29 April 2009

Good morning, friends and welcome to Way Back Whensday - my own little blog carnival where we dig through old photo albums and such to share fond memories, regrettable fashions and the glories of our pre-baby lives with our our bloggy friends! Join me, will you?

This week's topic - Senior Pictures!

I graduated from high school in 2001 - that'd be eight years ago next month. I thought that probably my senior pictures wouldn't be too shocking since they weren't waaaay back, but I was wrong. I can't believe how much younger I look - and honestly, how not-together I look. Ha!

Hang tight to the end of this post and you'll be glad you did - as I dug through my senior pictures I cam across a real gem! We're talking blackmail worthy! Why am I sharing it with you all? Because that's what Way Back Whensday is all about!

Raechel Pennington, age 18 :)

(are you noticing a theme among these photos - I can't manage to keep my eyes open when I smile - I'm just that happy to be 18!)



And now, for that gem I promised you all. I honestly don't even know what to say in my defense. All I can remember is that there was an American flag and a ladder at the studio, we'd groomed and brought our miniature schnauzer just in case, and I evidently bought a pair of pasjama pants that I thought passed as cool summer lounge gear or something. So, all of that put together, and voila! we have this:



Can I get this in wallet-size to share with my friends??


And now that I have made it clear what a way-cool cat I am, I can't wait to see what y'all have in your archives! Go ahead - dig through your memory books and share your senior pictures with us! Share the graduation year too if you like! Once you've posted, come back here and link up with Mister Linky so we can all enjoy your senior moments! Don't forget to link back to this post on your blog so that folks can find the source of all the Way Back Whensday fun!





Get ready for next "Whensday" now! In celebration of the coming summer months, next week's theme will be "A Day at the Beach". Do you have pictures from your very first visit to the beach? Did you grow up near the beach? Did you only ever visit swimming pools? These photos can span all of childhood. So, whether you were two or twelve, share you best (and worst!) photos of being a little fishy!

Happy "Whensday", friends!

27 April 2009

After church yesterday we couldn't resist spending just a bit more time at the Main Street Festival (since it was literally right in front of our church). It was a cooler day (only low 80s), so we were able to take the time to peruse some of the street vendors a bit more comfortably.

After making a few happy purchases, we headed to the Hensley's house for a big church picnic. Yummy food, great fellowship, you get the picture. It was amazing to see the difference in Oliver from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 as he his not much more enjoyable at events such as this. Last year we were following him around, making sure he didn't fall or eat grass, and this year, we were able to sit and enjoy our picnic lunch with our friends while he wandered around the property playing with his. So much more relaxed!

After the picnic and a failed nap attempt, we headed to my Mom's new place for a dinner. (Have I mentioned that my Grandma - Oliver's Great Grandma - is staying with my Mom in town for a couple of weeks? It's fun for the kids to get to know her.) So, we decided that each family should make a pizza from scratch, then bring it to Mom's for baking and judging. It was great, tasty fun and, in case you were wondering, we took second. :)

After supper and such, Oliver and Beatrice discovered the new lounge chairs on Mom's back patio and set about enjoying them as 2-year-olds should.

And that, friends, was concluded our intensely busy weekend. (If you follow me on Twitter, you already know that I managed to sleep in past 10:30 this morning out of sheer exhaustion from our fun fun fun! I feel better now!)
_________________________________

And now, for a matter of business completely unrelated to Oliver's handsome Kanye West-style sunglasses (borrowed from Bea, actually).

I am officially giving you two days notice for this week's Way Back Whensday! In the future I'm planning to announce the following week's theme in the current week's post. 'Cause I'm organized like that. But, for this week, the theme will be: Senior Pictures!

I just can't wait to see what y'all come up with. So, fire up those scanners and get ready for some good way-backs! Who knows, maybe this week will be the most participation yet! :)

25 April 2009

It was a busy Saturday for the Myers family! I'd love to tell you all about it, but I think it would be more fun to show you all about it!

The morning started with a bit of garage saleing for me and "putts-ing" in the garage for the boys. When I got home, I worked to assemble my newest treasure: a bike seat for Oliver for the front of my bike. (Really cool - and way cuddly to ride with your little peanut in front of you! Plus, we can talk while we ride, which is also cuddly!) I paid $8 for the bike seat in an unopened box - it retails for $60! Woot!

