Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A view from the bridge

This is what we saw this weekend as we drove over the intracoastal waterway. I thought it looked like the beginnings of a water spout or tornado. It dissipated by the time we made it to the end of the bridge.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Zoo today...

school tomorrow.

Kaylie didn't have school today due to a teacher planning day. So, we took advantage of this beautiful day and went to the zoo with some friends.

Madeline loved the elephants. They were more active today than they normally are.



Sunday, October 24, 2010

I love these girls

...my two sweet niece's.

Alyssa just got new glasses. I think she is the most adorable thing I have ever seen. Makes me want a pair! She's a beautiful girl and a very gifted dancer.


And this little one, is the sweetest of sweets. Miranda is as pretty on the inside as she is on the outside. And, she can sing a mean version of Taylor Swifts "Crazier".


I love you, niecie girls!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pumpkins baby

Yes, this is my belly... a little over two years ago when I was preggers with Madeline.
If I remember correctly, Kaylie spent the day with her grandparents and I got bored :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

High Heel Shoe Party

Madeline had a shoe themed birthday party because, well, she loves shoes. If there is a pair left lying around, she is going to try them on.

She had a high heel shoe cake.


High heel shoe cookies from Cinotti's bakery.


I think she likes ice cream as much as she likes shoes.


She ended the afternoon by kicking off her shoes and playing in her sandbox.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Madeline

Two years ago today, your daddy and I just barely made it to the hospital for your birth. Things were fast, furious, and painful. Three pushes and you were born at 7:14AM on October 20, 2008. You were born weighing 9 pounds 5 ounces and 20 inches long. The world seemed to stop for a few seconds after your birth. You were so beautiful and looked so small. As the nurse laid you on my chest, our eyes locked. You knew I was your mommy. I had prayed for you and that moment, the moment I met you, was glorious. It’s impossible to put into words.

As I sit here now, I think how fast these two years have gone by, how I wish I could somehow slow down time. In some strange way I’m sad and excited all at the same time. Sad that you are no longer a “baby”, sad that I blinked and two years have gone by. But, I’m also excited, excited about what your future holds, excited for you to take dance classes, excited for you to have conversations with me and share secrets your sister. I’m excited that one day you will be able to read my words to you. I hope that you will have a glimpse of what your beginning was. How filled with love I am for you, your sister, and your daddy; a deep complicated affection that makes me swell with emotion and tears as I write this, at 12:53 in the afternoon, as you’re napping in your pink and brown nursery.

You are the most wonderful and fun little girl. You’re so strong, and so smart. You’re a tough little thing, sometimes dramatic, and so so funny. Without your knowledge, I sit and watch you as you play. You amaze me. You’re so sweet and soft with your babies. You kiss on them and take care of them with such tenderness, a tenderness that sustains me. You make me laugh. You’re so dramatic and your expressions are hysterical. You have a feisty side and can definitely stand your ground. You let us all know when you’ve been wronged or are frustrated. You love your sister. She is the first person you look for when you wake in the morning. You run to her and hug her when we pick her up from school. You imitate everything she does. You’re a daddy’s girl, which is new to me because Kayie is a mama’s girl, but I love it. I love how you get excited and run to him when he comes home. I love that you ask him, and not me, to change your dirty diaper. I love that he will teach you what kind of a man to marry, a man just like him.

For the past week you have let me rock you to sleep, something you normally won’t let me do. I would like to think that somehow you know. Know that I need to stare at you as you sleep in my arms and try my best to memorize every little facet of your face, and hands, and feet. I need to soak in these last days of having a beautiful, sweet one year old baby. I hope, my sweet little girl, that you can somehow understand how profound, fierce, and altruistic my love for you is. Always remember that no matter how much you grow, you will always be my baby.

Happy 2nd birthday sweet Madeline Grace!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Missing You

Today would be your 56th birthday. I was looking through a small box of old photo's and came across this picture of you, holding me. It was taken over 30 years ago. You look so lovely.


I told Kaylie, this morning, that today is your birthday. She said, "Awww, we should sing Happy Birthday, so we did. As we sang, I wondered if you were watching from Heaven.

I'm missing you today...
and everyday...
Happy Birthday Mama

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Crazy Hat Night

Kaylie won a prize for best crazy hat in her class at AWANA's.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Kaylie girl

Yesterday, you turned six.

You started kindergarten one month ago and still are uneasy about being away from me for that many hours during the day.

