Saturday, April 30, 2011

Easter Love....

Here are some pictures from a perfect Easter day. Family, food, love, laughter and worshipping our Risen Savior. Perfect, I tell you.

I have a little story that I will share in my next post. I need more time to sit down and write it. So, for now, here are a few pictures of our day.

Celebrating Him,


~my favorite Easter loves~

~be still my heart!~

~yes, those are tatoos on her arm...left over from the weekend before. oops!~

~happy Easter!~

~we love our Mommy Jane~

~always the best-dressed table around...Mommy Jane's Easter spread~

~who does this??? Mommy Jane, that's who!~

~a sweet Hill picture~

~Joseph and William~

~Mr. Rick and Joseph~

~the buffet~

~the kids table~

~Ramsey Easter cutie pie!~

~beautiful cousins..Presley, Sarah and Anna-Joy~

~Christian is ready for some eggs in his basket~

~the whole gang getting ready to hunt some eggs at my cousin Ginger's house~

~really needing some sunglasses, mommy!~

~the prettiest 7 year old niece, Anna-Joy!~

~I love this kid. Have I mentioned that?~

~my side kick forever and ever~

~and we still dress them alike. ~

~My Daddy and my Lem...the cutest guys around~

~My beautiful Mom and my beautiful Aunt NiEata~

Friday, April 22, 2011

More than words....

I googled "cross" pictures. This one struck me. I like the darkness with the contrast of the light coming through. Beautiful to me.

I woke up this morning with a mixture of joy and sadness. Today is Good Friday. The day that Jesus died on the cross for us. It brings my heart inexplicable gratefulness and humbleness.

However, as I looked outside at the dark sky, I thought of that day. Chills ran up and down my body as I thought of Mary, His mother. What was she feeling? How did she watch Him die? I cannot even wrap my tiny brain around such a thing.

I went to Joseph's room and watched him sleep for a while. His body taking in air and letting it out. His chest gently moving up and down. His face was peaceful. A beautiful sight to behold.

I lie next to him, inhaling his 9 year old scent. A sharp pang in the pit of my stomach slowly churned. I thought of the devastation of losing him. I would not give him up for the world.

But, God did. He gave His only Son to the world as a sacrifice for us. Wow.

I'm speechless today.

He loves us so much.

In complete awe of Him,

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hippity Hoppity....

....Easter's on it's way!!
Our Easter Picture 2011

William, Presley, Ashley, Danny, Graham, Joseph 2011

As you already know, I love traditions. Easter is no different. We go to the same place every year and have our Easter Bunny picture made. Stonecrest Mall. The tradition started in 2002 when Joseph had his very first Easter.

 My kitchen looks like an Easter Bunny's delight right about now. Framed, pastel, Easter Bunny pictures line an entire counter top. Every year since the children were born, we have a picture.  I love it.

Mommy Jane takes the whole group of us every year. She loves it just as much as we do. We always get a good laugh as we watch the kids engage with the Easter Bunny.

Today, Presley said: "Mommy, I touched his big, fake tooth!"

Graham said: "Why does Easter Bunny have a screen behind his mouth?"

Danny was getting frustrated and making faces until the camera lady said: "Smile or Easter Bunny won't bring you candy!"

His face lit up like the 4th of July. Hilarious.

Ashley had a perma-smile attached to her face. We laughed and laughed at her as she sat perfectly still with that big, pasted-on smile. So cute.

I LOVE these kids.

Thank you, Mommy Jane, for taking us and making these memories with us. We love our time with you. It's always the BEST.

dusting off my decorations,


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

She loves me, she loves me not....

my circus baby

presley lost her first tooth...she was upset that we didn't look alike anymore. i went to my bathroom and colored my bottom tooth black to make it look like i had a missing tooth too. it's hard to see in this picture, but if you look closely you can see the black!

my favorite girl in all the world.

