Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kodak Moments

For the first year of Noah's life we did family pictures and Noah pictures every two months. We had a photographer in Bella Vista we were using and I loved her. However, after a year of traveling all that way with a child that did not like to be in the car, I decided it was time to look closer to home. We had to pay more for the pictures, but we were saving the gas and headache of the travel. I decided to just take professional pictures every 6 months after Noah turned one. It times well for Christmas card and summer pictures for his birthday.

We took Noah's 18 month and our family/Christmas pictures at Wiederkehr's Wine Cellar in Altus - it is SO pretty there! I love how the pictures turned out. They really captured some great family moments. Here are some that didn't make the new blog header:

It is hard to believe the next time we take pictures we will have a two year old! YIKES!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Our Thanksgiving...

I have always been a holiday lover, and I know that deep down somewhere I still love them. However, with a one and a half year old, I am not so much a fan. Noah knows his boundaries at home, at his sitters, at the store, restaurants, etc. However, when we travel to relatives houses full of breakable things, stairs, and tons of other "no-no's", it makes for a stressful time. Not to mention extra hard when Nathan has a cold and we are trying to not let Noah catch it so I have sole Noah duty. I felt so bad because I basically followed Noah around telling him no and trying to distract him every where we went. So of course Noah has melt down after melt down and looked like a total brat. I in no way expect every house we visit to be Noah proofed, that would take forever, he is smart and agile :) It is just his age and he is not compatible to the holiday get togethers. I was told by a few people that it gets better, and I was told the same thing during my sleep deprived days in the beginning of motherhood - and it did, so I have high hopes. This too shall pass, after the Christmas get togethers that is! AHHHHH!

The cutest little Indian I know :)

Garden Salad & Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

We went to Nathan's grandmas and my grandmas on Thanksgiving day, then to my Mom's on Friday. Our families are good to try to schedule around eachother and I am thankful. I brought garden salad and my "famous" pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (only famous because it is the only thing I bake, ever, and they are delicious). Every year when we get home from all our Thanksgiving rounds I am starving. I am not sure how this is possible, but it is. Of course we never take any leftovers home with us because we are so full when we leave. I really need to remember this next year!

Noah enjoying Thanksgiving at my mom's house - the boy loves corn on the cob!

His cousin Eliza Nell insisted on feeding him and lazy bones let her! :)

Ever since I can remember I have went Black Friday shopping with my Dad. It is just something we enjoy doing together. We are both very patient and do not mind people and lines. We usually just stick with Wal-Mart. I get excited to shop that day - it is not so much that the deals are that amazing, it is the trip itself. I do not go shopping alone much at all, so this is the one day I can and I get alot of people on my list taken care of. I love that they moved the sales up to 10:00 Thursday night, so I can be home and in bed by 11:00! For the past two years my big deal has been the sheets - they are 600 thread count sheets that are normally $80 and are only $19.96 on Black Friday! So, that is where I started. All of the king sheets were on the bottom shelf and a girl had them blocked with her shopping cart. She said she would keep it there so I could get to them before other people! :) So, at 9:58 p.m. there I was on my knees, under someones cart getting my sheets when they announced we could shop! Nathan is so embarrassed :) But hey, I got my sheets, crawled out to safety and was on my way! I got Noah a train set, play tent, and legos also! Me, my dad, and my brother and his wife all got everything we went for!

Saturday we went to Russellville to take Noah to see Santa. Yet another thing I have always dreamed of getting to do as a parent! We knew Noah was going to cry for the picture. We were in shock he didn't last year, but he hadn't quite become so scared of strangers like he is now. So, we told them "he will cry, and we want a picture of it". I think it will make for a good memory later. We then went to Lowes and got our Christmas tree. Ever since I was little my mom has had a real Fraiser Fir and I love them! So, ever since I was on my own I have had the same. My mom met us there and we both ended up going with the first trees we picked up! It was raining when we got it so it is set up in the shop drying out before I put the lights on it - so stay tuned for the decorating.

