Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Soccer Superstar...

Austin is completely smitten with soccer this year. This is his second year playing, and he really seems to be enjoying it and learning more about the game. He has even said that he wanted to play soccer instead of baseball! That breaks my heart!! But I want him to play what he enjoys. He scored two goals on Friday evening, and scored one goal last night. He has another game tonight, and then Monday will be his last game. He has really come into his own in the last few games. It's like he finally realized what the coach means when he asks Austin to do something. He's learning when to be agressive, when to share, and when not to! LOL He just wanted me to make sure I posted something about him since I posted about Lani and Eli. So here's my soccer superstar. I love you son. I cannot believe you will be seven years old in three short days. It seems like only yesterday that you became a magnificent part of my life at 2 months old. I have been so in love with you since the moment I locked eyes with you. Thank you for teaching me the important things in life and for rescuing me from myself and my selfish ways. I love you! I will be forever indebted to you!!

Apple Farm Fun... with 3 year olds!!

Yesterday was Lani's preschool class's trip to Hillcrest Orchard in Edneyville, NC. This place was awesome! (http://www.steppapples.com/) The children were all excited! The excitement kinda fizzled a little bit when we all learned that we would be using port-a-john's. It was gross and disgusting. I would have rather popped a squat in the apple orchard, but I didn't want to scare anyone. HA!

First we got a lesson in the barn about different types of apples, how they are different colors, different sizes, and taste different. The lady told the children that God made apples just like he made people... each a unique creation by His own hand, and He loves them all the same just like He loves us. The lady then used the apple peeler, slicer, corer and made everyone an apple wedge snack. They were so very excited about this!!

After our barn apple lesson, we went on the wagon ride pulled by a tractor. They were ecstatic about this too. The only downside to this ride was that it was 41 degrees at 10 AM on a beautiful Fall Western North Carolina morning. The wagon ride showed the children the different trees the peach trees, the sunflower and soybean patch, the corn maze, the pumpkin patch, and a tour through the apple orchard. The wagon stopped for us to pick apples just before the end of the ride. We picked "Blushing Gold" apples. These are very good... crisp and tart. They are called Blushing Gold because they are golden where the sun doesn't strike them, but where the sun strikes the apples, they are sunkissed with red at the top only. Lani had a blast picking the apples and playing in the orchard. Luckily the bees weren't swarming the place! On the way back to the general store, the guide told the children the story of Johnny Appleseed. How he carried appleseeds in his knapsack, wore a pot on his head, and always carried his Bible. She told them that if it weren't for Johnny Appleseed, there wouldn't be any apple orchards. The children were totally taken with this story. We also sang a song.. there was a fruit that had a name and apple was it's name OH A-P-P-L-E, A-P-P-L-E, and apple was it's name-oh. They thought that song was hilarious!
Lani in the orchard

After our wagon ride, we went through the sunflower and soybean maze. The children were too short to go through the corn maze, and the tour guide was fearful that the children would be overwhelmed by the tall corn stalks and panic. The object of the sunflower maze was to find soybean Sally at the end of the maze (she was a scarecrow). This was quite a challenge to the children, but they enjoyed it. Sadly, we got the first frost of the year Sunday night, so the sunflowers looked sad. They were wilted, but there were some that were still beautiful.
Elijah in the sunflower maze

Once we made our way through the sunflower maze, we came to the picnic area to learn about apple cider and sample it. A lot of the children didn't seem to like it very much. After the cider sampling and a small break, we gathered for lunch and sang out Johnny Appleseed blessing and had lunch together.
Lani modeling on the pumpkin. lol

Lani with the scarecrow family

Elijah after the tour. He was zonked!

The day was finally over! The children returned to school for naps and for their parents to pick them up. Lani and I had a blast!! We plan on going sooner next year so we can cut our own pumpkin and get our favorite apples!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Just another day in paradise...