I love taking my kids to school. It's 17 miles one way, but I love it. They could ride the sure would save money on gas. However, my time with them in the morning is priceless and I cherish each second of it.

Before you roll your eyes at my sentimentality, I must tell you a short story.

Yesterday, on our usual route to school, I glance at Presley in my rear view mirror.

"Presley, You look just like a Princess today! So, beautiful."

I then look back at Joseph, admiring his handsome-ness, and say:

"And Joseph, my goodness you look just like a Prince today. My 2 little royal subjects."

Before I could even get the last word out of my mouth, Presley shouts:

"And Mommy, You look just like the Maid!!!"

Wow. The life of a Mommy. I took a good look at myself. A 2 day old pony-tail, sparse make-up, workout shorts,  and a wrinkly  t-shirt.

Yep, I'm the maid.

She loves me. She loves me not.

She loves me.

back to the broom,


Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Woman's Work.... never done. Can I get an Amen? As I sit here and type, my mind is racing of the one million things that need to be accomplished before shut-eye.

ever feel like this?

Don't get me wrong, my standards are really not that high. Since hitting the mid-thirty mark, I have definitely given myself a break on the house-has-to-be-spotless motto. Pleeeeeeeease. It ain't gonna happen. Ever.

Lem is at bible study tonight. I am here with my babies getting things settled down, signing folders, brushing teeth, combing wet hair, saying prayers, laying out clothes for next day, cleaning up from dinner, looking at my toes and trying to decide if I have the energy to give myself a quickie pedicure, then looking at my fingernails with a hopeless sigh. My nails will never be pretty. At least not for a long, long time.

You get the picture. You are probably in the same little boat. My list is never, ever done. It's constant. Never stopping. New things being added daily.

I have to say that I have the utmost admiration for the full-timers. The Momma's that hold a 40 hour week job outside of the home. I think about them a lot. I have convinced myself that they have an extra gene that God did not give me. How do they do it? I am in utter amazement at these women. Super Women/Momma's/Wives. You really should wear a shiny red cape, you deserve every thread of it.

Then there's me. I get overwhelmed if I have to bring snacks for a soccer game. Not kidding. My sister laughs at me all the time because I like simple, slow and easy. She, on the other hand, likes all the balls in the air as she juggles them seamlessly. She functions best in a pressure cooker, and me...well, more like a crock pot.

Regardless of the endless duties, I love being a woman. I love my role in life. I love taking care of my people. Nurturing is my thing. It brings me endless joy. I will never EVER be president of the PTO...but some wonderful woman will. I will be the Momma that gladly volunteers to "help", but please don't put me in charge. Pressure. Not for me.

So, this post is for my fellow momma's, grandmama's, working women, stay-at home women and anyone in between. I high five you with my sadly cracking and in need of a manicure hands. Up high!

looking for an emery board,


Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Dear Joseph,

I am really not sure how you could be any more sweeter. God certainly gave you the biggest dose of all. Every morning you get up and out of bed, go to the shower, sit at your bar stool and eat your breakfast. I never have to beg you to get up, I never have to argue with you over what you should wear. You are just easy.

You will never know how wonderful of a quality this is until you have your own children. You are a peacemaker to the core. I can identify with that. People mistake this for weakness at times, but it is truly just the opposite. Making peace is a good thing, buddy. Don't ever forget that.

The first thing that people say to me about you is: "Joseph is just the sweetest, kindest boy." I couldn't agree more.

You melt my heart. My heart literally dissolves when I am with you. I am so smitten by you. Every ounce of you.

Joseph, you are funny. So funny. You get this from your Daddy. Just yesterday you told me that Daddy was funnier than me, but that I was definitely the "silliest". I just laughed. You thought you had hurt my feelings, but I assured you that I was okay with being the "silliest".

I love your honesty. You are spot-on and it's refreshing. You have a way of being honest, yet not hurtful. A dichotomy that not many can achieve.

You are a diplomat to the core. Your MawMaw and I always say that you would be a great politician. You have a calm presence which makes everyone want to be around you.

