Friday, October 26, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  Aaron has been working at The Haunt all month and his hours will only get longer this weekend and next week.  I have to admit, I love hearing his stories when he comes home.  If you are in Memphis...please go!  It's a lot of fun...and if you don't do blood, guts, and gore, just go to the 3-D side.  I promise, the clowns aren't THAT scary! ;)

Ed takes a tour through Hauntedweb B

2.  Tomorrow is a big night at our house.  Notre Dame plays Oklahoma.  For the first time in our married life, our teams are playing one another.  We're not sure if we should dress one child in Notre Dame and the other in Oklahoma, or their tops one team and their bottoms the other team.  Just kidding!  We are not going to pit our children against one another!  The trash talking started last Sunday...and continues!  We'll see who comes out on top!  BOOMER!!!

3.  The girls and I went to watch Aaron coach his high school soccer team this week.  It was a gorgeous night.  Perfect lighting for me to take the girls' pictures.  We then situated ourselves on the bleachers next to an older, larger woman.  It wasn't long before Ainsley pointed directly at her and said, "Mommy, you see dat girl?  She have a baby in her belly."  Leighton was mortified.  I was too.  I took the chicken way out and grabbed my phone to pretend I was playing on it and ignored the whole situation.  Leighton grabbed Ainsley's arm and whispered (loudly), "Ainsley, that's a grandma.  She doesn't have a baby in her belly."  Technically, I don't think she was a grandma, but Leighton was correct.  There was no baby in her belly!  I'm still holding out a little hope maybe the woman didn't understand Ainsley.  Think I've got a shot? ;)

4.  My Dad went to Russia recently and brought back some might fine treasures.  In all seriousness, if I lived in Maine, I would probably wear this.  But, in Memphis?  I'm sure my teacher friends (who pray for snow all winter long) will no longer pray for snow because they will know I'll show up in my new hat.

5.  Don't forget to vote! :)  This is how we occupied our time in line waiting to vote. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Day in the Life...

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to walk a day in someone's shoes?  Well, here's your chance to walk just a moment in the life of Ainsley.  I've been keeping tally marks this week of how many times she has made me laugh hysterically.  There are quite a few so I decided I'd share the laughs.

I guess I'll start with Saturday when she ran upstairs at my parents house yelling "Boomer, you're a horn dog."  I was a little shocked.  My mom asked her if she said "corn dog."  Nope, she really said horn dog.  Boomer had been "doing his thing" and my dad informed Ainsley he was being a "horn dog" and she ran with it!  And I'm guessing she'll never forget the phrase either... (insert sarcasm here) ----> Thanks Dad!

Ainlsey KNOWS she's not supposed to say "Oh My God."  She can say goodness or gosh but NOT God.  So...she very seriously looked at my mom and said, "Mem, say Oh My God and see what happens."  She was literally daring her to say it.  Really, at 3?  What possesses her??  Thankfully my mom responded that she didn't want to say it because she'd get in trouble.  Ainsley gave up at that point...she was busted.  No use in going any further with her plan!

We decided to head to the zoo this week.  We met up with one of Leighton's best friends.  The girls were having a great time...until they started spinning and Ainsley ended up falling and getting hurt.  I did the mom thing and kissed her boo-boos.  She seemed fine and sat in her stroller while Leighton and her friend skipped off holding hands.  Ainsley was still very mad from the fall and leaned up from her stroller and screamed, "Blow it up your nose with a rubber hose."  Oye!!!

Oh, and then there was the ride home.  She was talking from the backseat..."Mommy, I need (insert something you can't understand here).  I asked her to repeat herself.  "I said I need (insert this something that you can't understand again)."  I say, I know you need something but I can't understand what it is.  To which she replies, "I said...guh, guh, guh, guh, gum. Did you hear me now?"  Again...she's THREE!!!

Let's see...there was the song that came on the radio too.  Every song we hear she claims is her "favorite."  So when she said it to this one, I wasn't surprised.  But, when she actually started singing, "Bringing Sexy Back" I was a little caught off guard. 

 There was the little "episode" at dance where she wouldn't hold a little girls hand, too.  But she informed me on the ride home it wasn't her fault at all.  It was the little girl who got an "attitude" with Ainsley.  Riiiight!!! 

