Friday, August 26, 2011

Mrs. Flora Lee Whiteside-Looney: March 10, 1935-August 4, 2011

One of the things I'm most grateful for is the pleasure to have met and have formed a relationship with Zach's Granny. I met Granny for the first time at my college graduation in 2004. She was SO proud of Zach and his accomplishments. I will never forget that proud look on her face when she hugged him after the graduation.

Not long after that, I started to make regular trips to Guntersville, Alabama, several of which, we slept in Granny's guest bedroom. I will always remember Granny's signature meal she made for Zach every SINGLE time we came into town: pinto beans, cornbread, potatoes, some type of southern cooked meat, extra sweet kool-aid, and usually much more.

Granny was always in the kitchen, or walking around the house cleaning. I rarely ever saw that woman sit down. She was constantly doing something, talking the whole time she did it. She always asked about my family and grandparents. She always asked about more babies. Granny always had an opinion on almost any subject, and was always quick to tell you what she thought-- even if it was about the weight that Zach and I had put on since our last visit. :)

I loved her from the minute I met her. Ever since meeting Zach and learning about his childhood, I have always known the roll that his grandmother had in who he is today. She introduced him to Christ, she was his biggest fan, and believed in him more than almost anyone else. She encouraged him to be the best man he could be, and to always strive for greatness. I thank the Lord every day for this woman. I truly believe that my children are reaping the benefits of this woman's hard work as a grandmother.

I could go on and on about why Granny was an extraordinary woman, and the legacy she'll leave behind her. But instead, I'll share this letter that Zach sent to her, months after learning of her cancer. I'm SO grateful he had the chance to share these things with her. Granny, you will forever be missed. We love you!

Letter to My Granny
-by Zach Wiggs
Granny, I don’t even know where to start. I wanted to write you this letter and tell you how much you mean to me and also let you know that it is because of you I am who I am today. Looking back on my childhood I could not imagine life without you in it. I remember the nights that you started keeping us on Saturdays so that Josh and I could begin going to church with you on Sunday morning. I loved coming to your house and hanging with you and Paw Paw. Neither of us will ever forget watching the TV shows like Hee Haw and eating your wonderful cooking on those Saturdays nights. I will always remember those nights that you would stay up with rollers in your hair and prepare for the lesson that you were going to teach the next day in church. You would always make sure that we were focused and that we knew how important God's word is. Smiles come to my face as I think about you teaching us The Lord’s Prayer. I will never forget those nights.
I remember the afternoons that you would come and pick me and Josh up and take us to go on walks with you. I will never forget why you would you would even take us on these walks. It seemed as if we slowed you down more than helped! Josh and I were always amazed with how fast you could walk that levee. I remember how sad I was once when I lost some money up there. We spent the better part of that afternoon searching for that money than we did walking. You even pitched in to help. I remember your patience with two goofy grandkids who wanted to find that money! Thinking back to those times being with you and getting to be close to you are memories that I will keep forever.
Your cooking will also be something that I will keep with me. You know that I would travel for miles to get to eat your food. My family will always be reminded that Granny’s cooking is what kept me going. I will never forget or let my family forget my favorite meal. Pinto beans and corn bread. That combination will be one of my favorites forever.
As I got older and began playing sports you supported me. You began to see that my interest in sports could lead to a better life for me. And although I couldn’t see it, you begin to assist me in preparing myself to move on from my small town that I love so much. I remember that as I began my senior year in school that you always said that I was going to have to leave Guntersville to find better work and start my family. Though I was thinking that I would always be back there by now, I think you knew then that I wouldn’t be.
Then I graduated high school and moved to Tennessee to attend Union University. The one thing I will remember about that school dorm is the weekly phone calls from you early in the morning asking me how things were going and making sure that I was doing what I needed to do. I think that my roommates even knew that it was you calling so early! Those calls kept me grounded and focused.
Moving on past college with kids and family, I hope that I have made you proud. I hope that I have embodied the heart and soul that you seem to carry so well. You have been with me and have helped mold me into someone who is capable of being anything I want to be. You showed me that it was possible.
Granny, you taught me about God. You showed him to me by the way you lived and how you cared for us. You showed me how to care and love a family. I want you to know that you have your fingerprints all over my life. From the time that I was a little boy all the way up to now. The way that you have lived your life for others is something that I want to continue. Granny I know that you are very sick. I wanted to write this to you so that you could know fully that you are so amazing to me. You are such a hero to me. Strong, solid, dependable, constant, my rock!
I love you grandma! You will always be so special to me. And no matter what happens with this cancer you will always be super woman to me. May the God that you introduced me to, be with you. Love you so much lady.