You are agreeable, likable, and always do the right thing. Always.

You remember the only lie that you have ever told. You inspire me. Everyday.

You have made me a better person. You make me want to be better still. I always remember that you are watching me. Your opinion of me is worth more than diamonds.

You are mine.
i want to be just like you,


dirtbike Joseph.

happy Joseph.

adventurous Joseph.

silly joseph...and you think i am the silly one??

My Joseph.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I confess....

Consider this a confessional. You've been warned. This here blogspot is the solid black curtain (is it black?) that separates my sin and guilt from your ears. You know, the old Catholic confessional booth.

This concept has always intrigued me. I tell my sins to someone sitting across the curtain from me and I am cleansed. Hmmm. Can I just tell Jesus and skip the old claustrophobic booth? Besides, gas is too high for me to have to drive to have my sins cleansed.  Things that make you go hmmmm.

You're wondering if I'm Catholic. No, just intrigued.

Back to the confession. Okay, here it is.

I text and drive.

Ouch. It hurts to say (type) aloud. Who changed the font to Large?? Not just Large, but Bold, Large, and Italics. Sheesh.

 Go ahead and boo and hiss and throw your rotten tomatoes at me. I deserve them. Every last rotten one of them.

Go ahead and judge. Judge away. I deserve it.

I am so ashamed. My children even say, "Mommy, no texting and driving!"

Again, ashamed.

A year ago I told my little ones to call me to the carpet if they see me texting and driving. So, they do. Has it stopped me?

No. Well...sometimes. "Sometimes" is not enough.

I rationalize that it is not technically" texting" if only one hand is involved. My head is now on the desk, buried in my hands. A bright red glow has taken over my face as I confess to such a shameful act.

I confess because I want to change this. I am not proud of this one bit. I lecture my niece and nephew constantly about not texting and driving. I'm a hypocrite I tell you.

So, with you as my ceremonial witnesses, I vow to not text and drive. It is, for heaven's sake, against the Law!

Just today, I passed the site in Hard Labor Creek where a popular Morgan County boy, Caleb Sorahan, was killed while texting and driving. He was 19.

It jolts me to reality of the danger of this careless act every single time I pass by this spot. I immediately pray for his grieving family. Senseless, just senseless.

This is so preventable. So, as for me....texting will be done when the car is in park. Not at a stop sign, not at a red light, but pulled over and parked. My kids are watching me. They will follow in their momma's big size 8  footsteps...good or bad.

I am taking this very seriously, as I should have already done.

Keeping it real here on the bloggy blog.

Hope you can handle the truth. (I picture me saying this Jack Nicholson -A Few Good Men-Style) Corny, but this is my blog, I can be corny.

your new law abiding citizen,


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Two things....

A couple of weeks ago I had this outfit on below:
 When Presley came home from school she went to her closet and put this on:

I love her. So much.
  This past Saturday morning I woke up and had my usual coffee and oatmeal. Normally Presley is right by my side chatting with me in these early morning hours. She chatted shortly and then headed off. After finishing my breakfast I headed back to my room and the door was locked. I knocked and Presley said "Give me one more minute.".

My first thought was that she was in my make-up. Oh boy. A nice mess to clean up this morning.

Finally, she announced, "Mommy, come to your room...I have a surprise for you!"

My mind is still foggy as it is still early, but I make my way to the bedroom. I open the door, and this is what I find:
My bed was made and there on the bed was the sweetest note in her little 6 year old handwriting:

"I love you, you are the best. To Jill, From Presley. I love you, from Presley Hill."
(Adorned with hearts and smiley faces of course)

I'm head over heels.That's for sure.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I feel pretty...

Could it be that we as women have gotten it wrong? Like, very wrong?

Yesterday after a long day at my Dad's office I picked the kids up from school, raced home, fed the kids some snacks, balanced my checking account, put the kids soccer clothes on and headed to the soccer field.

