December 8, 2010


Stella had her first Gymnastics class last week. So much fun! It is a Mommy and Me type of class, so I get to be with her and get a first hand account of her skills. There was so much to do, that she just kind of stood there for a minute not knowing where to start first! She especially enjoyed the parachute (as seen in the background). We all stood around it and shook it up and down, then we raised it high in the air and all got underneath. The kids went nuts. They loved it!

Our friend Justine is an instructor at the gym and is treating Stella to the remaining classes in December. Thanks Justine!

October 13, 2010

The wheels on the bus...

Markana had to meet a couple of friends tonight, so instead of leaving Miss Stella with some friends in the neighborhood, she visited my office and was treated to her first bus ride home with daddy! There have been several occasions where they've taken me to the bus stop in the morning, but this was the first time she's actually gotten to ride.

Like me, she was a bit concerned at first...

...but also like me, she soon relaxed and enjoyed the worry-free view. (Sorry for the blur. Camera phone.)

I started riding the bus for a few reasons - save gas money, reduce congestion, lower carbon footprint - but after a while I learned that it's also a great way to find an extra hour everyday. Passengers do all sorts of activities to pass the time: read a book, catch up on news, listen to music, answer some emails, get ahead of some work tasks, clean toes...

October 9, 2010

Pumpkinhead Tradition

This started two years ago...

Followed by this...

And today, this...

I love that little face.

September 12, 2010

There are no words

Stella does her "work" at school.

"Spreading the butter on our freshly made cinnamon bread...ready for toasting!" -Miss April

August 19, 2010

In Action at School

I know we're not the first parents to wonder what in the world our child does at school, how she behaves, what she learns, etc. This week we got our first report and learned she is independent (surprise), she puts her food on her plate by herself at lunch, she cleans up her dishes when she's done, she plays well with books and puzzles, and she pees and poops in the potty. (uh, #1 Using the potty is news to us, and #2 I now officially have a blog post about pee and poop.)

But best of all, we got some pictures.

From August, 2010

I wish we had some video of the lunchtime routine. Guess who's gonna start doing chores at home.

(Thanks for the notes and pics, Miss April)

July 15, 2010

Happy Nails

From July, 2010

Stella tagged along with me today to meet my friends at the nail salon. She sat in my lap, soaked her feet in the water bath and then the girls insisted that she have her toes painted too. They were very impressed at how still she was. What a pro! I can't deal with how big she looks in this picture!

The owner's daughter, Jamie, picked the color.
from July, 2010

July 8, 2010


Thank you to Kyle, Caity and Claire for gifting Stella the fun duck call.

June 30, 2010

Birthday Week

Stella and I attended a birthday gathering to kick off Auntie Suzy's "Birthday Week". Well, since Suzy and Stella share a birthday, then Stella should have a birthday week too. Let the fun begin!

Independence Day babies!

June 7, 2010

Stella's first day of school!

From June, 2010

My baby started school today. What??? Though Mommy has anticipated this day for some time, it is still so crazy that she is old enough to go to school! She is attending a Summer program at the Montessori School that she will attend in the Fall.

The picture below illustrates how we left her. She immediately went into the classroom and got busy. I tried to kiss her good-bye and she shrugged me away. The report form the teacher was that she at some point realized that I was gone and asked for me with a worried expression. Kate (teacher) distracted her with a puzzle and she was fine. I checked out the remains in her lunchbox and she ate pretty well - some days she hardly eats and I don't know how she keeps her energy. Today was also her first time to sleep on a mat. I packed her blanket and pacifier just in case and she did ask for it. We hope to phase that out, but hey, it's her first day away from home.

I have to tell you that I really missed her. I have been waiting for this day for so long, but I found myself very anxious to pick her up. I just couldn't wait to see her. But, I also got so many things accomplished having the time to myself. :)

From June, 2010

May 14, 2010

A UT Graduate

My brother, Byron, graduated from UT Knoxville this week with a degree in Communication Studies. He has worked incredibly hard (with the help from our hardworking parents) and has accomplished his dream of earning a degree from his favorite school.

I can't think of a time when I have been more proud. Byron has always been a very likeable guy and full of personality. I have every confidence that if he continues to do the work, he will have every opportunity at his fingertips.

We love you, Bub.

May 9, 2010

Busy Bee in U.C.

Video highlights from Stella's busy Saturday in Union City, TN. (Funnier with your sound on.)

