Thursday, December 13, 2012

It's Beginnig To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Today Ford attended his second annual Camellia Healthcare Christmas party. Each year, Abb and WA host a wonderful Christmas lunch for their corporate and administrative employees and it is a WONDERFUL time say thank you to the many amazing people that are part of the Camellia team.

While the party was truly for the Camellia folks, Ford was under the impression that was a party for him and he took the opportunity to put on quite a show. He really connected with the musicians and got pretty vocal when they decided to take a break. Good thing everyone thought his demands to "play" and "guitar" were cute (as I was pretty sure he was being a bit bossy!).


PS... a big shout out to Brandon Chase Welborn with BCW designs! The party truly was a "Camellia Experience".

Amazing to look back on how much our little man has changed in one year!!!



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Monday, November 19, 2012

Let The Festivities Begin…

In my world, today marks the first unofficial day of the start of the holiday season. As the Monday of Thanksgiving week, today is the day when all thoughts switch over to “holiday mode”. Last year our sweet Ford was only just emerging from the newborn stage and we were just excited to be able to “prop” him up in the sitting position for a few photos. This year marks the beginning of a whole new ballgame. Now walking and talking, Ford is more interactive than ever and I cannot wait to begin introducing him to the magic of the holidays.  

Holidays are about traditions, family, friends, faith, joy and happiness. I am so excited and have EVERY intention of overloading Ford and the entire Payne household (sorry Mandi) on all of the above. I am looking forward to starting some new family traditions and resurrecting some old ones. Between Thanksgiving, Christmas, a wedding celebration, my birthday and New Year’s, there is a lot of celebrating on tap for the next six weeks!

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Power of Words

I always knew that words were powerful. They can make you laugh, make you cry, fill you will unimaginable happiness or shameful regret. Words build bridges, tear down mountains, heal hurts and so much more.

At 16 months, our little Ford is full of words. We never seem to know what will come out of his little mouth and it is so amazing to watch another person grasp and master that mystifying thing we call language.

Here is a short video of Abb and Ford working on his words. While it is so simple, it makes my heart melt to hear both their sweet voices.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Lucky 13

Some may say that the number 13 is bad luck. Granted we have had our share of unlucky falls, bumps, bruises and allergic reactions during month 13, but overall July 2012 has been pretty special for our little Fordy Boy!
Social Milestones: He has finally mastered the coveted high five! I had no idea how big a deal this was… must be a male thing J. He has also learned how to play the “guess which hand it’s in” game. Whether it’s a ball or a quarter, Ford is thrilled when he guesses correctly the first time! Probably our most favorite milestone is Ford’s ability (and willingness) to give hugs and kisses when requested. It doesn’t get any better than that!!!
Physical Milestones: No more walking… we are running! Just hum the first few lines to Jaws and he will take off. I’ve got to catch this one on video. Look out David Beckham… Ford has learned how to kick.
Growth and Development: Those super sharp one year molars have FINALLY broken the surface. We are still battling sore gums and buckets of drool, but we are thrilled to actually see those pearly whites!
Favorite Food: Green beans are still hanging on as Ford’s favorite. I swear I am going to send his photo into Del Monte. If he can’t be the poster child, at the very least we could get a few free cans of green beans!
This month’s words: Bubble, Andy (his term of endearment for our dog Mandi), and of course his go to phrase… bye bye (most often used when he wants a change of scenery).
During July Ford also attended his first Payne family reunion and met a number of cousins and relatives (see previous blog post). It has been a busy month and our sweet boy has met every new adventure with lots of smiles and a healthy dose of curiosity!

Monday, July 23, 2012

“Just Carrying On an Ole Family Tradition”

Whew… that’s all I can say after this weekend activities. On Saturday, July 21, 73 adults, 34 children (plus one on the way) and one yellow lab gathered in Glendale, MS to partake in the family tradition that is known as the Payne Family Reunion. It had been approximately seventeen years since the gang had come together and needless to say, we made up for lost time!!!
There is no telling how many laughs, hugs and recollections of family “stories” took place on Saturday, but one thing is for certain… the Payne family lives on. Below are a few photos of the fun times had and hopefully it won’t be seventeen years before we get together again!!!
The Payne Gang... July 2012

Telling some of those "family stories"

One of many hugs I was able to catch on camera!!!

Ford's first time fishing!

Cousin pool party!!! So thankful the sun finally came out!!!