By late morning we all hopped on our bikes and headed downtown for the annual Main Street Festival.

Here are the boys upon arrival.

After checking out all the food options, we finally settled on some good, southern barbecue, the biggest corndog I've ever seen, and the kind of fries you only get at street fairs like this. Y-U-M!

An old couple passing by said we needed a photo of our little family sitting on the sidewalk eating our lunch. I asked them to put their money where their mouth was and handed them our camera. After a few "now-which-button-do-I-push?" moments, we came out with this. Thanks, cute old couple!

Oh, and then we saw a pug in a hiking backpack.

More Main Street fun meant we needed to hydrate! So, we stopped at our favorite snow cone stand and went to town!

After lots of sun, sugar and so much more, it was clearly time to hop on our bikes to head home for the little one to nap. Do you see how cute it is to ride with your man-cab in the front?

While Oliver napped, we worked in the landscaping. I've never enjoyed working in the yard as much as I have this spring. There's my salvia and my Scout.

Once Oliver woke up from his rest, we headed to the Matheny's to celebrate Will's 50th birthday. Phenomenal grilled hot dogs and brats were served - and how could we expect anything less than phenomenal from our ultra-culinary friends?

The party got going and basically, a whole lot of this happened:

...and, a little bit of this as well.

Now, if you follow me on Twitter, you'll be expecting me to say that the next part of our day involved Oliver and Ryan rushing home to set up tents and a campfire in the backyard for a mini father-son camping trip. That was the plan, anyway. But, after the cycling and the slushy eating and the chicken chasing (at the Matheny's), by the time we got home, we turned around to see this in the back seat:
Oh well, maybe next Saturday. :)

22 April 2009

I hate to post this right on top of my last post (worth reading!!), but here it is Wednesday and I can't stop the beat!

This week we're sharing photos of ourselves as babies! Feel free to share photos of your husbands as babies as well - maybe compare them to your kids' baby photos.

This week, I've got just three photos to share. I'm sure you'll all agree that these explain Oliver and Evie's hair color (though Ry was quite the towhead as well). And, in case you've never noticed before, yes, I have huge lips. Enjoy!

6 Months Old


12 months old with my cousin Lee (9 months old). He and I were like Bea and Oliver. And, yes, I look like a boy. I assure you, that's a baby girl there on the left. Why my mother dressed me in a blue whale outfit I'll never know. But, we matched and I guess that's what matters.

Alright, friends. Time to link-a-roo! You know the drill: post Way Back Whensday pictures on your blog (they don't HAVE to be baby photos, any way-back photos will do), then use Mr. Linky to put a link to your blog right here so lots of people can come and see what you have to show. (And, by "lots of people", I mean Christine and Tracy and maybe a few others...) :)



Happy Wednesday! Don't forget to read the post beneath this one too! (I wish I could make a little arrow with my letters, but that is just beyond me!)

21 April 2009

Baby Stellan is, as I type, undergoing heart surgery in Boston. You can read the details of his story on his (Mck)Mama's blog. Pray for this little guy and his family this morning - and wear orange like Oliver!

20 April 2009

This weekend we had a great big garage sale at our house to raise money for plane tickets to Africa.

That's right, folks. We're getting very close! The Faires family is actually (as of Thursday afternoon) 5th on the list for referrals! We could, theoretically, see photos of two baby boys any day! Nearly all of the money has been raised from various efforts, and we managed to add another $400 toward airfare this weekend. Lots of people donated lots of stuff and we had a great time in the sunshine!


Scout's approval rating also went up as she was on her best behavior with all the strangers in her yard saying what a pretty dog she is. I like to think she boosted sales!

Oliver found Ry's old hockey helmet and had a hard time parting himself from it for the rest of the afternoon. It prooved to be tricky, though, to get your cheese and pretzels to your mouth through the cage.

O also found a pair of random (and way too big!) tennis shoes that (he felt) complemented the helmet beautifully.

On Sunday we had a quiet afternoon to ourselves. After Oliver woke up from his nap we grilled a pork tenderloin and played on the patio. The summer sun always makes his hair whiter and his head tanner - a handsome combination!

Oliver looks skeptical of my new herbs.

