Friday, July 25, 2008

Family Beach Trip

The popular thing to do these days when you are at the beach is dress your family in white and head to the sand to take black and white pictures. So this year we took a trip to the beach with Shay's family and we decided to follow the crowd and take some pictures of our own. If you know Shay, you know that one of the things he hates the most is to be dressed like someone else. The second thing he hates is what he would call "cheesey" pictures. As you might have guessed these pictures of us all dressed in white were his two worst nightmares come true. He did however cooperate very nicely like the sweet husband he is and we got great pictures of our family and great pictures with his sister and her family. I think the pictures turned out really good and I even ended up liking the ones in color better than most of the black and whites. So here is an album from our trip!

Mary Selwyn and her cousin Kate. This is my favorite picture from the whole weekend. Don't they look like little angels??

These next few pictures of Mary Selwyn melt my heart. There are a ton more like this, I chose only four and that was hard for me to do because they are the sweetest pictures to me.The rest of these pictures are just fun pictures from our trip. We had the best time. The weather was beautiful and not at all too hot. Mary Selwyn was quite the little fish. She loved playing in the water.

She also enjoyed playing with her sunglasses.

So hollywood!

Shay and niece Kate.

Melly and Kate jumping on the bed.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My New Hobby and the Family Band

At the first of the year I decided I needed a new hobby. I had always wanted to learn to smock so I figured there was no better time than when I had a child of my own that I could smock for. I picked it up pretty quick and I don't think I'm terrible at it. I love, love, love smocked clothing. Mary Selwyn rarely leaves the house in an outfit that isn't smocked. I love that it is cute and sometimes fancy. If I could afford it, everything she owned would be smocked, but that just isn't possible with prices these days. Maybe by the time I have my next child I will be really good and super fast.....doubt it, but we will hold out hope.

Shay's cousin Eve is who taught me how to smock. She is so good, everything she does is beautiful and could sell in the stores for $80. We have the best deal going right now. She makes the dress or outfit and then I smock it and then she will finish it or put it all together for me. I pay her to do this but it is so much cheaper than buying them in the store. These first two pictures are of the dress that I did for Mary Selwyn that I am the most proud of. I love the fabric and the smocking and the colors. It is by far my favorite thing that I've done so far.

These are some pictures of some other things I've smocked. I did an Auburn and an Alabama Jon Jon as gifts. The Auburn one was so much fun for me to do, the Alabama one I had a little harder time smocking....maybe I'm a little partial...okay a lot!!! However, I'm pretty proud of both of them. It was a lot more stressful to smock something that is going to someone else. I wanted them to be perfect. Perfect they are not but I worked hard on them. The Alabama one we gave to our friend Gavin for his first birthday and the Auburn one is a baby gift for sweet Mac Ellis. I can't wait to see the pictures of those precious boys wearing them.

The last picture is of a purple dress I smocked for Sydney Soriano. The dress did not photograph as well as I would have liked, I guess because it is a light color fabric and white thread. I'm working on dresses just like this for Mary Selwyn and my niece Kate to add to their collection of matching clothes. They are really sweet. I wish you could tell better in this picture.

So I have sewing machine that does all kinds of great stuff. My mom bought it a couple of years ago for Mother's day and never used it. I was lucky to have it passed down to me brand new. My goal is to be able to sew and start putting all my smocked outfits together myself. I realize it will probably be a while before I'm good at it but I'm determined to do it. I mean if I could end up half as good as Eve then I could sell my stuff for way less than you can buy at these children's clothing stores. I'm also going to learn to monogram on my matching this next week. I'm so excited! I love monograms just as much as I do smocking. I can't wait to be able to do it myself. I also already have plans to learn to smock pictures and letters. The smocking doesn't take me long so it is the sewing and putting together I have got to catch up on. I'm no dummy. I know this probably won't be easy for me. I will probably give up a hundred times but I have always wanted to learn to sew. I may never get to the point where people will pay for my stuff but a girl can dream right?

The Family Band: For her birthday, my brother Bradley gave Mary Selwyn a harmonica and set of bongos. The gifts that every mother dreams of. Noise, noise and more noise. Mary Selwyn loves to beat on these bongos, what kid wouldn't? It took her a while to pick up on the harmonica but now that she has got the sucking in and blowing out down she is a harmonica playing fool. We had to buy a second harmonica when we misplaced ours for a couple of weeks but now that we have found it Daddy and Mary Selwyn play some nice duets every night.

We went home last weekend for a birthday party and a biscuits game and while we were staying with my mom Uncle Brad pulled out all of his musical instruments. He has a very large collection. From guitars to drums, harmonicas and other things that I don't know the names for. He even has a didgeridoo. I don't know how many people know what that is but is this long wooden thing that I think Australian tribes use to make music (I think). Brad is determined to make Mary Selwyn a musician. He brought out his harmonicas and tambourine and had Mary Selwyn play them while he accompanied her on his banjo. These are the short videos from their jam session. This is my first attempt at taking and posting these videos so forgive me for them not being more professional. I just wanted to share the early videos of our new family band so we can all say we knew them before they were famous!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Pictures from our 4th

Here are some pictures from our long independence day weekend. We spent the weekend with Shay's parents building our fence. Well, lets be honest, my contributions were very minimal. What can I say I'm not much of an outside, manual labor kind of girl, sorry. I do happen to have super sweet in-laws who are always willing to help us out, especially with outside jobs. They are the best. Mary Selwyn and I took some time out on Saturday to go to the Yates house so Mary Selwyn and Cohen could take a quick dip in the frog pool. It was not our typical river spent fourth of July but it was a fourth of July none the less. Hope you all had a happy one too!

