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!!