That's all I've got today. Happy Monday, friends! And, don't forget, Way Back Whensday is only two days away; let's go waaay back to photos of ourselves as babies! I'll put up a Mr. Linky, so don't leave me hanging!

15 April 2009

**Updated!**

I finally got the new scanner figured out (mostly) and have a few pictures to post. I wish these were straight off the disc, because scanned images just don't look as nice as the actual, digital images. I love these just the same and I'm glad to share them before the clock strikes midnight!


We got married in my Aunt and Uncle's yard. This photo looks posed, but it really wasn't. I was in the great room on the second floor, overlooking the gazebo and chairs as the guest started to arrive. I remember my heart skipping a beat when I caught a glimpse of Ryan out there. I couldn't believe I was going to get to marry him!

Starting my (long) march down to the ceremony and down the aisle. My step-dad and Ryan's cousin played "To God Be the Glory" on their trumpets as I walked (The version that goes "With his power he has raised me, with his blood He has saved me...", not the other one).

The whole wedding party!
You can see Christine in there (third from the left) and Rebecca to the right of her.

One of my favorite photos from the day.
It's right after the recessional and we are just beaming. We were so stoked to be married!

Another favorite from the day. This was a major zoom shot - we were standing on the third story balcony.

Okay, more kissing.
I love this guy! I would marry him a million more times!

**Original post follows:**

Good morning, friends!

You know that recurring dream you have for years after you graduate from college - the one where you get several weeks into the semester before you realize you'd signed up for another class and completely forgotten to attend (actually happened to me sophomore year!) or you manage to show up to class but without any knowledge that you have a big project due that day? I STILL have these dreams - had one this week in fact. I hate not being prepared!

Well, this morning is sort of like that. Here it is, "Way Back Whensday", and I'm without my photos! How embarrassing! In my defense, we have a new scanner ordered and scheduled to arrive on our doorstep sometime late morning, so I WILL have photos, just not for several more hours.

This doesn't mean that those of you who ARE prepared for "Way Back Wednesday" should wait, though. This week is all about our weddings! I'd LOVE to see pictures from your weddings! Do you have any on your computers, or will you have to scan as well?

This week, if you'd like to participate, please share photos of you with your beloved with us! And, tell us how long you've been married and one particularly fabulous memory about the day.

I will do my best to update with photos of my own later in the day. In the meantime, let's see who of you has photos to share!



12 April 2009

Enjoy some photos from our beautiful Easter Sunday afternoon!

Oliver and Bea hunting eggs.

She is so beautiful!


Turns out looking for plastic eggs is a real hit with two-year-olds!

Quick potty break...

Resume play.


I like this one.
Me with my favorite guy.

Christ is risen, friends! He is risen, indeed!

09 April 2009

Alright, y'all.


It's late at night and I've been back and forth about sharing this all day. But I really feel like, as personal as it is, as much as I feel like this is my story and my baby, it's God's story and He is writing it so beautifully in our lives. We don't know how or where this story will end, but we know that when God is the Author of our lives, there's nothing we need to hide. I am sharing with you all a very precious part of my life with you tonight.

One year ago today I gave birth to a baby girl. (I know this because there are honestly days where I think to myself in a panic - "I gave birth to a baby girl three months ago- where is she??" or I'll wake up from a dead sleep panicking because I'm sure she's still alive and I forgot to bring her home from the hospital.)

She was already in Heaven when she was born.

This is hard for me to wrap my mind around compeltely. I honestly wonder in a non-sentimental but practical sense whether she watched from Heaven as her Mom and Dad held her still little body in the hospital that day.

I wonder what she knows about us. The sentimental side of me wants her to know how much we loved her - how we praised God for every day He blessed us with her. How I'm actually a pretty fun, albeit far-from-perfect Mom.

Evie, I want you to know that no one is better than your Daddy at bedtimes - he'll sit with you forever and stroke your forehead or rub your back until you fall asleep. He'll even sing the Doxology for you 10 times in a row if you ask him. He's also really good at lining up cars and building tall towers, and I'd bet he'd even be willing to learn to play dolls with you if you asked him to. Your big brother is a wild man but has a special, protective place in his heart for the little girls in his life. He would have given you a hard time, be sure of it, but he would have protected you fiercely if anyone ever gave you trouble.

I sure do miss her today.

And, I wish we had a little cupcake with a candle in it today. But that's a different (much less lovely) post all together.