Not much excitement in my neck of the woods today. We were late for Sunday school, like always, and worked in the nursery during worship service. Then we all hung out around the house and napped like we always do on Sundays. It was wonderful. I watched "Baby Mama" with Tina Fey in it, and it was hilarious. I dozed on and off on the couch with my precious baby boy on my chest. We've all been battling a little bit of a stomach bug. Gross, and no fun. Especially with four people and one bathroom! Anyway, we've made it. Tomorrow is LaniBug's field trip to the apple orchard and the pumpkin farm. I am so excited. I know her class will have a blast, and I'm just glad that I get to be a part of it.

Since I did very little of anything today, I did edit this picture that I took of E-man today. I thought it was pretty cute. He was 10 weeks old Thursday, and the days, weeks, and months have zoomed right on by. Seems like just the other day that I was pregnant (thank God I'm not anymore!!)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Meme Meme break a leg for me...

That line is from my favo movie, Beaches... ahh the memories. LOL I have been tagged in the Meme war. Glad I learned what that was.

The first meme asks that the person tagged has to enter the 6th picture in their album. All my pictures are sorted into different albums, so I chose my first album, which is labeled 8/17/2007. These pictures were from our beach trip we took in May of 2007. I forgot how much fun we had! Here was my sixth picture... it melts my heart every time I see it. You can truly see how much Allen loves our babies... If every man was as good of a man as he is, the world would be a much better place!!

Okay now onto Meme #2! The next Meme challenge is to post 7 things that are weird and random about me!

Weird and Random

1.My washing machine has to be sparkling clean. I can't stand it when Allen does laundry because it gets all dirty and nasty. My philosophy... if it's gonna clean my clothes, it should be clean!!
2. I can't stand for my kids to get out of the driver's side of my van... that's where Eli is. I can't stand them crawling all over top of all mine and his stuff. Petty, but it annoys the piss out of me!
3. Sometimes I wear my bra to bed. LOL Especially since I'm breastfeeding. I can't stand to wake up in a puddle of milk.
4. I don't mind washing clothes, or even folding, but ask me to put them away and I will procrastinate until the pile is too high and I have to refold. (OMG, Ali, I'm totally stealing this one!! I do the same thing, and it annoys me to no avail! You would think we'd get the message eventually!!)
5. I like to listen to "In Better Hands Now" by Natalie Grant (Christian Contemporary Song) in my van blaring loud. This was the song played at my aunt's funeral, and it reminds me of her and my Papaws that both passed away last year. The waterworks are working overtime when this sone comes on too, so watch out for the flood!!
6. I cannot stand to blowdry my hair. I would rather be shot. Too much effort, and I can't stand to get that hot.
7. I can't stand to have long toe nails. It drives me insane.

The 6 things that only a select few people know about me..

1. I cannot close my eyes at night without making sure my babies are snuggled in their beds asleep. I watch them sleep because they look so sweet and innocent. That kind of peace is an awesome presence.
2. I like to pretend that I don't care what people think about me, but the truth of the matter is that I cry out for acceptance. It's sad and pathetic, but it's me.
3. I am a germaphob. I hate germs, and I have nearly washed the skin off my hands since I had a new baby. I am paranoid that my kids are going to catch some type of rare illness in public restrooms or port-a-johns. They gag me.
4. I am naiive. Very. I will believe anything that you tell me until it can be proven wrong.
5. I lie awake in my bed in the morning beating the living crap out of my alarm clock. I do not know why I cannot be motivated enough to get up when it goes off. I envy people that can actually do it.
6. I long to have people close to me that care as much about me as I care about them. It never seems to work that way for some reason!

I would tag people, but all of my known bloggers have already been tagged!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wonderful Wednesday

The moon was absolutely astounding last night. It was big and bright like a kick ball in the sky that longed to be played with. My grandmother has a white tin roof, and the moonlight danced on her roof. It was nearly breathtaking. What a beautiful autumn night it was last night.

With that being said, autumn in North Carolina is absolutely beautiful. All the leaves are starting to change colors, float through the air on their descent from the trees, and gather on the ground. Soon a cascade of colors will be visible on trees and on the ground. The air is beginning to be a little clearer, and the evenings are cooler. Fall, harvest, Halloween, and Thanksgiving are my favorite times of the year!

