Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tilly's Baptism

Ty and I decided before the craziness of the holidays, we'd like to go ahead and have Tilly baptised. It was such a special day for us. No matter your religion or how you go about things ... dedication, sprinkles, full immersion ... to me, and for the sake of this blog, that's just details. For all parents, the moment symbolizes the same thing. Me and Ty, our families and our church family are vowing to raise Tilly in the Christian faith, to be an example to her of how Christ calls us to live and to teach her about God until she is of the age to be confirmed in her faith and accept him as her Savior. Whew, that's a lot of responsibility!

For the first part of the service, Ty and I made our vows to Tilly. As we were preparing for this day, I wanted to get a christening gown for Tilly to wear. I didn't know of a family gown, so I thought we would start a tradition with Tilly's gown. Ty's mom, Margaret, surprised me with something so special! She had saved the gown Ty's great aunt Helen made for Margaret's baptism, and Ty's sister, Mandy, was also baptised in the gown. It is a gorgeous, delicate linen gown that dates back roughly 60 years. I love that Tilly got to wear it and will be able to pass it on to her own children one day.

Next came the water. Let me just say, Brenda St. Andre sets up for our service each week and she is heaven sent. For each baby's baptism, she has the water warm so the reaction is more soothed than shocked. Tilly stuck her tongue out for most of her baptism, but aside from that and a few whimpers, she did great.

Following the baptism, JoAnn carried Tilly down the center aisle as the congregation sang a sweet lullaby to her called, "God Claims You." I've never managed to make it through a single baptism without getting teary eyed. The song says,

Tilly Ann, God claims you
God helps you, protects you, 
and loves you, too. 
We this day do all agree, 
A child of God you'll always be.
Tilly Ann, God claims you, 
God helps you, protects you, 
and loves you, too.

After the song and an inevitable room full of teary eyes, the church prays collectively for Tilly and makes their vows to her. We are so blessed to attend a church filled with young families. After all, it takes a village!

Following the service, we had several friends and family members over for lunch.

I find any occasion worthy of cake pops and cookies from Alyson Foreman at Aly B's Bakery. She did precious pink, sparkly cross cookies and circular white monogram cookies.

I put out a few special childhood mementos from mine and Ty's childhood, such as my first "real" jewelry that my parents gave me as a little girl, and Ty's thumb trophy that he was rewarded with when he stopped sucking his thumb.

I couldn't resist putting out Ty's scuffed up baby shoes, too.

We were so grateful to have the Taylors there to help us set up so everything would be ready as friends arrived for lunch. Doesn't Knox look like such a mini-Marcus? 

The Guletts also came over for lunch. Just a couple of weeks before Tilly's baptism, we got to take part in the baptism of their third child, Cooper. I cried at this service, too.

Of course, Aunt Mandy and Ruby Belle came over. Everyone says Tilly looks just like her cousin, Ruby Belle. I can accept that. RB is such a pretty little girl and is growing up so fast.

Tilly fell asleep soon after we got home, missing most of her party. Thanks to my aunt Robbie for changing her and putting her down for a nap. Once that was done, Ty was free to head things up at the kid's table. Other than being slightly too tall, this is where he belongs! Following lunch, the kids all filed into the backyard to pick limes off our lime tree and toss them in the pool. My favorite part was seeing Georgia Gulett (pictured above in the orange bow) kicking limes off the tree in her Sunday smocked dress. You gotta be rough and tumble to hang with the boys sometimes!

Our friend Kristen described watching your child's baptism as magical. It was nothing less than just that. I will never forget those special moments with our friends, family and church family. We are blessed to have such an amazing support system, people who love Tilly and are invested in raising her as a child of God.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Three Months and a Baby

I'm back!

You'd all but given up on me, I'm sure.

Let me start by saying, this time off has been wonderful. I have fallen madly, deeply, head-over-heels in love with my little girl. I will be unable to recap the past three months for you, but I'll do my best to give you a synopsis.

Tilly Ann was born Aug. 7 at 2:04 p.m. After three days of contractions that would progress to the point of getting ready to grab my hospital bag and then they would suddenly stop, I called Dr. Tynes and said, "Let's do this." We went in at 5 a.m. that morning, they induced me and things went well and quickly all day and then there was Tilly. It sounds far more simple than it actually was!

{This was taken right when we got to the hospital. You can't tell, but I was a nervous wreck!}
There were a few delivery room debacles. The nurse telling Ty to call Dr. Tynes because we were ready for her to come deliver, like immediately, and Ty dialing the wrong number! The anesthesiologist getting ready to administer my epidural and accidentally cutting himself on the glass vile. Thankfully, he is one of our good friends, and we can now harass him about this to no relief.

After Tilly's birth, we spent the first hour alone, just the three of us. The hospital plays a sweet lullaby over the hospital's speakers to announce the arrival of a new baby. It was music to my ears! 

I wouldn't trade these moments for the world, but I knew I wouldn't be able to hold off the Netherton and Jordan families for much longer. Our room was full of family and friends to celebrate. People sent flowers, cookie cakes, clothes. ... and good thing on the clothes. As much preparation as I had done, I wasn't ready for a six pound baby. None of the clothes fit, so we needed some preemies. Tilly was completely healthy, just one day shy of her due date, but small.