This little cutie is going to keep me young forever! :)  Just don't let her sweet looks fool you! Ha! Love you baby girl!  If it weren't for you, the Keegan household would be very, very boring!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  This sweet girl is rocking her first grade year!  And, what's better, she loves it!  She can't wait to read every night.  She comes home asking us math problems.  And she wants to get online to login to spelling city so she can practice her words for the week.

2.  Oh my heart!  This crazy little one continues to add excitement to the mundane.  She can't sit still.  She never stops talking.  Whether she's excited or disappointed, her emotions are always over the top.  This week, she managed to spill her breakfast plate two mornings, her dinner plate three times, and her milk once.  See, even dinner isn't dull with her around!  I'm usually cleaning up the spills instead of eating...but you know what the old adage says...there's no use crying over spilled milk. 

3.  We celebrated Aaron's 35th birthday.  There were hats, and gifts, and chocolate cake, and yes...spilled plates (twice in one dinner that night)! :)  Fun was had by all.

4.  We enjoyed a long weekend away at the lake for labor day.  It was wonderful.  I read two books.  The girls and Aaron swam, fished, and we all tubed.  And then there was the cart wheel competition.  It was lots of fun too! ;)

5.  This was our song of the weekend.  I think the girls like it.  They even managed to entertain everyone at the grocery store singing it!  I have to admit, it does have a catchy tune!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Extra Extra...

Read all about it!  Well...I may have jumped the gun a little.  You can't read about it quite yet.  But you will be able to early this fall!!! 

The Keegan crew was lucky enough to score an advanced copy of Scott's book, Best When Broken.  I'm still in awe that it's really here.  That it's actually complete and in print.  The girls have wanted to "thumb" through it all week but I haven't allowed them to. way is anything going to happen to the signed copy!  I even got after Aaron when he put it down, mid way through, with it open and face down!  **gasp** 

The book, in its entirety, is breathtakingly beautiful!!  I have to admit, after reading the rough draft about 8 months ago, I didn't think it could get much better.  But it did!'s perfect!  There isn't a word wasted.  I literally can't wait for the world (a copy will be headed to Japan to my brother as soon as I can get it in the mail) to see it...I want to shout it from the rooftops!

I said it was perfect above and I'm not exaggerating (I know, I know it's hard to believe).  I look at the book and am reminded of how God allowed each piece of the book to come together.  I think back to the brainstorming that went on before we shot the cover.  We imagined Scott would be "in his element."  We even thought we might take the picture by the water to bring the reader back to where it all started.  The ideas all sounded great.  But, none of those were "it."  When I look at the book, see Scott's huge smile beaming at me, and the cabin behind him, I am content in it's completeness.

Not only is the cabin a life long dream, but it brings Scott and Linda to the quiet, serene, beautiful outdoors...where they can get away from the world for a little while and focus on what really matters.  The cabin is the perfect background for such an intimate book.

Words can't express how thankful I am to call Scott and Linda friends.  Scott has shared his heart in his book so you all can know a piece of him as well.  Best When Broken will bless you...take some time to read it.  You won't regret it! 

"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” --Winston Churchill 

The girls "shocked" we got an autographed copy! ;)

Okay...our real emotions...happy to finally have it in our hands!!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Extended Family

The Keegan crew invaded Memphis came to Memphis for a week long visit.  It really was a wonderful week.  The cousins had more fun running wild upstairs "wah-wah'ing" like Indian's (I know that's not politically correct but you all know exactly what they were doing.  It was just the easiest way to explain it!) than anything we had planned!  We managed to go to Graceland, Aaron threw me a surprise birthday party, the kids swam, we went to the zoo, and half of the crew spent one day in Mississippi (hunting and fishing) while the other half spent the day shopping.  Betcha can guess which half I was with! ;) 

One evening we decided to head downtown for dinner and for a few photos.  It was quite a feat to get Ainsley and Frankie looking at the camera AND looking nicely.  But, I think we managed to get a few!  Love you guys!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Rest of the Story

Many of you read of my sweet little 3-year-old's potty mouth on FB but I thought I'd give you the whole story.  It's really quite amusing and sums up my girl to a "T"! :)

Last weekend I chased Ainsley around tickling her.  We did it for so long she laughed so hard she got the hiccups.  She hates having the hiccups.  So, she sat down in her chair, rested her arm on the back of it, looked at me, and said: "Damn Monster."

