- by emaroo

I think I give up.  I just haven’t felt the blogging bug for a long time now – almost 6 months, to be exact.  I will at least link to my latest post on my Emily Melson Photography blog HERE.  It’s a post of some cuties that you might recognize. 

Don’t give up on me entirely – you never know when I might get the blogging bug again.

Blog – oh, poor, neglected blog

 - by emaroo

Yep, it’s been another crazy month with lots going on but no blogging.  I have had two days to recover from the crazy shooting (photography, not killing) season that just ended and then we have another crazy-fun weekend planned.  Rest assured – one day, soon, I will update this pitiful blog. 

Right now I am sitting here drinking my ump-teenth cup of coffee today, watching Colin devour his weight in pineapple while Jack plays at his JuJu’s house.  It’s a good day.

That’s all for now.  I promise toupdate for real before Santa comes! ;)

October – a summary.

 - by emaroo

It’s been a while since I went so long without posting but it’s for good reason – or at least for some reason.  Things have been a little busy – just a tad.  I am right smack in the middle of my busy season with Emily Melson Photography.  LOTS of families and babies – it’s been fun!  November has lots on tap as well but I will be glad when I get to catch my breath in December – just in time for Christmas!

I now give you October – a summary.

First I took Jack and his good buddy, Nathan, on a trip on the Trinity Railway Express from Downtown Dallas to Fort Worth and back.  Yes, we just rode the train for an hour each way – but it was so fun!  Seriously, it was!  The boys loved it and it gave Nathan’s Mommy a chance to have a little breather from her rowdy 4 year old and spend some quiet time with her newest little baby boy – or take a shower – or a nap – whatever she wanted.  The boys had so much fun.


Next up was a trip to Denton to hang out with Grandpa.  We don’t get up there enough and since I knew October was going to be super busy on the weekends, I just took the boys on a Monday to play in my favorite park – the same park I played in when I was their age. 


Oooh – then our favorite rock stars came to visit!  It’s always a party with B&C!


 I hadn’t planned on doing a “family” picture this Fall but a sweet friend who is also an AMAZING photographer – Chantel Hayes of Breathtaking Photography – had just moved back from Kansas and was working on building her Dallas portfolio again and was offering an amazing deal.  I just had to take her up on it!  I love working with different photographers and seeing all their different styles. 

fam pics


Oh, right – and mixed in the October madness, Alan and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary.  Love you, Alan! 

emilymelsonfamfinal-115 2

The State Fair of  Texas is now an annual must-do for our family.  It is such an exhausting day, but so fun.   

State fair 1

Jack got to ride his first rides this year too!  He was so pumped but then we were all disappointed when, even though Jack is the required 42″ , they still made Alan ride in the kiddie bumper car with him.  He was looking forward to a solo ride but soon realized it was really more fun to have Daddy help maneuver through the traffic jams. 

state fair 2

Next up – Halloween!  At first I felt a little sorry for Colin having to wear Jack’s old turtle costume but then I put it on him and realized that this costume was in fact made for him!  Bless his heart – he was the cutest turtle I ever did see!  Jack wore the costume at 9 months and Colin is almost 18 mo!  Jack could hardly crawl in it and Colin was a walking/running fool in it!  I want him to wear it everyday now!

Jack chose Harry Potter as his costume when he heard his cousin, Hunter, was also going to be Harry.  I didn’t want to argue and tell him that Harry was already taken, so I just went with it.  He was actually quite excited that there would be two Harry Potters at the party.


Of course, we had to do the obligatory “throw your kids in a pile of pumpkins and take their picture” picture.  So we did.  Then we slaughtered the pumpkin just before Halloween. 


Finally, Halloween!  My cousin, Dana threw her annual Halloween party which we enjoyed and then went at our own slow (turtle) pace around the neighborhood.  This was Colin’s first actual trick-or-treating experience and he really got into it.  After only one house he was holding out his bucket for the candy and after just a few more he was saying “tank u!” after receiving his goodies.  Then at the last house of the night, he walked up to the door and actually said “tick-o-teat!”  My heart melted away at that point. 

halloween 1

Hunter decided to be the “Quidditch” version of Harry so we were sure to have the many sides of the great Harry Potter covered!  They were both adorable! 

halloween 2

So, there you have it!  Our October – a summary.

