Welcome to Kelly Martin's Blog! Here I share my stories from my blessed life as a wife to a super-talented man, Jason, mom to my precious kids, Lucy, Jack, and Connor, and friend to my amazing girlfriends who inspire me every day!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cutie-Pie Connor James

I have lots to catch up on regarding our newly one year old Connor!

Sadly, we had to put down our seven year old, sweetest dog ever, Toby. The night before, we realized we didn't have any pictures of Connor with Toby.

Connor's FIRST STEPS! This was right after bathtime and he was full of energy and ready to MOVE! He was a little over eleven months old at the time. :)

Attempting to take my own "one year old" head shot of Connor, we headed over to Hayes Nature Preserve the other week. SUch a cutie; love these!

Something about this picture is so "connor" :)

Perfectly illustrating the trouble with being the baby in the family :)

We celebrated his birthday with a party a week after he turned one, but the following photos were taken on his actual bday, Feb. 17th.

Connor is enjoying his own little slice of cake

Birthday Pancake (this has become a tradition in our family).

Connor keeps busy during the day by tagging along with me as I do chores. His absolute favorite place in the whole house is the dishwasher. He LOVES taking out the silverware and hiding it in the side cabinet.

And the other day, Lucy gave Connor a haircut. :( His hair is so white and fine, it's hard to see, but here's the best shot I could get of the "choppage" LOL!

*Look on the lefts side and you'll see...

All About Connor

Connor is one! And it goes without saying how fast the time goes by. Here are some pictures from his party yesterday:

Uncle Ryan was in town with his UGA Ice Dawgs team, playing in the SEC tournament. (Way to go, Ryan, making the 'all star' team!) It was so nice to have him at the party. (Although, I was told the large amount of children at the party was a big scary for him :p)

I mean, can you get any cuter?

Tony and Me

He loved his cake!

So, the theme of the party was, "It Goes by in a Flash." I played with the idea of capturing time, photos, family shots, etc. Instead of gifts, party goers brought him something to put in his time capsule; something he'll enjoy for his 18th party. I totally loved seeing the gifts (although those that were wrapped, I'm keeping wrapped :). Such creative ideas like a pack of baseball cards, a tree that is exactly one year old, a John Lennon DVD, several magazines, a cell phone that only makes telephone calls- no texts, internet, etc.

One part of the party was a photo station where families could have silly photos taken. Here's my mom and dad and brother with the kiddos:

I particularly enjoy the Beckers' photo because it shows just how damn frustrating it is trying to get a picture taken with three children!

And although it frightened little C man when we all sang happy birthday to him, he quickly recovered when he discovered what lay in front of him. :) He spent a good bit of time picking off the sprinkles before he picked up the pace, scooping gobs of icing with his pudgy fingers!

Happy Birthday, Connor!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The silver lining

Well, as it turns out, I wasn't able to enjoy my new smartphone very long. (I finally joined society and upgraded to a phone that would allow me to access internet about six weeks ago.) And, as luck would have it, it got waterlogged in one of my car cupholders that was filled to the brim with water. And how the water got there, I'm not sure, but it was, and my phone somehow fell out of my purse into said puddle. Not sure how long it was swimming there, but long enough. :(

Anyhow, I begrudgingly visited Verizon yesterday, hanging onto some small hope it would be fixable. It was not. And I had not purchased insurance on it (stupid, stupid, stupid; lesson learned!). But this super small incident is not what this post is about. What's unique about my visit to Verizon was that I ran into an old friend, during what was anything but another "errand" for her. See, my friend just lost her husband about two months ago. He battled auto immune deficiency complications for many many years. He left behind his wife, my friend, and his two adorable teenage daughters, one of whom I taught 5th grade to several years ago.

She was at Verizon to finally disconnect his phone; shut down his service. And, while we were both being tended to at the counter, she broke down into tears. And while she kept insisting that it was "silly" she was so upset, I kept hugging her and insisted that it wasn't silly at all. I was thinking to myself, one of the cruel parts of losing a spouse must be all the little housekeeping things that have to be tended to; and how with each thing you take care of, it's another crack in your heart.

When I was recapping my day to Jason last night, he pointed out that what happened on my errand to the phone store was a perfect example of how something really good can come out of something bad. Something that was a real bummer to me - taking my water-logged phone to the store - turned out to be something much bigger, and even a good thing, for my friend who was going through something difficult.

