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Welcome to My Mommy Thoughts. I originally created this blog to document our lives hosting foreign exchange students in our home but I quickly discovered a passion for writing and blogging. This blog has become a little bit of everything.

So sit back, relax with a cup of coffee and enjoy!!

~Randi

Me and My Hubby

Me and My Hubby

My Loves

My Loves

The Princess - Maggie

The Princess - Maggie

Me & my Meg

Me & my Meg

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Besties!!!

I have been thinking and planning this blog post for over a week now, I just have not done it. So much comes to my mind when I think about it ... I knew what I wanted to say yet I didn't. I know that more words will come with this post as I type it.

I want to introduce you to my besties. I have 4 of them that I want to talk to you about today. Now, I have more than just these 4 besties. How can I have 4+ besties ... well, that's easy. They are all different and unique in their own ways. We each have different relationship but yet these are the 4 women that I know that I can count on and would be there in a heartbeat. As I have said about one of them, I would take a bullet for them - or I would step in front of a bus for them. I love them all SO much! Everyone knows that a girls absolute best besties are their mothers and sisters - or in my case, my mother, 2 sisters and my niece. I love my mom, sisters and niece more than words can say. I would not be the person or the wife or the mother that I am without them. They are my everything! I mean - my EVERYTHING!! I will do a post later on about them.

Today - I want to talk about 4 special ladies. Like my mom, sisters and niece, again, I would not be the person I am today if it was not for these 4 ladies. They have all influenced my life tremendously. I didn't know what order to talk about them -- didn't want someone to think that I loved one more than the other, not that they would do that -- but I decided that I would go with who I have known the longest.

My sweet Esther Grace!! Wow -- we go back a long time! I first met Esther my freshman year of high school. She was the "new girl" as Mr. Eady referred her to in marching band. She was new to Briarwood that year and would be joining us in marching band. I vaguely remember her first day on the field with us but I did not talk to her. I am sure that she was very overwhelmed coming in after bandcamp and then having to learn the halftime show. I remember the first day of school, sitting on the bus and Esther gets on to ride. We sat next to each other and the rest is history. We sat next to each other on that bus for 2 years. We certainly had our laughs and our tears and our inside jokes - goodness, don't know if I can remember them all now! But we were like peanut butter and jelly. If we were not at ones house on the weekend, then we were at the other! Like any other high school bestie relationship, we let boyfriends get in between us some but nothing could ever take away our love for each other. Sadly, we drifted apart after high school but each time we picked up the phone or met for a cup of coffee, it was like we saw each other every day. I am SO excited to say that 11 years later, 3 kids and we won't mention how many "significant others" later, we are right on track again. I am thrilled and honored to be standing next to my bestie in her upcoming wedding. 

Oh - and let me add what dorks we were in high school - this was LONG before the days of email and text messaging. There were numerous occasions that either Esther or myself were not allowed to talk on the phone - and that just broke our hearts!! So, we had to come up with inventive ways of talking to each other. Our parents couldn't ground us from the fax machine!! HAHA! "Good Night, Gracie!"


This is my Carlie!! Carlie and I first met at Huffman Baptist in the Spring of 2000. I was a freshman in college and I am not sure what grade Carlie was in. I could probably do some simple math in my head, but... I think she was a freshman in high school. I was a newbie on the block, didn't know anyone but I quickly got active in working with the youth. Who knew - I was just a youth myself! But Carlie was very active in the youth and we hit it off perfectly! I took her home after church, if her momma wasn't there, I chaperoned a trip to Panama City Beach which really grew us closer together. Carlie and I both had a "crush" on one of the youth leaders and I was dreading telling her that he and I had started dating. Well, almost 11 years later and neither one of us are with him but we laugh about it all the time! Carlie came to work for me in the Spring of 2007. I gave her ALL of my wedding planning secrets, taught her everything I knew about a wedding and we worked well right along side of each other. She was with me during the hardest days of my business when we closed it. She always apologizes when she refers to Bubbles and Bells as "ours" but I laugh and tell her she made more profit on the store than I did. It was just as much hers as mine! She and I have grown to love each other as sisters and I am thrilled to have her in my life. We have definitely shared our ups and our downs in each others lives - we have faced happy moments together, marriage, baby and we have shared tragedy and loss. Carlie and I both know that we can always depend on each other through thick and thin!

