Wednesday, April 21, 2010

miss (mis) v. - to regret the absence or loss of

Today my dad sent me an email with some pictures of our land in Texas...

...covered in BLUEBONNETS.

my dad's dog Bo soaking up the goodness that is Texas in spring
I have been missing Texas lately anyway, but these pictures make me ache for it. Hopefully, I will be making my way there in the next month or so. I miss West Texas and all of the lovely people whom I love that live there.

My dad also reminded me that today would have been my FayFay's 95th birthday. (She would have shared her birthday with her identical twin sister, May. They were adorable and dressed alike even throughout their adulthood.) She is one of the grandmothers whom Merit FEY was named after. The beautiful land pictured above belonged to her family - she was born and grew up nearby.

Fay Fay passed away when I was 6. I do remember her, but, of course, not as well as I would like. I remember her sweet spirit. I remember the drawer in her kitchen dedicated solely to coloring books. I remember the Fruit Loops and red bucket vanilla ice cream that always awaited us at their house in Brownwood, Texas. I miss her - I have missed her for most of my life, but am grateful for the 6 years I did have with her. 

Happy Birthday, FayFay. I still love you so much!

one of my favorite pictures of all time - FayFay and I in 1986

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

fall cReek fallS - 1St family camping tRip

We have never taken a trip just the 3 of us that wasn't to go see family. Now, going to see family is of course one of my favorite kinds of trips, but we really enjoyed this little getaway...our first camping trip, and really, our first family trip. We had planned on going to Chattanooga for a day, then head to Fall Creek Falls for the other two.

We only had one little setback on the way to Chattanooga...

which led to having to spend some time here...

but, with the help of John Denver (it was a roadtrip after all) and some cute in-car entertainment, we didn't let that get us down.
Merit LOVES the guitar - or as she calls it, the "tee-tar" - and she will strum on anything when she gets the urge to play. :)

We didn't get to spend as much time in Chattanooga as we had hoped, but hopefully we can go back soon. We headed to Fall Creek Falls the next morning and found the perfect campsite. We had to wait a bit for some others to move out of our site, so we again, found ways to entertain ourselves in the car.

Setting up the tent... Merit was ex-cited. Kev worked hard, and I was a big help by taking pictures.

Merit's first nap outside. It was SO peaceful there.

After Merit's nap, we headed out on our first hike to see the main waterfall. She loved this as well. I wasn't sure how she would do, but she walked the majority of the time. We heard lots of "I did it!"s and "I made it!"s on our way to see the "wahr-fall."

We were able to hike down to the bottom of the fall, and it was beautiful.

We never got a good family pic, although I did try when we were sitting at the bottom of the falls.

strike 1

strike 2

But at least we got one of Kev with one of our girls, and me with the other.

That evening back at our campsite, Kev built an awesome campfire and we roasted hot dogs and s'mores. Yumm.

After a very cold night spent on a deflated air mattress, we went out for another hike to see more pretty things. We went on a suspension bridge that was probably not as scary as I made it out to be...especially since our two-year-old wasn't even phased by it.

pretty streams and another pretty waterfall

We had SO much fun. I loved getting away just the 3 of us, and I can't wait to go again, especially since Merit loved it so much.

Thank you, Lord, for my little family.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

two yeaR letteR...

Dear Merit Fey,

Last month you turned two. TWO! It is hard to believe that your baby days are over (I loved your baby days), but these days are just as fun. With each new phase that you enter, I can't help but think it is my new favorite. I'm sure that someday when you are able to read back through these letters to you, you will see that I say that each and every time. I just love you so much, baby girl. I love holding your hand as we walk. I love how you sometimes put your hand on your cheek as you point to something you think is exciting. I love your curls. I love it all.

One of my favorite things about two-year-old Merit is having little conversations with you and hearing your sweet voice make words and sentences. One of the things we hear most often from you is, "What doin'?" When we are in the car, our conversation usually goes something like this:

Merit: Mama, what doin'?
Mama: I'm driving. What are you doing?
Merit: I sit in seat. (a few seconds later) Mama, what doin'?
Mama: Still driving. What are you doing?

And, usually, what you are doing is getting ready to ask me what I am doing again. You especially like to ask the check-out people at stores what they are doing. They usually get a kick out of it...especially when you ask for the 3rd or 4th time. You are also always sure to tell them, "Bye! See ya soon!" before we head out the door. I love how you always seem to make the day of so many, including your Daddy and me.

