Cooking with Mommy

One Sunday afternoon, I decided to try a new recipe. Layla was being quite the fussy one and clining to both of my legs so I just plopped her up on the bar with me to help.

I turned my back for one split second......

And guess who was smack in the middle of my mixing bowl???

100% pure cuteness!

Kids Being Kids

Isaac went out with his Daddy one evening after dinner and they couldn't have been outside more than 10 or 15 minutes..........

.........and came in looking like this!
Got to just love little boys!!

Sweet baby Layla........

.......she looks so sweet and for the most part she really is..........as long as you don't make her mad.
 I know it's hard to believe but this pretty little girl has one heck of a temper sometimes!

Happy Birthday Layla!

Our sweet baby girl had her first birthday this month. One year ago on August 25th, Layla Claire Howard arrived into this world. Her arrival was a bittersweet moment. We were so glad that this baby girl was finally here and healthy, but her arrival also marked the end of a chapter in our lives. With a healthy boy and now a healthy girl, our little family was complete.
Now, here we are, one year later. It's amazing how when I was pregnant with Layla, I thought I had it all figured out. I had done this before with Isaac and he turned out ok so we would be pros with this second baby. Well, I can say for sure that some of the knowledge that comes with experience has helped, but when you add two little ones to the picture, things get crazy no matter what, but I can't complain. Even on days when I think I am literally losing my mind and I can't take one more minute, my little ones do something to just melt my heart and all my cares just fade away. Life is grand with my babies and I wouldn't trade one second with them for the world.

These are just a few shots I took on her actual birthday. As you can tell, she wansn't the most cooperative child for her Mommy that day.

On Saturday, August 27th, we had Layla's birthday party. It was a small gathering with just close family at our house, but it was just perfect for the occasion.

Here are Miss Layla's cakes

Birthday Girl

Layla was a little unsure of things when we brought out her cake and lit the candle. While we were all singing Happy Birthday to her, she looked at us like we had all lost our minds. She didn't jump right in when it was time for cake either. She took her time and finally gave it a try, but then only barely stuck her finger in before licking off the sweet icing.

Daddy stuck her hand right in the cake, but then she still went back to one little finger at a time.

Layla and her 2 great-grandparents, Boots and Moms

Our little family

Daddy and his girl
Happy Birthday to our sweet Layla!
We are so glad you came into this world and made our little family complete. We can't imagine our lives without you and your sweet brother. We love you both more than you can ever know and are so blessed to have you light up our lives each and every day.

1st Day of School

On August 16th, Isaac had his very first day of school. He got into the pre-K class at Parris South Elementary and Ms. Marian Perkins is his teacher.

Our big boy is ready for his very first day!

We had to come up with a new morning routine now that the kids were going to two different places. Darren decided he would take Isaac to school and I would continue taking Layla to daycare. I was worried how Isaac would do and he did cry for the first few days, but once he got into his new routine, he was perfectly fine and now loves going to school. It makes his Mama sad to think he's old enough for school already, but it does my heart good to see him and grow and learn.
Isaac also had his very first trip to the dentist this month too. He got his teeth checked and cleaned and Dr. Givens gave him a clean bill of health. Way to go Isaac!
On the other hand, Miss Layla wasn't feeling to well the week before her birthday and since I definitely didn't want a sick girl on her birthday, I got her in to see Dr. Hall at my office. She was 24 pounds and 29 inches long. I'm so glad I decided to take her in because she had a red ear so we went ahead and put her on a round of antibiotics to get her all cleared up before her party next weekend.

Trip to Carthage

On August 10th, we loaded up the kids and headed to Franklin. I had a payroll conference on Thursday and Friday to attend and Darren was coming along with me. Grandma and Moms met us at the hotel and took the kids back to Carthage with them for a couple of days until the conference was over.
The conference ended on Friday and Darren and I headed to Carthage for the weekend once I was done. Grandma was cooking a celebratory dinner for Moms's 84th birthday.

Happy Birthday Moms!

We even got see Uncle Patrick!

Saturday, we headed out to Lebanon to do a little shopping at the outlets. Once we got back to Grandma's, we just hung around and visited the rest of the evening. On Sunday, we got up and went to church at Defeated Creek and then came back to Moms's for lunch.

After lunch, we hurried and packed up so we could hit the road back to Savannah. We always love to come visit Grandma and Moms in Carthage but it's always so hard when it's time to leave. Even though our home now is Savannah, Carthage will always be home to my heart.

Happy Birthday Boots!

On August 5th, Darren's grandad Boots celebrated his 90th birthday. To honor this special occasion, there was a birthday reception held at Pyburn just for Boots on Sunday, August 7th. These are my sweet babies before the party.

Cowboy Isaac

Miss Lady Bug

Uncle Derek, Mimi, and Daddy
Somehow, I managed to miss getting a picture of the birthday fella and for that, I could just kick myself. Boots has seen a lot in all his years and I'm thankful to have heard many of his stories and tales. I hope Isaac and Layla can remember him when they are older. One thing is for sure....he sure loves his great-grandbabies and they love him too. Happy Birthday Boots!

July '11

July sure got here in a hurry! Miss Layla started off the month with a bang. She has been pulling up on stuff for quite some time now, but finally, on July 1st, she took her first assisted steps! She walked behind a push toy at Mimi and PawPaw's house so we knew it wouldn't be long. Sure enough, on July 10th (her Papa's birthday) Layla took 3 steps all by herself! I can't believe how fast my baby has grown and to think her first birthday is just right around the corner makes me just want to cry!
Although she definitely looks a lot like her big brother, she is definitely her own little person. I can't wait to see what kind of child she grows to be and to see how she and her brother grow together.
Here are just some pictures of my sweet babies from throughout the month.....

Vacation 2011

We took our first official family vacation this year. Darren planned a last minute trip to the beach and it was wonderful. The only down side was that we had to leave a member behind. After much thought, we decided not to take Layla with us. Since she was only 10 months, we knew the ride down there would be rough on her so we came up with an alternate plan. Since Grandma wasn't working and was free, she came to our house to get Layla on June 20th. She stayed the night and then she and Layla took off to Carthage around lunch time. I only worked a half a day and once I got home and changed, we hit the road! Mimi and PawPaw came with us and we drove down to Mobile to stay the night. The next morning, we got up and toured the USS Alabama battleship. Isaac loved seeing the big ship!

After touring the ship, we drove on over to Orange Beach. We arrived at our condo and changed and Isaac was ready to hit the beach! This was his first time to ever see the ocean and he was just amazed at how big it was!

Since it was late when we got there, we didn't stay at the beach too long. We went up and showered and got ready to go out and find some good food to eat!

The second day, Isaac wanted to hit the pool. The ocean had been choppy and rough and since he had been knocked down several times by the waves, he decided the pool was a bit safer. This was fine by me......I was just happy to be out in the sun!

As you can see, Isaac tans pretty easily. This was just after the first day!

This was the view from our condo's balcony.....

We headed home from the beach on Saturday, the 25th. We made a pit stop at the famous Lambert's Cafe to eat before we left. The wait was pretty long, but the food was definitely worth the wait. Good stuff!! Then it was time to hit the road. We hated to leave, but we were all tired and ready to be home. Most of all, we missed our girl! Grandma kept her at her house Saturday so we could get home, unpack, and rest. She brought her home to us on Sunday and boy, were we all glad to see her! Grandma said they had a ball together and she was so glad to have some special time with Layla. She stayed the night on Sunday and then headed back to Carthage when she got up Monday morning. Next year, we are hopeful to have another beach vacation and Miss Layla will definitely be included!