You want to be a veterinarian when you grow up. Over the past three months it has changed from an ice skater, to a singer, to a veterinarian. I tell you that you can be all three.

You “race” your daddy to your bed every night and somehow you always win.

You love, love, love going to your dance classes.

You don’t like to clean your room.

You do like to help me cook dinner.

When we pray you always ask God to say hi to Nana, give her a hug, and tell her we miss her.

Your favorite new toy is your "As Seen On TV" purple unicorn Pillow Pet.

I’m amazed at how easily you memorize your bible verses for church.

We turn on music and you dance with your sister every night.

Hannah is your best friend forever.

At your birthday party you introduced all of your friends to each other without being asked.

Your favorite book is a toss up between “Pinkalicious” and “Purplicious”.

Your hair is still wavy, but it seems that your most recent hair cut took the last of your baby curls.

You miss all your friends from pre-school, but especially Taylor.

You recently won a “good sportsmanship” award for modeling exemplary sportsmanship at Awana’s. The same night you won a prize for “best listener”.

You love to help others.

You love to stop by the pet store and play with the puppies.

You are cherished by your mama and daddy, and are more precious to us than you will ever know. Happy 6th Birthday sweet Kaylie girl.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Terrific daddy to our babies.
Ten Year Wedding Anniversary.
still in love
wtih him...


for him,
for all this,
and for
so much more!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Three down...

One loose tooth to go.


Would you believe...
She pulled it herself?!

Friday, May 28, 2010

My girl graduated...

from Pre-K that is. I couldn't help but tear up as the principal gave the opening address. I can't believe how grown up my baby girl is. She's a beauty. Inside and out!


By the way, she no longer wants to be a singer. Now, she wants to be an ice skater.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Have you ever made a wish on a dandelion?


Her: Mommy, guess what I wished for?
Me: Oh, I don't know. A new pair of shoes?
Her: No.
Me: A new dress?
Her: No.
Me: A new toy?
Her: No...you give up?
Me: Yup.
Her: My Nana.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Round and round she goes

Here is a picture of my
riding the carousel.


and here is a picture of the same
trying to tear my hand
off of her back
because she thinks she is a
big girl
and can ride the carousel all by herself.


Saturday, January 23, 2010


Last week it snowed in our little part of sunny Florida! Okay, okay, by "it snowed" what I really mean is the "ice man", as the kids like to call him, came to Kaylie's pre-school and showered them with snow, err make that ice.


Ice that, if it hit you in the head, would probably leave a dent!


My little native Floridian tried to make a snow angel.


Poor baby. I guess I never taught her that one should lay on their back when making a snow angel. Oh well, she had fun anyway.


They had a snow ball, I mean "foam ball", fight. Really, a "snow/ice" ball, made from that "snow/ice", would have left a serious dent, caused bleeding, or caused any number of other injuries.


Then they went on a horse drawn carriage ride through the snow, err, through the parking lot.


Finally, they came inside, from the freezing cold, mid 60 degree weather, {Grin} for hot chocolate. It was a fantastic snow day!!!


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It's been a year

It’s been one year to the day since I received that horrid early morning phone call. It was my dad calling; only I didn’t recognize his voice through the sobbing. The first words out of my mouth were, “Who is this?” I didn’t know who it was, but I knew something was very wrong with the caller on the other end of the line. My dad, still sobbing, answered, “It’s me, dad”, followed by a pause that seemed to last an eternity, the kind of pause where a thousand thoughts run through your mind, and you are not certain that you want to hear what is about to come next. Barely able to speak the words, he said, “Your mom died this morning”. Gasp, my heart sank deeper than I ever thought it could. My first words were, “I knew it, I knew it, I knew it”, but I’ll get to that in a moment.

Thoughts, so many thoughts flooded my mind. My beautiful mom, who doesn't look anywhere near her fifty-four years of age, who works out at the gym three times a week, my mom who is so full of life, is dead? My knees felt weak. Then I asked, “Where is she”, was she on the bed, on the floor, in the hospital? I wanted to know where my mom’s lifeless body laid. I’m not sure why. “Who’s with you”, I asked. More thoughts. Is my dad by himself? Are the police there, or the paramedics? What I am going to do without a mom? I have a brand new baby. What will my dad do? She’s supposed to come over to the house to eat chili, and visit with us today. I still need my mom. Has my little sister been told? Another thousand thoughts ran through my head in just a matter of seconds.

