Sunday, November 3, 2013


For weeks before Winston turned one, I had wanted to take just a few minutes to get some pictures of him all dressed up in honor of the big day.  However, every weekend either one of us was under the weather, or we were moving, or we had events going on and so weekends came and weekends went with no pictures.  

We finally decided that picture session would be the Saturday after his official day of turning one.  I wanted to get some balloons and that morning we trekked off to Party City.  What a zoo Party City can be on a Saturday morning!  Luckily I was ahead of the masses, clutched my balloons and headed out into the windy day.  A huge gust came and blew my "1" balloon off into the atmosphere with gusto - and I was left standing there with the string in my hand!  Stunned, I walked to the car with colored balloons whipping around me and knocked on the window.  Benjamin rolled it down and I said, "My 1 balloon blew away... do I go back in?  It was $10!"  I saw the look on his face..."Ten dollars for a balloon?!"  I had confirmed again what he already knew to be true... I was indeed crazy!  

After piling the remaining balloons into the car, I turned around and braced myself for the line I was about to have to stand in.  The girl who had filled my balloons minutes before saw me come back in.  I said, "My one flew away.... I have the string, just no one!"  I must've look like a sad case standing there with a balloon-less string in my hand because she quickly pulled another balloon out, filled it up, did a triple tie on the string and handed it to me.  Just before I walked back out of the double doors, I clutched the balloon against my body and beat feet to the car!  

That evening, the weather was great, the lighting was perfect and Winston was his happy self...  What follows are photos that I can't help but look at over and over.  I can't believe how much he has changed in a year...
It has been truly a gift to be a witness to seeing his little personality develop.  I can already tell that he is going to have a great sense of humor!  He giggles often: at me, at Lulu, at Benjamin, at himself!  His giggle and all out laughs make my heart smile in the biggest way!
In that, he is truly living up to the meaning of his name: Joyful Stone.  He is such a pleasant little kid.  He is constantly waving at folks when we are out and about.  He chatters quite a bit and has been known to run around the house squealing his joyful noises at the top of his lungs.  Our prayer for Winton is that as he grows older his heart will be sensitive to the Lord and that he will rely on Him as the Cornerstone of his life.  
From day one, Winston's eyes have slayed my heart.  I will never forgot laying in recovery when the nurse brought Winston in.  She handed him to Benjamin.  Benjamin started shifting so that I could see Winston better.  I remember saying "Hello Winston, I'm your Mommy!" when his head turned so quickly and he just locked eyes with me.  That was the minute, in that one look, I knew that I was head over heels in love with this tiny human.  Nothing else mattered in that moment.  He was a beautiful creation, knit together by an Almighty God out of the love that Benjamin and I have for one another.  We knew that we would love this Winston Ace with everything we had.  Always.
We have been uber blessed in the fact that Winston has always been a fantastic sleeper and a wonderful eater.  Even in the womb, this kid slept through the night... either that or I am a super hard sleeper and was oblivious to the fact that he moved at night time!  He is a kid who can sleep just about anywhere in any noise level {even at a Monster Truck Rally!} and he most nights dives for his bed where Fishy and Hee'lan are there to greet him into night time adventures!  As far as food goes, we haven't come across a whole lot that Winston doesn't like?  He loves fruits and veggies (even broccoli and cauliflower!), eats chicken, pork, and beef like a champ; has been known to down some fish sticks and can put away Mum-Mums like nobody's business.  It has been fun watching him try to new things.  I am always wildly impressed by what he ends up liking!  
How can you not think that this face isn't just precious?!  It's his cute facial expressions, even the ones where he is being pouty and about to cry, that I store away in my heart.  They are the reason I eagerly leave work at 3:45 every afternoon to rush and pick him up for.  I treasure each minute I have with him, even the ones when I have had a hard day at work and I'm exhausted yet he is busily walking around the room touching all of his toys, bringing them to me so we can play.  I love having "conversations" with him.  I am mesmerized how he picks up tonal inflections and mimics them, how he is starting to form words and put meanings with them.  He is a champ at pointing and can say what sounds like "What's this?" when wanting to explore something new.  I love how we can sit for a good while with one toy or cuddle on the couch.  Bath time is hands down one of my favorite times of the day.  We sing, we splash, we laugh!  These moments don't last forever and I often remind myself of such.  There are many nights when laundry piles up and furniture doesn't get dusted... but man oh man, did we play our hearts out!!
Clapping is one of Winston's favorite things to do.  We clap when we're done with dinner.  He claps when he sees Lulu.  He claps while he laughs!  I hope that it means he will grow up to be an encourager.  Encouragement is such a powerful language to be fluent in.  My mom was a wonderful example of encouragement and I hope to be the same for Winston.  It's important to me that he not only knows how to support and come along side of those he loves, but that he has a heart for helping others to know and love the Lord.  I pray that he knows deep in his bones that Benjamin and I are his biggest advocates.  That he knows that we love him fully and completely.  
It's hard to imagine that one tiny life could change mine so drastically.  It has been a phenomenal year.  A true adventure.  It's true when people say that you don't really get what it means to be a parent until you actually have a child that is counting on you for everything.  Everything.  There have been times when it's not easy, but man... is it worth it!  Benjamin and I are looking forward to the next year and the next and the next and so on!  I am so thankful and honored to be a part of Winston's story, his legacy and that I get to have front row seats to seeing the future that God has for him unfold!  Mommy and Daddy love you Little Bug! 