Hm. How do I transition from that to this?

In this video are the photos of my labor and the two hours we spent with little Evie Grace.

I've mentioned her many times before as our photographer but also as a now dear family friend: Claire Wise is a Nashville area photographer that volunteers for an organization called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. She spent two of the hardest days of our lives with us, and the beautiful thing, is that we hardly noticed she was there. These photos are what I would grab if our house was on fire (assuming that Ryan and Oliver are already safe!) - they are our proof that Evie was here. They are our memories of her. They are so personal, so beautiful, so honest, and most of all, evidence of God's presence bringing peace into that place. We did not do this on our own.

About 3 minutes into the video is when it was time for me to deliver Evie. You'll see my family gathered around me, Ryan leading us in a prayer for grace and strength. That was a weighty moment. One that I had not fully prepared myself for. When I gave birth to Oliver, pushing him out meant "hello". It meant that I would finally meet my baby and begin a life as this child's mother. Delivering Evie meant "goodbye". She was leaving me. The Lord was good to us in that moment. He gave me the strength to do what I honestly didn't think I could.

I want to prepare you that this video may be difficult to watch. Don't feel badly if you choose not to watch it. I just want to make it available to anyone for whom it may be helpful. You'll notice that Evie had some deformities. Her ear was low and underdeveloped. He little leg was turned. These were not surprises to us. We love these things as a part of how God made her. She was so, so beautiful to us. She had my mouth - my big lips. And, in a few shots you'll notice her white swirly crown of hair - just like Oliver had. She was ours.

This video is a part of our testimony. We share it with you today, not only in remembrance of our baby girl, but in gratitude to our Father in Heaven for his tender mercies to our family - for his faithfulness to us in this year. We serve an amazing God. Nothing surprises Him. He is a masterful Creator. He does not make mistakes.

Join us, as you watch this video, in worshiping the Creator of Life, the Great Physician, the Comforter who reminds us this Easter weekend that death is not the end! He has risen - and in Him, we too can live forever!

(If your computer can handle it, you may want to click to view this full screen.
Otherwise, I'm afraid it may be difficult to read some of the text.)

08 April 2009

Welcome to Way Back Whensday!, my own little blog carnival where we dig through old photo albums and such to share fond memories, regrettable fashions and the glories about our pre-baby lives with all our bloggy friends! Join me, will you?


This week's topic - Hair Worth Remembering (or forgetting!).

Allow me to get things started:

This is me in 5th grade. I know, impressive! And, to think, I actualy spent time that morning with a curling iron and hairspray, took a final look and satisfied thought to myself, "Yes, this is how I want to be remembered. Looks good!"
Four years later, here I am in 9th grade. LOTS of hair (which I PAINSTAKINGLY straightened then curled), and as you can see (or, not see) a new set of braces. Did I actually think smiling with my mouth closed was a clever disguise?
Okay, here I am in the summer of 2005. It was about a month before my first pregnancy. So, the hairstyle isn't cute, I get that, but can we talk about all the tight curls and how my babies have sucked the curls right out of me?
I've save the best for last. Here I am with my dear (and hopefully forgiving??) sister in 3rd grade. I don't know who did this to me, but at least I can say that I am not responsible for this one!

Now that everyone's clear on how totally awesome I am, we can move on to the fun of linking up to all of yall's awesomeness! Cross your fingers with me that this works!



07 April 2009

After the Christmas Eve service at our little Parish this year Ryan and I asked Pastor Grant a question that had been burning in our minds the past several days. Does Heaven observe Christmas with us? - is there a celebration there even grander than our celebrations here? After all, it is CHRISTMAS!


You see, as excited as we were about Christmas and the fulfilled promise of the coming Messiah, we had Evie on our minds. We needed to know what Christmas would be like for our little girl in Heaven, since we wouldn't have her here with us.

I love and will never forget his response.

He reminded us, as we knew, that Heaven is not bound by or connected with Earthly time. It is eternity (something so much bigger than my mind can grasp!). Yes, the angels in heaven celebrate when a lost sinner repents (Luke 15), but from what we know, Heaven does not celebrate by man's dates and calendars the way we do.

Instead, we can think of C.S. Lewis' description of Narnia in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. In Narnia, it was always winter, but never Christmas.