Noah helping pick out our tree :)
Sunday we went to Church and then my awesome husband went to see Breaking Dawn Part 1 with me. I say awesome because he could care less about these movies, but he goes because he knows I really want to see them - also, he was still not feeling very well and he went anyway because he had told me we were going before he got sick. He is a keeper! This movie was the best in the series by far! I am not a reader, but I finally gave in and read these after several friends told me to. I loved the books, but the movies haven't been very good at all to me. It just didn't seem to portray all the emotions the book had in it  - but that is how it always is, the books are better. Breaking Dawn Part 1 seemed to have more character to it - lots of funny scenes and Edward actually had a personality! In the book he is so much more likable and fun! I can't wait to see part 2 next year!

Bad Blogger! Bad!

I have been a bad blogger! I had such a busy week last week that I was unable to get it all out and posted in a blog. So, let's catch up!

I am helping to run the Lamar Youth Athletics Basketball and also helping coach 6 of the teams - yes, I am crazy. We had our first games last weekend and hosted Pottsville. I made out the schedule for all 16 games and figured out real quick that my schedule was terrible. We started late due to a late referee showing up and it just went downhill from there. We ended up being a game behind before it was all over with, but I learned my lesson and scheduled this weekends games with more time cushion. But, other than the times not working, everything else went great! Lamar won almost every game - it was a good day to be a Warrior!

After I was in the gym all morning I came home and Nathan, Noah, and I went to "Deer Camp". We always go visit a friend from Texas when he comes into town to his and his brothers cabin. It has gotten trickier with Noah. Noah wasn't exactly deer camp friendly - fire, dark, cold, etc. doesn't work well with a one year old. I was so busy chasing Noah around that I got no pictures :( So, Noah and I went home to relax and left Daddy to play with his friends :)

Sunday our church did it's first Baptisms and it was awesome! 10 people were baptized and they all had amazing stories to share. Noah just kept hugging my neck when I went to drop him off at the nursery, it was so sad. I have had good luck with just telling him that Momma is going bye bye and I will be back and he does start crying, but he will go to the nursery worker and he stops in a few minutes. He is getting so much better every week.

30 years ago last Wednesday God created my soulmate! I am so grateful that he did. Without him, I would be lost. He is an amazing husband and father and does whatever he can to make me and Noah happy. Happy 30th Birthday Nathan - you are awesome and stuff!

Yes, that is a Mickey Mouse cake! Nathan didn't care what it had on it and told me to just get this one so Noah could have the toy on it! See, like I said, always trying to make us happy!

Blowing out the candles, we had to convert to number candles due to the fire hazard! ;)
 Next was the holidays, and boy does it ever deserve its own post...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Noah Atlee Stillwell is One and a Half!

I am not sure how this is possible, but Noah is one and a half! I swear we were just having his first birthday party last week!  Time has not stopped flying since the day I saw those two pink lines and I am not liking it. It seemed like it to so long to get pregnant, and has just sped by since then. So Noah, here are some highlights of what you are up to these days:

 * You weigh about 30 pounds - it fluctuates with how much you eat. Some days you will eat everything in sight, and other days I have to distract you and feed you to get a good meal in.

* You are 33 inches tall! You are almost to my waist and not even 2 years old yet!

 * You wear 24 month or 2T clothes. Some 18 month jeans still fit, but some are not gut friendly. :)

* Still in size 4 diapers and size 5 night diapers. We have played around with potty training some and you are not scared of the toilet. We will start attempting it a little more to see if you shows interest now, but I think we will have to wait until you talk more to understand what is going on.

* You LOVE Mickey Mouse. You have the longest attention span for it and will watch it anytime anywhere. It has been a lifesaver in the car, you will now watch it making traveling alot easier.

* You are adjusting to Momma leaving you places better now. I have left you with a sitter since you were 10 weeks old, but you got to the age where you didn't want me to leave you and that was rough. There are still tears when I leave you most of the time, but you are getting so much better.

* You love being outside and beg to go outside whether it is raining, snowing, or whatever. When I take you outside you just want to run and point at things and have me tell you what they are. You are very curious.

