change is inevitable. . .

Amazing what changes in three years (and a few months).  Dustin started his new management position at work and really likes it.  Like every “1st Day of _____” picture that needs to captured to appreciate how far you have come and hard you have worked for it. 

I am so proud of my husband for deciding to solely provide for our family and constantly wanting to challenge himself.  He doesn’t know it, but I really do look up to him and respect him for going every day to a job that might not always be the best, but grins and bears it and doesn’t complain when he gets home.  Unfortunately, I have to bring my work home with me, so sorry if I talk about the 9 to 5 at home! 

I love you more than you can possibly understand. . .even when I “angryly” take out the trash even though that’s your job and “angryly” hang up your jacket even though you walked past the closet.  It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t do it (what movie was that from?).  Congratulations on all that you’ve accomplished and I look forward to what the next three years holds for us. . .maybe an Expedition??  Okay, a Harley and then an Expedition.

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Dressed up in his “pretty clothes.”  Sadly, his friends make fun of him probably everyday. . .you know who you are. . .

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Last day of delivering medicines to sick people and catching what they have.  No more tetanus shots when dogs bite you.  No more driving like a maniac. . .wait that hasn’t changed!  Ohh and did I forget to mention a pay raise and better insurance!!

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Who is this???  Why does my husband have hair???  Why doesn’t he have facial hair???  I’m confused???

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You scary motorcycle man off to your 1st Day of your new job.  You are so scary. . .

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I stand corrected. . .seriously, what a hottie my husband is!

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This is Emma on Daddy’s 1st day of work.  She’s so tiny!

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This is Emma three years later. . .growing up too fast.

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Wait, who’s this???  Ohh yah, because of Dustin’s new job, we could complete our Casa de Tow.  Does anybody notice what her shirt says???  (Patience Tester)

Christmas 2008. . .finally

Yes, this is from Christmas 2008.  No one could probably have known the difference if I had held on to these pictures until next year, but I don’t keep the same hairstyle or color for more than two months.  Is Valentine’s Day really in a couple of weeks???  Ohhh, the pictures from Emma’s Pre-K Valentine’s Party will probably sometime after Arbor Day. . .when is Arbor Day???

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The Patriarch of the Family. . .this is an example of why you should not procreate. . .look down two pictures. . .

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My brother-in-law Rudolph. . .I mean Aaron sporting the very fashionable and latest grilling accessory must have.

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Yep, the patriarch procreated and this was the outcome. . .yah, even I don’t know about this picture. . .and it scares me a little as I type this and listen to Spin Doctors on my MP3 player. . .

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Oh God, me and him procreated. . .poor children. . .

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And he’s still all mine you unlucky ladies and maybe a few guys, I don’t really know who all reads this!

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Mom trying on my apparently “most uncomfortable boots, I don’t know how you can wear these or even like these Steph” boots.

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The madness that is called Christmas morning (a few days after the actual Christmas morning) taken with an aerial photo.

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I think Ellie’s trying to mumble, “Holy Crap. . .oww my eye!”

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Ellie Bellie opening up her “Big Girl Bedding.”

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FISHER PRICE COOL SCHOOL!!  Actually her words were, “Mama!!  It’s the keyboard from the TV that I can play on the computer with!”

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Ellie’s big girl panties. . .ahhh the teaching of the toilet is almost upon us. . .

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Emma opening the DVD of all DVDs.

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Emma said, “High School Musical!”  I said, “Emma, it’s Camp Rock.”  Emma SCREAMED, “CCCCCCCAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMPPPPPP RRRRRROOOOOOOCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!”  What can you expect, she can’t read the DVD, she’s only 4.  Needless to say, we were very excited!

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Ellie making Grandma play hop-scotch.

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“ET phone home.”  Okay, that made me snort a little while laughing, ET. . .Ellie’s initials. . .I snorted again. . .

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Poor “Ganma” as Ellie calls her.  I bet she took a nap by the time she went home.  Ellie had her on the floor playing the piano and was grabbing her hand to drag her all over the house.

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Girls:  “What is this green paper with numbers on it??”  Me:  “Let Mama hold that for you!”

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Papa just thinks he can relax while the boys are in town.

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I think this is Jess’ Christmas Card photo for 2009.  “You lookin’ at me?”

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Daddy took the girls outside for some much needed playtime.  Apparently halfway up the driveway with plastic bikes without breaks sounded like an excellent playtime option. . .

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Ellie’s control over the steering wheel is still a little if-ey. . .

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Emma would start at the top and scream the whole way down.  If she was going to run into someone, it was their fault for not hearing her scream bloody murder and not move. . .that’s my girl.

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Tired baby.  Five days of Christmas is just hard a little girl!

Only a month late, but when you figure I take pictures everyday, there’s just not enough time in the day to get every moment that is captured up on the blog the day it happens! 

 This was Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at our house.  The first time in six years we didn’t have to go anywhere on Christmas Day.  Dustin and I had so much fun playing with the girls and just laying around the house.  Mom and Dad brought us lunch to go along with the shrimp cocktail Dustin prepared (he’s so handy in the kitchen!).  We’ve found a new tradition and it involves spreading Christmas over the course of five days and making sure the girls get really spoiled!

