CCC swimming

we arrived in the florida keys in one piece. 
my friend kelly says, "traveling to the keys is half the fun." 
i strongly  disagree. 

before i start a series of vacation pictures, i want to share the excitement we have had with our swim team.  our fabulous coach from wilson hall / college of charleston is back, woohoo! i love watching all the baby swimmers! 
my nephew roger is swimming this year... and oh my goodness what a cutie pie! my picture is a little blurry, but i love how anna katherine looks out for him!

participation first place ribbon!
twin racing 

my usual shot of my powerhouse boy!

what's the best part of a swim meet? 
stephen smoak with a megaphone!
said no one ever! ;)
mary claire cheering on her cousins!

pet un-friendly

the girls and i are off! we left today for the florida keys! we planned the trip last minute, the way we do things :) we will enjoy some time with the craynes and our guys will meet up with us later. 

we prefer to make the long drive in one day; hunker down, load up on redbox movies and go-go-go. this time, i had to work a half day so we are splitting the drive into two days. also, to save our guys some time (because they tend to take forever going anywhere), we took the dog.

i love my dog. but the only time i want an animal in my car is when they are being transported to the vet. but charlie is a good dog, a great traveler and listens to me better than my kids.  i should have read up on animal walking etiquette.

we were screamed at (i stress the word scream) by two workers at the florida welcome area.  "this is not the dog walk!"   sorry i missed the dozens of signs, i just wanted a quick picture."  "THIS IS NOT THE DOG WALK!"  and this scared my girls to pieces.

in advance i searched out 'pet frinedly' hotels at the half way mark. i was as selective as selective can be when limited to the pet friendly section. (and to me that just sounds yuck) before price, i read reviews and choose a hampton inn populated area.

and yes it is populated... but mostly with motorcycle shops and strip clubs. one club is called cheaters ~ i swear! there is a waffle house, but it looked way sketcy.

before checking in, i said a quiet prayer, i thanked my husband for insisting i get a concealed weapon permit and then strapped on my weapon. (it was a gift from my husband, small and light with a custom fanny pack.)

 i requested a room near the office, which was all good until i mentioned i had a dog. " OH~ the nasty pet rooms are located in the back building, facing the woods for your convenience."  my convenience?  in the back facing the woods? convenient for dog walkers and murders! i'll just say, charlie will not get a potty until daylight ~ sorry in advance!

i am not even going to begin describing the 'pet rooms.' i'm scared to look to deeply. i will say it appears clean, but i really wish i hadn't watched the episode of dateline about hotels and black lights.  

between the pistol strapped to my waist, parking the car six feet from the door, unloading valuables and refusing to let them touch anything until i strip the bedspreads, my kids are a little on edge too. we all want the daddy. next time i will smuggle the dog in my bag. then again, there probably won't be a next time!

tonight,  i thank you Jesus for safe travels and tylenol pm!

most challenging

people often ask me "what is the most challenging part of my job?
"once in a lifetime weddings are definitely the most mentally and physically stressful. emotions run high all the way around and there's no do overs! (hopefully)

but challenging
newborns definitely! 
timing (with a dash of luck) can be everything!
in the past four weeks, i have had 14 newborn sessions!
and all of them except three have been baby boys!
something must have been going on 9+ months ago :)
here's a peek of a few bundles of "i can't get enough of!"

 and last but not least, a session with triplet preemies!

facing fear, trusting God

it's VBS recovery week ;) one of the most rewarding weeks of the year! the turn out at our church was amazing, almost 300 children and i feel sure many~many seeds were planted! our children's minister, brook, had the program so organized it made the helpers jobs almost effortless! this year i was in charge of the art room for grades 3-5. 
mary claire loved her vbs shirt sooo much.
 she, herself, washed it every single day.
i was teaching with one of my favorite people!
love this girl!
we were pregnant together, wen to the same obgyn practice, delivered on almost the same day (mary claire beat merrit by a few hours) in rooms right beside each other!

i sure love these children!!

life lesson number (who knows?)

friday night bennett was taking his girlfriend home when they drove upon a mama raccoon who had been run over and her three babies watching from the side of the road. {pitiful} so they hopped out, scooped up the babies,  turned them loose in the volkswagen and then loose in my studio.

mary claire instantly fell in love, i grabbed my camera and charlie (our dachshund) went berserk! a wiener dog's dream come true x3!

after charlie was pinned up, they ran out of my studio and into the woods, up a tree... but not before biting and scratching bennett's girlfriend ~ who just wanted to cuddle ;)  it was a small bite but enough to make a late night call to an animal control friend ~ just in case. i then learned that raccoons are the number one carrier of rabies in the state of south carolina. even if they look healthy. 

{insert} doctor calls, dhec forms, tests, needles, hours of waiting.

bennett and his girlfriend spent all of saturday in the ER getting her first round of rabies shots. and yes they hurt like crazy.

week of...

it's been a week full of vacation bible school, rainy evenings, swim meets, tomato sandwiches, sleep-overs, wagon rides, little house on the prairie movies, watermelon and an extreme amount of editing for me.

  one week from now yesterday...  
i will be relaxing in my favorite place!
it was a last minute vacation decision ;)

that's peculiar

yesterday our interim associate pastor (who is fabulous) delivered a powerful father's day sermon! my goodness, my gracious it was moving. we are not back row baptists. we are front row to the right baptists, always sitting in the same area with the same people. being father's day it was slightly different that usual. pamela was visiting, crystal and stephen were keeping the nursery and jeff was late for choir decided to sit with us. my husband loves to tease sarah anne and seeing uncle jeff out of place, not singing in the choir was peculiar.  "uncle jeff, why are you not singing?"

her peeks kept getting me tickled.

 that girl is too much!

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