Oh - and did I mention that Carlie, being the GREAT friend that she is, dressed up like Tigger for my rehearsal dinner?? HEHE!! Yes she did - I'll have to see if I can find that picture and add to my blog! That's true friendship!!

My sweet Jennifer Day!! I had no idea that working at the bank would give me such a lasting friendship! We talked on the phone each day at work and even shared lunch together as often as we could. I remember being SO excited when she started working at the corporate office and we could have lunch together everyday. I will say that I am the one who taught her to eat her french fries with pepper! HEHE!!

We shared so many laughs together - not so many tears - well, never mind, yes we have. I am totally the one to blame for the tears at her baby shower! We have lived through weddings, babies and loss. We have sweated together working out our stress - I didn't do so hot in that area but we won't go there! Jennifer is the one that I can pick up the phone and tell anything too!! As we grow further in our lives, we are amazed at how much we have in common - most importantly, our FRIENDS! Oh my gosh, Jennifer and I could have an all weekend FRIENDS marathon and be thrilled. Hum, we might have to do that one day! I will never forget what a friend she was -- I had about 400 wedding invitations to assemble, Noah was only 2 weeks old and was not really allowing me to get much done (boy, what did I think then compared to now) and there she was, 7 1/2 months pregnant and she comes to help me assemble invitations. What do you think we did when we assembled invitations? That's right - watched FRIENDS!! I am so thankful for her and am thrilled to see where life takes us!

And then there is my Jen! Where do I even begin?? Jen is my bestie that I have known in the least amount of time, but I swear, she is my counterpart. Is it sad that I remember the first time I met her husband but I don't really remember the first time I met her?? I first met Jen and Rob at CrossPoint in the Marriage 101 SS class. As you can tell by the picture, Rob is a little recognizable (I mean that as a complement. The red hair, the beard...) I will never forget our first Sunday in that class ... we are sitting there in the corner, like a fish out of water - as uncomfortable as we could be, and Rob comes up to us and introduces himself. First of all, I was amazed at his red hair, but he was so sweet and so outgoing. I am pretty sure he introduced us to his wife, Jen or he at least pointed her out to us. Jen and I mutually knew each other through Sunday School and occasionally shared an email back and forth. WELL -- I remember her emailing me telling me that she had found my wedding pictures online and they were beautiful. I instantly loved her. I mean, come on, what girl doesn't love to be told her wedding was beautiful - 3 years after the wedding. We continued to share emails and found that we both were wedding planners. Wow - someone else who understood my job. Then it gets freakier - she also had a business where she sold invitations and accessories. Your kidding me -- she had the same job I did - completely!! She helped me out in my store when Keith and I were on vacation one time and the rest is basically history! We grew closer as accountability partners and I honestly don't know where I would be without her today. We enjoyed our time of heart to hearts, and trips to market (ok, who are we kidding, we just went for the shopping!) and just being in each others company. It wasn't long after our friendship truly bloomed that Rob got a job in T-town and he moved her away. I laugh saying that their house here never sold so that was a true sign that he needed to bring her back to me! HEHE! She was the first person I called when I had Noah, outside of family of course, and we were both there when we had babies! She truly knows my insides and outs. Like I said, we absolutely share a brain - it's scary. She's my twin from another mother. Whats funnier - we both love weddings and anything to do with them, both married red heads, both have red head babies, both of our daddies are ministers/pastors and both married ministers kids! I love her, I love her, I love her!!

So - there you have it, the 4 women in my life. I pray for them each all the time. They are each going through different difficulties in their lives. I ask that you also pray for them. One of them is going through an especially scary time right now with an illness. Please pray with me that God will allow a divine intervention and remove the cancer from her body. I know that my God is bigger than anything and he has the power to intervene.