And while I agree with his observation, I also think it's a wonderful example of how God is always taking care of His children. I know many would suggest that it was merely a coincidence that we were both there at the same time (and yes, I agree Huntsville is a small town :), but I think it's far more than just that.

I hope I was some small comfort for my friend, that she didn't have to be there alone. And I also hope I keep in my heart and mind the lesson I was reminded of: that life really is so fragile, so short. And while I wasn't in tears or anything over my phone (I don't even think I cursed when I saw it in the water :), it helped me, very quickly, put things in perspective.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hayes Nature Preserve

We spent a little time outside today, enjoying the mild weather. I attempted to capture a few pics of Connor that I could use for his "one-year-old" photo. I think there are some good contenders. Can you believe he's one on Friday!?!

This one just makes me giggle:)

All three happy at once, really? :)

Perfect illustration of what Connor must feel like, literally and figuratively :)

Connor is full out walking now!

Lady and Connor!

And this one below is my favorite photo of the day. There is something just so "Connor" about the look of this one :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

For your family albums

At playgroup this morning, we were talking about how diligent we were with keeping up with the kids' baby books, photo albums, etc (And we weren't as dilligent as we'd all liked to have been :). We joked about how accurate we were with the first child's stats (I'm sure I had Lucy's first steps documented to the nearest tenth of a second (not really :) and how with the younger children, we're lucky if we knew what month it happened in.

I love making the kids' and our family's annual photo books on Shutterfly, and Elaine was asking me what kinds of things I documented and journaled about. So, here's some things you could think about documenting in baby books, family albums, etc.

I'm just going to list in random order, because I just don't have enough time to organize it sequentially :) Some of these I've used before, but I'm sure I'll think of some new things as I do this, so I'm excited to devote some thinking to this! :)

Kid stuff:

-first steps
-first food (include likes and dislikes)
-birth story (might want to note your doctor's name, where you delivered etc.)
-who came to visit at the hospital
-anything unusual (e.g. abnormally hot or cold temps for when you went home)
-what news stories were making news
-first words
-write down mispronounciations of words your toddler says and what they're trying to say (it'll be even more adorable years down the road :)
-document what they were for Halloween
-what kind of preschool they're in, their teacher(s), favorite things about school.
-who are their best friends? (write first and last names b/c those will be the details you might forget when you're looking back at the album two decades from now :)
-favorite things to play?
-favorite activity?
-strenghts and weaknesses
-personality traits
-funny phrases that are unique to them (When Jack was first learning how to talk, if you were trying to be silly and he didn't like it, he'd shout, "No funny!" over and over. THat kind of thing...)
-favorite toys
-kids hobbies
-anything they're attached to?
-what was on the Santa list
-holiday parties (afraid of easter bunny, santa, etc?)
-Each birthday, ask your child these same questions and enjoy seeing how their answers change yearly.

-mom and dad working positions
-hobbies parents/ family is involved in
-what regular activities do you do?
-vacations (document things you might easily forget, like, the kids' favorite activity to play on the beach, favorite part about where you stayed; best and worst part of the vacation, did you travel with anyone?
-holidays (take a picture of the table set for Christmas dinner, for example; write about what you ate for a special meal. any traditions your family started? why?
-document any moves,
-take before and after pics of any house projects
-as husband and wife, journal about how your marriage has changed in "x" amount of years.
-personal goals for the future?
-family goals?
-church involvement (e.g. leading a kids small group, volunteering in the nursery)
-major news events and if/how they affected you.
-best and worst times from the past year (I wrote about Toby's diagnosis of bone cancer, for ex.)
-extended family members that were born or passed away
-you could have fun and make a list of "best & worst decisions" we made this year. :)

Most importantly, just have fun and include more details than you think you should. I already look back at albums from two or maybe just three years ago and think, "Oh yeah! I forgot about that, and I'm so glad I can relive it :) Oh yeah, and don't stress about it! And if you've forgotten something...just make it up! LOL!

Here's a link to my Shutterfly page where you can view the annual album for 2011 that I just made.

The father's day albums are one of my favorite traditions!

Here's all of the ones I've made (and if you actually view these, you have way too much time on your hands :p)

Don't know what to do with all your kid's artwork from school? Be sure to check out the Kids' Art Projects album. It's a great, super TIDY way to keep track of all their artwork!

The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck