Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving Weekend

We had a good Thanksgiving weekend. It was our year to spend Thanksgiving with my family, so we stayed in town on Thursday and had lunch at my parent's house. It was a little weird with my mom not being there (she will be in California with Carrie for a while), and no other siblings there, but Dad and I pulled off a great Thanksgiving meal for us and my grandmothers and we all ate ourselves silly! And the highlight was getting to Facetime with Carrie, Andres, Rooney and Mom!  
Our cute turkeys!

Harrison went head first into his cupcake! He was hilarious.

I was in the kitchen so much that I hardly had time to take any pictures. I didn't get any of our little family, and none of my grandmothers and dad. Cooking is hard work, but it was fun.

From lunch, we headed up to the lake to see Joel's family for a little bit. They do their big Thanksgiving celebration at lunch too, so we really just went up to spend a couple of hours with them before heading to the cabin for the weekend. The boys only had about an hour of daylight, but they made the most of it. It was freezing, so I didn't get outside and take any pictures of them riding the gator all around the farm!
We got to the cabin late Thursday night and then Friday morning, it was such a beautiful day. It was SO cold though! We were not expecting it to be that chilly, but that didn't stop the boys from being out in it.

Naptime that day was a complete bust, so we decided to head out for a short hike near Little River Falls. The boys love the woods. Harrison literally talked every step of the way...there was no enjoying the sounds of nature, but hearing his sweet voice saying "we walkin' in the wudz" and "bear gonna eat you" over and over again was almost too much cuteness for us to handle! Hudson led the way on our hike like a pro. He's going to live in the woods one day I think!

 Love this picture of all the boys!

 And this one too!
 Every so often, Harrison would plop down on the ground and request that his picture be made. He is such a ham.

 Doing the zip line at the cabin was where they spent the most time. They did it over and over and over again.

Trey and Morgan arrived late Friday night. We were so glad to have them there! The boys attached to Morgan immediately...poor thing. I should have paid her a babysitter fee! Ha! Saturday morning, we decided to go to Cloudland Canyon State Park and did a longer hike. We didn't realize until close to 2 miles in that it was a 5 mile hike all the way around--we really should have gotten a map! Joel kept saying it wasn't going to be long at all, but then we just kept getting farther and farther away. Let's just say the end of the hike was not nearly as pleasant as the beginning! I had to lug Harrison pretty much the whole way back and he's not exactly a small thing! The views were spectacular though! We ended up turning around and probably did 3.5-4 miles total. I was proud of the kids for sure.

 Caught these sweet boys holding hands. Hudson loves to take care of his little brother, and Harrison wants to do everything that Hudson does.
 Morgan took a family shot of us! Not too bad...

 The kids took a long nap that afternoon and then we spent a few more hours outside before the Iron Bowl. This is pretty much how we watched the first half of the game! We definitely were not sitting down!

We were in awe by how well Auburn was doing! It didn't end up our way, but they played well for the most part. They definitely did better than we thought they would!

We had a late night and everyone was (and still is) paying for it today. We had a rough ride home and then the kids took 4 hour naps--yes, even Hudson! He was so tired. We had a great weekend though and none of us are ready to get back to the real world tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Back from California

I had the best trip out to California. It just felt good to see Carrie and to know first hand that she was ok! It is so hard being all the way across the country. And Rooney Mae...oh my goodness is she cute. I'm already missing her sooooo much. I know she misses her Aunt Mindy too! :)
It was so nice to get there and really have nothing to do but to visit with each other and love on the baby. I only left the house a couple of times the whole time. Carrie had doctor appointments both Thursday and Friday so I did a good bit of babysitting too! Loved it! We took at least one long walk every single day. The weather was 75 degrees and sunny the entire time, so we tried to get outside a little bit! And we napped a lot. Life with a newborn will do that to you! I was assigned the 4 am feeding, so it took me back a little bit to the good ole days! Ha!

 Rooney is the sweetest baby! She hardly cries at all, and when she does, it was always easily fixable! She must know she needed to be a good little girl with all her mom and dad have gone through! I'm sure they'll get payback later! :)

 We did a lot of tummy time!

One morning, Carrie had an MRI of her spine (which was all clear by the way--hooray!!!) and we played dress up while they were gone. This was a dress that my grandmother made and Carrie and I both wore. It is so not Carrie's style (no smocking in CA!), so that's why we did it while she was gone! I thought she looked just beautiful though.

The CEO of Andres' company came over one afternoon full of Neiman Marcus bags. We had so much fun opening them all! One of the many very generous gifts were these super cute baby uggs! They were so adorable!
 On Friday, we got the good results from Carrie's MRI and they also had a team meeting with all the doctors and finalized the treatment game plan (the doctors continue to be very optimistic about the treatment), and we just all felt like we needed to celebrate. We headed to Fashion Island to see the Christmas tree light up and then had a drink. Roo napped the entire time like a good little girl and Carrie finally, finally felt normal again.

