Thursday, December 22, 2011

Donald Ray Pierce

Papa Don was the best grandfather that we could have ever asked for.  He loved all of us. We're going to share our stories so I can cut and paste them into the blog.  I found two voicemails from him on my phone tonight.  It is so nice to hear his voice!  I can't quite wrap my head around the thought that is he gone.  He was my last living grandfather.  Papa Louie died when I was ten.  Papa Duren and Papa Bill died when I was in my twenties. And now Papa Don when I am 37.  I have no more grandfathers.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

My sexy and my know it.

My little one sings the m&m commercial while dancing all over the house. All day long it's "My sexy and my know it" and "Justin Bierer says...Baby baby baby ohhhhhhhhhh!". It is amazing to watch this little one grow. She is so stubborn though. Spoiled is putting it mildly. She's rotten. Just like when she was a newborn, if she wants something she thinks she should cry until she gets it. We're working on this one but she isn't making it easy.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Amelia 21 months

Amelia is an amazing little girl. She just smiles so big. It melts my heart to hear her say "momma". Her vocabulary is so impressive. She's been potty trained for two months already. I have never seen a kid this young ask to go to the potty. She still clings to her Daddy but it has gotten better. She still refuses to let him sit down at his desk. She's in a big girl bed now. I set it up last night. She loves it, but of course ended up in our bed at 2 am. Still love that she can come to us now. I put the gate in the hallway so she can't get down the hall in the middle of the night. She loves her sisters and brother. She calls Michael. Dichael. It's so cute. Destiny is Desi. Beanie is beanie and Samantha is Mantha.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011 @ Callaway Campground

It's rare that I have more than a day or two off at Thanksgiving, but this year I took the week off.  I am going back the day after, but until then I get to hang out with the kids.  Peyton was off this weekend and most of next week too. Momma and Daddy brought up the camper on Friday night and we started our campout.  Peyton and I slept in our tent with the three littlest Tingles.  It was Sabrina, Samantha, and Amelia's first time sleeping in a tent.  It was freezing.  The overnight temperature was 25 degrees.  I slept in my hat, my coat, two pairs of pants and two shirts.  We also had two down sleeping bags around us.  Destiny slept in the camper with Mema and Papa Jerry.  On Saturday we hung out by the campfire and cooked all day. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Happy Birthday, Peyton!!!

Hotel staff boarded up the hotel due to the storm!

Towel Art!

Peyton and Aiden

Coco Bongo

Coco Bongo

Jacuzzi on our deck!

Peyton and I were at Coco Bongo in Cancun, Mexico when the clock struck midnight on his 46th birthday. It was the biggest party I have ever attended. It was a pretty eventful trip for us.  Upon our arrival, we were promptly greeted by a tropical depression.  The rain started on our way from the airport to the hotel and only let up for small breaks over the next two days.  The wind was blowing so hard on Sunday that we had to duck inside of the nearest restaurant to get out of the weather.  As luck would have it, the Falcons were playing the Panthers so we ordered some drinks and wings and settled in for a couple of hours.  The place was slammed.  There were five games going and crazy Green Bay fans sitting on one side of us and even crazier Steelers fans on the other.  We were sitting down less than ten minutes when the billboard that we had just been standing under came crashing down in the street.  The winds were the strongest I have ever seen.  The waves were monsterous!  I was so worried that we wouldn't get any sun on the trip, but the last two days were perfect.  Unfortunately, I don't have many pictures to share.  We realized that we really didn't take the camera out very much.  We stayed at Temptations Resort and Spa.  It's an all inclusive, adults only resort and it was exactly what we needed.  I literally did not see one kid the whole five days we were there.  Okay...I did see two.  One little girl, about five years old that was selling bracelets outside of Coco Bongo and 11 oclock at night, and a young pre teen boy who walked through the topless beach area with his mom.  Pretty funny the expression on the mother's face when she made him pick up his pace to get through there. As Americans, we truly do not have experience with topless anything.  The food was fantastic.  The resort has five restaurants and four bars.  The days and nights were one long occasion that didn't seem to end.  The rum and coke flowed right into the breakfast hours.  I even went to dinner one night at 3:30 in the morning.  I woke up starving (we had gone to bed without eating).  Peyton got up with me and we went down to the PatyO Bar where Pedro cooked me the best burger I've had in years.  One of the bartenders even went out in search of a tall glass of milk for Peyton.  We ate, took a walk on the beach, and then went back to bed for a few hours.  We have so much going on in our every day lives that we just don't make enough time for one another.  I love Peyton and that has never changed for one moment, but too many obligations, including our beautiful kids, can make it tough to keep the close connection that we have always shared.  I made a vow before I ever had kids that I would have the kind of love that Ronald and Nancy had.  Their adult children described their relationship perfectly when they said, "It was as if we were on the outside, looking in."  They kept one another close and kept their marriage not just alive, but thriving and seperate from their relationship with their kids.  We have done a great job for the first nine years, but the last two have been so busy that we haven't made enough time for ourselves.  This trip was really like a second honeymoon.  We went to Cancun for our real honeymoon too!  Happy Birthday to the most amazing man I know.  I have seriously seen many relationships over the years and I couldn't be more proud to be in this one. We have already made plans to go back down in the spring. Time to start adding back to my vacation fund.  ***Coco Bongo:  Amazing.  I would pay twice the money to go back and see it again.  I was blown away by the show and the crowd.  I danced until 4am. Mesermo was amazing.  He managed a crowd three/four times the size of any bar I've ever been to and my drink was never empty.  We even had our picture made with Spiderman.  My favorite act was Queen.  Freddy Mercury would have been proud.  My least favorite was Madonna and even it wasn't bad. The only act I missed was KISS.  The show started at 11 and was ends at 3:30.  It's crazy long, I didn't think it would ever end.  There was confetti pouring from the sky every fifteen minutes or so!  Anyone going to Cancun should NOT miss this place.  It was better than any Vegas or Vegas style show I've ever seen...nothing compares. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Peyton's Birthday in Mexico

Peyton and I are going to Cancun for his birthday this year.  We are leaving on the 15th and coming back on the 19th.  I am really excited to be away and alone for four whole days together.  It's been a long time since we've just escaped from everything.  I have really been stuggling to juggle a very demanding work schedule with home the past couple of months, but I have made some real strides in the past week towards leaving the stress of work at work and not bringing it home.  The laptop is not coming out in the evenings unless it's a real emergency and I'm not opening it up on the weekends.  The longest day that I had last week was 13 hours, down from two 17 hours days the previous week.  I also took Thursday and Friday off and spent some much needed down time with Peyton and the kids.  I had two full work days at home with my baby girl and boy was she happy with that.  She's really always been a daddy's girl, but the past two weeks she's been crying for me when I'm not here.  I just know that as important as DGF has been to me and to the kids, it had taken over my life to the point that I was coming home in a horrible mood and really crying nearly every night.  If I wasn't crying, I was complaining.  I was becoming impossible to live with and impossible at work.  I had a complete meltdown and had to reevaluate my position.  We'll see what happens in the near future, but for the moment, I have put my family back on the front burner and work is in second place.  I want to be successful in all that I do and in our current environment, I can't see success.  I want to bring value to my clients and I've proposed for the final time how to make effective changes.  I am hoping that I will be given the greenlight to move forward with much needed adjustments to schedules and restructuring.  Either way, on October 15th, I am flying to Mexico to have an amazing week with my husband.  It will all be there when I get back...and if it isn't, I'll move on to bigger and better things.   

Pine Mountain Festival

When we woke up yesterday, Peyton just wanted to get the kids out of the house.  He has a touch of fall fever.  I know it's my favorite time of year when the leaves begin to fall and I believe it is his.  He loves to be outside and the temperature is perfect for taking the kids on these adventures in the early fall.  He did a few minutes of research on small town festivals and determined that we would head to Pine Mountain.  We went through Warm Springs and educated the girls on the history of the beautiful little town.  I have always found FDR's story to be so amazing, but really did not realize how far back the springs were used for medicinal purposes.  A brief history from before FDR:

