Thursday, May 24, 2012

Meet Trae, My Favorite 6 Year-Old...

     As most of you know, my brother and I had a nanny growing up.  Darlene started keeping us when I was just 5 weeks old.  She has spent almost every day at our house for 25 years now.  She is part of our family, my 2nd mother, and my best friend. 
     When I left home to start attending VSU in August of 2006, Darlene started working for a second family to keep their newborn, Trae.  I still remember going by the Hardy's house to say goodbye to Darlene before I left town.  She was standing in the driveway holding Trae, crying as I pulled out.  She did the same thing when I went to Kindergarten.  I'll admit, I was a little jealous when I found out Darlene would only be with us part time so that she could go on to raise new children.  I felt I was going to be replaced.  Little did I know, I would grow to love those children like they were my own siblings.
     I love Trae and Kate Hardy like I have never loved any other children before.  I'm so glad Darlene has raised them to be a part of our lives.
    Yesterday, I had the privilege to attend Trae's kindergarden graduation.  I can't believe how fast he has grown up. Here are a few of my favorite photos of him I have taken over the years (a couple of these are from his mom's FB page). 

Big brother with little sister, Kate (2008)
My buddy (2009).

At my house in summer 2009.

3rd birthday party (2009)

So sweet and still has that "baby" look.

Trae eating with his papa.
This was taken while I was babysitting them one evening (2009).
Sitting with us at an HHS football game (fall 2010).
Playing on the gator (winter 2010).
Christmas 2010

Trae's first year playing t-ball (2011).

My favorite t-ball player. One of my favorite pictures of us.

Duke's of Hazzard 5th birthday party (2011)
Trae with his parents at his pre-k graduation from FBC day school (2011).
Trae and me at his pre-k graduation reception (2011).

Trae's first day of kindergarten.  This photo almost had me in tears the first time I saw it.
He looks so grown up.  Priceless photo (August 2011).

Swapping Christmas presents (2011).

Trae and his sister, Kate, love to go to the "Waffle Place" (Huddle House).  I took them there a couple of weeks ago when I was babysitting (May 2012).

"Look! I've lost 2 teeth!"

Yesterday at his kindergarten graduation from Westfield.  So proud to be a part of this precious little boy's life.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


This past weekend I made a quick trip to Chattanooga, TN to visit my good friend Ashlee.  She took a job at the newspaper there as an intern last summer and is a photojournalist.  She is so fabulous at what she does!
Saturday, I left Perry around 10:00 and arrived at Ashlee's around 2:00.  The drive only takes Ashlee about 3 hours and 10 minutes but of course I don't have that kind of luck.  I stopped twice, got stuck in THREE traffic jams, almost had a wreck in Atlanta, didn't realize I missed my exit until 20 minutes after the fact, AND got lost.  Whew!  I was so happy to see Ashlee standing outside of her apartment once I finally arrived!
I see mountains!

FINALLY in Tennessee!

We didn't waste any time. We jumped in her car and drove to town. We scoured a junk store looking for photo props (no luck) and then had a late lunch at a really neat restaurant called "The Terminal". It's located next door to the famous Chattanooga Choo-Choo.

After lunch, we went to the mall and several other stores to shop.  The shopping there is great and we got lots of neat things!
Ashlee fell in love with this beautiful tulip painting but we had no way to get it back to her apartment. :(
I'm obsessed with turtles so when I saw this serving tray at World Market, it had to come back to Ga with me!
 Sunday, started off with picking up a sandwich at Jimmy John's and then heading over to Cooliage Park to have a picnic.  It was such a beautiful day and the park was so nice.  We watched the kids there play on the splash pads and fed little birds with our left over bread. 

Ashlee Culverhouse Photography

Ashlee Culverhouse Photography
After playing with the birdies, we took some pictures together and then walked across Walnut Bridge.  The bridge was about a half mile long and had awesome views of the city.  Once we made our way across the bridge, we had some ice cream at a cute little ice cream shop.  It was sooo good! I had coffee cheesecake!

Ashlee is moving back to Perry in July. I can't wait! We always have so much fun together! Even though it was a quick trip, I fell in love with Chattanooga and hope to go back soon! 


Monday, May 14, 2012

Priceless Photos

My good friend, Ashlee Culverhouse is an amazing photographer.  Like, seriously amazing.  When I saw on facebook that she was hosting a day of Easter portraits, I quickly contacted her to take some photos of my family and I.  We haven't had pictures made since we added Molly to our family.  We also haven't had pictures recently with all three of us.  Usually Cody and I are only in the pictures so I thought this was the perfect opportunity for us to get some great family photos.  I love pictures that are taken in the spring.  The colors are so pretty and lively. 
Here are a few of my favorites....

The wonderful photographer and I.

If you would like Ashlee's information for your next photo session, please let me know.  I hope you enjoyed these as much as I do!

Grandma's Birthday Party

My grandmother is the sweetest, caring, and most christian woman I know.  I strive to be like her someday.   She and I are so close and I usually go see her or spend a night on the weekends I am home from Valdosta.
On March 6th, my Grandma (as her grandchildren call her) turned 83. She had a terrible fall and stroke in the fall of this past year.  She hasn't been herself and I'm scared she never will be again.  So, I dedcided to give her a birthday party, one I hoped would mean a lot to her.  I had someone bake a cake, got together finger foods, drinks, and paper products.  I invited over her close friends to join us for dinner, cake, and cards.  It was so fun and I was so happy to put a smile on her face. 
She deserves the world and I hope my little party made her happy.

The spread!

We had pigs in a blanket, strawberries,  chips and dip, pimento cheese and chicken salad sadwiches, and chinese chicken salad from M&T.  Lina Jones baked a cake from scratch.  It was sooo good!

Dinner! From left, Ms. Pearl, Ms. Norma Jane, Aunt Ann (my mom's bf growing up and Ms. Pearl's daughter,) and the guest of honor.

Getting ready to blow out the candles!

Aunt Ann, Ms. Norma Jane, Ms. Pearl, and Grandma