Wednesday, April 28, 2010

This won't come as a shock to most of you...

It's Friday so that means it's time to post my Friday Favorite and since last week The Other Mama took the week off, I've been saving this post just for today...let me start with this picture and go a little kindergarten on you...

What do these pictures have in common???


Yes, the obvious is Ruth Ann...the most precious and adorable child I know...she's mine, so I'm a little bit (or a lot bit) bias.

I have something else in mind and if I done my job correctly, it may be something that goes unnoticed since I have tried to make it an essential part of Ruth Ann's daily appearance...

Still's the bows! I L-O-V-E a fabulous big bow...I mentioned this previously on a past Friday Favorite. But do you know what I love even more than a big bow... paying little to nothing for a fabulous big bow. I'm going to share a well kept secret with you...I never buy bows in boutiques, I rarely pay more than $2 for a bow and I don't even try to make bows for myself. You may be asking yourself if these bows are magically appearing on our bow holder(s) or are they there by Divine intervention...although our Heavenly Father could make bows appear if he wanted to, but it's not His power I rely's the power of Ebay.

I share this link with a little bit of hesitation, not because you mothers of little girls will make my bow vendor very busy, but because the last time I shared a favorite vendor on Ebay she ended up being corrupt and stealing my money and the money of a friend. But so far this vendor has been GREAT! I've bought bows from her about 5 times and every time they arrive with no problems at all, so this time I have great confidence that she won't let anyone down.

Now, go to this link to visit her Ebay store. I usually buy the 10 large bows for $20. When you have a toddler you realize that bows...especially the white ones...don't stay clean for long. I usually buy at least 2 white bows with every order and also replace some of the other lighter colored bows this cost I have zero problem justifying my purchase.

One question I get asked often by both friends and complete strangers is how I can keep her bow in her hair. Most add that their daughter, granddaughter, niece, 2nd cousin twice removed, etc. NEVER kept a bow in her hair. My gut response is to say that Ruth Ann doesn't have a choice (as in most matters where she is concerned) and therefore it remains in her hair...HA! No friends, this child came into the world with a head full of hair and from that day forward she has had a bow in her hair daily...even during those first long weeks where we stayed indoors for days and weeks on end. There have been hundreds of times that I've been on a bow hunt because she had removed her bow outside of my presences. My good friend Auralee is constantly hunting pacies at her house....if we lose a pacie, I buy new ones, but a bow is always recovered! My goal is to have Ruth Ann ask for her bow as we're getting ready in the morning...we're close, she will recover bows she has removed from her hair when asked and she will correctly identify the proper place where her bows belong...on top of her head!

If your little one is too small for the big bows...but I don't think bows can ever be too big...then do an Ebay search for hair bows and I promise you won't be disappointed. I little searching and bidding and you'll find cute and cheap bows in no time!

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dinner with old friends

I'm a proud graduate of Lexington High School, Class of 1996...yikes, that was a long time ago. Two of my good friends from high school were Lisa B. and Aimee W. (I'm not sharing their names encase they don't want it broadcasted on my blog...per Sally B.'s advise...I'm protecting her too...only Sally B. and Brantley C. may understand this!) Anyway, Lisa and I were good friends and sat next to each other in homeroom all through high school and were so excited to know that at graduation we could keep each other company during the long boring ceremony...however, we discovered at graduation rehearsal that I would end the row and she would begin the next row...huge bummer, but we survived this upset to go on to be productive members of society. Aimee moved to our town from a more cheesy state when we were in the 6th grade. I met her then, but we didn't really become good friends until we were in high school when Lisa was the friend we had in common. Lisa and Aimee both attended The College of Charleston, but I ventured farther South to The Plains (Auburn University for those of you who have not been following along to past posts) but I stayed in touch with these girls all along the way. Lisa moved back home and worked with my mom for a little while so we've never lost touch, but Aimee fell in love with a boy from New Jersey and moved to NYC to be with her man...


it wasn't until I fell prey to the influence of Facebook that we reconnected and started to keep in touch like old friends should. Lisa now has 2 precious boys and Aimee recently had her first. She was in town this past week, so I invited everyone over so we could meet Baby Jack.