According to local legend, the warm springs were a safe haven for warring tribes of Native Americans, who would bring their injured to the bubbling waters at the foot of Pine Mountain to recuperate. It is believed that the Creek (also called Muskogee), Chickasaw and even the southernmost Cherokee tribes were given safe passage to and from the 88 degree mineral water. In the mid 1800s, water spas dotted the southern landscape. Well-to-do property owners and businessmen would get away during the hot summer months. Among these was a hotel near the warm springs at Pine Mountain, where even influential visitors like Henry Clay of Kentucky and John C. Calhoun of South Carolina were known to have visited. In 1879, a much larger 180-room Victorian lodge was built on property overlooking the warm springs near the small town of Bullochville (which was later named Warm Springs by FDR). Located in Meriwether County, this rambling, multi-porch lodge was called the Meriwether Inn with trails and steps leading down to the springs and what eventually became a large outdoor swimming pool. With access by train and stagecoach, the Meriwether Inn remained a popular resort until George Foster Peabody, a prominent businessman and philanthropist in New York City purchased the property in 1923. In 1927 George Peabody sold the property and 1,200 acres to FDR for $200,000. Roosevelt, who refused to stay in the Inn due to its inaccessibility, turned the place into a polio treatment center, officially incorporated on July 28, 1927.  We will take the girls back later in the fall and let them tour The Little Whitehouse.  Yesterday, we had a festival to attend and it was so much fun that we spent the entire day there and ran out of time to do anything else. 
I am not typically one for window or antique shopping, but I found some beautiful items in Pine Mountain.  Peyton bought me a bowl that is identical to the one my Mom has had in her china cabinet for the past 30 or so years.  Her's is a vintage footed amber oval fruit patterned bowl.  When I saw the blue one identical to it, I couldn't quit looking at it.  My wonderful husband bought it for me.  Rustie and I have always talked about who would inherit that crazy bowl.  I looked up the value and it's worth about $15.00.  Peyton paid $20.00 for mine.  The real value of that bowl is in how many of our birthdays, Christmas parties and Thanksgiving gatherings it served our potatoe salad.  I am hoping that my girls will all discuss....even openly....who will inherit the blue bowl that daddy bought for mommy at the Pine Mountain Festival in early fall 2011.  Tonight, I will make sure to fill it with mashed potato salad and place it on the center of our table. 
The girls rode ponies and had their hair fixed in crazy hairstyles by a couple of ladies raising money for the Humain Society.  We sat on a blanket in front of Wells Fargo and listened to the band play while we ate our fair food:  pulled BBQ pork, baked beans, potatoe salad, rolls, hot dogs, french fries and cheese nachos.  After a couple of hours of shopping and viewing vendor's handmade goods, we had ice cream in a real "soda fountain era" shop.  The girls loved the old phone on the wall and the old Fridgadaire door that decorated the wall. 
We toured a small art gallery where I discovered a couple of local artists that I loved.  Pat Christian does water colors and my favorite is called Liar's Bench.  This is simple, small town America airwork with some beautiful Italian landscapes from Pat's travels.  They are really wonderful to look at. I know the girls will grow up to have a huge appreciation of art.  After all, they do have the blood of artists flowing through their vains.  It really bothers me that Peyton doesn't have the time to draw and paint the way he used to.  I have some great pictures he's done for me, but nothing recent.  The kids take up so much of his time.  I know that when Amelia is a little older and Michael is living in his own apartment, I am going to add a studio to this house for Peyton. Someday....someday is not that far away for us.  The kids are growing and changing so quickly.
Amelia is a riot right now.  Everytime she seems me change clothes, she screams out...BOOGIES....and then pulls her shirt up to show me that she has BOOGIES too!  I hope I never forget how the sound of her laughter and the squeaky little voice that tries to copy everything that I say.  She has an expansive vocabulary for such a young little toddler.  I guess when you grow up in a house with six other people who never shut up, you either have to get the words right or risk not being heard....and trust me....she is heard!  She still follows her daddy around and cries for him to hold her all of the time.  She needs him to love her and cuddle her all of the time....she might look just like him, but in this respect, she takes after her momma.  I am just as needy and clingy with Peyton.  I am so proud that he is my husband.  I don't think I could breathe without him.  My heart hurts just to think about it.  We are still friends after all of these years and I think that is why this works.  There is no one else in the entire world that I would rather drive around town listening to Sinatra with.  Pretty funny....he played Sinatra in the car yesterday.  The girls were not happy.  They kept asking when he could put on some real music.  Little Blue Eyes complaining about listening to Old Blue Eyes.  Eventually we settled on country music and they all sang the rest of the way...even Amelia. 
***It's funny to note that anytime little Miss Amelia gets out of the car or walks out of the house, she says, "'s hot."  A little spoiled I think.
We are pretty sure we will hit another festival next weekend.  The fall festival season is just gearing up.  I can't wait.  Pumpkins await our princesses.....

