The terrible two’s is not the right time for photos.

For my sweet sister’s 29 birthday… I gave her the best present of all. I let her take photos of Turner! Totally being sarcastic here. I am sure she wanted to enjoy a day without photos, but it was all that worked into my schedule, so we made it work. But while trying to get a photo for our Christmas card, I came to a realization, that I think everyone should know.

Every parent wants photos of their children. We want lots of photos at all times during their lives. We don’t want to miss a thing. But my plea to parents is, to consider your child before trying to get photos taken. Just because you want it, doesn’t mean you should get them. After last night’s extravaganza and attempted baby wrangling, I realized that at this point in Turner’s life, having pictures taken is just appropriate or feasible. He doesn’t sit in one place. He doesn’t like the camera, he doesn’t like wearing the outfits I want pictures in. He actually basically hates anything that is required to have photos taken.


While I think Ruby is the best photographer to ever pick up a camera, she can only do so much. She isn’t a miracle worker. So while I would have liked to have the perfect family pictures last night, it just was not possible. And it isn’t Ruby’s fault. I fully understand that I have it made when it comes to family pictures. So while Turner was screaming at the top of his lungs, quite literally, and pushing buttons on the heater, and knocking over the end table, and grabbing the pillows and tossing them from the bed, since Ruby is my sister, she has no choice but to take my photos. That is what super cool aunts do. But the thought of Turner acting that way, with someone who wasn’t my sister, and the pure terror and havoc he created during that 20 minute window we tried, mortified me.


I cannot imagine, not just Ruby, but other photographers trying their hardest to get that literal picture perfect pose when the subject he being a tyrant. Turner is almost 19 months. He is vicious. I am well aware of that. So I don’t know why I thought I was going to be able to get his photos taken. It would have taken a true act of God to get him, along with Andrew and myself looking and smiling at the camera all at once.

And while, by some freak accident and true miracle, which is a testament to Ruby’s talent and patience and awesome Aunt abilities, the photos you see of Turner and my niece are adorable and look so flawless and effortless, please realize that behind those smiles were tears, bribes, and a little loss of sleep.

I have learned my lesson. Just because I want photos, doesn’t mean Turner is at the age to where I should punish a photographer or any other professional for my own delight. It just isn’t the right time for him.


So, I beg of you parents, please know your child. Know how they behave and what they tend to do in public or in front of new people… and if it is less than ideal… wait a little while for that special professional photo. That way, you don’t waste your money and time by paying for something that may not be the vision you had in your head… and you save your photographer from a few early grey hairs. Or at the very least… understand that they don’t always cooperate with the camera. So while it would be nice to have the perfectly centered photo with a grand smile and your kid looking like the little piece of perfection you want them to… understand that it may not be possible. So if your child is kicking and screaming, that is a great memory to capture in a photo too!


Turner’s first Easter

Easter was the first holiday Turner was really old enough to enjoy. He didn’t really care too much for the egg hunts, and although we read him the Easter Story, I know he didn’t grasp the idea, but it was obvious that he knew something was special about the day. We had a blast. On Sunday, we went to Easter Service at church, then Easter lunch with Andrew’s family. We had an awesome egg hunt and got to enjoy family and friends. 

Then we went to Easter dinner at my family’s and had another egg hunt. Nothing compares to the joy and pure delight of seeing Turner’s face Sunday morning as he ran to his basket. I mean, he is only 10-months old, so his little baby legs running is precious. He didn’t care much for most of the basket’s content, but once I got the marshmallow bunny opened, that boy has never been happier. 

It was neat to see him taking in everything that was happening. He always looks like he is processing everything little thing around him. I could just tell by looking at him that he was thinking about what was happening and it was registering to him that it was more than just a typical day. He is one smart cookie! 


, SiteDart Author


What Valentine’s Day means to me


I am a big ball of emotions going into Valentine’s Day. There are a ton of things on my mind and I am not quite sure if I am going to break down or triumph through it. I guess only time can tell.

My anxiety over the holiday range in reason but I want to break them down. 

The one year anniversary of last year:

This may be the biggest burden weighing on my soul. Last Valentine’s Day might be the most special day in my entire life. While I know the birth of my son ranks pretty high, if I consider the multitude of things that occurred that day, I think it takes the cake. 

Andrew proposed to me last Valentine’s Day. It was adorably romantic. So that in itself is a pretty memorable occasion. Without sharing all the details, it started my day off beautifully. 

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Andrew and I decided to take my parents out to dinner. Valentine’s Day is also my parents wedding anniversary. My dad always called it their Valaversary. So we wanted to celebrate together. While every free second I get these days I rush to my mom’s house to be with my family, just one year a go, that was not necessarily the case. Since I lived about an hour away, I didn’t make too many trips over the mountain to see them. Something I regret every day now. But nonetheless, the dinner was going to be special. A treat for my parents to celebrate their 27th wedding anniversary, a celebration for the engagement, and just time with my parents that I did not normally get. 