(oh it hurts my heart to post this picture since I look crap-tastic in it...but it was the only one I had of all three of us)

Ruth Ann had not seen Lisa's youngest in a while, so she had to reacquaint herself by stealing some of his toys and then pretending to share with him...



However, she did show him some love...p.s. this is Ruth Ann's old Bumbo that we got out for the baby boy to sit in.



These 2 are just a little over one year's amazing to look at this baby and imagine that one short year ago, this was what Ruth Ann was like!

Lisa's oldest is very shy...Ruth Ann was very forward and scared the poor guy into his father's arms!


He warmed up when we got the wagon out for a quick ride...


Aimee has confirmed that there will be more frequent visits to SC per her mom's request thanks to this little guy...


...which makes me very happy! I can't wait for future playdates with my old friends and Ruth Ann's new friends!

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Our BC Bearcat

Tonight was the last game Spencer will play as a memeber of the B-Team at BC High School. I've taken my camera out to the ball field every time we've been to a game, but a certain blond...


makes it very difficult to get pictures of the ball game. However, tonight, I was commited to get some pictures of Spencer in action. Spencer is one of the pitchers on his team, but tonight he played 3rd base...


Luckily I was ready to get a picture of him at bat because he only got to hit once and he hit the first ball thrown to him.



But the picture that made tonight my fave was this picture...


This little girl L-O-V-Es her big brother. In her eyes Spencer can do no wrong and I hope she always keeps this blind love for him. All baseball players are "Bubba"...even the pros when Arch is watching major league baseball, they're all her he's the best at everything he does. Wouldn't it be nice to have someone believe in you in that way? Spencer is with us 50% of the week with us, one week with his mom...and the entire week he's away I have to explain daily (and sometimes multiple times daily) where he is...she's always waiting on him to come back home. She points out every picture of Spencer in our house and exclaims "Bubba"...she loves him and he loves her too. Even though they're 14 years apart I hope they always love each other like they do now.

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

A labor of love...

I've mentioned before that I take sewing classes 2 times a month. I L-O-V-E the uninterrupted 3 hours of sewing time I get every other week. Usually we work on whatever individual project we're interested in and our teacher is there to guide and instruct as needed. But sometime around September or's fuzzy when we started...she decided we would all complete a yoke dress as a class project (if you don't know what a yoke dress is, have no fear, I'm going to show you the completed project shortly) and Karen, my teacher, likes for us to work on one dress in class and one dress at home so that we're sure the lessons we're learning sink in...a teaching method I would whole heartily agree with...but don't always follow. Anyway, Karen knows I love smocking so she suggested I do the variation of this pattern with smocking along the top of the skirt...great, I thought, I'll do both my dresses this way...mistake #1...although it didn't take long to smock either of these dresses, I didn't always make time to sit down and finish what I started. So I finished the skirt for my class project but when I started sewing the dress together I decided I had picked the wrong size and it would be another year before Ruth Ann wore this dress...mistake #2. I finished my class project with the expectation of a few finishing touches (hemming, sewing on buttons, sewing down the neck band) and also finished smocking the homework assignment...which actually was pointless since I really couldn't remember much of what I had done in together they sat in my sewing bag until one night when I decided to relocate my sewing stuff into a basket for class. I ran across my dress and thought I should try it on Ruth Ann and not just assume it would not fit her this year...and to my fit! This sent me into a slight panic because I had not made the first attempt at sewing the second dress and I couldn't waste perfectly good smocking and the fabric. Since completing our dress in class we're back to working on individual projects, so I have made completing the 2nd dress my class project. But today I sat down at my sewing machine to figure out how to hem this dress and then sat down and sewed on some buttons. You wouldn't think that in the grand scheme of sewing a dress together that these last steps would be too bad...but for some reason to me they are the steps a dread most...but I set out to finish this dress so Ruth Ann could wear it church's an early preview...


It's so cute and I'm so proud of myself...I'd be even more proud if I had made it all without any help, but Karen was there to guide me at each step of assembling this dress so much of the credit goes to her! It's really precious and I'm thinking I may try to make one each spring for Ruth Ann...but I'll need to get more efficient with assembly since this one has taken me 6 months to complete!