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Snaggle Tooth Samantha

Samantha lost her first tooth tonight.  She came up to me and opened her mouth.  her front tooth was almost lying straight down.  She wouldn't let me pull it.  I told her to get a napkin and to try to pull it herself.  It was clear that even a minor tug would get it right out.  She pulled it right away.  She was really excited.  I'm so happy for her.  It took a little while for her to lose a tooth after her sister.  I think she was worried that she would never lose one.  I love you, my little snaggle tooth girl!

Amelia's 18 month checkup

Amelia is doing well.  She has her pysical today.  Unfortunately she had to have four shots.  It broke my heart to hold her down while they stuck her.  She was so upset.  We went straight to Chic Fil A afterwards for ice creams.  She is officially saying EVERYTHING we say.  She talks non stop and states her words very clearly.  She does say Bagy (bay Gee) instead of Baby and Boogies (Boo Gees) instead of boobies.  She just can't do double B's.  I've never been able to get her to say my name, but she does say Peyton sometimes.  She weights 23 lbs.  I didn't look at her height, but she's in the 31st percenticle for height and weight.  I still wonder if she won't be my shorty.  She looking awfully chunky this week.  I just love to cuddle with her. 

Sabrina has been calling Peyton:  Pey Pey.  It's so funny.  She knows it bugs him, which is of course why she continues to do it.  My kids love to pick on their daddy. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Happy Birthday Michael

We celebrated Michael's 18th birthday yesterday.  Sabrina wanted to know if that made him a man and Samantha wanted to know if turning 18 meant he didn't have to listen to us anymore. We had a few lessons in what it meant to be living at home with your parents and going to school when you are 18, and then we went to the China Palace Buffet for dinner to celebrate.  We only invited a couple of his friends and his grandparents.  In the end, the dinner guests were Peyton, me, Michael, Destiny, Sabrina, Samantha, Amelia, Noel, Mema Shirley, Papa Don, Mema Lorelei, Papa Jerry, Grandmother Tingle, Granddaddy Tingle, Molly, Santos Robles, and Jason English.  I loved doing the party at a restaurant.  No setup and no cleanup!  We all enjoyed ourselves.  I wish we had memories of what it was like the day he was born or pictures of Michael as a baby, but just looking back on the past 7 years, it is unbelievable how much he has changed. Michael has been taller than me since he was 15.  His voice has completely changed.  He smiles so much more than he used to.  I know there are memories that we will never be able to share with him...roots and history that we might never know, but I am confident that we have made significant contiributions to the man he will become. Happy Birthday, Son!  I hope as you head into manhood that you will find the path that is right for you.  Dream big and don't settle!  Work hard for what you want in life and live each day to the fullest.  All of this and my stomach was in knots when he walked out the front door last night to go hang out with his friends.  I don't like the 'boys in cars' part of this motherhood thing.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Summertime 2011

We have had a very busy summer.  Peyton and I have both worked a ridiculous number of hours, but the kids have enjoyed spending time with Mema Lorelei.  Papa Don has not been feeling very well so a few weeks ago, Mema Shirley and Papa Don had to quit keeping the kids.  It's been a little hard on the girls because they were with the everyday since they were 8 months old.  I was talking to them about Papa Don being sick and Samantha said, "We are going to have to have a funeral for him too, Mommy."  It broke my heart to tell her that she was right.  I tried to explain that it could be a long time before that happened, but she watched cancer kill Jordan and she knows what is going to happen.  My kids have had their hearts ripped out once this year and I'm afraid it might happen again before the year is over.  I can only pray for the strength to help them each through the grieving process once again.  I don't think any of us are even close to being past the pain of losing our beautiful Jordan.  Rustie had to move this week.  Buying her first house should have been a joyous occasion, but it's been torture.  Peyton went down and packed up Jordan's room.  Rustie couldn't bear to watch the boxes leave so Heather took her away for a few hours.  They put everything in the garage at the new house.  When Rustie walked in the next day, she saw all of Jordan's boxes stacked neatly on shelves and every single box had a heart drawn on it.  She was so touched by Peyton's gesture.  He was/is a great uncle.  He loved Jordan like she was one of his girls. 

This is why I don't even update the blog lately.  Everytime I sit down to write, I just start going on and on about Jordan again.  I just miss her so much.