Then possibly, the worst thought of all came to my mind, and I say to my dad, “The girls, oh, the girls, what are we going to tell the girls”? Madeline was only two months old at the time. Kaylie was four and Alyssa, my niece, was six. They loved their Nana. They adored her and she adored them. It broke my heart to have to tell them of the news.

We didn’t tell Kaylie until later that day. I had prepared myself that she may not understand, that when I told her that her Nana had died and gone to heaven that she may say, “okay”, and “can I play now”. I have to say that I was surprised when she started sobbing, and said, “I don’t want Nana to die”. She understood. She understood. She asked Mike and me question after question. Questions we were not prepared for. Questions that we were surprised a child of four years and three months could come up with. All three of us sat on the couch and cried. The first person she wanted to see and talk to was Alyssa. We returned later that night to my parents’ home. This time Kaylie was with us. There were a lot of friends and family at the house. As we walked through the front door Kaylie locked eyes on Alyssa, and she made a beeline for her. First, she asked Alyssa if she knew that Nana died, and then do you know what that sweet baby said to her? She said, “It will be alright because we are going to take care of each other”. I always say Kaylie is a little mommy because she likes to help and take care of others. This is the legacy that my mom is leaving. She reminds me of my mom in that way. My mom always had such a compassion for others, especially children.

At some point in that early morning call with my dad, I asked what happened, but I didn’t have to. I knew that she must have slipped into heaven while she was sleeping. You see, my mom hadn’t been feeling well off, and on for over a year. Mainly it was horrible headaches she was having during the night, but she also was having shortness of breath. When she felt good, it was good, and I could barely keep up with her while shopping at the mall. When she felt bad, it was bad and she couldn’t walk from the car to the house without being winded. I had witnessed bad. She stayed with us for a few days, after Madeline’s birth, to help out. I would wake up often with the baby in the middle of the night, and she would be sitting in the recliner, next on the couch, then the bed. It was awful. She couldn’t breathe, and she couldn’t get comfortable. I thought to myself, she is dying. I wish I would have taken that fleeting thought more seriously. She went to the doctor that same week and was prescribed a steroid. The medication helped tremendously She was like a new person. She felt great, and I thought all was well.

She had been to the doctor many times that year, and at some point was diagnosed with COPD. The doctor assured her that he could manage her illness, and that she didn’t need to see a specialist. You have to understand how pretty and young for her age she looked. How put together she always seemed, even when she felt miserable. I don’t think her doctor believed how sick she was. She would verbally tell him how crippled with migraines she was, but I don’t think her appearance matched with what she was saying. We still aren’t certain what she died from. She had expressed to us, long ago, that she didn’t ever want to have an autopsy. So, hard as it is, we honored her wishes. The cause of death listed on her death certificate is COPD. I honestly don’t believe that is what she died from, but we will never know, and the bottom line is that, it doesn’t matter. It’s not going to bring her back.

That day, the day I received that phone call, was the worst day of my life. I can’t believe it’s been a year. It seems like just yesterday. The pain of losing her is still so fresh, so raw. I find it odd that I am still in shock that she is gone. I often wonder when the shock will wear off. Two years, maybe three? It must go away eventually. My mom’s death, and the disbelief that she is gone, is still the first thought I have when I wake up, and the last thought I have as I drift off to sleep. The thought of living the rest of my life without my mom completely overwhelms me. I can’t allow myself to think on it long. It’s a terrifying thought that I can’t wrap my head around. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t consume my thoughts throughout the day, but it is the first and last thing I think about in those quiet late night, and early morning hours.

I love and miss my mom so much, and may blog about her from time to time this week. I could list all of the ways that I miss her but, I think I’ll save that for another day.

Katie Madeline O'Steen
October 19, 1954 - January 19, 2009


Sunday, January 17, 2010

She lost a tooth!

Actually...daddy pulled it!!!


She loves admiring her new toothless grin in the mirror!


Aren't her little chubby fingers adorable.


Sure hope the tooth fairy stops at our house tonight. I wonder what the going rate is?


Monday, January 11, 2010

I Heart Faces

Here is my entry for this weeks I Heart Faces challenge. This picture was taken a couple of days before Christmas. For those of you who follow my blog, no, you are not having deja vu. I have posted this picture recently. I added some texture, it's the first time I have ever done that, and sharpened the image for my entry.
Make sure to check out the other "faces" at