There’s a twister a coming!

 - by emaroo

Living in Texas, we get our fair share of stormy weather and on occasion a real thrill ride too!  Last week we felt the effects of Tropical Storm Hermine and had a day of heavy, heavy rain.  Our yard, front and back, flooded – it was a mess. 


Luckily, Alan came home early that day and we went to pick him up from the train station during one of the few and short breaks in the rain that day.  We are sooo glad he came home when he did because not long after that we started hearing tornado sirens go off.  We quickly clicked on the local news and saw a tornado touch down VERY close to both my mother’s and sister’s houses not to mention Alan’s work.  As we thought the crisis had been averted we were told that the storm and subsequent funnel clouds were moving up the Tollway and right for US!  If you know our house, you know how small it is – we really don’t have any interior walls or rooms without windows so our only option for taking cover in a storm like this is a small coat closet that is usually jammed packed with clothes and other items.  I KNOW I am overly paranoid about tornadoes but at the first sign of danger I go straight to the closet and take everything out so we can run in in a moment’s notice.  Jack, Colin, me, along with Doggie and Duckie took shelter in the hallway with our flashlight and scanner while Daddy watched the news.  We were ready to take cover!  Thankfully the storm passed us by leaving us unharmed but Jack still thought this was the adventure of a lifetime! 


Behind them you will also notice the diaper bag that contained not only diapers but also my external hard-drive and camera.  No tornado is about to take away years of work and memories! 

After the storm had passed and the sun peeked through for the first time that day we went hunting for rainbows and to survey the “destruction” as Jack called it. 






And of course, to splash in some rain puddles!



Thank you Lord for always watching over us and keeping us safe from any storm we may find!  You are our protector and guide!

So much to post – so little time

 - by emaroo

YIKES!  Life lately has been crazy – painful – stressful but still at times relaxing and laughter filled.  That’s just life these days.  I feel like I should make all the “milestones” separate posts out of fairness to my kiddos – but well, life just isn’t fair now is it?

Since this is my blog – and I am throwing fairness out the window – we’ll start with me!   About a month ago I woke up and couldn’t walk, literally.  I was in horrible pain – yes, the worst pain of my life (and don’t make me remind you that I have had two drug free labors and one totally drug free birth).  It hurt THAT bad.  My lower back was so inflamed that I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other.  All I could do was lay on ice and heat alternatively.  After  a couple of days of that and massive quantities of NSAIDs I was finally able to drag my aching butt of the chiropractor.  Even the slightest adjustment sent me into major spasms.  He gave me some enzymes to relieve inflammation and natural muscle relaxers and told me to rest for a few days – still alternating the ice and heat.  After about 3 or 4 weeks of regular visits to him and some moderate back exercises (and copious amounts of wine), I am up and moving again but I had to start doing something on a regular basis to strengthen the deteriorating muscles in my lower back (I have actually been diagnosed with some degenerative muscle disease, but I forget the same) so bring back the yoga!  I FINALLY joined a GYM!  ME – a GYM!  I will be the first to tell you how much I despise exercise.  I mean I hate it!  I hate to sweat - I hate to feel my out of shape muscles straining – ugh.  It is awful, but this not being able to walk thing or take care of my kids is really worse. WAY worse.  Luckily I know an amazing, I mean AMAZING woman named Heather who teaches yoga and my kind of yoga!  She has been heavier before and I think she really gets real people with real bodies and is so great about explaining things and helping me work with my body.  I just love her.  In fact – the first time I took her class she did the whole – “I know I know you from somewhere” and I said “It has to be Denton, because everyone from Denton knows everyone else.”  Sure enough – she was friends with my sister and we all worked at the same bookstore from time to time in college.  Man, does God know me!  He totally gets that I need to have some amount of familiarity in situations like this and He gave me Heather!  THANK YOU!  Please don’t laugh – and if you don’t know me well, you might – if you DO know me, you will get this – but I am PAINFULLY shy.  I mean in the worst way and I fight it everyday so having Heather there as a familiar face, makes me WANT to go to her class and stick my fat ass up in the air.  Please pray that I stick to this and remain dedicated and focused.  Otherwise Alan might be really pissed with the monthly fees coming out of our bank account.  (not really – he just works so hard to be a good steward of the income that God blesses us with and I thank him for that!)