On a happier note, we took a few days off at the end of the July to spend some time with the kids.  I really enjoyed myself.  With the exception of having my iphone stolen at Sears in Southlake Mall, we had a great time. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011/our Ninth wedding anniversary:  We took the kids to Six Flags where the girls rode their first rollercoaster....the Mindbender.  Unfortunately most of the pictures were in my old phone, but I will upload the few that I had already uploaded to Facebook.  Samantha was really excited to see the Bat Mobile. When we started walking down the hill towards the back of the park, she yelled, "Oh my goodness, we are in Gotham City!"  What a wonderful little girl she is.  They were both being so brave when we went to get on the ride.  As they started to bring down the lap bars, Sabrina, who was riding with her Daddy, changed her mind.  She started screaming, "Let me out of here.  I don't want to do this."  It was really too late to do anything about it.  We told her it would be okay and we headed up the hill.  She screamed the entire time.  She was literally terrified.  She refused to ride anything big the rest of the day, but she still rode tons of other things.  Samantha was scared too, but she was smiling when the ride was over.  She liked the butterfly feeling in her tummy.  She'll be like her mom.  Peyton and I drove to California when we were in Vegas just to ride the tallest wooden coaster in the US.  When we got there, we found out it was closed for repairs.  We both have an adventerous spirit and I'm glad to see that this is a trait that our kids share too.  Amelia, on the other hand, needs to be a little less adventerous.  She jumps off of anything and everything....from the pool ladder to the couch, to the high chair.  She is fearless and we really worry about her falling.  Destiny rode almost all of the big rides.  There were a few that she couldn't ride, but for the most part, she rode anything she wanted to.  We rode Goliath which was crazy!!  I loved it.  It's a long ride and it's smooth....not jerky.  It's so spread out across the park.  Awesome ride. 

Friday, July 22, 2011:  Peyton and I spent the day shopping for the girls birthday.  It was our day together since we spent our anniversary with the kids.  I am reminded every single day how blessed I am to have such a wonderful husband. I was always meant to be with him.  He is truly the half that makes me whole.  I know how wonderful and rare it is to feel that way about someone.

Saturday, July 23, 2011:  We had a small birthday party for the girls on their actual birthday. It's the first time their birthday has been on a Saturday, since the Saturday they were born.  We had barbaque (for the Papas) and mexican for lunch.  We had cake and ice cream too.  It was a pool party.  We only invited their grandparents and great grandparents.  Mema Lorelei bought them bicycles.   Jace was excited to pick them out.  Peyton and I got them the toys they wanted.  Samantha a toolbox (substitued Handy Manny building kits) and Sabrina wanted a Tangle castle.  I had a hard time finding the boy doll from the Tangled set,  but I went to four different stores to find it.  It felt good to have the time off to pursue a doll.  I would normally give up after store number two, order it on line and wait for it to arrive.  We decorated in a Rock and Roll theme...complete with a Pink Guitar pinata.  Good times!

Sunday, July 24, 2011:  I took the girls shopping for school clothes.  We were supposed to go have lunch afterwards, but unfortunately when my phone went missing, we had to rush home.  I was so dissapointed that we didn't get to spend the rest of the day out together, but they were thrilled with the clothes that we bought for them. 

The Birthday Bash:  Mema Shirley's 75th....

Today, August 4, 2011, is Mema Shirley's birthday.  We are planning to have a small party at Aunt Rosie's job in Stockbridge.  I don't know the name of the bar and grill that she is working at, but I do know that Elvis is going to be making an appearance.  It should be fun.  She needs to have a good time.  It's been a long time since she has.  She's been so worried about Papa and she needs a break.  (Update:  The old ladies danced all night.  We had a wonderful time together.  Aunt Thelma danced and sang and said some "not so nice" things to Elvis.  If she was 20 years younger she would have taken him home.  The cake was a beautiful picture of Ma.  I laughed so much my stomach hurt when I got home. This was also the night that I got to meet little Haddon for the first time.  He's gorgeous!  It was a work night so we had to call it quits about 10:30.  I made it home just after 11 and found Amelia sound to sleep in the middle of our bed.  What a cutie!!
The girls will start school on Monday.  Destiny will be in the fifth grade and Mantha and Beanie are going to be in the first grade.  Amelia will miss them when they go back to school.  She spends so much time with them now, but it won't be long and we'll be walking her into school on her first day.  Time just flies.