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Number 11 in the program, but Number 1 in our hearts...


We'll be wrapping up Spencer's freshman year of baseball in just a few short days so Ruth Ann and I headed out to the ball field to check out his team in action. I've attempted to take Ruth Ann to two other games, both of which we left very early...this time I was fully prepared...she napped until just before we walked out the door, I had her dinner prepared and packaged, I had plenty of juice and I had plenty of toys...but the key to the evening was bringing along her stroller to strap her in when she got too wild. We made it through the whole game, so the night was a success!

Even if we haven't made it through the games successfully...I still do a great job of making sure she's the cutest thing at the ball field...


Some bug bit her just above her top lip giving her the look of Cindy Crawford's famous beauty mark.

While we were there Ruth Ann flirted with her friend Jackson...


He's very cute and his dad is the varsity baseball I'm sure he'll be a ball player one day...and you know we have a soft spot for baseball players!

They played a little ball together themselves...


But Ruth Ann grew tired of waiting for Jackson to roll the ball so she took charge and decided she was ready to take her ball and go home!


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Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Next Thing On My List

Maybe you started to think of Toby Keith when you read the title of this post...but this is actually the first of 2 books I've been reading this month for the book club I've recently joined. The Next Thing On My List is a book written by Jill Smolinski. It's a quick read and if you've read any other "Chic Lit" it reads very much like Shopaholic Series, but it's based in Southern California so you don't have to worry about any London references'.

Before Ruth Ann was born I was always reading a good book, but since her arrival I haven't always found the time to read like I would like. After a little bit of discussiong, I joined a book club with my friend and co-worker, Laura, so I would have some accountability to sit down and read a little more often. I enjoyed this book so much that I decided to make it my Friday Favorite.

I've never been a member of book club before( and if you knew me in college you know I always like to be prepared for a test) so I went ahead and read some of the book club questions in the back of the book. What I'm going to say next doesn't spoil the book in anyway since most of it is on the back cover of the book anyway. The main character of the book, June, is the driver in a car accident where a virtual stranger, Marissa, June is giving a ride to is killed in said car accident. After the accident June finds in Marissa's belongings a list of things to do before she turns 25 and the whole book is about June accomplishing these tasks in Marissa's place. After reading the first few chapters I knew that discussing this book was going to be hard for me because all I kept thinking about was a life cut very short and that always makes me think of my little brother...Adam.

One of the questions they asked (and I'm glad I read ahead so I was prepared to not burst into tears) was that if you knew someone whose life was cut short, what do you think they would have put on their list...

This little girl is one of the two things that kept coming to my mind


When I think of Adam's List of things he would want to have done with his life I know these would have been things he would have included...

1) Teach Ada to fish
2) Teach Ada to hunt
3) Teach Ada to take care of live stock
4) Teach Ada to love the outdoors
5) Teach Ada to love her family

My brother and I were exact opposites in a lot of ways, so where he was a lover of the "out doors" (hunting, camping, fishing) I am a lover of the "in-doors" (blogging, shopping, sewing)...this will make items 1-4 a little difficult for me, but I'm always up for a challenge!

Throughout this book June is trying to cross off items from Marissa's list...on Adam's list I include a love for family because of the following...

I didn't begin labor water didn't break, I begged my doctor to induce me at 39 weeks following several long weeks of contractions and one over night stay in the hospital. I'm a bit of a planner (and if you know my in real life this is no surprise) so my doctor scheduled my induction for 12-01-08. At the time my brother was a stay-at-home dad so he planned to make the drive from the Upstate of SC to Columbia on the day Ruth Ann was born because he felt it was important for him to be there...who would have known how quickly Ruth Ann was going to arrive once things got start, but shortly after she was born Adam was there with Ada to meet his niece. As they were moving me from labor & delivery to recovery he said to me I was starting the greatest adventure of my life... and with that, those would be some of the last words he ever say to me because this would be one of the last time I would see him before we meet again in Heaven.