{I'm amazed at the amount of stuff we acquired at the hospital}

{Our precious cargo couldn't hold her little head up for the car ride home}

Now for the fun part -- coming home! I've loved, loved, loved becoming a mom. Trying to figure out bath time, nap time, sleep schedules, breast feeding -- those are stripes I've earned in the past few months.

I love Tilly's sweet cuddles, her smiles and giggles. It's the most rewarding job that not even the stinkiest diaper can phase me!

I love seeing her experience new things and grow and change. A newborn will make you realize how quickly life moves. Someone told me the other day at church that Tilly changes every time he sees her. It's so exciting, but makes me a little sad, too. It's going by too fast. I want to hit pause and hang out here a little longer!

But, life doesn't afford us a pause button, so I'm doing my best to savor each moment. The frequency of my blog may suffer, but I'm a little wrapped up at the moment.

Now, I'm about to do the crazy mom thing and show you a million pictures from the past few months.

{Tilly getting some sun and napping in Ty's lap}

{Bundled up after our first bath like a cute burrito}

{Tilly and I going for our first stroll through the neighborhood. I never realized how many pot holes and uneven sidewalks there are in South Highlands until now!}

{It was never difficult to tell if Tilly was satisfied after eating.}

{Tilly and Knox meet for the first time. We laid them in Tilly's crib and they both started sucking on Tilly's hand. We were just happy to see them share. They are six weeks apart, but LJ and I were highly amused at the size difference.}

{This is one of Tilly's first documented smiles. She would often smile in her sleep, but this was one moment that she melted my heart.}

 {Two-month shots are the devil. I'm still not sure who cried more, me or her. But there's nothing better than sleeping on Daddy's chest when you don't feel good.}

 {Tilly loves hanging out with her cousins Beckett and Ruby Belle. A few weeks ago, we were together with some of our other friends and their children. RB was quick to tell the other girls, "No, that's my Tilly."}

 {Tilly and Knox decided to coordinate Halloween costumes this year. It was great for this one photo, but Knox was sweating in his monkey costume and Tilly pooped in her banana, so that was short lived.}

{You gotta start 'em young around here. Tilly decided to show her Tiger spirit for our walk on a recent game day morning.}

{This is just about the best feeling in the world. I love cuddling with this sweet girl.}

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tilly's Nursery is Finished

After hanging curtains Sunday, I'm proud to announce that Tilly's nursery is ready and awaiting her arrival. Working on this room has been a nice way to pass time during pregnancy, but with four weeks to my due date, I'm so glad it's done.

This is what we started with:

And this is her room now:

It's hard to believe we're even looking at the same space! We've ripped up carpet, repainted walls and ceilings, installed crown molding, painted cribs and furniture, picked out fabric and other accessories. This room is ready for our sweet baby girl to come home!

It's hard to capture the whole room from one angle, but you may notice there's not much pink. I don't have a problem with pink, but I fell in love with these fun blue and green fabrics and the nursery blossomed from there.

I love how her crib bedding turned out. It's somewhat non-traditional and funky, but looks so sweet and girlie with the light blue crib. Ty did a fantastic job painting it!

The curtains were the last thing we added. The fabric is soft and delicate and doesn't take the focus away from the bold bedding. Tilly's monogrammed baby shoes could be my favorite thing ever!

There are a few other special touches that I love, too.

This was Ty's dad's hospital bracelet from when he was born. I had no idea this is what hospital bracelets used to look like!? Or that they were sealed together by a lead pellet! Ty's mom gave this to me several months ago, and I had it framed because I thought it was such a sweet keepsake ... even though the last name is misspelled! Did you notice that? I wonder if they would even let you take your baby home now days without a full-on investigation if this happened.

Aunt Ashley and I spent last Friday night making this wreath for the hospital door. We used fabric I had leftover from her room and a wood monogram Ashley had made for Tilly's shower. I love the little pop of pink in the middle of all the blue and green fabrics!

Only one thing is missing, and I imagine the stork will be delivering her to us very soon.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Showered by Friends

A few weekends ago, my sweet friends outdid themselves by hosting an amazing shower for myself and Tilly. There were so many precious details, I will do my best to remember them all.

I'm so grateful for the girlfriends I've been blessed with. Four of us have been enduring this long hot summer pregnant together. Knox was the first to arrive, only three more to go ... and I'm due next!

This was one of my favorite details. Each of the girls brought their cups and rattles to hang above the food table. Unbenounced to me, they had a cup made for Tilly that was hanging with all of theirs. What an adorable, thoughtful idea!

The food and flowers were prefect. Amanda has mastered the art of flower arranging. I wish I could do that!

Lauren made mini blueberry pancakes, Kristen brought the most divine cheese grits (the leftovers were a hit in Sunday School the following day) and Nancy made my favorite strawberry salad. If only the plates were bigger!

Jenny made coffee punch and there was champs (I hope all of you that watch RHOC got that reference). The coffee punch made its way to our Sunday School class, as well!

