Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Just because...

Happy Last Day of September y'all!
(The picture is a little fuzzy since it's from our phone camera but it's so cute I had to post it!)

Monday, September 28, 2009

11 months old!!

In a little less than 3 weeks our sweet baby will turn one - the birds are chirping, the wind is calm, the earth is quiet, and...wait, just kidding. WE-HAVE-AN-11-MONTH-OLD. The birds are chirping? No, Bella is singing LOUDLY! The wind is calm? Maybe, but Bella is ALWAYS on the move. The earth is quiet? We now have a talking-squawking-squealing-making-every-sound-she-can-think-of little gal. And, if I do say so myself...she is A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E. She is a champ at pulling up on everything and is getting quick at walking around the coffee table or the chairs or the kitchen cabinets. She also learned how to open them - so her daddy quickly baby-proofed the cabinets before she could figure them all out.

Look at those eyes! I like to climb on daddy these days...Hey mom, why are you laughing so hard? Sweet daddy's girl.Here are some other firsts for the month:
1. She stood up and LET GO! We were hanging out at the Bradster's house enjoying grilled dove (ok, they were...not me) when Bella scooted to me, stood up and hung onto my shoulders for support, looked at me and then let go and stood there all on her own. What did this momma do? All I could think of was "grab the camera" but I froze as we both looked at eachother and smiled. Those memories are captured in my head and heart so who needs cameras! (I know at this point the grandparents are saying "We need cameras").
2. She is making "puppy-dog" sounds. Along with her numerous sounds she is making now we'll hear her yelp and squeal like a little puppy dog.
3. I think she is learning "If you're happy and you know it clap your hands". I'll sing that and she'll actually clap back. Smart? Yes! Clap all the time? Well, maybe...
4. I think she's beginning to dance. We'll sing and she'll bounce in her cute belly-hanging-over-her-diaper self.
5. And, she continues to just be super duper cute. I know i've said it before but I had no idea how much I would love being a mom!

Here are her monthly giraffe pictures in her diaper-cuteness. (Yes, it was hard to get her sitting down or being still.)

Hugging the giraffe!
Look dad...I can stand up on this now!
Cutie-pie! (Don't you love the 'hair-sprout'! Grandma's...that's for you!)
Cutie-pie again!
When all else fails...kiss the mirror!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sweet Seymour

September 7th I lost my sweet Granddaddy. I wanted to post earlier but it's been pretty hard for our family. Those of you that know me know how close I was to him and those of you that knew him know what an extraordinary man he was. I called him Seymour. (My mom called him "senor" one day and I heard it wrong - thus, "Seymour" became his nickname to me.) I thought i'd dedicate a post, or two, to him. Here are some of my favorite pictures and stories of him. (My mom also has a great post about him at )

One of my favorite stories of him was when my mom was born. They wouldn't let Granddaddy go into the delivery room or stay the night when mom was born. The hospital room was on the first floor so Granddaddy drove his car underneath the room where Grandmother and my mom were at and slept there the whole night to be close. Growing up, some of my fondest memories are when we would go camping in the airstream to Cloudcroft. Seymour was a big man so when he moved in the airstream we all felt it. To wake us up in the morning he would bounce up and down...then we knew he was coming around the corner. After the bouncing started you would hear:
"Zippity Doo Dah
Zippity Ay
Mean oh Mine (he always sang these words instead of the "My oh My" words)
What a wonderful day.