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful" 
Hebrews 10:23

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Our Little Bug

We have called Winston our little Love Bug since day one.  Not sure why, we just have.  Most days we shorten it to just calling him Bug.  And, for better or worse, it is a name that has stuck between Benjamin and I.  We refer to him as Bug when speaking about his morning on the phone, or if he's napping or just telling exciting stories about his day.  He is our sweet little bug!  

At the beginning of the month when all of the Halloween costumes start popping up, I had expressed interest in getting Winston some sort of bug costume.  We looked at a few of the magazines that came our way but never put any real effort into buying anything... mainly because he wouldn't quite yet be old enough to grasp the magic of the phrase "Trick or Treat!"   

We quite happily went through the rest of the month thinking he'd wear one of his cute festive shirts and have no need for a costume.  Until that fated day when the School declared that they were having a costume parade and party!  "No worries," I thought, "I have that monkey costume that I bought before there was even a thought of a Winston...surely that will fit."  Later that night I pulled the costume out of the closet and alas, it was too small.  About 5" too small. go on the monkey.  

As it would turn out, the next day I was out and about running errands with Mom when we wandered into Pottery Barn Kids and saw the cutest spider outfit I ever did see... and for $8!!  I snatched it up and was so excited to get home to see how Winston would like it.  

The next day we tried it on and I declared he was THE cutest spider ever to be created!  He wore his costume like a champ in the parade and again tonight while we sat outside with the neighbors and handed out candy.

You don't have to take my word for it - see for yourself!
 He just slays me!
 I'd like to smother this spider with cuddles!

Benjamin dressed up in his trusty mullet and Van Halen t-shirt today.  At first Winston wasn't quite sure about the wig...and then he realized it indeed was his Daddy!
Happy All Hallows' Eve from our family to yours!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

{Winner} Sara + Abraham Give-a-way

Good Morning Folks - 
I had a few minutes while getting ready to for ChurchSearch2013 and I wanted to make sure to announce that:

Chelsea Derry
Polka Dot Wife

has won our Sara + Abraham Platter give-a-way!
A big thanks to everyone who entered and congratulations Chelsea!
Enjoy your Sunday everyone!  Rejoice for this is the day the Lord has made!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Reflections of Thankfulness: September

September was a big month for us: We closed on our Spring house and made the move!
  1. Baby giggles
  2. Lulu bunny hops
  3. Miguel and the CenterPoint Energy guy who got the electric meter in at the 11th hour
  4. Breakfast dates at IKEA
  5. That everyday minus three or four, Benjamin has been able and willing to take Winston to daycare
  6. Vacation days off of work
  7. Movers and their strength
  8. Quick and easy closing
  9. Our new home
  10. Our old home and the amazing landlords we had the opportunity of renting from for over two years
  11. God's grace and amazing timing 
  12. Swings
  13. Extra crispy fries
  14. Car insurance to repair windshield rock dings
  15. Ice cream family nights
  16. Having the opportunity of dedicating Winston to the Lord
  17. The anticipation of fall 
  18. Change
  19. Visits from Aunt Deborah and Ray
  20. Days when I can stay at home and cuddle with a sick Winston
  21. Sweet singing coos as tired baby falls asleep
  22. The mess of toys in my living room
  23. Boxes
  24. The hands that built our house
  25. Mexican food
  26. Dinner dates with my Winston buddy
  27. Two cars that are in excellent working order to drive us back and forth to work
  28. Miss Alex and Kids R Kids Pearland
  29. Pumpkin Spice Lattes
  30. Great evening weather

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sarah + Abraham Thanksgiving Give-a-way

Now, one thing you must know about me is that I come from a long line of plate lovers.  I'm all about having a set of holiday plates for every holiday, season and occasion.  It could be labeled as a "condition." But like my mother and her mother before her, I look forward to busting out the cute dishes each season adding a bit of festivity to the table.  And when I say plates - I mean, plates, bowls, cups, serving platters, anything needed to make a meal cutesy and complete!