On Monday, we will take my daughter's preschool class to the apple orchard. With this field trip, they will take a wagon ride through the apple orchard and pumpkin patch, go through a corn maze, sample apple cider, get an age appropriate farm lesson, and get to pick apples. I am so excited! I am looking forward to pumpkin pictures!! I will post some as soon as we return.

On another note, my MaMaw MeMe returned from Texas today. It was wonderful to see her, and I think she was equally excited to see us. She has been gone since September 2. She is blind, so she depends a lot on her other 4 senses extensively. When she left, Eli (my 2 month old) was just a little guy, weighed maybe 9 pounds or so. I placed him in her arms, all 13 pounds... she says, "This is not the baby I left!" I told her that he had grown a LOT since she had been gone. She said she could tell by feeling his feet, that now they were huge.

Here's to a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


In January of this year, I finally succumbed to the advertisement that displayed when I logged out of myspace. CafeMom always popped up, and for a long time, I just ignored it. In January, however, I was about 8 weeks pregnant with our third child, and I decided to go ahead and check it out. What did I have to lose?

I signed up on the website and searched around for groups of women that were traveling the same journeys and walking the same walks as me in life. I found a pregnancy group, an American Idol group. a Grey's Anatomy group, etc.... I found many groups that peaked my interest and I could relate to. The group I was most interested in was an August 2008 group, because our baby, Eli, was due on August 13. I figured I would have the most in common with the women in this group.

I loved CafeMom and was almost instantly addicted. Allen always made the comment that I was signing on to look at bellies. I wanted to see what women that were as far along as me looked like... I enjoyed reading the posts, seeing the pictures, hearing the common complaints of pregnant women just like me. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was nice to have women out there in the cyber world that could totally relate to me.... they would "listen" via reading posts. It was a wonderful most awesome experience.

Through this website, I have found my soul sisters (as I like to call them). We are "unbiological sisters" in so many ways. God put us in a group of women and allowed us to find each other, and over the course of our pregnancies, we were all there for each other. These women are some of my best friends. We keep in touch by chatting, blogging, texting, and occasional phone calls to one another. Allison, Michelle, Angey, Beth, Ashley, Amanda, and Teenie, I do not know where I would be without you. I am so glad we found each other. I love you with all my heart, and I totally look forward to growing old together!! One day we will be able to meet up somewhere and have the best time ever. I look forward to it!

For any of you moms that have avoided checking out CafeMom (look me up! sandrad1978) , I highly recommend it. It's like a myspace just for Mom's. It's wonderful. I would be lost without it!

Terrific Tuesday!

Wow, I can't believe it's Tuesday already. Soon, I will go back to work (11/3), and I will have these days and dates down pat again. It seems that's the only thing I truly miss about not working... I have no concept of day or date or time. Unfortunately, the next three weeks will be gone soon, but I will enjoy every moment of them while I have them!

So as I lie in the bed pondering what to do with myself in my brief time without my two oldest children, I couldn't think of anything. There's plenty of laundry to do (believe me.. I took the weekend off!), a bathroom and living room that needs cleaned, but I think today I'll just enjoy my day with Eli. He got shots yesterday, and I just feel the need to be close to him. At 3 PM, I'll go pick up his sister at preschool and get Austin from my mom's house. We have dance at 4 PM for Austin, 4:30 for Lani, and then Austin has a soccer game at 5:45. It'll be almost 8 PM when we get home tonight. Wow. Our crazy life!!

I cannot fathom my life without my children. It is nice to have a break from them occasionally, but I truly cherish just having them around. They do little annoying things that kids do, and they tend to grate on my nerves every so often, but without them around, I would be so broken and so empty. I have never been this alive before. I have never felt like my life held so much purpose before. God blessed me with these children and charged me with raising them appropriately. I cannot think of one thing in my life that is more important than my children. My heart would be vacant without them. I live to get up every single morning to hear their voices and see their sweet faces when they just wake up. I love to sneak in their bedrooms at night and admire the innocence of childhood. No worries. I cherish their drawings, artwork, etc. that they bring home from school. I told my husband that we needed a larger refrigerator just so we could fit everything up there.