Plenty of sunshine
Comin' my way.
Zippity Doo Dah
Zippity Ay".
I'm sure we would pretend like we wanted to go back to sleep but secretly we loved it. When we would go visit for holidays or birthday parties Granddaddy and I would walk down their driveway to put up the flags and still sing that together. One of my favorite pictures of us! This picture depicts how sweet and comforting and strong he was to us.
During our second birthday I found mine and Allison's cake in the back room at my grandparents house. And, since I had to make sure it tasted good I stuck my finger in it thinking noone would notice. When they brought the cake out Grandmother asked me if I was the guilty party. In my two year old voice, I said "Granddaddy do it." I still blamed him for things saying that! Grandmother always knew who really "do it" though. All of us grandkids would get a kick out of "sneaking" up on Granddaddy while he was "sleeping". I remember Cybil, Allison and I hiding behind the couch while Granddaddy was napping with a feather to tickle him. He always seemed to know when we were trying to do that - he probably heard those giggles we were trying to keep in. When we would get up close to his face he would jump up and we would go screaming and jumping and running...and we probably woke Grandmother up every time.
When I got older I went to Wayland Baptist University which, thankfully, was about an hour away from Grandmother and Granddaddy's house. I loved going to their house for the weekend or evening - we would shell peas, can peaches, ride in the golf cart, and just be together. They always welcomed my friends and became another set of grandparents to many of them. I lived with them one summer too. He taught me to catch a june bug and tie a string around it's foot and watch it fly around (I know, I know - things we did on the farm). We laughed so hard that evening because it would fly around and the string would entangle around me - resulting in squeals and "Granddaddy, get it off...." from me. He laughed and chuckled like he always would and then come to my rescue. (His laugh/chuckles were fabulous!)
We've always loved his big, strong hands. Even to this day I would put my palm in his and watch mine disappear. There was always that security and love in those hands that represented how we felt about his heart.
Grandmother and Granddaddy live on a farm outside of Lubbock where he had Christmas trees (in West Texas!) and cotton. They have a little house across from their house where I lived during a summer I took classes at Texas Tech. I was so excited about having my own place and was busy decorating all day. Then nighttime came around and after laying in bed for a little bit I got scared of being by myself. So, 10:30pm at night I marched myself over to my grandparents house and rang the doorbell. I still remember Granddaddy opening the door for me while I said, "I don't want to sleep by myself". He didn't laugh or make funny remarks to me - He simply said "Well honey, come on in. You're welcome". Then with those big hands he hugged me and they made sure I got tucked into bed. That never got old - even in my twenties. Yes, security and love and family were always trademarks of his.
On the farm, Granddaddy would take us up in the bucket and "pretend" like he was dumping us. We squealed and squealed and it probably made Grandmother pretty nervous. Then we had fourwheelers and then the golf cart. Granddaddy would take Grandmother out to watch the beautiful sunsets of West Texas. Their romance never got old or dull.
The farm should be called "Smiley's Place". Granddaddy would take old tractor parts or anything else he could find and paint them yellow with eyes, a nose, and a big smile. He has a TON of them all over the farm. If you're ever driving down highway 87 toward Tahoka look for the giant smiley face in the cotton field. That's it!
One of the greatest joys was sharing their first great grandbaby with them. I adore my grandparents so it was an honor for Bella to meet them. I love this picture and his face and the way my heart was beaming at the time.
Granddaddy was the hardest worker I know. My Uncle Steve depicted that work ethic and what it taught us about life so beautifully at Seymour's funeral. That work ethic and life lessons were instilled in us all at a young age and still holds true in many, if not all, aspects of my life.
He was a man I admired and looked up to. We became friends as I got older but he always was my Granddaddy.
Sweet Seymour and Mike working in the barn. I will always remember the smell of the barn.
Here's the bucket he would put the grandkids in and we would ride up and down his driveway. I'm sure Grandmother has hours and hours of video of us doing nothing more than laughing and riding.
Everyone who knew Granddaddy knew about his red hat! They would come to our high school events and Seymour would always wear his red hat. I could spot him out in the crowd while I was in band or at an awards ceremony and my friends knew who he was too. Toh is children and grandchildren, he would wait until the crowd at one of our games or events got quiet and yell "At'a boy, girl". We loved it!
I can't describe in words how much I love my Seymour. His love for Grandmother serves as one of the greatest examples in marriage I know. His strong hands were more than physical strength to me. Those hands represented friendship, love, strength, hard work, and grace. Seymour, you are one of those loves to me that I am so thankful for. Love you better, Emily.

Monday, September 21, 2009

6 Year Anniversary!

Mike and I celebrated our sixth year anniversary last week and went to Houston for a quick trip. While we were gone Bella had a great time with Grammy and PawPaw Smith. Check out this cute video! It was WAY past Bella's bedtime (as evidenced by her 'falling' on Mike) but you have to stay up late when you're with the grandparents. If she plays in her crib before she falls asleep she'll usually fall over and sleep with her head face-first between her legs. She'll go until the end!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Love you better

This video is for my sweet grandmother, Bella's great grandmother. We (grandmother and I) say "Love you better" to eachother and try to be the first one to say it. So, grandmother, Love you better - and enjoy the video. (If it doesn't work the first time keep trying or let it buffer some more.)