* You will eat anything. You have not shown to not like any food yet. You insist on feeding yourself and that was very messy at first, but it is getting better. You usually eat ham, popcorn chicken, or meat sticks for dinner, vegetable and fruit. You drink mostly water with a little juice in it and a little milk a day.

* You love to color/draw and play with shape sorters. You can go down your slide in the living room by yourself and do it all the time.

* You LOVE bath time and I usually have to drain the water out and bribe you out of the tub.

* You were blessed with a head full of hair and get haircuts about once a month. We now shave your head and it works much better!

* You go to bed and put yourself to sleep like a big boy around 9:00 and sleep until around 8:00 the next morning! On our days off I will let you wake me up and then I can get up and shower and get ready while you play in your crib - you are very good to play alone.

You have changed our lives so much and we are so grateful God chose us for your parents. We cannot wait to watch you grow and learn each day. You will be 2 before we know it - better start party planning! ;)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

An Oldie But a Goodie

I recently found this on my computer. I barely remember writing this years ago. So many of these things remain true today - those that don't I have highlighted. It is crazy how much and little can change in 5 years or more.

~ Jessie Is ~

For those of you who want to know:
~ Jessie is secretly addicted to shopping ~ Jessie will never let anyone but the steering wheel hear her really sing ~ Jessie wishes she looked good in sunglasses and hats ~ Jessie lives through the TV shows she watches because something is missing in her life ~ Jessie wants a tattoo but doesn’t know that she will get up the courage to get it ~ Jessie loves Jerry Lee Lewis and thinks he and his music are nothing short of amazing ~ Jessie has her funeral all planned out ~ Jessie is scared to die ~ Jessie owns more DVDs than she will ever watch ~ Jessie can’t ever remember her parents married ~ Jessie believes in ghosts ~ Jessie thinks of Billy Jack every time she hears “Sweet Home Alabama” ~ Jessie is scared she will never be a mother ~ Jessie wants to make a permanent mark in this crazy world ~ Jessie wants to rescue every stray cat and dog she sees ~ Jessie is glad she barely remembers high school ~ Jessie wishes she liked to read ~ Jessie finally quit biting her nails after 24 years ~ Jessie finds it hard to remember a time that Nathan wasn’t in her life ~ Jessie says “what were they thinking” almost every day ~ Jessie wishes she could have known her Grandpa George ~ Jessie wishes she could get along with certain people in her life that are not going anywhere ~ Jessie’s dream job is to plan weddings ~ Jessie wishes she was as artistic as her sister Jaime, free spirited as her brother Eli, and a social butterfly like her brother Jeremy ~ Jessie loves coaching girls basketball and hopes she can be even half as great of a coach as her dad is someday ~ Jessie hopes to someday be as giving and selfless as her mother ~ Jessie really believes that if she works hard she will get what she dreams of ~ Jessie is so glad she has had such great friends in her life and hopes she was good to them in return ~ Jessie truly feels her life has been changed by Gavin DeGraw’s music ~ Jessie wants to live in Colorado but could never live that far away from her family ~ Jessie doesn’t really understand politics all that well but she will always vote ~ Jessie knows that even though she doesn’t know a lot about politics she still wishes Bill Clinton could be president again ~ Jessie can remember what people we were wearing at events 4 years ago but she can’t remember to take out the trash ~ Jessie prays every time she sees an ambulance, hitchhiker, or homeless person ~ Jessie is sure to include the service men and women in her prayers every night ~ Jessie doesn’t go to church but she knows her and God are good ~ Jessie has anxiety attacks if she has to ride or drive in icy or snowy weather ~ Jessie has cried at least once during every episode of Grey’s Anatomy ~ Jessie is a sucker for rugged men ~ Jessie is deathly allergic to poison ivy ~ Jessie wakes up some days craving peanut butter and jelly on honey wheat bread ~ Jessie really wishes the paparazzi would just back off sometimes and leave the celebrities alone ~ Jessie really doesn’t care to hear anymore about Britney Spears or Lindsey Lohan ~ Jessie will be debt free someday ~ Jessie can’t wait to build her Cherry Grove dream home ~ Jessie enjoys being alone sometimes as much as being surrounded by people ~ Jessie loves the memory of dancing with her dad when she was little to Great Balls of Fire ~ Jessie will never forget the phone call telling her that her dad had a heart attack ~ Jessie will never forget the smell and sounds of Sparks hospital ~ Jessie believes that she is planning and God is laughing ~ Jessie is truly grateful for all she has ~