I pray for all of us as we grow older and wise. Wait, maybe I will say, as we grow younger and wiser! I pray that we will be the wives that God will have us to be and I pray that any and all children that God has given and will give us, that we will raise them in a Godly home and that our children will grow to have a personal relationship with Christ!

I love each of you VERY much! Please know that you mean the world to me!!

~Randi

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Shopping Giveaway



Ok, my friends --- I am trying to win a shopping giveaway to have first hand experience on couponing. Tara at Southern Savings and Deals is giving away a shopping experience with her. I would LOVE to win this because it would HELP me tremendously since I have a new mouth to feed -- make that a new boy teenager mouth to feed.

Keith is really starting to hound me about my grocery bills -- and it's not because of Ahmed. I always have been bad about not watching my spending at the grocery store. I am SO budget conscious every except the grocery store. But having another mouth to feed is not helping the issue. And, my almost 2 year old is all into snacks and chips and fruit gummies and anything else he can talk his mommy into buying for him so that he doesn't have to eat "real food". I think my son is a junk food junkie!!!

I don't remember if I put couponing on my new years res list or not, but it definitely was a resolution. I bought the binder last year, subscribed to the newspaper so that I could get the coupons on Sunday, I save the coupons, but that is really as far as I get. I even tried to go to CVS about 3 weeks ago, with coupons in hand, and I saved $40 but I still spent $60. I am very grateful for that $40 that I did save but still. I am not doing something right.

I am really hoping and praying that Tara can get me on track with what I need to be doing with couponing!!! Check out her blog -- it looks awesome and I am so excited to be a new follower. You can click on the link above or in my "reading list". You can also register to win the shopping experience -- but that would lessen my chances of winning. HAHA! Just kidding -- if you do win, I do ask that you help me with some pointers!!! Deal?? Deal!!!

~Randi

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Have you ever had to make a decision that was a tough decision to make but at the same time was not a tough decision at all? Sounds weird, I know, but Keith and I have just recently been in that situation.

Our church home is obviously Huffman Baptist Church. It is where Keith grew up, where his mom served as Children's Minister for 20+ years, where his sister now serves at Children's Minister. It is where we met and most importantly, where we were married. Huffman Baptist means the world to us!

In 2006, just after we were married, Keith and I felt that we needed a change. Huffman did not have much to offer "newly married couples" and we felt that we needed to worship with couples who were in the same point in life that we were in. We visited several different churches, learned and observed how so many different churches worship and finally made our church home at CrossPoint Church in Argo. We love everything about CrossPoint - the worship, the preaching, the worship, the people, the worship, the many different classes they have to offer, and did I mention, the worship?? Oh my gosh - I love me a B Haskins worship service. There are no words to describe it. It truly is amazing. B has a wonderful way of using music to truly prepare your heart for the message.

Keith and I have made our home there for the past 4 years. It is where we have grown in Christ, it is where I met my ultimate best friend, it is where Keith has worked for the past 4 years, it is where we have raised Noah so far, it is where we made a commitment to the Lord to raise him in a loving and Christian home, and most importantly, it is where Keith has accepted his call to the ministry.

For the last 10 months, almost, Keith has assisted Jennifer in leading Children's worship at Huffman. I will admit that I was not 100% thrilled with this at first. For the first few months of Keith leading children's worship, Noah and I continued to go to CP. Keith didn't have children's church on the first Sunday of each month, I had obligations to the preschool on the 2nd Sunday and Noah and I would continue on the 3rd of 4th Sunday. We would occasionally go to Huffman with Daddy. By mid summer, it was very difficult and trying at times, going to 2 different churches. I did not like being a split family church. After much prayer on my part, God changed my heart (or really allowed me to change my heart) and I began to attend HBC with Keith. It really was a blessing to go to church together as a family.