Looking at this picture gives me hope that I can tell Adam one day that Ada has had deep love for her family...can you see the sweet grin on her face in this picture? I've seen live and in person how much Ada loves Ruth Ann and one day when I see my little brother again I'll be able to tell him that even though I was never able to teach her how to cast a fly rod appropriately (by the way, I'll pay someone good money to teach her lesson's 1-4), he can rest assure that Ada loved her cousin Ruth Ann as much as she could have loved any sibling and this last picture is proof positive.

The anniversary of the day we said a temporary goodbye to Adam was in March. I don't want to commemorate that day in any way, but I do want to thank friends and family for their thoughts and prayers during this last year. I use to believe that the first year after a death was the hardest, but with the death of a young family member I've come to believe that there will be life time of events where you will continue to mourn their passing. I ask that you continue to keep my parents, my sweet sister-in-law and my niece in your thoughts and prayers...with every passing birthday and holiday my family is constantly aware of one person's absence and are also thankful for the promise that we will all be together again one day.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spring Pictures


Last year I spent a lot of time meeting with my favorite photographer, Heidi Graves. I wanted newborn pictures and 3, 6, 9 and 12 month pictures. With the passing of Ruth Ann's first birthday I knew I wouldn't be seeing as much of Heidi in 2010 as I did during 2009...but with the flowers blooming and spring in the air it meant it was time for BUNNY pictures with are my faves from our saturday at the horseshoe at USC...

(This is my top pick for a portrait to hang in our house)

There was some sweet lady-like behavior...and some not so lady-like behavior...


Ada was there too and this year she was the super star...she was 100% more cooperative than her cousin Ruth Ann...



Okay, if these next two don't melt your heart I'm afraid your heart may be made of stone...



Maybe it's just because I love both of the little girls to pieces...but these are just about the sweetest pictures I've ever seen!

Then we broke out the bunnies...



Thanks again Heidi for the GREAT pictures...she's very talented need to call her to have her photograph your little ones too!

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Ruth Ann LOVES Bubba

Many of you already know Bubba...aka, Spencer...he's my 15 year-old step-son and one of the people Ruth Ann loves more than anyone else in the world!


Spencer plays now any baseball player Ruth Ann sees is Bubba. We have some coasters in our house that are from Arch's single days that picture ancient baseball players...but when Ruth Ann looks at them she only sees Bubba.


For some reason Arch really doesn't want Ruth Ann to call Spencer "Bubba"...I think it sounds like someone needs to get in touch with his redneck roots! Anyway, we were all eating dinner and when Spencer got up from the table Ruth Ann pointed to him and said "Bubba". Arch corrected her and very slowly said "Spenc-er" which Ruth Ann responded "Bub-ba"...just as slowly and with just a little bit of sass! She reminds me daily that we are going to have our hands full in the years to come!

Here is Arch teaching Ruth Ann how to wear a glove...


And she's very proud of herself...


So she's showing Griffy how it's done...


We may have another little ball player on our hands...


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Friday, April 9, 2010

A little more hunting...

On Easter weekend we enjoyed Sunday service with my mom & Toni and then headed to my mom's house for a yummy Easter lunch. I was responsible for salad which I had planned on running home after church to grap and then head out the door to my mom' hour later than planned we were on our way. Meanwhile, at my mom's house, she was busy planting Easter eggs all over her front yard...some of which had candy that melts easily. The egg hunt was planned for after lunch so most of the chocolate treats had melted into a liquid is evident by Ada's face...


But that didn't stop these two from hunting those eggs anyway...



These two have very different hunting techniques...Ada gathers as many as she can and even raced her Uncle Arch around the yard to beat him to each egg. Ruth Ann on the other hand is a child after her own mother's heart...after discovering at The Brown's that Easter eggs held treats inside, she opened each and every egg she found to see what each held...



And even if the delicious treat fell to the ground, she used the 5 second (or 5 minute...who was really counting) rule to eat right off of Grammy's front yard...


M&M's are our potty treat, so she doesn't get them often...she wasn't letting a little dirt stand between her and a delicious M!

Then the hunt ended and Grammy got out her amazing bubble machine...only the amazing bubble machine had some less than amazing batteries, so it wasn't much of a hit today.


I'm told this was a big hit the last time she got it out for the girls...I'll have to wait until next time to see just how amazing it really is!