Ok – on to the first milestone that was skipped during my blogging break – Jack starting 3 year old preschool!  Drop off was much easier this year than last!  He is just becoming so mature and sure of himself – is it both heartwarming and heartbreaking.  Love you, my man!


I couldn’t help but post this next pic of the sweet brothers.  They are really starting to play together more instead of just near each other.  Of course with that also comes more fighting over toys but I am glad that Jack is learning to share his home space and Colin is learning to stand up for himself!


We’re so proud of you, Jack!  Even when you’re Mr. Sassy Pants.  You are still quite obsessed with trains and cars but now you LOVE to crash, smash, explode or otherwise destroy them.  You love to read and are getting much better at sounding out words when you and Daddy read at night.  You’ll ask a MILLION questions but they are often about things you remembered from days, weeks or even a month ago and we have to jog our memories to figure out what on earth you are talking about.  Mommy and Daddy will never get tired of you walking up to us randomly and saying, in the sweetest voice, “I love you”.  You have recently discovered “The Beatles” and have to listen to the “Beatles 1″ CD almost nightly.  Oh, and Mommy’s favorite thing you do – you sing CONSTANTLY!  You will be playing with toys – crashing  cars – making trains “plunge into the ravine” or imploding Texas Stadium and you will turn any activity into a song.  They are usually songs you have learned already and you just change the words to match your current actions.  When you aren’t changing the words, you are singing about God and THAT could not make me prouder! 


Ok, now on to the baby boy in the house!  Well, baby only by birth order because Colin is NO baby!  He is a WALKING and TALKING big boy!!


This past weekend we drove over to Shreveport to visit with some family and Colin was apparently saving up all his walking for his Great-Granmom and Great-Pawpaw!  I am so happy that they got to witness this exciting milestone. 


GO, Colin, GO!  You are just changing and growing daily!  You are rarely without a smile on your face and hugs and kisses are plentiful!  You truly make my heart swell every time I pick you up and kiss your hot head.  I never thought I could possibly love another child as much as I love my first born – but you have carved out a nice spot in my heart right next to him.  You are talking up a storm too.  All of a sudden 16 months of us talking, signing and singing to you have started pouring out of you.  You now say and sign “please” or “eeeeees”, “MO” for “more”.  When you see another child even close to you in age – even when a little older – you will point and say “baby!”  You have finally and consistently gotten “Mama” down and will now say “JA” when pointing to Jack.  “Bye-bye” is said in the CUTEST high pitched soft tone as are most words you say.  You will “mooo” for a cow and “baaaaaa” for a sheep.  The other day you crawled right over to me and said your first sentence ever, “Mama, poo-poo di-pa”.  No, I will never let you forget that this was your very first sentence.  He now informs me each time he has a “poo-poo” in his di-pa.  Very cute – but also stinky! 


You make me want to have five more like you.


Slow and steady – right?

 - by emaroo

I just keep telling myself – slow and steady wins the race!  I have just logged my weight for my 5th week doing Weight Watchers.  I am down 6.8 pounds.  That’s almost 1.4 pounds a week.  I am choosing to be very happy with that.  Of course, Miss Impatient would LOVE for all the weight to melt off over night and wear cute and sassy clothes – but the likelihood of it all coming back is pretty high.  So, I am choosing to be happy with 1.4 pounds per week.

Back when I was going to WW meetings I once made a grumbling about “only” losing 1 lb one week which prompted the leader to bring in a jar with 1 pound of fat in it the next week.  I have never complained about “only” losing 1 lb again.  That was truly disturbing. 