And you are as polite as they come. You remember to say thank you even when I don't, and when we thank you for something, you answer with a sweet, "Thankum" (welcome). You love saying, "Sess you" when someone sneezes, and if someone is in your way, you'll offer a little "Scu me." If you forget to say please, we'll ask, "What do you say?" And you'll respond, "I say peas." I'm sure that has something to do with your Texas roots. :)

Some of our favorite things that you say:
Kyna spicy - (kinda spicy) Spicy is probably my favorite word of yours right now. You always use it in the right context, and you sound SO cute when you say even look cute because you squint your eyes a little when you say "spicy".
O-KAY!! - When we offer something to you that you are excited about, you will always answer with an emphatic, "O-kay!" If we mention that we are going to go somewhere, you'll say, "O-KAY! Let's go! Let's do it!"
I anna wash Idol - (I wanna watch Idol, as in American Idol) You will say this at random times throughout the day. You love music and anything having to do with it, so it is no surprise that watching Idol every week is a favorite of yours.
Meh-ut - (Merit) I have always loved hearing anyone say your name, but I especially love hearing you say it. You have started introducing yourself (and us) to strangers. "Hi! I Meh-ut. Thas Mama. Thas Daddy."
I yu you! - (I love you) Need I say more?
cassole - (castle) You think any big, pretty building is a castle. When we drive up to our church, you say, "Look! It's my cassole!"

Watching you learn everyday is such a privilege. It is truly an amazing experience. You can name all of your letters (with the exception of one or two), numbers, colors, and most shapes. I have heard you count to 13. You usually won't count when we ask you to, but you count things on your own all the time. Here is a video of you a few months ago when we had first starting working on your letters. I can't believe how much you have already changed since then. Not only do you know more letters, but your voice is already a little older sounding, and your face looks more like a little girl's and less like a baby's. (Sigh.) I could watch this video over and over.

You have, of course, grown and changed so much in the last 6 months. They have been a fun 6 months...

September - 18 month Chair and Bear pic

October - cute little gnome for your 2nd Halloween

November - We moved to a house - the first actual house we have lived in since your Daddy and I got married.

November - We celebrated our 5th anniversary, and I spent my first night away from you since you were born.

November - We visited your uncle Matt and aunt Nikki for Thanksgiving. This was your first of what will hopefully be many trips to Colorado.

December - We found out that you are going to be a big sister!

December - You loved this year's ornament - none other than your best bud Elmo!

December - "Ho Ho" came to visit you at our house!

December - Christmas in Jackson with the Albright side of your family

December - Christmas in Abilene with the Wallace side of your family

January - the first of many snows this winter in Nashville

January - You had your first stomach virus this month and shared it with your Daddy and I. I took this picture when we finally got out of the house after being stuck for a week because of both the snow and the stomach bug.

February - We took a trip to Abilene where it also snowed. You built your first snowman with Nina, PaPa, Macy, and Zoey.
Macy taught you how to do snow angels.

And March! - You turned two with a fun candy party! I absolutely loved putting that party together for you.

Your first Chair and Bear pic ever and your two-year Chair and Bear pic.

And there ya have it, baby girl. Another year has come and gone. I loved the tiny newborn Merit whose big eyes took in everything around her. I loved the chubby baby Merit who learned to crawl and discovered that her world was bigger than the blanket laid out on the living room floor. I loved the fun toddler Merit who communicated everything through squeals and laughs as she unsteadily walked throughout the house. And I now love beautiful little girl Merit - loving us and others through your sweet words and actions. I can't wait to see you become a big sister this year. Your little sister is going to adore you just as much as we do, and you are simply going to fall in love with her. I just know it. I pray that you two will be the best of friends. One last time, Happy 2nd Birthday, Merit Fey. We love you, oh, so very much.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

easter/spring in general

Easter was tons of fun this year. On Saturday we had a little egg hunt at our house with some friends. Fun was had by all.
Audrey, Ava, and Merit
On Sunday, Merit and I had to head to church without Kev because he had to work. We missed him terribly. (Thank you, Pete and Melissa, for Merit's pretty dress!)
20 weeks
That evening we went to Jackson and had dinner with Kevan's family at his grandparents' house. Somehow, I didn't get any pictures, and I am so sad about that! Janice, if you happened to take any (ha!), could you send them to me please?

I can't remember ever being more ready for Spring than this year. Winter is fun for the month of December, then I'm ready to move on. These first few pics are of, who else, Miss Merit having fun outside in the amazingness that is Spring.

learning how to blow the dandelions

pigtails: one of the many perks of having a girl

there's that sass again
and a whole lotta sweetness

playing football with daddy

For the last few weeks, we have been eating supper almost every night out on the carport. On this particular night, Merit was noticing the clouds and the moon. She kept saying, "I wanna touch it. I wanna touch the moon." Kev kept lifting her up like this, she would reach out and then say, "I did it!" Such a sweet moment that has turned into one of my favorite memories.

We have a little bush and a tree at our house that surprised us with the prettiest pink blooms. 
Oh, Spring.

Oh, and warmer weather also means that when you are inside, you don't have to wear clothes. Unless you want to throw on some fairy wings, which I would highly suggest.