This little guy was attached to me the entire trip. Missing him too, but not missing his snoring! Geez, he's like a grown man!
Saturday morning, we decided a walk on the beach boardwalk was in order. They are just a few blocks from the beach, so it was an easy thing to do...I would seriously go there every day! It was so nice! Besides the row of staples that go from one side of the back of her head to the other, you would never know that Carrie had just had brain surgery...or a baby for that matter! She looked so good--already back in her skinny jeans. So.not.fair.
 I literally balled my eyes out after I said goodbye at the airport. It was so hard to leave. We are not sure if she'll be able to come home for Christmas, but we are really crossing our fingers that it will work out for a few days at least. She absolutely cannot miss a treatment or a doctor's appointment, so hopefully we can work around it!

Joel and the boys managed fine while I was gone from what I can tell! Joel didn't go running off as soon as I got home so that was good! There's nothing better than coming down the elevator into baggage claim and having my two little loves come running and jump into my arms. I am so blessed!

And then we came home and they watched youtube videos about how to roast a turkey...I have the strangest kids! Ha!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hard Week

Well, this has been one heck of a hard week. I think I mentioned in the last post about Carrie having a difficult labor. In the days leading up to Rooney's birthday, Carrie had started to get really bad headaches. So bad that she was hospitalized, couldn't keep anything down, and just felt all out miserable. Her doctor kept attributing it to the pregnancy. Finally, she went to the doctor the day after her due date and her doctor decided to go ahead and induce. The headaches seemed to get a little better right after she born, but by the end of the weekend, they were really bad again. She finally went to the ER Monday night. I'm sure I'm not filling in all the details right here...being so far away is the worst thing in the world...but last Monday night, around this time, we got some really bad news. Our sweet Carrie had a lesion in her brain. Try going to bed after hearing that news. After frantically trying to get my mom's flight switched to the very next morning (she could not function that night), we all prayed and prayed that this "lesion" was not what we were all thinking it was in the back of our minds. Most people know we lost my brother almost 7 years ago to a brain tumor. So this news to us was all too familiar.
 The next morning, the doctor confirmed our fears, that it was indeed a brain tumor. However, they pretty much ruled out immediately that it was the same kind of tumor my brother had. First sigh of relief. We were told that it was probably one of two things, a reoccurrence of melanoma (she has had bouts with melanoma a couple of times previously), or a meningioma tumor, which is typically benign and often times grows aggressively with pregnancy. We had all of our prayer warriors praying that it was benign. Surgery was on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, this sweet pea wasn't skipping a beat and was being a miracle child with her grandparents! Look at her sucking her thumb! Ahhh, so precious!!!

Surgery was on Wednesday to remove the tumor, which was the size of a lime--huge to me. It was the longest day! What we thought was going to be a 3 hour surgery ended up being longer, and I didn't hear a word until 5 pm that afternoon. It was tough! We got good news though, the doctor was able to remove most of the tumor (not all), and he thought that it was the benign tumor. He had been doing this for 25 years, so obviously we were all feeling a little better with this news.

On Thursday, Carrie had an MRI and the tumor was GONE. All of it. GONE. We were rejoicing at this news! We were getting a little more confident that it had to be the benign came on all of a sudden at the end of her pregnancy, they were able to get it all out, the doctor thought that's what it was, etc. We just knew.

Carrie finally got to see her sweet baby girl on Thursday! One day after brain surgery! Doesn't she look so happy?!?! This picture made me cry. And to make it even better, she got to go home on Friday! (one of the bright spots through all of this was that Carrie did not have to lose any of her beautiful long hair!)

So, the pathology report was due back on Friday and obviously we were on pins and needles all day awaiting the news. When I saw my Dad's number pop up on my phone, I knew it wasn't going to be good. My mom always calls with the good news. My dad always calls with the news mom just can't tell. It was melanoma. CANCER. I hate cancer. Hate it, hate it, hate it. We were all so shocked.

So, while they did remove the entire tumor, there are still cancerous cells, and because she has battled melanoma previously, this time they are going to war against it. And I know she will win! She has to for her sweet Rooney Mae! Updates to come....we ask for continued prayers though!

Just to end on a happy note...this is Carrie on Saturday...3 days after brain surgery! Out for a STROLL! (and I think she may have make up on). She is my hero!!!

I will be in California on Wednesday and I cannot wait. Talk about feeling helpless here! I'm ready to be out there and help with night duty, changing dirty diapers, and just spending time with my amazing sister and mom!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Rooney Mae is Here!

I'm an aunt again to a precious baby girl!!! Rooney was born early this morning after a long, long night for Carrie. We are so glad she is finally here and everyone is healthy!

