Balsam Mountain Preserve

Hello friends!  We've just returned from an almost week-long trip to Balsam Mountain Preserve in North Carolina.  It was absolutely beautiful and about twenty degrees cooler than sweet home Alabama.  Add that to the good company of Bryant's family and you've got yourself a successful trip.   I got to see this precious face a lot and soak up some baby lovin'.
Although it was cooler than Alabama, it was still pretty hot.  The big boys spent a good bit of time playing golf and the girls and babies spent a fair amount of time at the pool.  They had the coolest baby pool with a waterfall, fountains, and best of all... a fence.  Miller loved it!
He also loved the big pool.  It is crazy to see the difference in how he acts around water since our beach trip just a few months ago.  He had so much fun playing with "Stott" and "Tate".
 When we were at the pool he looked like this a lot of the time:

Sweet Scott and Daddy got a good workout and must have thrown Miller a thousand times.  As soon as he came up for air he'd shout, "More!"

This little cutie spent a little time in the pool, but preferred the shade.
 Miller tried out Daddy's lollipop...
 and we think he liked it a little :)
After playing so hard in the pool, Miller tried out this new thing called "resting" and "cuddling" while he dried off and warmed up.  I enjoyed it thoroughly.
 Our attempt at a family pic.  Apparently I need to work on my posture.
 These two got along great...

 It was all fun and games until Malley went for Miller's sippy cup.  He wasn't too sure about that one.
He forgave her by the next morning though and decided to teach her about the "stars", "cow", and "moon" on her blanket.  Malley kindly shared her car in return.
The house that we stayed in had an unbelievable porch with comfy chairs, a beautiful fireplace, and a gorgeous view.  We spent a majority of the trip out there reading, drinking coffee, talking, making s'mores, and building "bidges".
Frank, Bryant and I hiked to the highest point in the preserve one day.  It was a pretty intense hike, but the view was well worth it.
Miller was a little whacked out sleep-wise on this trip, waking up two nights in the middle of the night and getting up uncharacteristically early.  The last day we were there he decided not to nap at all.  After two hours of playing in his pack n' play, I gave up.  When I brought him outside, he climbed straight in Nana's lap and fell right to sleep.  I don't think you understand how bizarre this is.  This child has only let someone rock him to sleep a handful of times and he NEVER falls asleep outside or out of a dark, quiet room for that matter.  He slept for an hour and I'm not sure who was happier, him or Nana.  {I was pretty happy too since I wasn't looking forward to taking a tired toddler out to eat.}

If he hadn't have had that nap, Mama might not have been able to enjoy this...

I think I earned it after that hike.  At least that's what I'm telling myself.

Thanks for another wonderful trip Papa and Nana!  We had a great time and appreciate it so much!


Big Kid

Look at this kid eating big boy snacks...
 watering flowers the driveway by himself...
and eating his corn right off the cob.
I think my baby is no longer a baby :(


Ty & Mia

We just returned from a visit to Pop & Gran's house where we got to see these cuties...

Mia {or "Mimi" as Miller called her}

Ty & Mia are my step-brother, Jay's, twins.  They made the long journey up from Sarasota and we're always so glad to see them.  Here's a pic of Jay & Ty.  They don't look a thing alike do they?
The kids played so well together and were on a very similar schedule this year which made it easier.
 We spent a lot of time on the boat and all of the little sailors got to drive.
 This trip, Miller got brave and decided to jump off of the boat to Pop a few times.
Then Miller & Ty scoped out Chimney Rock.  Miller said, "Jump" a few times, but Mama wasn't down with that.  Maybe in a few years.  Maybe.
 This was the closest thing to a family pic we could get while we were there.
 We also tried to reenact the pic Gran was so lucky to get.  Fail.
 Pop did get a few cuddles though.
All of the kiddos said their goodbyes last night since the Alexander clan was getting up at 5:30 to head back to Florida.  They were so sweet to share a few hugs and kisses with each other.
 Aunt Amy and Miller
They've all grown so much since our visit last year!

It was so fun to see you Jay, Amy, Ty, and "Mimi"!  We can't wait to see you next summer!


Confesssions of a Hypocritical Mother

Dear Miller,
This is what I had for lunch today after feeding you milk, chicken, carrots, and potatoes:
Oh, and I also ate it in the den on the couch.

I will however partially blame your 20 minute screaming tantrum for the junk fest.  I'm not sure where it came from and I don't think you know either.  After almost hyperventilating from crying so hard, you suddenly laughed, looked at me, and said, "What was that?"  Good question, buddy.

You are currently still awake even though you've been in your bed for almost thirty minutes.  I promise that if you don't go to sleep we'll both have a tantrum like that this afternoon.  And I'll probably be forced to eat another cupcake without you.

Your hypocritical mother


Malley's Baptism

We got to watch this little cutie get baptized Sunday...
We went to Tuscaloosa for the whole weekend, so we had lots of opportunities to play with Malley Girl.  Miller even shared a sticker or two with her. 
And a kiss or two.
Malley did great on her big day!  She was so sweet the whole time Reverand Cain talked and only cried a little bit when he actually baptized her. 
 Malley and Nana
Reverend Cain talked about how "Malley" means "sweet as honey" and "Frances" means "free".  He incorporated Psalm 119:103 which says, "How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"  and the freedom we find through Christ's grace.  I had no idea her name meant so much and it was such a beautiful, personal message.
 The big moment...
 She recovered quickly and snacked on her fingers a bit.
 Here's a shot of most of the family right after the service:
 And our attempt at a picture including Miller since he was in the nursery.
Afterward, we went to Kate & Scott's house for a delicious lunch.  I didn't get any pictures there, but  you can take my word that everything was beautiful and oh so yummy!

Malley Girl, we're so honored and happy that we got to be a part of such a monumental day in your life.  We meant what we said when we promised to support your mommy and daddy in bringing you up to know Jesus as your Savior.  We pray for you every night and can't wait to see the little lady you become.  We love you!