LJ's mom, Mrs. Lesa, made these adorable cupcakes. Some were decorated with flowers, others with baby booties and some with Tilly's monogram. So precious!

LJ found these cute onesies to hang over the mantle. They so soft and sweet. I can't wait to see Tilly in them!

There was an insane number of gifts. I think I broke a sweat trying to get through them all, but we have so many things ready for Tilly now, and I couldn't be more appreciative of the generosity our friends have shown.

It happened that my longtime friend Sarah (Morgan) O'Bryan was in town from Savannah and was able to come to the shower. It was great to see her and our college pal Sara Stanford, who came in from Baton Rouge. We don't get together often enough! The last time was at my wedding, so I better keep coming up with huge life events if that's the only way to round us all up in the same place.

Sarah is expecting 10 weeks after me, and found out two days after the shower that she's having a little girl. I wish our girls could grow up in the same town. The trouble they could stir up!

We got everything home, unpacked, washed and put away! I realize Tilly could survive with much less, but it warms my heart to see there are so many people who already love her and are ready to welcome her into this world.

Only five more weeks!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Knox Benjamin Taylor is Here

Yesterday, my best friend had a baby. Sweet, handsome Knox Benjamin Taylor came into this world just after 12:30 p.m. after some hesitancy. I'm not sure where he gets those stubborn genes!?

He's not even mine, but I immediately fell in love. It's something about that strawberry blonde hair and those tiny wrinkly feet that render my heart helpless to him.

But you know what I love even more?

The picture above.

Two people I love and enjoy so many life moments with now have a son. There's now a third member of the Taylor family, a third person to love and a third person to share life moments with.

I can't wait to celebrate all the milestones Knox makes in his life. I can't wait to see him and Tilly play. There's so much to look forward to in his life that is just beginning.

But right now, my heart is perfectly content with this picture and the start of a new family.

Few moments can be better than this one.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Family Baby Shower

We have had so much going recently ... beach trip, baby showers, nursery prep, doctor's appointments, vehicle break downs, teeth falling out. All of those things have led to two weeks of silence on the blog. I promise to catch you all up the happenings. Especially the part about our teeth falling out. That is a great story!

But I want to start by sharing some pictures and stories from the baby shower, hosted by some very special ladies in my family, for me and Tilly this past weekend.

As many of you know, Ty and I are naming our daughter after my great uncle, Tillman Netherton. Tillman was his full name. Most people called him Tilly. Those closest to him called him Till.

Tilly and his wife, Ruth, lived two doors down from my grandparents, and Ruth still lives there today. Anytime Nana and I would go for afternoon walks or the troop of Netherton grandchildren would take over the street, you could count on finding Tilly in a lawn chair at the top of his driveway. We would always stop by and say hello. His vision had started to fail him years prior, but he knew us by our voices and was delighted by the visits.

You won't find Tilly's name in any baby name book or be able to look it up and discover its meaning. But this is what it means to me. When I knew him, my great uncle didn't have vision as we all know it. I'm sure many of those days he sat in his lawn chair, he couldn't really see the beautiful view of Cross Lake that stretched out before him. But he did have a different kind of vision for things eternal. He was loving and kind and generous and Godly, all the things I hope my daughter will be. I can only hope that when the things of this world fail her, that she can have the same eternal vision as my great uncle.

At the shower this weekend, Tilly's wife, Ruth, said she knew he was looking down on my Tilly from heaven and smiling.

What a wonderful thought! It has warmed my heart to think about that ever since.

Another favorite moment from this weekend's shower was getting to see sweet Landry and my cousin Casey again. I know traveling seven hours with a two-month old was probably less than desirable, but I'm so glad they made the trip. And even more thrilled was my Nana, who got to meet her great-granddaughter for the first time. Nana held her and sang to her for what seemed like hours. I asked her what song she was singing and she said, "I don't know. Just a song I made up and sing to Cookie each morning."

FYI ... Cookie is her pet shih tzu.

The picture above captures four generations of the Netherton women. We're still wondering where I came from since I missed out on the olive skin and dark hair.

I had such wonderful hostesses, including my aunt Robbie, Ashley, Casey and Becky. Thanks to these ladies, I've been living on the most delicious fruit dips, chicken salad and pecan muffins since the shower!

There weren't just Netherton women there. My mother-in-law Margaret and her sister were at the shower, too. People always tell me how blessed I am to have an awesome mother-in-law. She really is the best!

This was one of my favorite items from the shower. My sister-in-law Ashley went overboard! She found this Jenny Lind rocking chair and refinished it, adding her monogram to the chair's seat. Here's a close up.

Behind our heads is a bow holder she made, and she and my brother Chris even put together a slideshow of photos from mine and Ty's baby books.

Here are more of Ashley's cute creations!

Precious monogram door hanger.

Ashley knows how much I love whoopie pies. We gave them out as favors at our wedding, and I cannot get enough of them! Now, the Whoopie Pie Lady makes baby whoopies, which made adorable favors for the shower.

I loved all the precious treats, good food and time spent with close family and friends.