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Emma leaving Santa a candy cane, decorated cookies and caramel covered cheetos. . .

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Emma wrote a note to Santa to enjoy the cookies.  Ellie was already in bed because she fell asleep on the way home from Mema’s house. 

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I’m thinking Santa would have preferred bourbon and coke over milk, but he did enjoy the caramel covered cheetos!

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The girls running down the hall to see what Santa brought them.   

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Santa brought Ellie a teeter-totter and Emma a salon hair cutting chair. . .wow, Santa was really thinking this year on gifts that two kids could enjoy at the same time.  That Santa, or rather Mrs. Claus, is really smart! 

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Emma practicing her future trade if welding school doesn’t work out (that’s another story!) and Ellie her first client. 

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Ellie obviously in desperate need of a haircut. . .I’m letting her bangs grow out, so this is a very awkward time for a girl! 

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The aftermath of Christmas Day 

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Emma and her Barbie Keyboard, clothes, coloring books,  and hair chair. . .”cheese!” 

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Ellie and her teeter-totter, clothes, coloring books and markers. . .”I just want to play with my toys, no more pictures Mama!”

Dear Lord. . .

Dear Lord,

Please find the purple sippy with the green lid that went missing yesterday.  It is half filled with milk and should start smelling by Tuesday.  Amen.

I HEART MOM. . .

Slow day at the Casa de Tow this surprisingly warm Sunday afternoon.  Laundry is in the floor ready to be sorted and children are nicely tucked in for their afternoon naps.  Ahhh, the peace and quiet that this house doesn’t see too often with 3/4 of the occupants being female and being related to the Mrs. of the household. . .in other words, we rarely shut up!

Dustin’s over at his parents trying out his Dad’s bullets he made for Dustin’s gun.  Just another normal day at the Casa de Tow.  . .ammo and guns!  I’ve chosen to “window shop” via the Internet this afternoon.  My normal shopping consists of new curtains, furniture or bedding that is always added to my favorites, but never purchased.  Today, however, I’m looking for my Mother’s Day/Anniversary present. . .yet another tattoo.   

 I know, I know, planning ahead a little early this year, but I’m trying to find exactly what I want and when Mom looks at me with that look she has done the past times I’ve walked in the door with my newly inked skin, I can at least say I did research.  It’s all about presentation, right Dad? 

I wonder if Mom would be pleased with the traditional “I love Mom” tattoo.  Yeah, I think she’d hit me too.  My personal favorite was some brass knuckles with “Mom” on a banner going across it and then some blood splatters.  Nothing says that that kid’s childhood wasn’t messed up when the I HEART MOM tattoo involves brass knuckles!  But let’s not forget to mention the tattoo of a flaming mini-van. . .oh yeah, that’s hardcore.

Okay, off to Oxyclean dirt and chocolate off the girls Sunday School dresses and the lunch that fell on my new shirt.  Hope your afternoon is as eventful as ours!

on the third day of Christmas. . .

We celebrated the five days of Christmas this year at Casa de Tow.  By the fifth day, Ellie would ask, “Open presents?” and I would reply with yet another yes.  I swear, if I have to eat one more piece of ham or a cheese log or a pumpkin roll. . .okay, I probably won’t do anything accept say pass the salt, but I am happy to say I didn’t gain any weight over the holidays this year!

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Ellie found her spot right in Uncle Wes’ lap.  That kid gravitates to him at every family function.  You can hear her all over the house, “WES, WES, WWWEEEEESSSSSS!!!!”

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Aunt Tacie, baby McLaughlin and Uncle Trae

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Uncle Wes and Aunt Katy the day after Christmas at Meme and Papaw’s house for day number three of presents.

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Emma’s motorcycle sweatshirt. . .she’s such a biker chick.

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At what age are you considered old when you want cooking supplies for Christmas?  I swear, if I got a new washer and dryer though, I’d be the happiest housewife. . .

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Wes’ brick that lead to a brand new ladder waiting in the garage.

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Movie time aka naptime.  I think, Tacie, Wes and I were the only ones that fell asleep though.  The girls were holding out and high on cheeseballs that afternoon.

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“It ain’t Christmas til’ Pa brings out the rifle.”

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I’m pretty sure this is the Christmas card photo for 2009.

cookie decorating 101. . .

The first picture explains why everyone looks forward to our annual cookie decorating at Meme’s house before Christmas each year.  Emma, obviously, thoroughly enjoyed herself and decorated I think nine different cookies and Ellie more or less took a bite out of nine different cookies.  Tis’ the Season!

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uhh. . .yum???

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Mama, Emma, Ellie and Aunt Katy

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Ellie used the snowman arms, aka pretzels, to put icing on her cookie, but the snowman arms just tasted so good.

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Bet you can’t guess who is adding just a little bit more icing???  Aunt Tacie made the mistake of telling Emma she liked alot of icing on her cookies.

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“Silly Daddy, that’s not icing on my face.  I don’t know what you’re talking about.”