Look at all her dark hair! She definitely favors her daddy to me, but has our signature Whitt chin and I'm told she has my dimples! I just want to squeeze those cheeks!

This picture makes me tear up every time! That sweet face of hers nestled with her mommy! 

I'm dying to get to California to meet her and get my hands on her, but I have to wait 2 weeks! It's going to be a loooong wait! 

Congratulations to Carrie and Andres! She's absolutely perfect!!! 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Best Fudge Pie

For a while now, I've wanted to post recipes on the blog. As a working mom, it's hard to get it all done at night. With homework and practices and bath time and reading all to do, adding a home cooked meal to the mix is tough! A lot of nights, there's just not enough time! Thankfully, most days I am home by 4:30 so this helps a ton. Quick meals are still a must though and I use my crockpot a ton. I cook at least 4-5 times a week, so stay tuned for meal ideas. I really need a place to store some recipes as well, so hopefully this will hold me accountable!
I think this is the first time ever that I've baked a dessert during the week, but I got a craving today and just had to make this fudge pie tonight, so why not kick this recipe thing off with dessert?!?! :)
 I saw this recipe floating around Facebook a few months ago and I finally got around to making it two weeks was so good that I had to make it again tonight. It's SO easy! Trust me, if I can make it, anyone can. I'm the one that two weeks ago put slice and bake cookies in the oven and then two hours later realized they were still baking in the oven. Yeah, good thing I didn't burn the new house down! Ha!
Ok so back to the fudge pie. The ingredients are things you will likely already have on hand, so that's what got me hooked to begin with.
1 stick of butter, softened
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix in well. Add cocoa powder, salt, and flour, and stir until well combined. Grease an 8" pie plate with butter or Pam. Poor mixture in and bake for 30-35 minutes.

I forgot to take a picture before we sliced it (love how it looks like Pac-man!), but you get the picture. We served it warm with ice cream on top. YUM!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2014


Halloween started off with Harrison's school parade and party. It was so cute! This was the first time Harrison has gotten to actually participate in the parade. He was so excited about it, but then I think he got nervous. He just kept this straight face the entire time and never looked anywhere else but right in front of him. 
 We tried to get a picture of his cute class. Apparently Harrison was the only one who got the memo to smile! Ha! Cheesing it up for sure...

 Then we came home for a while and napped before the big night!

 Unfortunately, Harrison woke up a little puny from his nap. I thought he was maybe just groggy from sleeping so hard so we pushed forward with our plans for the night, which involved going over to the Bridges to trick or treat with friends.

My little ninja turtles! These might be my favorite costumes so far.

Harrison got even more puny once we got to the Bridges. He was trying to hard to be brave and keep up with the other kids, but he finally gave up and just wanted me to hold him. He even said he wanted to go lay down on their couch, which I knew was not normal. He also started feeling warm. Joel made the executive decision to take him home, which Harrison was SO sad about. It really was heartbreaking hearing him crying and saying he didn't want to go home. I felt so bad. It was really cold out though so it was probably for the best that he went home. We did let him trick or treat for a few houses though.
The big kids ended up trick or treating for a long time and all had full buckets by the end!

Silly wig that the Mallette's brought! It worked great as a head warmer!

 Sweet friends!

 They were so hard to keep up with! They would hit a house and then sprint to the next one. At one point, the parents were all standing on the street watching kids at a house and then we all realized those weren't our kids! Whoops! It was a little crazy! We found them though. :)

We got back to the Bridges house and they all sorted their candy. We've never done this before, but Margaret said she did it after every single Halloween and so it's tradition. I have to say, Hudson loved doing it too! It made the night last a little longer, and it was fun to see what candy he got.
Surprisingly, I think the kids have only had 1 piece each since Friday night! It was like they forgot all about it on Saturday! Good thing--more chocolate for me!!!
We had a great Halloween despite Harrison getting sick. He woke up fine on Saturday so I think it's just a cold. Of all nights to feel puny though...poor buddy.
Saturday afternoon/night, Joel's cousin got married in Pell City on a farm. It was a beautiful day, but very, very cold! The actual wedding was outside. Thankfully, it was quick!
 The boys behaved very well during the ceremony. We were so thankful! They had been threatened!

 And then they danced and played the night away at the reception...

 The wedding and reception were at a really beautiful farm and we had such a great time visiting with family and celebrating John and Rebekah. Congrats to the newlyweds!

Joel and I had DVR'd the Auburn game and decided we would go "unplugged" until we got home last night. We did pretty well...of course we heard about some of it, but that was to be expected. We got home and then watched the entire game and wow, it was a good one! So glad we won!

Anyway, another great weekend in the books. We have NOTHING to do next weekend and I can't even begin to tell you how glad I am about that! However, if a certain little niece would decide to make her arrival this week, I plan to be California bound! Come on, Rooney!!! We are ready to meet you!