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A Southern's Favorites

It's Friday, so I'm back to play along with The Other Mama and post my Friday Favorite. For those of you who have happened upon my blog via TOM blog you already know that last week her fave was southern accents...a very cute post might I add & worth checking out for those of you who haven't visited her blog. I too am a proud Southern and started thinking about some of my favorite things that I classify as truly today, Ruth Ann and I visited the Governor's Mansion so I could share some of my Southern faves. Many of you both in and out of South Carolina know that our governor got himself into a little bit of hot water involving some less than moral extracurricular activities...even though Mrs. Governor no longer resides here, it's still a historic land mark for all South Carolinians and the grounds are beautiful...if you're ever in the area, stop by and explore a little!


The following picture has 4 of my 5 Southern Favorites. Let me say now, and I'll repeat it again as I explain my faves that these faves are by no means limited to the South...I just believe they are most likely found in higher quantity here than in any other region in the US...and it's my blog and I can say what I want!


So obviously the child in this picture is one of my favorite people in whole wide world, but let's look past the obvious and focus on some other things pictured...

1. Azaleas


Do these flowers bloom anywhere other than the South? To me it's officially Spring in the South when these flowers start to bloom. I find them to be the smartest of all flowers because somehow they know to bloom in time for The Master's making Augusta National the best looking course in the nation...again, my opinion, my blog. The sad reality to this flowering bush is that the blooms only stick around for about 2 weeks...unless you have the ones that bloom 3 times per year, but they just don't get as big and beautiful as the original.

2. Big Bows


In my head I'm singing "I like big bows and I can not lie, you other mothers can't deny..."...and now you're singing it too, right?! Anyway, obviously mothers put bows in their daughter's hair all over this great nation...but in the South...or at least at my house...the philosophy on bows is "The bigger the better!". I wasn't one of those mommas who wanted to wait until delivery to find out if I was having a boy or a girl. I actually convinced my doctor to give me an ultrasound at 16 weeks (instead of 20 weeks) to find out what I was having. And once I knew a baby girl was on her way I rushed out to buy clothes in every shade of pink, but I didn't buy a single bow. I was sure that if I bought a bow then I would have a child with no hair until she was 2 years old. So I waited and prayed Ruth Ann would have her daddy's beautiful thick, straight hair...and God answered my prayers. She was born with a head full of blond hair and some told me it would all fall out, but that didn't stop me from ordering bows from every ebay vendor I found. And then when Ruth Ann never lost any of her hair I began buying bigger and bigger bows...I just can't help myself...I'm Tara, and I'm addicted to a big bow.

3. Monograms


Again, I'm sure monograms are found all over the country, but I think it was Reese Witherspoon who once said "I'm Southern, I monogram everything." Yes Reese, I agree, we do like to monogram everything...but don't we all agree everything from bath towels, to luggage, to children's clothing looks better with a monogram??

4. Seersucker


Ben Matlock wore it best and he practiced in Atlanta, Ga so this confirms the fact that this fabric finds its roots firmly planted in the South. I L-O-V-E seersucker...and it helps that Ruth Ann looks her best in blue...which I believe to be seersucker's truest form (however, I love seersucker in every color of the rainbow). I'm sure others wear seersucker in every state, but only in the South do you find young and old alike sporting this fine fabric. I love putting Ruth Ann in seersucker but should the 3rd McCarty child (who is not on the horizon, so don't read too much into that statement) be a little boy you can bet money that he too will own a pair of seersucker pants every year that I'm responsible for clothing him...even if that means I have to sew them myself!

4. Southern Belles


I hope this little blond grows up to be a Southern Belle which is defined as the epitome of South Hospitality. I hope this little girl grows up to have the grace, charm and class of a true little Southern Lady.

My 5th fave is pictured too, but these pictures do it better justice...



In the South we call this outfit a "Bubble"'s obvious why, right? It bubbles out at the mid-section and at the legs...I L-O-V-E a bubble and I fear this may be the last summer Ruth Ann can wear a bubble and not look naked. Last year she spend the better part of the summer wearing smocked bubbles and I loved every minute of it! I'm going to miss these bubbles next summer!

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