High points of the last five weeks have included getting back into many of my pre-Jack clothes and NOT looking like a stuffed sausage!  Also, I have had lots more energy and have felt pretty darn good.

Low points have been when I let my blood sugar get too low (usually when I am dealing with needy children and forget to eat) and have given in to temptation and eaten something I shouldn’t.  However, again, the greatness of WW is that the wagon is just an arms reach away to hop back onto!  One of those 5 weeks I logged a .2lb gain but quickly got rid of that and dropped a little more.

This is a marathon – a very long one – but one that will be so worth it. 

Oh, and I am 3 pounds from my first personal goal – getting that BLASTED baby weight off!!  It took me nine months with Jack and will have taken more than 15 with Colin but the important thing is that I lose it for good!!  I cannot wait to log that weight when it happens!  I can taste it!

What’d he just say?

 - by emaroo

I have always firmly believed that textbook “milestones” are just flat out stupid.  They make parents paranoid and cause them to have unrealistic expectations of their child’s development.  My kids are developing beautifully, as I see it – but if I read the books I might be worried.  Thank goodness I don’t.

I have seen many babies who are walking at 10 or 11 months but aren’t talking at 18 or 20 months.  Then there are my boys who talk up a storm super early and really don’t care much about walking until it serves them!  Gee – don’t know where my kids get their love of talking!

Colin turned 15 months old yesterday and only has taken a couple of steps on his own back when I posted that last.  He does cruise around furniture like crazy and can almost crawl faster than I can run.  However, what this kid does best – as did Jack – is talk!

He said his first word, “kitty” a long time ago.  That was actually Jack’s first word too.  We like cats around here.  He then didn’t say much for a while.  Lots of grunts and noises, though.  Now he says ‘dada’, ‘mama’, JA (Jack), ‘chooo-chooo’ (whenever he sees a train), ‘bat’ (bath), ‘die’ (light), ‘bye’, ‘hi’ and a couple of times he has said ‘uv oo’ (love you).  Other than him telling me he loves me, the cutest thing he does is sing “Old McDonald” – or his version of it.  The other day he was crawling around and I heard him singing: “baa – baa – baa, e-i-e-i-e-i, baa – baa – baa”  It was super cute.  Now if I sing “E-I-E-I-” he will sing “OOOOOOOOO”.

Colin has been signing “all done” for a while and “milk” since he nursed.  “Milk” now often just means “feed me!”  If nothing else works he will just open his mouth, point inside forcefully and grunt loudly.  He finally signed “more” at lunch the other day.  Of course it was to get “more” ice cream.  Who wouldn’t learn a new trick if it meant more ice cream?  We are working on ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.

It’s so fun to watch these boys grow and learn.  I thank God everday for the chance to witness it.

Chop, chop!

 - by emaroo

Yes, we chopped my sweet baby’s beautiful red locks today.  I hate, hate, hate how old they look after their first hair cuts.  It just isn’t fair!

I had to get some before pics before we left to remember his soft, shaggy, unruely baby hair.  But first I had to prove he could “walk” because I made up this stupid rule that my babies have to be walking before they can have their first haircut.  It seems fair because “babies” shouldn’t have a haircut and only “babies” can’t walk, right?  Ya, I know stupid rule.  HOWEVER, I am ever the rule follower so we just altered our definition of walking and “helped” him keep his balance a little.  It works!  After all, he DID take his first steps last week – so technically he walked on his own.  Why do I do this to myself? 


There he is – walking! See!



I did say it was shaggy, right?


Brother always finds his way into pictures.


Aww!  So gorgeous!  How can I dare cut it?



Almost ready!


Jack was nice enough to go first.  He didn’t have much to cut – just needed his over-grown buzz cleaned up a tad.  Hoping for it to grow back in the Fall.


Now Colin’s ready to race – er – get his hair cut!


Oh bless me!  Where did those baby curls go??? 


I didn’t realize that when you took your baby in to get his hair cut you actually left with an entirely different child!!  This happened with Jack too.  I still think about him.  Oh well. 


Two big boys with big boys cuts. 

Thank the LORD for GROWING boys!