We can think of Heaven instead, as always Christmas and never winter.

Every day in Heaven is a celebration of God's fulfilled promises. Every day in Heaven is a day to sing "Joy to the World!" Every day is Christmas!

___________________________________

Today marks one year since Evie left this poor, fallen world for the splendor of Heaven. She slipped quietly, almost completely unnoticed from this world. It was our great loss, but Evie's immeasurable gain.

From his deathbed, D.L. Moody said, "Soon you will read in the newspaper that I am dead. Don't believe it for a moment. I will be more alive than ever before... Earth recedes... Heaven opens before me!"

Evie is more alive now than she ever was or could have been here on Earth. While I wish we had our little girl with her Mama's lips, her brother's white hair and her Daddy's big blue eyes today, I know there's nothing we could offer her here that could compare with the splendor of being in the presence of her Jesus. Evie won the prize - she got to skip right to the good part! And, we celebrate that with her today.

Evie's life and homegoing has taught us to be far less bolted to this earth. We are looking forward with eager anticipation to the day when we can join Evie in the presence of the Lamb.

___________________

"Let us greet the day which assigns each of us to his own home, which snatches us from this place and sets us free from the snares of the world, and restores us to paradise and the kingdom. Anyone who has been in foreign lands longs to return to his own native land... We regard paradise as our native land."
- Cyprian

"When I heard that I was in the wrong place... my soul sang for joy, like a bird in spring. I knew now... why I could feel homesick at home."
- G.K. Chesterton

"In the truest sense, Christian pilgrims have the best of both worlds. We have joy whenever this world reminds us of the next, and we take solace whenever it does not."
-C.S. Lewis

06 April 2009

So, I visited Christine's blog this morning to see how her contact solution stash was holding up (you can imagine my relief when I found the answer!) and noticed she had a cool bookshelf widget on her sidebar. And, since I like to be like Christine and have cool widgets, you'll see I've added one of my own.


On the second page of my "shelf" I have listed a book called "Supper of the Lamb". My sister recommended it to me and we're planning to use it as one of the textbooks for the Homekeeping class we'll be teaching at Franklin Classical School next year. Check it out!

I also have listed one of Oliver's current faves: "Bob the Christmas Reindeer". Yep, it's April. Oliver isn't incredibly discriminating.

That's all for now. There may or may not be a Not Me Monday! in my future today. I know, you're all on the edge of your seats. We'll just have to see how the day progresses.

Happy Easter week, friends!

Oh, and if you want to create your own bookshelf, visit Shelfari and see how you like it!

Oh, and one more thing: This is your official reminder for this week's Way Back Whensday! Let's show off some hairdos worth remembering (or forgetting!!). I can't wait to see! And, I'm planning to give the Mr. Linky think a whirl, so PLEASE, link up so I don't feel like a big linky buffoon!

04 April 2009

Guess what we did today?

On my weekly garage sale outing this morning, I came across a big box of old crayons. I offered the nice woman $.50 for the entire box and I don't think she could make the transaction quickly enough. Clearly, these crayons had haunted this all-grown-up family for too long. I was glad to take them off their hands.

When I arrived home and Ryan helped me unload my haul from the car, he was visibly unsure about why on earth I would buy a big box of old crayons.

Stick with me, baby, I'll show you a good time!


After Oliver was down for his afternoon nap we plopped down on the family room rug with our big crayon box and a garbage can. We peeled the wrappers off the crayons one by one and actually had a great time doing it, talking color and such as we went.

By the time the crayons were peeled (we used about a third of the box) Ryan really started getting into the game. He suggested we separate all the colors for easy scheming.



Once the colors were separated, things really got interesting. We preheated the oven to 350 degrees and set to breaking the crayons into bits (a favorite childhood pastime of my beloved). We placed the bits into cupcake tins and let the experimenting begin. (I made that black and white one - it turned out really neat!)

And, roughly 8 minutes later, Voila! CrayonCakes! (I'll note that during the 8 minutes of "cooking" Ryan and I were plastered to the window of the oven like kids watching cookies bake.)


Aren't they pretty?


We'll decorate Easter eggs next week. But for today, we had a great time making a fun thing - and leaving the only child in the house out of all the fun. Maybe when he's older!

The moral of this story? Ryan + Raechel + color = Fun!