I was shocked.  I looked at Aaron with wide eyes, tried to hide my laughter, and said, "What did you just say?"  

She then very seriously responded, "Damn, tickle monster."  Like I needed an explanation of what monster she was referring to. 

I quickly responded that it wasn't a nice word and she shouldn't say it.  To which she replied, "Like Oh-My-God?"

Again, I tried not to laugh hysterically..."Yes, exactly like that, Ainsley."

She looked at me, got up out of her chair, motioned to Callie, and said, "Okay.  Come on, ya damn dog."

Really!?!  Did she not hear anything I had just said?!  

This little girl adds more life into our family than I could have ever imagined! 

First Grade

It blows my mind to think that my "baby" is in first grade.  It seems like yesterday I found out I was pregnant with her.  I was a little anxious about her first day because she didn't know any of the kiddos in her classroom well.  Once again she proved to be much braver than I...she LOVED it!!  Here's to a wonderful first grade year!! 

Before we headed out we snapped a few pictures to remember the day!

And here she is at her desk.  She couldn't wait to get started.  Not nervous at all!!!

Leighton's first grade teacher, Mrs. Samuelson!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Five on Friday

  1.  I've been really bad about documenting the little things in life (my "Five on Friday" posts).  I started one this summer...the first Friday of the summer and had plans to continue it (notice the tensing in the previous sentence).  Yep, I HAD plans.  It sat in my "drafts" and I finally deleted it.  We had an amazing summer of fun!  Movies, swimming, tubing, boating, and family.  It's been a rough start back to work because our summer was so perfect.

2.  Leighton is rocking at gymnastics.  She is learning and ton and still loves every second.  She was able to successfully do a skill this week that was new to her.  She ran to her coach, jumped in her arms, and gave her a HUGE hug.  It was the sweetest thing.  She and her coach looked up at me in the observation room and were both so excited.  I love to see when others love and take pride in my kids as much as I do.

3.  Ainsley has an appointment Monday at the ENT.  She had a rough summer with non-stop ear infections.  And her ear drum ruptured while she was on antibiotics. we go.  Her pediatrician was apologetic for having to send us but I assured him, as a speech path, I was relieved we were going and not allowing it to become a problem.  I know if tubes are the answer that I shouldn't be nervous...but this is new territory for me and I know I'll be a wreck!

4.  Our house is officially on the market.  We're ready for some good showings so we can "get the heck outta dodge."  Not really...we love our house but are ready for some more room and really want Leighton to live within Oak's district.

5.  The biggest thing that happened at our house this "baby" started 1st grade!!  More on that later! ;)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Best When Broken

"Portraits are so much more than paper.  They're a feeling, a memory, a fleeting instant...captured.  Tangible.  A moment already passed but in your hands forever."

May was an insanely busy month...the end of school, kindergarten graduation, field day, six and a half (the half will come in to play later) photography sessions (that's a lot when you work a full-time job too), three birthday parties, Memorial Day, out of town company, two doctor appointments, etc., etc.  Years from now, I won't remember the hustle and bustle of the month.  But I'll never forget May of 2012.

My sweet friend Scott asked me to capture a few shots of he and his wife, Linda, at their cabin.  The purpose of the shoot was to get "the" picture.  The picture that would be on the cover of Scott's book that is due to come out this fall.  I was honored.  Totally blown away to be honest.  Let's face isn't every day you get asked to take the picture for a book cover!  Before the shoot, I was feeling the pressure.  But, amidst all of the feelings of nervousness, I also didn't know if my picture would even "make the cut."  So, we seized the day, and enjoyed the beauty of the outdoors. 

Scott and I had our own visions of what the cover might include.  We got some amazing shots!  I just knew one of them was going to be "the" one!  And, I was wrong!  We needed to tweak the picture to include several things.  So, how about a second shoot?  The only flaw with a second shoot was that it was a crazy busy time!  Would we ever find a common time when we could travel to get it done?