Here are the updates:

I now have a tattoo  - me and my mom went together and got them for her 60th birthday (That will get it's own separate blog) -

I am now a mother -

I go to church now -

I still want to build my dream home but I don't know that it will be on Cherry Grove Road anymore - Nathan has decided that 12 acres isn't enough - he wants more like 40! What am I going to do with him?! :)

I am glad I wrote all this down and I may just have to write another one, someday...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Weekend Recap...

Friday was 11/11/11 - a date I will only see once in my lifetime. It was also Veteran's Day! A big thank you to all the veteran's out there protecting our country and freedom! Without it I wouldn't be able to do all my daily things I take for granted. I am so thankful for the brave soldiers who risk their lives each day for us. Also, a big thank you to the families who sacrifice time with their loved ones to be able to go and serve our country. They should not go without notice.

With my basketball season in full swing I had practice games against my brothers teams Friday night and Saturday morning. So, that meant it was father son bonding time for Nathan and Noah. Friday I came home from practice to Noah playing on a new tractor toy that Nathan had got him. I told him that he was spoiling him and he just smiles - he is such a sucker for Noah. Noah is not even at the age he cares what he gets, but it is so fun to get him things. A definite perk of parenting!

Daddy and his boy :)

Saturday I left both boys lounging around watching cartoons. I ended up having to go to work after practice so I didn't get home until around 1:00. To my surprise Nathan had Noah fed and napping! This may not sound surprising, but the last time I left Nathan to get Noah to take a nap he was still awake when I got home 3 hours later. Daddy had been defeated! It was so nice to be able to sit and eat my lunch and clean house instead of having to feed Noah and get him down for a nap like I was planning! Noah got up and helped me with the laundry  - he puts it in the dryer for me and closes the dryer door, goes upstairs to help me put it away, and then he gets to ride (with momma slowly guiding) the laundry basket down the stairs! Then it was time to watch the Razorbacks get a big win over Tennessee! We realized that night that Noah had never left the house all day - those days are rare but awesome. Sometimes they are just needed - a good lazy day!

Apparently the food was good - his forehead even wanted some!

Sunday we went to Church. We are really loving The Journey. It just feels right and the lessons are very good. We laugh and learn something every Sunday! Noah did awesome again in the Church nursery again! I watched him after I left and he cried less than a minute and he was done. He is such an awesome kid - thank you God! I decided it was time for me to help out in the nursery so starting in December I will be helping in Noah's class. He is a pretty independent player in there now so I will be able to help out with the other kids and it will be good to get Noah used to seeing me with other kids (besides his cousins) in case Nathan and I are ever blessed with another child. The rest of Sunday was spent cleaning. Nathan and I cleaned alot while Noah napped. Then I got things ready for our family pictures the next day - which turned out awesome! [More on those later :)] It was also Nathan's moms birthday so she and Nathan's dad came over and Noah gave her a gift. I had him carry her gift bag to her and he stopped halfway to her and took the tissues out and ran and threw them away - that is mommas boy! Clean freak! ;)

Watching Mickey Mouse with Papaw Chuck

It was a good busy family weekend - which are always a blessing to enjoy.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

"Why do you have to be so mean"

Taylor Swift won Entertainer of the Year last night on the CMA's. I wasn't able to watch the awards show, but I read about it online and through peoples status updates on Facebook. I couldn't believe so many people were hating on Taylor Swift's win. I have never understood being so mean to someone publicly like that, people are harsh. She may not be everyones favorite, but she is talented - at least talented in the entertainment category. I have never been able to see one of her shows but I do not know anyone who has went and came back disappointed. Young girls love her and for once there is nothing wrong with the popular role model the girls like. I won't name names of other celebrity women girls like that I do not agree with, but  there are some out there that scare me! I just have to say - way to go Taylor - and to those hating on her "why do you have to be so mean"! :)