Look at all those adorable children!!! The Payne family is certainly blessed!!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

51 Weeks

Seven days… that is all that remains to the first year of Ford’s life. In 51 short weeks, my tiny 6 lb. 14 oz. baby has grown into a waking, babbling, expressive and slightly opinionated little boy. Every day he seems to understand more and it has been amazing to watch him develop and grow. Just last night, I sat and watched his chubby little hands try to put together a puzzle. While it may not seem like much, it was amazing to watch his brain and hands working in tandem for a specific purpose. I cannot help but think that today it is puzzles and tomorrow it will be the world’s problems that he is trying to solve.

It has been one amazing year and I am so grateful the God chose us to be Ford’s parents. Parenthood is truly awe inspiring and no one could have prepared me for this ride! Here is to the first 51 weeks and the next 51 (plus) years.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Showing off at the Windham House

Our friendly little Ford, showing off for all the patients at the Windham House nursing home.

Adventures on the Baby Food Aisle

Everyone knows that there are a number of parenting duties that are mommy specific. For us, it is the purchasing of baby food and the planning of meals that seems to be a “mommy only” task. Somehow, I was deemed the resident “Payne Household Nutritionist” and all decisions about food have seemingly fallen to me.
Because of my new role, I have found myself at the grocery store more frequently than I ever imagined. Weekly shopping is usually done on Sunday afternoons, but it seems to never fail that I find myself “running to pick something up” two and three times a week.
During my increasingly frequent trips to the grocery, I have had some interesting encounters on the baby food aisle. I have received advice to “enjoy the good times and to cherish my youth and health” from a woman purchasing baby food for her husband suffering from throat cancer. I have attempted to comfort  a very young teen mother struggling to purchase baby food for the first time. And, I have given my opinion on the best veggie, fruit and puff on the shelf. My interactions have all been with other women, who seem to also have the weight and responsibility of feeding their family placed upon their shoulders.
Surprisingly, the baby food aisle has taught me a lot about motherhood. It is taught me that we are all in the same boat… just doing the best we can. We love our families, feel so much pressure to get things right (even down to the smallest detail), and don’t mind one bit that everyone is counting on us.
As I prepare for Ford’s first birthday, I know that my trips down the baby food aisle are numbered. Pretty soon, he and I will be arguing on the junk food aisle about what is the best nutritional choice rather than my current one sided decisions over mashed pears vs. prunes.  Despite my baby growing up (and getting a mouth full of teeth), I will probably still take an occasional trip down the baby food aisle when I need to be reminded of the amazing responsibility that motherhood had given me.

Friday, March 9, 2012

"A Dwelling" 130 Years in the Making....

Last Sunday, we had the privilege of attending the 130th anniversary celebration of First Presbyterian Church of Hattiesburg. As a fairly new member of the congregation (four years) myself, it wasn’t until this past weekend that I took time to really think about the significance of this milestone and how amazing it is to be part of such an established church.

You can look around the church and really see God’s blessings on His people and I cannot help but think of the thousands of amazing and life changing moments that have taken place here. I look at our own family and see the multiple baptisms, weddings, spiritual awakenings and even funerals that have all taken place within these walls. I consider myself so blessed to have the opportunity to raise my son in a church where is father, grandfather, aunt and cousins were baptized and where his great grandparents loved and served the Lord.

The commitment and love of this congregation is a testimony of God's faithfulness and grace, and I look forward to the amazing moments that are to come for First Presbyterian Church of Hattiesburg and to watching our family grow here. God has truly blessed FPC and here’s to the next 130 years.

Ephesians 2:19-22
“You are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit."

Our Wedding - October 27, 2007

Ford's Baptism - October 2, 2011

130th Anniversary - March 4, 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

An Extra 24 Hours

If I have said it once, I have said it a million times…. “if I only had more hours in the day!” Well in thinking about tomorrow, I just realized that my wish has come true… we have all received 24 additional hours to our year! Like most everyone else, I will be working and basically going about my daily routine. But… I am making a commitment today to make the most of tomorrow.
My goals for those extra (and much needed 24 hours) are to be extra productive at work, clean up some of the clutter in my office and at home, call a friend or two (just to say hello) and spend an extra few minutes snuggling with both my sweet son and husband. Nothing earth shattering, but definitely some of the most neglected areas of my life!
I never thought it was possible, but since becoming a parent time seems to fly by more quickly than ever before. The weeks turn into months and the months into years, all in a blink of an eye. By all accounts tomorrow will be just another day, but at the very least I am going to make an attempt to make the most of it! Happy February 29th and hope you make the most of your 24 hours too!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Leaving on a jet plane...

