I love just how simple they turned out. Hope you enjoy!

MckLinky Blog Hop


Growing Up

This past Saturday, Isaac went to have his 2 year old pictures done. I was a little nervous he might be at that stage where he would not cooperate at all, but my little guy did SOOOOOO good! If you all are on facebook, you can see the proofs on my page. I couldn't have asked for any better! My problem now is going to be deciding which ones to pick!!!
Next week, Darren is going with me to Branson, Missouri. We will be leaving on Wednesday and not coming back until Friday, which means, I will be away from my little man for the longest time in his entire life!!! I'm looking forward to getting away and spending some time with Darren, but I'm definitely going to miss my Isaac! Anyway, in preparation for this, we decided we should let Isaac spend a night away from us before we left him for 3 whole days. So, this past weekend cousins Jakob and Ethan were coming so we decided to let him stay with them at Mimi and Paw Paw's house on Saturday night. We stayed at their house until the boys were asleep, then we came on home. Darren told his Mom to call us, no matter what time it was, if he woke up crying for us. We got up Sunday morning.....no phone call. I just couldn't wait to see my baby! Turns out, he slept the ENTIRE night and didn't even ask for us when he woke up!!! That little turkey! It makes me a little sad, but I'm glad he did so well that first time. Hopefully he will do just as good next week! Keep your fingers crossed for us!!
I just had to include a picture with this one. This is the 3 Musketeers in the tub at Mimi's house. It's almost impossible to get the 3 of them to all look at the camera at the same time so this was the best I could do! Aren't they just the cutest!!


Looking Back on Life as well as Looking Forward

This has been somewhat of a tough week. As some of you know, yesterday marked the 3 year anniversary of losing my dear cousin Natalie. Also, a month ago yesterday marked the 3 year anniversary of losing my grandfather. Although losing someone dear to you is never an easy thing, I will say that the loss of my grandfather wasn't nearly as hard as losing Natalie. My grandfather, Pops, had fought a long and hard battle with cancer, but unfortunately the cancer finally took over his weakened body. He had lived a good, long life and knew that he had a better life awaiting him in eternity where he can now forever be healthy and whole. Although I hope that I too will live a long and happy life, I look forward to the day I can see him again. On the other hand, losing my dear cousin Natalie is one of the hardest things I've ever had to go through in my life. Our entire family had a very rough time with that and many of them are still struggling with it now. Natalie was one of the most kind hearted, gifted, and beautiful people I have ever known. It breaks my heart to think of the struggles she dealt with throughout her life and I only hope she knew how much we all loved and cared for her. I think about her often and even though the realistic part of me knows that she's gone, a part of me somehow still wants to think this has all just been a really bad dream. The relationships within our family have taken some hard hits throughout all this, part of which I'm ashamed to say may be due to my own selfish actions. I can only hope and pray that those relatives know that I would never, ever intentionally do or say anything to cause their hearts to hurt. I know that things will never be the way they used to be, but I would love nothing more than to try and move forward with a new "normal", one that involves us all as well as keeping the memories of both Natalie and Pops alive and well. I look forward to the day Isaac is big enough to understand the stories I will tell him of them both. The stories of how his cousin was truly a gifted soul with many talents. The stories of how his great-grandfather was one of the toughest, yet sweetest men I ever knew. He was both a God-loving and God-fearing man and had the strongest faith I have ever witnessed. If I can be just a fration of the Christian man that he was, I will feel like I have accomplished something in this life. I only hope and pray that I am able to instill in my own child the values and morals that he instilled in my mother who in turn, passed them on to me. I know this post is out of the ordinary for me. I guess I just had a heavy heart this week and needed a release. I pray that I can be the best mother and wife that I can be and that I am able to teach Isaac the important things in life and the things that really matter. Please keep me and my little family in your prayers. God be with you all....


The Farm, Birthday Parties, Visits, and New Toys

A few weeks ago, Darren's Mom and Dad (Mimi and PawPaw) became the owners of Mimi's parent's house and 67 acres. This land is now affectionately known as "The Farm" and that's where a lot of our weekend time has been spent lately. I think the guys are preparing to turn one of the lower fields into a dove field for this fall, which in turn, presents the need for lots of bushhogging (hope I spelled that right!) Personally, I think they just like a reason to get on the tractor, but oh well. This is a shot of the 3 Howard men on the big tractor.
On July 25th, Isaac's friends Ellie and Emma (they are sisters) had a pool party for their birthdays, which are only a couple of weeks apart. I worked with their mom Dale at the Health Department and she is now one of my dearest friends. They also all go to daycare together. Isaac had the best time. He just loves Ellie to death and I'm so glad they are buddies. Isn't she a little cutie?? (Look out Holli, I think he has a think for red-heads!!)

I just thought this one was too funny not to post! He just cracks me up sometimes......actually, all the time!!

Last week, my Dad (Papa) came to stay for a couple of nights while he was delivering his yearly football book. Isaac and Papa had a big time (as always) and it's always good to have company!!

I just thought Papa's expression on this one was too cute!!

This past weekend, me and Isaac headed out to Carthage for the weekend. I took off work Friday so we could get a head start. I haven't been able to go to Carthage for what seems like FOREVER so it was sooooooo good to be home!! Saturday night, my Mom cooked dinner for my grandmother's (Moms's) birthday. She will turn 82 on the 12th of this month, but we went ahead and celebrated while we were in town. Isaac is at the stage where he usually won't cooperate for pictures very well, but this one of the two of them is just precious!!

I bet we took 50 shots over the weekend trying to get a decent one of he and I together, but like I said, he just wouldn't look at the camera! Little turkey!!

Yesterday, we had our annual Shepherd family reunion. This involves all of my grandfather's siblings. None of them are still living, but all of us decendents still get together. It's always nice to see everyone and visit. I just wish we could have stayed longer. I get homesick so easily!!

So, now to the new toy part I was referring to in the title. Isaac and I stopped by Mimi and Pawpaw's house on Friday before we hit the road to Carthage. When I got there, this is what I saw in the back of Darren's truck......

....only there were 2 instead of just 1!!! Turns out, they were re-poe'd (i don't know if that's even a real word!!) by the bank and Darren got them both for a total of $100!! One is for Isaac and one is for his cousin Jakob. Although there are no where near big enough to handle something like this, Isaac is still able to ride with his DaDa!! It makes me a nervous wreck, but they had such a good time on it.

Keep your fingers crossed my boys stay safe with this thing!!
One last note, hope you enjoy the tunes I've added to our page. They are all personal favorites of mine and have pretty special meaning. Let me know what you think!!