Picture from:

Speaking of being mean - I have to say my son is doing amazing at Church nursery now! I do wait until he is distracted to leave and he cries a minute or two once he realizes I am gone, but he is staying and playing and being a big boy. I felt so mean by leaving him screaming every week, so I am glad he is finally adjusting. The nursery worker two weeks ago even took pictures of him playing and smiling to show me how good he was while I was gone - that was so relieving! That took alot of patience for momma and Noah, and the Church staff too! We all worked together and so far so good! Noah has been going to his sitter since he was 10 weeks old and he still cries when I leave him. His sitter and I decided to just have me hand him to her when I leave and him tell me bye so he can get used to me leaving every day and know that I am coming back. He now cries and tells me "bye bye" at the same time - it is the saddest thing you have ever seen! He knows I have to go, but he is still sad about it. This gives me mixed emotions - I am obviously sad for him, but at the same time I cannot help but be happy that he loves me that much! He is not always going to want me around like that, so I am going to enjoy it while it lasts.

My big boy going up stairs to get ready for Church!

Daddy and Noah coloring - I just threw this picture in because it was cute :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mid-Life Crisis :)

"Jess, if I ever get a 72' Nova I will  never want another car again". I have heard this over and over again for the last 13 years. Nathan loves to drag race and work on cars. We used to go to Centerville Dragway every weekend when we first started dating. Then other things needed our attention and money and our trips there slowly got more few and far between. It really got to where it was too expensive to compete so it wasn't fun anymore.

I got this picture sent to my phone last week with the caption "My New Ride":

I didn't figure he was serious so I didn't really talk to him about it. A few days later he said he couldn't believe I wasn't throwing a fit about him getting that car. Apparently he was serious. The reason I would throw a fit it because Nathan is the hobby king - he has alot of things he likes to do and not enough time to do it. After Noah was born he cut back on pretty much all of them except softball. He said he didn't want to miss out on spending time with Noah so he would cut back on the hobbies. I was glad because taking care of a newborn all the time can be exhausting and I was coaching basketball too so I needed his help. Above all of that, I didn't want him to miss seeing Noah grow (they change so much in the beginning) and if he was doing all of his hobbies then he would have.

He said he hoped to have Noah help him with this car and it could be something they could do together - and I totally know he was just trying to sell me on this because Noah is only one year old and could care less about this. Then I remembered him saying several times over the last few years how much he wanted that exact car and this one was very nice, especially for the price. It was the "deal of the century" as Nathan would say. So, I just asked him to not put it before the time he spend with Noah and I and supported him.

Nathan turns 30 this month so he says it is a birthday present for himself - I told him it was a mid-life crisis present! :) I really don't think he is going through a mid-life crisis, but at the same time I cannot believe we are both about to be 30 and this car kind of reminds me of our younger days and I like those memories. Also, to see Nathan's face as he talks about him and Noah working on it is priceless - there are memories to be made there. If he is happy I am happy, and vice versa - and for now, he is happy.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Life Happens...

Nathan and I have went on a fall dive through the mountains to look at the changing leaves every year for about 10 years now. Nathan has been working weekends lately and it snuck up on me this year and we had to do a quick mini-trip. It was better than nothing, but I hope we can go back on a full drive next year. We have a "spot" that we always go to, so we just went there. Since we had such a dry summer the leaves were not as pretty as they have been in the past but there were still some pretty ones to see.

Our "Spot"

As we drove around I thought about how this is my favorite time of year. So many good things have happened in my life during the fall. This is when Nathan and I started dating in school, when we bought our house, and when I found out I was pregnant with Noah. I also love the cold. I am not a fan of summer and hot weather at all! You can put on enough layers to get warm in the cold, but if it is hot, you can only take off so much and there you are naked and still hot! I know that kids get sick more often in the winter so my whole take on liking fall and winter may change over the next few years, but I will still personally prefer it.


A view off of our deck at home

One of my favorite sayings is "Life Happens". Life happened this year so that we didn't get to take our full fall drive. Life happened in the past few years to bless us with a home and a child. Life is funny like that...