Things are busy at our house this week, as Abb and I are planning for a much needed adult trip. Suitcases are being packed, out of town preparations are being made and childcare arrangements are being finalized. There is a flurry of activity and with our flight scheduled to leave in less than 48 hours, it will be a miracle if we make it J.
We are headed to San Juan for a few days and then we will set sail on a four day cruise. We are both so excited about getting the chance to revisit St. Bart’s (where we spent our honeymoon) and explore two new islands (Anguilla and Prickly Pear). More than the locations we will be visiting; it is the promise of uninterrupted sleep and adult conversation that we are most excited about.
I will say that in preparing to leave, the mommy guilt has really kicked in. In the last two weeks Ford has learned to sit up on his own, has begun crawling and has cut two teeth. My biggest fear is that in the seven days we will be gone, he will accomplish some major milestone that I will miss. I had a serious talk with him last night and gave him strict instructions that he is NOT to pull up, say his first word, blow a kiss or wave bye bye while we are gone. I am quickly learning that he does things whenever HE pleases, so we shall see.
On the bright side, our vacation is providing Ford with some serious grandparent bonding time and if he is to do something exciting while we are away, I know that his Grammy, Pops or Oma Cindy will be there to witness it. As a baby, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents and I am convinced that this bonding time early in life led to our close relationship. Ford is truly blessed with amazing grandparents who love him SO much. What I should be most worried about is him being spoiled beyond recognition upon our return.
Pictures of both our adventure and Ford’s adventure to come!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Oh SO Close!!!

At a little over seven months, our little Ford on the cusp of a number of major milestones. While they may not seem all that special, when you take a moment to think about it each of these are truly giant leaps towards independence.
·         His first pearly white is almost here - we are days away from finally seeing the first specs of white from Ford’s first tooth. The skin has broken and from what he will allow us to feel, this first little tooth is going to be a sharp one!!! He has been a trooper and hopefully all that drooling and gnawing will pay off very soon… solid food here we come.
·         Our little rolly polly will soon be a crawler – while rolling from one side of the room to the other has been effective, it appears that Ford is ready to graduate onto crawling. He has perfected what we call the “belly flop crawl” which consists of getting up on all fours, rocking back and forth and then making a giant lurch forward. This weekend we caught him practicing actually moving his knees and arms in the right sequence and propelling himself forward. This clearly caught him off guard and we are praying we have a few more days before he realizes that he can crawl, as we have some serious baby proofing to do!
·         Waving “Bye Bye” – right now it is not much more than the clenching and releasing of his right fist, but Ford is trying so hard! He will watch you make the motion and then stare at his hand as he tries to mimic your action. His concentration is intense and I cannot help but think that he understands that in addition to gaining praise from those who witness his new little trick, waving bye bye will be one of his first attempts at communication.
As I write this post I cannot help but think that before we know it Ford will be getting braces, running the bases at his first baseball game and waving “bye bye” as he heads off to college. Everyone said that they grow up too quick and I have to agree. While it breaks my heart to think about him growing up it is so amazing to have a front row seat for the growth and development of another human being. We were all babies once and we all take for granted the amazing transformation from total dependence to independence that takes place in such a short amount of time. God is so good and life is such a miracle!!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Christmas 2011

Click on the photo to see our Christmas 2011 pics!

Back to Reality

So, it is January 4, 2012, and we are back into the routine of life. With work schedules finally slowing down, our family of three was fortunate to spend the last ten days of 2011 together. While this probably doesn’t seem like much, this was the longest consecutive amount of time we have spent together since Ford was born seven months ago.
In these ten amazing days, we were able to be a part of his daily life in a way that we typically are not. We listened to him babble for the first time… ba,ba,ba… ma,ma,ma (my favorite)… wa,wa,wa, we watched him open his first Christmas presents (and eat an unidentifiable amount of wrapping paper), we attempted to comfort him with his struggles with teething, and we even got to witness his squeals of delight during his first trip onto the beach.
Ending 2011 together was the best Christmas and birthday present ever. While parenthood is an all-consuming and often thankless task, I stand amazed and humbled by the gift we were given on June 2, 2011. I feel so fortunate to have been chosen to be Ford’s mother and still cannot believe that he is ours. As tough as it was to leave him again yesterday, I am comforted to know he’s in great hands.
Here’s to another great year of living and loving as a family! I have a feeling 2012 is going to be our best year yet!!!