After playing in the sprinkler we let MSN run around outside in her diaper....we can do that now we have a fence!

Busy Worker Bees.

Cohen was not real excited about pool time but Mary Selwyn had a surprisingly good time anyway. She climbed in and out of the pool over and over. That's right the Nichols family is officially fenced in!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

One Year Ago Today

At this exact time last year I was being prepped for my C-Section. It had been the longest 26 hours. Shay was exhausted and pale from not eating and pacing all over the hospital for that whole day. We were both a huge bundle of nerves. It was the strangest feeling to say "good-bye" to all my friends and family as they were wheeling me down the hall. Even stranger to think that the next time I was wheeled down there I would have a baby. As we turned the corner of my room I burst into tears. I think the exhaustion and nerves just hit me all at once. My doctor was sitting at the desk and when he saw me coming and crying he made the nurse stop. I will never forget him looking at me and telling me to just relax it would all be fine (he was very good with me and knew exactly how to handle me through out the whole pregnancy). Before I went into that room I said a quick prayer just asking God to calm my nerves, and He did. As soon as we went through the doors I was completely relaxed. They were prepping me and I remember saying to the nurse, "Don't forget to get my husband before they cut her out." The nurse laughed and said "we won't, don't worry." A few minutes later, just like the nurse said they brought Shay in. From there everything went so fast. All of the sudden the doctor lifted my baby over the sheet for a very brief second and said "Happy Birthday." Shay immediately said, "She looks just like me." I was thinking there is no way he can tell that fast what she looked like, especially because she was covered in green stuff. He was right however, she looked just like him. They cleaned her up and weighed her and brought her to me to see. I obviously couldn't touch her because I was strapped down to the table. Then Shay and the baby were gone just like that. It felt like it was taking them forever to get me put back together. I couldn't stand knowing that everyone was outside with my baby, but me! I do not like to be left out of things, especially that! So I went to sleep and snored all the way through them sewing me up. After all, I had been awake for the better part of 26 hours.

I remember this all like it was yesterday. I'm sure it is something you never forget. And even with all the nerves and hard recovery it was still the neatest experience. It was so surreal. I would love to do it all over again, I'm just that crazy. I absolutely cannot believe that it has been a whole year since that day. I have been looking at Mary Selwyn all day and thinking there is no way she has been here for a year. It has all gone by way to fast. I try my hardest daily to enjoy every minute with her because they are gone before you know it.

This child is the light of our lives. She has this red hair and big blue eyes, with super long eye lashes. You cannot help but fall more and more in love with her every time you look at her....or better yet, every time she looks at you. She is so loving. She loves to snuggle and give kisses. I taught her to give kisses very early on. This was the first thing she learned. I insisted on having an affection child and I am proud to say all my efforts were successful. Most days she can't stand to not be in your lap or your arms. She is perfectly content just sitting, snuggling and reading books for hours and hours. That is for the most part our daily routine. The sweetest kisses are the ones right before she goes to sleep and first thing when she wakes up. These are the times that she feels the need to give them to you one after the other after the other. I can never get enough.

She loves baby dolls, purses, wallets, cell phones and books. Just like every girl should. She will carry a baby doll under her arm all day some days just patting it on the back. She is such a nurturing little "mommy" at such a young age. I hope that I'm a good example.

She also has a big bag of tricks these days. She can quack like a duck and roar like a tiger. She can say kitty and doggy. She can show you her nose, mouth, eyes and hair. She can also show you your nose, mouth, eyes and hair, and does so sometimes without much warning. She knows her fingers and her toes too. She can clap and dance and tell you how old she it. She is very smart. Mary Selwyn is also already an Auburn girl through and through. She has a tiger puppet that plays the fight song and she walks around making it sing with her other arm in the air flailing about in a dance/cheer motion. She makes her mommy and daddy very proud!

Seems like she can do 100 things and is learning new ones everyday but the thing she does the best is melt my heart. I just look at her and my heart swells and then overflows with so much love. Love I didn't know I was capable of feeling. I think to myself "does everyone love their child this much? Does everyone feel this way?" I'm sure the answer is yes even though to me it just doesn't seem possible that anyone could love someone else as much as I love her. I adore everything about her and I can NEVER get enough of my sweet Melly Sellen!

I cannot believe it has been a whole year. Shay and I are the luckiest parents to have such a precious little red-head. She is an enormous blessing and I hope that I am able to show her that everyday. Happy Birthday Mary Selwyn! We love you!
(Just some pictures from this last year. Same old story, more pictures to come!)