May 4, 2010

The Nashville flood from our house

The picture above seemed fairly dramatic as it was happening, but hardly conveys the deluge Nashville and surrounding areas saw over the weekend. There are many images of the mid-South, and our suburb of Bellevue, that do a better job of telling the story.

But this photo is descriptive by showing one of the many small tributaries that was feeding the Harpeth River (and in other places, the Cumberland). The Harpeth is what overflowed to cause so many problems in our area, and as you can see here, it snakes and zig-zags its way around and through many residential areas. It's easy to see that because of its path it often flooded homes from the north and south, or from east and west. In some cases, the flood waters approached from three directions.

Our immediate area was lucky to see no damage from flooding, and we suffered only minor inconveniences of road blockages and no electricity for a couple days. But although we are safe, dry and can get out of our neighborhood, many are homeless or still without power. If you are so inclined, please give to either the Middle Tennessee Red Cross or assist as you see fit. (I know that many other towns and cities are hurting, so please forgive my lack of mentioning them specifically.)

Thanks to everyone for the calls and concerns.

March 16, 2010

My baby

Just look at my girl. I love this picture.

This is how I see her face in my head. I have been thinking of her so much lately - not that she and I don't spend plenty of time together. Last week I started radiation and as I lay there on the table the first day, I planted this image in my mind. I thought about those big brown eyes, cute little bangs and those sweet cheeks. I thought of all the things that embody who she is - some make me laugh, some make me cry and some make me tired! And she is perfectly who she is and there is no confusion there.

And she has just gotten so big. When I get her out of bed, walk past the mirror and see her legs dangling long down my body is when I realize it. And it is such a bitter sweet moment. It is sad to think that you can't ever get these moments back, but beautiful to be able to watch her grow.

February 25, 2010

I love Papa. I love Cookie.

With apologies to my parents (she loves you, too, I promise), this is pretty darn cute.

February 14, 2010

Weekend vaca

From February, 2010

Every year (usually), the Jordan side of the family gets together for a vacation of some sort. Lately it's been a long weekend in the mountains, and this weekend we all met in Blue Ridge, Georgia.

The weekend started with me, Markana and Stella getting stuck in the snow two miles from the cabin, so Paul had to come rescue us. A stress-filled afternoon later, we had a wonderful time with the family playing in the snow, celebrating a late Christmas, holding Wii tournaments, painting Olympic medals and eating way too much. Unfortunately, because the forecast for both North Georgia and Middle Tennessee called for more snow, we cut the trip short and headed home.


Too bad, but we had a great time.

February 2, 2010

VOTE #3!

So, our favorite local photographer is holding a "2009 Top 20 Favorite Photos" and a very random photo from our session was selected.

It's not one of our favorites from the session, but that is not important. What is important is that all of you visit her blog,, and vote for image #3. The winner of the contest wins a canvas wrap of the image (ok) and a FREE PHOTO SESSION!!! She is insanely talented and worth every penny that we don't have to give her, so please vote so we have a chance at winning. Oh, and the contest ends this Saturday at midnight.

Thanks and we love you!

***I just want to say that I am not sure who selected the contestants, but baby Jude was robbed! You can scroll a little further down on her blog to see his latest pic. Come on. :)

January 29, 2010

Milk? Check. Eggs? Check. Bread? Oh no!

We're in the middle of what they're predicting to be one of Nashville's biggest snow storms, and for once Southerners actually have reason to freak out about snow. Looks like schools closed for a reason this time. Unlike this.

Here's Stella strolling along in her first real snowfall. About two minutes after this Markana had enough and went inside. One minute later Stella starting crying from cold hands. Yay snow!

January 25, 2010

Auntie Bath Time!

Can I tell you how spoiled Stella is? She is so loved. Here she is with her Aunt Amy and Aunt Suzy. They say they are coming over to see me, but I know what is really going on.

They helped Stella get her bath, which gave her an opportunity to show off some of her new skills. She has bath letters that she LOVES and is getting pretty good at identifying them and even placing a word to match. Daddy has worked pretty hard on the P is for Pizza. Impressive and "delicious" Stella says.

January 1, 2010

Being married to me must be awesome!

That's what I've been telling Markana for years in hopes that it might condition her to believe it.

But believe it or not, she at least thought I was awesome enough to agree to marry me four years ago today. Happy New Year! Each anniversary we get to celebrate the beginning of our lives together and the beginning of a new and hopeful year. This year is certainly no different.

Here's to an incredible 2010! Take a hike, 2009.

(we were so hot!)