Sorry for the randomness, lol, but today on this Terrific Tuesday, I just want to thank God for blessing my life with my Three Beautiful Babies. Austin, Lani, and Eli - here's to you!

Monday, October 13, 2008

E-MAN - The baby... the last of the little ones

Eli is my baby. He has been in this world a little over 2 months, and he has totally changed my life. I never knew how much love my heart could hold until this little man came along and totally rocked my world. I was scared when I found out I was pregnant. I didn't know if my heart could hold enough love for him because I love the other two so much. Man, was I ever wrong. I find my heart exploding with more and more love every single day. Eli has been a blessing to our family. My grandmother is elderly, and her daughter and husband recently passed. Even though she is blind, she looks forward to holding Eli and stroking his little feet and reminiscing to a time when her babies were still babies. Eli is sheer joy. His rolling chuckle and gummy grin melt my heart. I wish he could stay small forever, but I know this is just wishful thinking. I thank God everyday for bringing this little boy into our lives. My husband is thrilled with him.

LANI-BUG - the princess...

Lani is my middle child and my first natural child. She is a very lively child. She is everything girly. She loves princesses (Jasmine is her favorite, which is what she has chosen for her Halloween costume this year!!), Hannah Montana, iCarly, etc. She loves to play with make-up and play dress-up every chance she gets. She also likes to do things with Daddy... she helps him cut firewood, goes with him to the store, and stays on his heels anytime he's outside. Lani enjoys taking dance. Last year was her first year of dance, and she loved it. She is dancing again this year, and tells me that she wants to play "soccer ball" this Spring when she's old enough. She has had much difficulty adjusting to having a new baby brother, and not being the center of attention ALL the time, but she is coming around. She has thoroughly enjoyed having her baby brother around. She is very quick witted, the life of the party, and as prissy as they come. I love it. I look forward to growing old with her. We will be the best of friends. Here's my little princess...

AUSTINATOR- The oldest

Austin is my oldest child. He will be 7 next Friday, and he is so excited. He has been a joyous addition to our family. Right now, he is into soccer, hip-hop dancing, basketball, and baseball. He can sing like a bird, and has been blessed with the gift of song. He wants a guitar and guitar lessons for Christmas, and Santa will probably bring that to him. He seems to be our "artsy" child, but he is also athletically gifted. His major challenges are a tad of hyperactivity, seasonal allergies, and asthma. I think he may have a touch of attention deficit disorder, but we are currently trying to cope with it without medication. His teacher at school says he is doing well. Hopefully he will continue to do so. This is my Austin... my first love... (other than Allen, of course!!) He is my free-spirited child. He goes where the wind blows. He makes friends easily, and he is a socialite. He never meets a stranger. He is a leader wherever he goes. He loves to take pictures of himself...as you can see!!\

On with the babies..

Wow, it's been a while since I've been able to post! Sorry!

So, Alana Marie Warren graced this earth with her presence on Tuesday, March 15, 2005. She was the most beautiful little girl on the face of the earth. I was in love with her from the moment of conception, but seeing her face and hearing that first gut-wrenching cry is a memory that is forever etched in my mind. My pregnancy with her was fairly uneventful, however I did develop preclampsia in the later stages. She is Mommy's little princess, and I know as she grows older that she and I will be the best of friends.

I gained a lot of weight during my pregnancy with Lani, close to 80 pounds. In 2006, I made a commitment to myself to do something about it. I held true to that commitment and lost 95 pounds in 2006. However, I didn't get much help at home, and it was very easy to fall victim to the same bad habits that got me fat in the first place. LOL I gained some of my weight back, and then in December 2007, we learned that the Lord was blessing us with a third child.

Allen and I had always talked about a third child, and decided to come off of contraceptives in October 2007 on our family vacation to Disney World. Well after much discussion, we pretty much decided we needed to accomplish some things prior to having another child... I was ready for another baby, Allen wasn't. Allen wanted to sell our home and begin construction of our new home on our 16 acres of land that we purchased. This caused quite a bit of friction in our marriage... I had my plans... and Allen had his... but God wanted us to have another baby.