We scheduled another date and wouldn't you know it poured down rain all morning.  I stressed.  My stomach was in knots.  We needed this to work.  I called Scott and Linda, and they hemmed and hawed over whether we should go.  There was a tiny spot on the radar that showed no rain so we went for it...and it couldn't have been more perfect.  There was rain all the way there...and all the way back.  But, the 20 minutes (hence...the 1/2 shoot I referenced above) we spent at the re-shoot were picture perfect...literally!  I believe with all my heart that God allowed those 20 minutes to happen...and wouldn't you know the first shot of the afternoon was our cover picture! 

July 3rd 2012...the phone rings...

Me: Hello? 
Scott (in tears):  You near a computer? 
Me: Yes (I knew what was coming so I began to shake).
Scott: Check your email...I just got the picture of the book cover.
Me: Speechless!  Totally blown away.  It was everything I could have ever imagined. 

There are dates forever engrained in my life.  The day I got married.  The day my children were born.  And now July 3, 2012 is added to those dates.  The day my dreams became reality.  

This fall, Best When Broken, will hit bookstores across the country.  My dear friend Scott will see his hard work and dedication in print.  His story will be published for all to see.  It's a testimony of his life and a profession of his faith.  A big piece of me is in that fact it's covered in that book...literally from cover to cover.  The photos tell a story (some stories that can't be repeated) that can never be reproduced.  And although my story is intertwined, it's a story about a man who will forever be etched in my heart and in the heart of many others. 

Thanks Scott (and Linda)...for everything!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Mother and Her Daughter(s)

Yesterday, as we met with our realtor, I cleaned like a madwoman, escorted Leighton to and from VBS, made dinner, attempted to entertain the kids in all the rush, there was a little voice that never stopped.  Ainsley never stopped talking.  She never stopped asking questions.  She never left my side.  In fact, I think she had one part of her body touching mine the entire day.  And yesterday, I think I said to her, "Ainsley, I just need 5 minutes of silence." 

Today, is a whole different story.  I decided Ainsley needed a day at the sitter since life working my "day job" is quickly approaching.  She and I have gotten pretty attached this summer and I knew we both needed some time apart to start the adjustment "back to school."  Leighton didn't make a peep on the way to VBS.  And as I walked back to the car empty handed this morning, the silence was deafening.  I wanted to hear Ainsley's sweet little voice.  I wanted to hold her hand and hear her say Momma.  And then when I got home I ran across this post one of my dear friends linked to her FB.   It says it so much better than I ever could.  I pray I can be that kind of daughter to my own mother.  More importantly, I pray my own daughters will see me as that kind, patient, and loving mother to them. 
This is a repost from Spring in the Air
Letter from a Mother to a Daughter: "My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago”… Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep. When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl? When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way… remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with life’s issues every day… the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If I occasionaly lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you. And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked. When those days come, don’t feel sad… just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love. I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you… my darling daughter."
Miss ya Mom. xo

Monday, July 9, 2012

Maris, Chris, Aaron, and Eason

Oh my goodness...where do I even start?  When I was diagnosed with my first cancer, I found out that Maris (I work with Maris' Mom, Robin, who I can't say enough about.  She's always positive, so upbeat, and puts a smile on my face when I see her) worked in the office where I was being seen.  Robin assured me that Maris would take care of me.  And that she did!!  I'll never forget the moment she called me from the waiting Mohs surgery had been a success and she said, "They got all the cancer."  Wow...she'll never know what that moment meant to me.  I may not have smiled then (I had a hole in my lip and was headed straight to the plastic surgeon) but I hope she knows how special that moment was...and how blessed I was to have her tell me.  I underwent plastic surgery the next day and then a week later went back to have another surgery on another cancerous spot.  I didn't expect to see Maris but Robin told her when I was going to be there and she popped in just to make sure I was doing okay.  She went above and beyond and I am truly blessed to call her friend!!  She's gone through a lot waiting for sweet Eason and I can't wait to see how precious he is!!  I know is going to be well worth the wait!!!  Congrats, Brown family!!