We took my parents to Fat Buddies in Waynesville. My mom wanted a steak, and that is where she wanted to go. The reason why that night is so special to me now, is because that was the last moment I spent with my dad before he got sick. He was sick then, there were signs that I now can recognize, but we had no idea that while we were all sitting there laughing and having a perfect night, cancer was consuming my dad’s body and would inevitably take his life in just a few short weeks. That night, one year ago on Friday, was the last time I really talked to me dad. The last time I got to hug him. The last time I saw him looking any shape of normal. 

He looked sick. My dad, he was a pretty big guy, had lost a devastating amount of weight. He had even bragged about how handsome and skinny he looked. We didn’t know why at the time. We assumed it was because on of his dieting binges. Sporting his favorite Carharts we had just gotten him for Christmas, I remember him being so happy. He didn’t feel good. It was obvious in the 30 minute wait we had for our table. He looked tired. But he was still happy, and was showering my mom with love. 

Dinner was nice. I think it is the only time in my adult life that I have ever had dinner out with my parents. It was not something we normally did. It was a first, and I had no idea it would be a last too. Dad played with his steak, but couldn’t finish it. He complained of stomach aches. But we finished the rest of the night, finished dinner, and I gave my mom and dad hugs and sent them on their way, for the last time. 

The next day dad called me. He wanted to let me know that although he had been throwing up blood the night before, he had been feeling better that day for lunch and was able to eat his steak. He called just to tell me how good it was and how much he enjoyed it. That is when his doctor visits started. When he started begging for care. I have already told that story. 

Anyway. So Valentine’s Day will forever be special to me because it was the day that Andrew promised me forever. It was the last day I had with my dad, and it was truly a great day. 

Turner’s first Valentines Day:

 So more emotion I have for this holiday is it being another one of Turner’s firsts. I record and keep track of it all, and tomorrow will be another day I get to spend celebrating an experience with my beautiful, amazing, son. 

 We get Turner holiday onesies anytime we can, and this month’s is one of my favorites. I will share pictures on Monday. 

Spending time with my family:

I know this time is really hard for my mom. Her best friend and the man who has been her partner in life for more than half of her life will no longer be there. He won’t be there to write her a love note, like he did every single day. She won’t get flowers from him. She won’t here him wish her a “Happy Valaversary” first thing in the morning. 

 My dad always made Valentine’s Day special for all of us. Every single year he would drop a single rose off for me and my sisters at school. Every single year. What I would give to have kept one of those roses. 

I didn’t want my mom to be stuck in the house sad about all that is this holiday. So I planned a trip to a waterpark for my entire family. I wanted mom to have new memories to make with her grandchildren. To have something else to focus on so she wouldn’t be sad. I just hope this snow melts so we can get there. It is not looking so great right now. And if things don’t work out, I will just be devastated. 

it is also important to me that I make it to my dad’s grave tomorrow. I need to be able to give him a single rose. To wish him a Happy Valaversary. I know it sounds so silly, but I feel like if I don’t go there to see him, he will think we have forgotten about him. I am terrified of that. So whatever the holiday, I do see him. I want to spend a little piece of it with him. I have to. I need to.  

If you can take anything away from this, I ask you, I bed you, to make a memory tomorrow. Because I cannot stress enough that while you may not realize it now, that memory may be the only thing you have to hold onto for the rest of your life. Make it a good one.


Thanksgiving weekend fun!

What a week it has been. All in the same week, we moved into a new house, spent wonderful, quality time with family, and got a new job!


So many new and exciting things are happening and with being a full-time mommy, it is stressful. I wish someone would have warned me about moving with a little one. Turner is not a fan of the process. He has yet to sleep solidly in the new house. I guess he just not comfortable enough and still al little confused. It makes me sad though. I guess in time.

Turner met Santa for the first time. No good fit or crying, although after being in his lap for several minutes, he did cry so I quickly came to his rescue!


We celebrated Turner’s 6 month birthday party yesterday, which was our second night in the new house. And the first real night without things being completely upside down! This month’s theme was winter, and we had a cute elf costume that his Grandpa Debbie got him. It is so hard to believe I have been a mother for six months now. I am having to run off to a meeting for work, but tomorrow I plan to write an article on things I have learned so far being a mother. The list is extensive for sure.

I hate that this is short, but as soon as we get moved in and settled with everything, now that we have internet and phone service at the new house, I will be able to post in the evenings! That might be the thing I am most excited about!!