My pregnancy with the new baby was very tiring. I'm not certain if it was so because I was older 28 & 29 this time! Or if it was because I had two children to care for this time around instead of just one. At any rate, it was a long, very trying 9 months of pregnancy. On August 7, 2008, the most handsome boy on the face of the earth (besides his daddy and big brother Austin) joined our family in the operating room. I remembered thinking as I was lying there on the operating table, WOW... I can't believe I can reproduce 3 years apart and my babies look just alike! His name is Elijah Thomas, but we call him Eli, EJ, lil Bubba, Lil Bro, chubbawubba, etc.

Eli has been a major blessing in our lives. He has taught me that no matter how much you think you love the people in your life, you can always have more love. My heart has exploded with love yet once again with his birth. I know I am far more vulnerable now than I as prior to his birth. He is my last child I will ever give birth to (I had a tubal this pregnancy)... he is MY baby, and I know that I will spoil him just as rotten as I have the other two, if not worse.

So, now that you have a glimpse into my history and the birth of my children... let the fun begin! I am truly blessed to have the life that I have. I have a wonderful supportive husband, three beautiful babies, and more love than most people people get to experience in a lifetime.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

More about me...

So softball was my life. As far as I was concerned, not much else existed. Eat, sleep, softball. I made good grades in high school graduating with a 4.25 GPA and could have chosen practically any college that I wanted to attend. I went for the softball scholarship.

Before I get to college, let me back up to May 1997 right before graduation. I had known Allen for about 4 years. We had a mutual friend, John. John always had the hots for me, but to me, it would have been like kissing my brother if we'd ever gone further exploring that relationship. Gross. John and Allen were good friends, and my Senior year, I noticed him. I was like, WOW. He's hot. When did he get this hot? So I had just gotten out of a 2 year relationship with my ex, Clint, because he just could not be faithful. I'll share many things, but a man is not one of them. Sorry. Not my style. So anyway, I started chasing Allen. I went in hot pursuit! We were so different. We were both jocks and had mutual friends, but that was the extent of our knowledge of each other. I was one of the popular girls in high school, and he was just another Redneck boy that looked damn good in his Marine Corps ROTC uniform, might I add!! I started making myself around John more and more when I knew Allen would be there, and finally got him alone one day. Ok, so I had to follow the boy to work. He was working at Winn-Dixie grocery store at the time, and he smelled like fish- ugh... not very pleasant... He had to work in seafood that day. I waited for him in the parking lot. We talked for 2 hours in the parking lot. He hugged me by, and I knew from that moment on that I was in love, and that I could spend the rest of my life wrapped up in his arms. He's 6'6" tall with big strong arms... I still remember seeing him that night in that parking lot in my dreams a lot of times! haha! So we kinda became a couple from that point on. I was still wounded and very untrusting from my previous relationship, but opened my heart up and made room for him. We were inseparable from that point forward. It was the best summer of my life. However, at the end of the summer... I parted for Montgomery, Alabama to go to Huntingdon College, and we were both pretty sure that was probably the end of a good thing. We kept in touch briefly, but I became more interested in partying and boys down there and much less interested in coming home to see and spend time with Allen. So needless to say, Allen and I lost touch in October of 1997 after I did him VERY wrong (and I am very ashamed of that!).

So I go to college in Alabama on my softball scholarship. It was awesome, (I never mentioned before that I was the catcher), and I expanded my skills by learning to play 3rd base. It was wonderful and I loved it. I was on starting lineup and the leadoff hitter. I was team captain-as a Freshman!! I learned a lot in college. Much more than bookwork. College and softball was my first true exposure to homosexuality. I was quite ignorant to the whole thing. No one in my hometown was "admittingly" gay. My first roommate was gay, and I always walked in our room at the wrong time. You catch my drift, I'm sure. Well I got wrapped up in playing ball, but with being a college jock comes free parties, alcohol, etc. I never was much of a partier back home, we always had fun without alcohol. And my parents would have crapped a gold brick if they knew I was drinking. They kept their thumb on me pretty well, and I never really explored my options with alcohol, etc. So college was my first REAL taste of freedom and man was it sweet! However, I was not mature enough to keep that freedom in check, and it got the best of me. I got a little bit homesick, and alcohol rescued me. I partied all the time, non-stop. I barely passed my first semester with a 2.5 GPA because I just went to class long enough to take tests. I had to take a 2-week session at the beginning of January to get my GPA to the point that I was athletically eligible.