Enter Sarah + Abraham with their adorably sweet products!  They have personalized pillows, dish sets, lunch boxes, puzzles, iphone cases and on and on.  I came across them a little while ago and fell into love with all they have to offer!

These fancies caught my eye:
Their entire line of Thanksgiving platters is just precious!  With designs for all tastes, when picking out the one I am going to get myself, I decided to get one for one of you, sweet readers!  So visit the website, pick your favorite and fill out the rafflecopter below!  ...And we'll have it to you in time to use for all the festivities that fall time brings!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Images from Sarah + Abraham.  Sarah + Abraham do not know who I am and are not sponsoring this give-a-way.  It's just a little something for you from us!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Workplace Wednesday {3}

Hello!  Last Wednesday I took a break from the workplace as I was home all week unpacking and spending time with Little Baby.  It was heaven!  Since going to back to work full time I hadn't taken a week off to just be at home.  It was glorious!  

I arrive to work on Monday to find these beauties sitting outside of my cube...
Not only did I just move my house...but now I have to move my cube!  Good thing I'm a pro at packing things into {and back out of} boxes!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pumpkin Decorating: Cheeseburger!

Benjamin came home from work one afternoon early in September declaring that we needed to start thinking of a pumpkin decorating idea because the office has a contest each year and it is highly competitive!  Amidst everything else we had going on we added this to our list started brainstorming.  Benjamin had a few ideas that, if done well, would have been super cool, but they were quite time intensive.  Since this was happening in the middle of closing, packing and moving, the design needed to be something fairly simple.

We have a running joke with Luke and Kala that the only thing Benjamin eats when we are on trips with them is hamburger and fries!  ...And it really is true.  He eats a hamburger in every city we visit.  On top of that - his first job was at Micky D's and the man cannot pass up a good cheeseburger and extra crispy fries!  

Enter the pumpkin idea for 2013: Cheeseburger!

We took one of those foam pumpkins that you can find at any hobby store and sliced it in two.  This made our two buns.  To make the top piece look more like a burger bun, I hot glued pumpkin seeds all over.  To create cheese, we purchased yellow Fimo clay, rolled it out and cut it into cheese squares.  Funnily enough I had placemats that look like very large pieces of lettuce, so one was donated to the cause.

Fries were also created out of Fimo clay with the thoughts of getting a McDonald's fry container to put them in.

It took two buckets of the Crayola air dry clay to create the hamburger patty!  After a full day it was still damp, so we put it in the oven on low heat to dry it out a little bit.  Then Benjamin spray painted it brown.
Once the paint dried, we put assembled the burger and ....TA DA!  A cheeseburger!
A really, really BIG burger!
Benjamin loaded the burger and fries into his car and toted it to the office.  On his way, he was able to secure a McDonald's tray, large drink cup, and a fry container.  I was eagerly waiting to see the final product when I got this text...
Amazing right?!  
I can tell you that... "ba da ba da daaa, I'm lovin' it!"

29 and still so fine!

Today is my hubby-love's birthday.  This has been a big year for him!

He graduated from Orthodontic residency.
His research paper was accepted for print in the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics as I like to call it.
He became part-time staff at the UT Ortho Program.
He started practicing in the North Houston area!
He became a Dad.
Winston just adores Benjamin and right fully so - He is the best husband for me and the best dad for him {and Lulu too!}.  We couldn't be more privileged to get to celebrate this special day with the person who truly makes our lives complete. 
We love you from the tip of our toes to the top of our heads!

Friday, September 27, 2013

So Long, Farewell....

Tonight is the last night for our family to spend in Pearland.  I spent the day packing up the remainder of our belongings with Benjamin joining in after he saw a few morning patients.  The rooms of our home now look like this:
We have two trucks and two crews arriving for an early start to load up and spring us forward to our new home!  Tonight, Benjamin and I reminisced about how it was that we even ended up at this house.  Again, God's provision was impeccable.  Even though we are so excited to start a new adventure, we are a little sentimental leaving this house.  It's been a great house and our landlords have been absolutely fantastic.  Thanks to them, we were able to stay in one place for the entire residency + an extra month!  

We have shared dinners with friends, hosted costume parties, dinners with family, and celebrated holidays and birthdays in this house.  It was Winston's first house.  I can still remember that first day of bringing him home like it was yesterday.  These wall have heard stories of our days, laughter, tears, more laughter, music and baby screams!  Lulu has frolicked to and fro in the backyard and we have enjoyed walks to the park.  We are thankful for all of the memories + hundreds more that we were blessed to make.  