Five on Friday

1. Zachary has been sick with a cold the past couple of days. He's working hard to give it to his Mommy and Daddy, but we're working hard to fight it off.

2. Zach is on his way to pick up Syd for her birthday weekend here. She is turning 9!! We have lots of exciting stuff planned. Can't wait to share! They'll be back around 7 tonight! I cannot wait to see that girl.

3. I've been gaining too much weight this pregnancy. I assume that's the case since I've been eating whatever I want, whenever I want. So, after the doctor called me out on my weight gain, I decided to start keeping up with how much I'm eating. She gave me a recommended calorie-per-day intake, so I downloaded the livestrong app to my phone to help me track it. I'm actually quite addicted to it.

4. Zachary started Mother's Day Out last week. He's been doing SO good. He's really tired at the end of the day, but his teachers say he seems to love it. Isn't he the cutest little school boy??

5. Zach and I got dressed up for Marcus and Carmen's wedding a couple weeks ago. It was a black tie wedding, which was fun since we rarely ever get to dress up these days. This was the first wedding I haven't "worked" at in a while, and I have to say, it was quite nice! My mom took this picture with my cell phone.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Table and Chair: Distressing Project

I have a list of things I've been wanting to learn how to do. While I've started a few projects in an attempt to learn, I have a LONG way to go.

A few things on my list:

1. Knit
2. Sew (I want to make patchwork quilts)
3. Make Incredible Cookies (the really pretty, painted kind)
4. Distress Furniture
5. Upholster furniture

A couple weeks ago, I decided to attempt my first distressing project. I got online and found a tutorial, and went to work. A couple years ago, someone gave me a Strawberry Short Cake table and chairs for Syd's room, and I've been meaning to paint them for a while now. Well, now that Zachary is getting older and will be doing more coloring, etc... I decided to give it a gender-neutral look.

There are several things I didn't love about it, but I was pretty satisfied for my first attempt. Here's the before and after.

Zach was freaked out with me doing all the sanding and painting while pregnant, so I took this photo to assure him that I was behaving. We both agreed this is about as hard core as I am capable of looking. :)

Zachary: 18 Months

My sweet boy turned 18 months old yesterday, so I decided to do something fun, considering how insanely hot it was. I think it neared 110 yesterday?!?!

Some of the things to mention about Zachary at 18 months: This week he LOVES fruit. He loves bananas, grapes, and watermelon. He's still not wild about berries. He likes green peas and carrots, but that's it for veggies. He still likes meats and breads... sometimes.

He's REALLY starting to show his stubborn side. I feel like we're entering the twos early. He has meltdowns on a regular basis... mostly when he can't figure something out or doesn't get his way. He is still napping twice a day, but starts Mother's Day Out in two weeks, so I'm hoping he will slowly start to adjust. He is still as cuddly as ever. He loves cuddling and hugging. He is obsessed with his Daddy and his Aunt Tori. I mean... OBSESSED. He LOVES to dance and will dance to anything... even the dogs' tails hitting up against a wall.

Things that make him laugh: peek-a-boo, being tickled, the dogs or cat, when mommy and daddy kiss, when we laugh.

While his little attitude is getting challenging and we're having to implement time-out here and there... I have never loved him more. I am SO proud of him every minute, watching him figure out something new, or accomplish something on his own. It's so wonderful watching him grow. I love you, sweet boy.

Here are a few of my favorites from his 18 month old session. Love this kid.