In July, the Huffman pastoral search committee began looking at Dr Ron Ethridge as their pastor. I heard him preach at CP one Sunday when he filled in for Ryan and instantly loved his preaching. They called him as their pastor in October. Keith scheduled a meeting with Pastor Ron shortly after he arrived at HBC and he helped us realize God was calling us back to Huffman. We have wanted to move our membership but we just didn't. This past Sunday, Keith, Noah and I went forward at the end of the church service. We made our decision public to move back to Huffman. We are not 100% sure what all God has in store for us there but we are truly excited about it.

On a funny note -- Grandma was with me Sunday morning. Some how Noah ended up with Grandma's Alabama Power bird up with us at the front of the church. I, of course, ended up holding it the entire time while people where greeting and welcoming us. Several even commented that they liked my toy bird. I graciously thanked them and told them that it was my Grandmothers before she died 2 months ago. So - like I said, Grandma was withe me Sunday morning.

We are very excited to be back at home! We are ready to see what God has in store for us and Huffman Baptist Church!!







~Randi, Keith and Noah

Monday, January 10, 2011

Pay It Forward

So - I found this over on Joni's blog and I signed up but I was number 4. I went ahead and put my name on the list in case one didn't work out!! lol! We will see!! Anyway -- I'm gonna try the pay it forward thing anyway but I am not making a guarantee on when you will receive it. I am about to take sewing classes so that I my goal to hand make something and send it to you!! 

Here is how the game works:

I promise to send something handmade
to the first 3 people who leave a comment here.
To be eligible, you must also post this in your blog,
offering the same thing to 3 other people.


The rules are that it must be handmade by you and it
must be sent to your 3 people *sometime* in 2011.


so, if your ready, be one of the first 3 to sign up and get ready to receive a new creation from ME!! :-) oh< by the way, a little disclosure --- since I have never sewn before, I do not promise that my "creation" will look good, but I do promise to give it my best!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

{Semi}Wordless Wednesday

YAY - it's that time again. It is time to link up with Daphne for {Semi}Wordless Wednesday. This is definitely a "semi" wordless because I have to explain one of them!!

We wanted to do a fun family event for New Years Eve so we decided to take the boys to McWane Center. It was a first time for Noah and Ahmed and it was the first in a long time for Keith and I. We had such a wonderful time and I can not wait to post more pictures. These are just 2 that I took with my cell phone -- yes, I actually took the "big" camera, can you believe it?

We like to start the computer process a little early!! HAHA!

This is Ahmed sticking his tongue out.
Interesting, isn't it?? Perfect picture for a Wordless Wednesday!! 

~Randi



Semi Wordless Wednesday Hosted by Flip Flops and Pearls

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Our Family of 3 - uh, 4 is now 4, I mean 5

That's right --- you read the title right. But I am NOT pregnant. I repeat - NOT PREGNANT!! Lol!! (And what a title for the first post of the new year --- that's a record or something!) And yes, I am including Maggie in my count above -- after all, she is our first born!

Ahmed moved in last night and we couldn't be happier to have him. We definitely have some adjusting to do but I am sure that we will settle in just right! It's a little more difficult than I expected to have someone in your home. Yes, I knew that it would be difficult, be a challenge at time, but it is totally different to think about the situation and then to actually be in it.

It was a little late when Ahmed arrived last night. Noah was running wild - or having a "Maggie Melt Down" as we call it. Actually he was avoiding the discussion of getting ready for bed! I was showing Ahmed where everything was kept, Noah walked into the bathroom with us, saw the bathtub and said "I wan bubba bath" (translation: I want a bubble bath.) So, in the "bubba bath" we went!!

Noah didn't sleep the greatest last night - of course - but Ahmed only heard him once (thank goodness). I am praying for a much better night tonight! School starts back for Noah tomorrow and school started for Ahmed today so tomorrow is back to the regular routine with a new addition to it!

Keep us in your prayers as we make this exciting transition!! I'll post some pictures (hopefully tomorrow) of our family trip to McWane Center on New Years Eve.

I hope 2011 is treating you well and I pray that it continues to bless all of us!!

Much Love!

~Randi