Like we did in our first house, Benjamin wrote our names and how long we've lived here on one of the beams in the attic - leaving our mark forever.
Farewell house!  May you be a blessing to the next tenets!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

  1. Today is the last day for me to drive to work from the South side of town.
  2. Today is the last day for Winston to be at his Pearland daycare.
  3. Today is the last day for our fabulous pet sitter to come and let Lulu out.
  4. I am sad to leave the people who have loved and cared so faithfully for my precious littles.
  5. I am overwhelmingly thankful for the new home we will be moving to.
  6. I cannot wait to start decorating!
  7. Why is Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice latte so dang good?!
  8. Looking forward to seeing Hubby this evening.
  9. Can't wait to give Lulu her treat from Ellen!
  10. Why are some people obsessed with spreadsheets?
  11. It's amazing to me how the smartest of people are baffled by the most common sense things.  Bless their hearts.
  12. When my boss sends me YouTube videos to watch, I must do it because technically, he told me to.
  13. I love it when I have free lunches!
  14. I think I'll eat Potbelly Uptown salad for dinner...
  15. I think its funny when the most seasoned person on my team talks to me about Cow and Chicken for a good 20 minutes describing the Orthodontic Police!
 Hope everyone has had a Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Workplace Wednesday {2}

Last week I started a mini-series on my work space.  In continuing with the series, we'll continue the tour around my desk!
From where we left off last week, a panorama of the next section. Not a dull spot allowed!
I love having two screens at work.  In a normal day I have multiple applications open and multiple files within each application so the more screen space I have to toggle from this to that is golden!  I was given a little flair aptly placed on the top right hand corner of my right hand screen that says "Woot!  Let's Dance!"  Not that I need a lot of encouragement to bust a move!
Below my screen lives a cast of unlikely friends!  My scary looking Norwegian gnome was given to me by a co-worker after a trip to...Norway.  Grimace is a blast from the past when McDonald's was doing their mini beanie baby characters.  My sweet Scottish Smurf, named Angus, has been with me for quite some time - another desk staple!  No desk is complete without a Hess bouncy ball and a PFSweb Superhero!
Moving to the right side of my desk, just a little something hanging to make people smile!...or maybe not if you are a grumpy cat.
A few more little trinkets: a sweet angel from a sweet angel, family while Winston was cooking, and my Oh, Henry.  Oh, Henry is one of my most treasured desk toys next to Sunshine Buddy.  I acquired Oh, Henry while working at Spirit.  You push his foot (the one with the worn mark) and record whatever you want to.  Then you press play and he transforms your voice into a gnome voice!!  He has provided countless good times with co-workers and has never failed to bring out a smile from even the most cantankerous person!

That's it for this section of my desk... until next week!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

OOTD: Red, Black and Olivia the Ostrich

This is my first outfit of the day post!  I figure try it once, see how it goes and if it's a good fit do it again!

Today's outfit was picked specifically around the cute ostrich in rain boots necklace.  I've had this necklace for quite a while and smile every time I wear it!  Olivia is complete with rain boots, a hair cover and two hovering clouds with rain droplets.  When I got up to let Lulu out this morning it was drizzling and I thought "Olivia!"  {Yes, I give names to inanimate objects!  ...You know you do it!}  However, it ended up being a beautiful blue skies, hot Houston day.   Ah well.

Red and Rainy

This skirt is super comfy and a really great shade of red!  It was a total impulse purchase from and I'm glad I got it!  The grey sweater again, a favorite that goes well with so many things.  And it's a good weight for fall time in Houston.  
Shirt: Target | Sweater: {Archive} Anthropologie | Skirt: Windsor | Necklace: {Archive} Anthropologie, but found here.

And just because...
I love his sweet "I just woke up from a good sleep" face.  Actually, come to think about it, I just love all of his sweet faces!

Hopefully this post gave you some inspiration for your next outfit!  Wishing you a Happy Day!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Pearland Pipe Yard Photos

For two years, almost daily, we've driven by the Texas Pipe & Supply yard.  It's the expanse of miles of pipe decorated with sculptures on 288 South.
That's right, this place.
And for two years, we have said over and over, "We should stop and take photos there!"  We even put it on our bucket list!  Days, weeks, months and years go by - no pictures.  Until last weekend!  We loaded up Baby on our last day about Pearland as a family and headed down to snap some shots.  I've loaded a few of my favorites to share.
His shirt don't lie!
If you ever head down 288 South, take a few minutes, pull over and have a little fun posing next to the oversized armadillo!

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