My sister is on Spring Break, therefore I am filling in for her at Dad's office. It's not terribly difficult, but it does put me pretty far behind in my house duties. No biggie, I will catch up.

Back to the story. I am feeling frumpy at best that day. My hair is pulled in a very haphazard ponytail. My make-up is long since gone from 6:15 that morning. My eyes are showing "tired" and my breath stinks from dehydration. The office was out of bottled water, so I guzzled coffee all day. Yes, coffee breath. The.worst.

I get to the soccer field with a few minutes to spare for the start of Joseph's game. I put my big Hollywood sunglasses on to disguise myself. Madison is a small town. I wasn't up for small talk, so I tried my best to hide on the sidelines.

Soon after, Lem shows up at the field. He gives me a GREAT big hug, pulls me close and tells me how beautiful I look. I quickly look over my shoulder to figure out who on God's green Earth he is speaking to. I saw no one.

Were you talking to me? He smiled and pulled me closer. I turned my head so that he wouldn't smell my 18 hour breath.

I suddenly felt pretty. Not pretty in the physical way, but pretty in the "I am loved" way. The kind of pretty that shows on the faces of  plain-faced girls who fall in love with a boy and suddenly her face is noticeable and she is beautiful in a way that you never saw before.

I felt a rush of color to my cheeks and giggled to myself. Really? This is all it takes? I am not even trying, not striving, nothing...and he thinks I am pretty?

As we were getting ready for bed he said..."You looked so beautiful today. You're my girl, always."

I am still trying to figure out what he saw that day? What was different?

Could it be that the more we strive for beauty the more it lessens our beauty? Could it be that just "being" our lives...watching our children play soccer...could be the secret to true beauty? The kind of beauty that can only be unveiled through being who we are? Not about a brand of make-up, a certain perfume, the right hair cut, or hair color?

As I sit here and write, I am looking at my daughter sitting cross-legged on the couch. What a beauty. No striving, no insecurity to withhold her true beauty, just pure Presley. Captivating.

Food for thought, girls.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday, Monday.....

So, I am dipping my chipped, dark plum toenails back into the blogging water.

I have this to say today:

Today is Monday. Monday is my trip to Athens to visit Trader Joe's day. Quite possibly, my favorite day of the week. TJ's is to thank for this.

 TJ's=Trader Joe's. I only post this for the slow learners such as myself. I may be the slowest learner of all, so I post this for me. I may look back at this and need a reminder of who in blue blazes "TJ" is. Wouldn't want a dirty rumor going around about "Jill & TJ", now would we?

Okay, tangent. Sorry.

TJ's greets me every Monday morning with free coffee. Yes, free. Where else can you get a good, free cup of joe? ( Besides home, smarty pants. )

Some mornings I may have already had my caffeine (shaky hands and all) fill, so they offer a decaf as well. Genius, I tell you.

Well, now for the point of my post. Here are a few of my favorite items from TJ's.

Read them and weep. Just kidding. You won't really weep, just thought it sounded cool.

My faves from TJ's:

1) Trader Joe's "Joe" coffee. You gotta love the name. Simple and to the point.

2) TJ's coffee creamer. Yep, it's good.

3) TJ's large snack pretzels.

4) Veggie Stix snacks. My personal fave.

5) TJ's hummus. Any flavor will do. Pair it with any kind of cracker. Heaven.

6) B-12 under the tongue dissolving tablets. Sometimes you just need a little extra oomph.

7) TJ's frozen green beans. Yeah, their good.

8) TJ's orange face wash. Washes off every ounce of my make-up. That says a lot.

9) TJ's Lavender salt scrub. For $5.99 you will feel like you just left a spa. Minus the toe fungus.

10) TJ's maple brown sugar oatmeal. Top it with some blueberries and you have the breakfast of champions.

Okay, there ya have it. That's my thoughts for Monday.

Hopefully the end of the week will produce deeper, more intriguing posts. But don't count on it.