he is army strong

i am a proud sister.

i have a strong brother.

my baby brother, jeremy, graduated from army basic training on friday. it was such an experience. i am glad we were all able to be a part of it.

this was how the soldiers (who keep in mind haven't seen their family in 10 weeks!) made their entry onto the field on family day. it was quite the show! of course there were over a 1000 of them so it took us a while to spot jer.

i can't even tell you just how amazing he looks! he slimmed down over 20lbs. i think half from the hard work but the other half was probably from sweat. the heat in south carolina was unbearable. i couldn't even imagine doing physical work in it. standing still was rough enough on us. he also seemed so much more confident in himself, standing tall and speaking up.

my mom, sister, and myself all teared up when we first saw him!

jer, mom, and dad

with the nieces and nephews. seriously, it was so sweet how proud they all were of him. i know they were all so happy to spend time with him.
sweet cheeks and her soldier

me, jeremy, and my sister

jeremy showing kelley and conley how to do army push-ups
hanging out in the hotel room. again, jeremy with all of his 7 nieces/nephews

my brother now moves on to california to attend the defense language institute. he will learn chinese. ouch!
can't wait to get out there to see him!
jeremy- i love you and i am more than proud of you. i hope you realize just how strong you are. you can do anything! you are an amazing brother to me and a wonderful uncle to sweet cheeks. we know you will go far in life (but please not too far from us!). you are army strong!


new day... same store

sweet cheeks and i love us some crewcuts! yes we do.

rarely do we see anything in that store that we don't love. everything is amazing. everything is mostly out of our price range. thank god they don't charge you yet to look! i am sure jcrew has considered that very thought before though.

this would make one sweet outfit on stylish sweet cheeks.

kassia tee

stripe tiered ruffle skirt
summer rosebud ballet flat

diamond bangle


peace sun sand

its only taken me an extra week to get these pictures up!

our yearly st simons trip was yet again a success. the kids really had such a good time playing together all 5 days. we did everything from oceans, to pools, sparklers, bikes, games, dancing, and eating! no matter what we did, the kids had fun.

sweet cheeks at the beach

swimming in the ocean

sparklers. what a hit they were

the pool, which we went to two days in a row. the kids really loved it there

the dads and the kids did a bike ride into town. my sister and I drove in to meet them in case anyone wanted a ride back in the car. none of them did. despite the heat and the distance, they all enjoyed the bike ride. (especially sweet cheeks who had the best ride of all!)

seriously, i couldn't get enough of these 3 together

sweet cheeks watching the giant cargo boat go by the pier
the kids on this really crazy but beautiful tree. what you didn't see here in a picture is sweet cheeks jumping out of this tree, hurting her hand, me going to help her, poking her in the eye, scratching her, and lots of tears! now that i think about it, i am glad i didn't get a picture of that

another crazy big tree
dinner out. sweet cheeks love the crab cakes at this restaurant
so beautiful
i am already excited for our trip next year!


slip slidin' away

i don't know how it happened.

i didn't even see it coming.

it seemed so far away, then suddenly it came as fast as ever.

sweet cheeks graduated pre-k!

holy cow. i just said that. sweet cheeks graduated pre-k. amazing. well not amazing that she graduated because she is a smart cookie but amazing that my daughter is old enough to be finished with pre-school. oh how this saddens me. she has been at her school since she was 2 and i absolutely love it. if it were up to me and i was allowed to make a very poor decision as a mother, i would keep her from ever moving on to elementary school just so she could remain at her pre-school. i love it that much. ever single teacher she has had at her school has had such an amazing influence on her life. she has learned, grown, and blossomed so much because of them. in fact, other than family, sweet cheek's teacher from when she was 2 has been her only other babysitter for the past 3 years. i am sad for her to leave.

not only have the teachers been such an integral part of her life, but her friends have as well. she has made so many wonderful friends at school. friends she can have play dates with, celebrate birthdays with, and make memories with. of all the 18 kids in her class, only 1 other child will be moving on to the same elementary school. and since there will be 5 kindergarten classes in her new school, odds are they won't be in the same class. i know she will miss them all so much.

here are some great photos of her pre-k graduation.

here she is singing michael jackson's 'heal the world'

freckle-face friends. too cute

all smiles

with her amazing teachers

i am so proud of my girl. every day she amazes me and gives me a million reasons to smile.

wordless wednesday


red, white, and blue hair

sunday was the annual memorial meat at our friends, the williams, house. and this year was even more fun than the last, despite the soggy weather. it was the first year that sweet cheeks walked around on her own to each tent to sample all of the different bbq. she was absolutely independent and adorable. i could tell she enjoyed her freedom, and was quite proud of herself.

in good memorial meat tradition, there was a popcorn machine and a snow cone maker. you can only imagine how many times sweet cheeks hit those!

it was also so amazing to see sweet cheeks run off and play with so many of her friends. i would go 20 minutes at least without seeing her. and when i would walk down to the kid zone to check on her, she would ever so politely ask me to leave. that is my fiveteen year old for you. already too cool to be seen with mom. i think this was an early foreshadowing to my life in 10 years.

here she is with her friend izzy playing a game.

and then another snow cone...

next thing i knew, sweet cheeks had spray painted her hair red and white. the kids were going crazy with this stuff. thankfully she didn't over do it. i saw plenty of kids with polka dot hair! i got off easy.
sweet cheeks came home with about 10 tattoos.

it was such a great time. beth and josh really do an amazing job of hosting a fun, family event. we look forward to this time so much each year. can't wait for next year!


so we are heading out for a family vacation tomorrow. yippy. i will post what i am sure are going to be great pictures as soon as we get home on wednesday.