My partying regimen ended up being my demise in softball. I got kicked off the team due to my excess drinking, showing up for practice still drunk from the night before, showing up late to practice, etc. I was so rock-bottom at that point, I could've cared less- sadly enough to say. I ended up moving off campus with a friend and just completely ditched my second semester and flunked everything naturally. Thank God my mother, my best friend, knew my cry for help. She never gave up on me. In June of 1998, my mom and her sister Tamy came to my rescue in Slap Out, Alabama (I swear that was the name of the town!). I loaded all of my earthly belongings into my aunts burgundy Astro van and made my journey home.

Now, I had disappointed a lot of people by blowing my softball scholarship and my first year of college. My parents and my entire community. But the most important person that I had disappointed was MYSELF. In a year, I had gone from hometown hero to a fashionable flunkey. I had a lot of pieces to pick up, but I was up for the challenge.

Meanwhile, I came back home and rekindled my flame with Allen. He was very skeptical because I had really hurt him... but I won his heart over again. I was so lucky he even looked my way again. We considered ourselves "official" in August of 1998 again, and I was in it to win it this time! He proposed in April of 1999 and we were married in December of the same year. 9 years going strong. We have the most wonderful marriage! I truly married my best friend.

I went back to my old job at KMart and signed up with a temp agency. One thing that I could do was type up a fury and have a very pleasant phone voice. I landed a job at Curtiss-Wright here in the next town over and got my taste of the business world. I loved it. I knew that this was my calling. In March 2000, I was laid off from this position, and my world crashed again. I knew what I had to do. I had to belly up to the challenge and go back to school. I would never get anywhere in this life without an education.

In August of 2000, I went back to school. Allen was working out of town, so I went 4 nights per week. I did this until I graduated with my Bachelor's degree in Business in July of 2004. It was a lot of work, but it has been worth its weight in gold.

During this journey toward obtaining my education, one of the most beautiful little boys that ever existed on this planet arrived in my life. In November of 2001, Austin Tyler Carver was placed with my Aunt Tamy (yes the one that rescued me from Alabama). She had three kids of her own, and was already overwhelmed. Austin is the son of my cousin (male) on my mother's side. Technically, Austin is my mom's great-nephew. Anyway... I feel in love with this little boy. He had the cutest red nose and chubbawubba cheeks and the biggest ears you've ever seen in your life. Allen and I always knew we wanted to have children, and we wanted to wait until we'd been married for about 5 years. However, Tamy needed our help. I was a mere 22 years old and scared out of my wits. She wanted this baby to come and be a part of our family. At this point, Austin was just a ward of the state (foster child) and there was a chance that he could come up for adoption. It took much convincing on Allen's part. He didn't know if he could love a baby that wasn't "his." Luckily, I talked him into it, and the rest is history. Austin became an official Warren on May 1, 2003. He was ours, and no one could take this beautiful baby out of our arms. Ever.

In November 2003 we were surprised to learn that we were pregnant. I was on the pill, but surprise surprise. I was scared to death and ecstatic. I was struggling trying to figure out how I was going to finish school with a newborn baby... On January 15, 2004, I miscarried this pregnancy at 11 weeks. I was devestated. My world shattered, and I swear I lost a little piece of myself with that pregnancy. I wanted that baby so much, but finally came to terms with the loss. It was very difficult. Not a day goes by that I don't think about the baby that we lost.

Much to my surprise, we learned in June of 2004 that we were expecting another baby. I was mortified. I was 8 weeks pregnant with this baby when I graduated from Gardner-Webb. We learned in October that we were going to be giving birth to our baby girl whose name we had picked out forever and and a day... Alana Marie. Her name is a compilation of mine and Allen's names. Allen's middle name is "Allen" thus Alana, and my middle name is Marie, thus her middle name..... To be continued.....