birthdays · Paynes · project 52

Project 52.2

What a week for this early in the year! A winter storm buried us under seven inches of beautiful powdery snow and has now kept us out of school for six days. We had a great time sledding down the “holy moly big hill” as a FB friend dubbed it and then this weekend braved the roads (all main ones were fine) to head to Augusta for Hailey’s 5th birthday party ala Hannah Montana. On Sunday, we hung out at Marmie’s with the Beeson clan and that picture in front of the fireplace–looks just like all the times my siblings and cousins and I were lined up for the yearly photo. I’ll have to find one, figure out how to scan it, and post that. Up top are all the Payne siblings in the snow that’s still hanging out in E-town, and the handsome guy on the bottom is my nephew Colton who leaves with his mama this week to head back West. He’ll be so big next time we get to see him! Marmie corralled Amelia in the playpen even though I told her we prefer our babies free range, but Millie Moo didn’t seem to mind after all. We’ve had a great week 2 and hope you have too.

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Christmas · Paynes · sisters

How do you know Katy?

How do I know Katy?  Well, she just happens to be my own personal Black Friday Crazed sister.  So I bet I know her better than any of the random folk she befriended last night when she drug me out to Wal-Mart at 11 p.m. 

Now to be fair, I suggested the Wal-Mart frenzy because the line at Toys R Us was beyond ridiculous and I was claustrophobic just thinking about entering that building with all those people.  For those of you who don’t know, Wal-Mart will price match any competitor’s price on the same item for Black Friday, so why go anywhere else? 

Once I reminded my shopping savvy sister who always loves a good bargain (though why she’s not a coupon fanatic I don’t understand) about this little realized fact, we were in the Honda Pilot and on our way faster than those fat turkeys flying away from the farmer in Madelynne’s Thanksgiving song.

And it was on the end of the bike aisle between a case of Leggos and a pallet of scooters that I began to learn some interesting things about this sister of mine…

…she has never met a stranger.  Within two minutes she had reconnected with a worker from her childrens’ old daycare center, befriended another young mom staking out those Leggos, and talked the sweet lady guarding the scooters into saving two for her.

…she is not afraid.  There were some shoppers who were bigger, bolder, and scarier than her, but there was no one louder or more helpful.  You want to know if that Magna Doodle that’s $18 is on sale in the Target ad?  Don’t worry, Katy will let you know.  And if you guard her cart or stand in a line for her, she’ll run down the aisle and fetch you anything you want.  Then she’ll tell the manager what price you’ll be paying and show him the ad so all you have to do is whip out the VISA.

…she can operate within her parameters.  She may not like it.  Budgets and Katy have never been the best of friends, but if she’s got a certain amount than she’s going to stay up all night and be back in line at Wal-Mart at 5 a.m. because that’s when the portable DVD players went on sale just to make sure she’s stretched her dollar thin enough to make Christmas for her kids and someone else’s. 

Because truthfully she does have a heart of gold and that’s worth more than a price match on a pink Leapster anyday of the year.

P.S.  My favorite Black Friday deal?  A Shark Steamer Mop for $36 and my free toothpaste and M&Ms I scored at CVS.  How was your shopping adventure?

holidays · Paynes

A Payne-Full Thanksgiving

The bigger the family gets, the harder it is to celebrate holidays on the day officially set aside for that celebration.  Anybody else have that problem?  Throw in an expectant (any day now) mother thousands of miles away in Utah, a sales-savvy business associate who has parties every weekend, and a couple of high-strung college students and it becomes impossible to manage to celebrate when you’re supposed to. 

But whoever said the Paynes like doing what they’re supposed to?  So this past Sunday we all got together at the big Plantation (someday I’ll blog about the house on the hill that’s overrun with cats, dogs, and kids) to give thanks for another year of blessings…..like new a new niece and a forecoming nephew….a few inches taller for the cousins….a job that semi-pays Calley’s bills….a Thirty One bag for any occasion (courtesy of our personal consultant)….Uncle Bubby back home to prepare the turkey properly….and that my sisters have finally learned how to load a dishwasher without being asked.

Hope you enjoy these images from a day that was perfectly Payne-full in every way (especially when Big Daddy insisted on educating us about the first Thanksgiving by reading aloud from this book for half an hour…I think he quit when he realized everyone had gone outside to “check on the dogs”).

Yum-O, Uncle Corey!

Amelia’s first Thanksgiving…tiny bits of ham and a jar of squash.

My sweet, sweet grandparents.

Even the Pioneer Woman would be proud of that.

Jackson, my nephew and future politician.  See how he’s working the charm?

It takes a lot of people to carve a turkey.

The “big girls” who are all getting so tall and beautiful.

Had to take a picture just to make sure it was really happening….

“God, Our Father…”      

And of course it wouldn’t be a family event….

…unless someone falls asleep on the couch (I think that was while Daddy was reading the book).

Paynes · thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

In honor of Veteran’s Day and Thankful Thursday, here’s some pics of someone I am most grateful to have in my life.  But I am even more grateful that for now he’s traded the uniform of an active duty Marine Corps Lance Corporal for t-shirts, shorts, and the title Uncle Bubby. Corey was originally stationed at K-Bay in Hawaii between tours to Iraq.  I was blessed to attend his wedding there and even more blessed that he found the most amazing woman to agree to be his wife! Much love to them both for the sacrifices they made in service to our country and each other.

amelia · Paynes · thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

This Thursday I am oh, so thankful for…

The most fantastic wonderfully easy and comfy Baby Bjorn. 

This was one of those purchases I didn’t make with either of the other girls but always wanted.  Amelia was blessed by some of my girlfriends who bought this as a gift for her.  (hint, hint mama-to-be: If you it’s something you know you’ll use again and again, it’s worth the investment) We’ve used it a lot, especially when it’s just me and the big girls and I want free hands.  But the Bjorn outdid itself this weekend.  Through the airport, up the sandstone cliffs, and down to the Grand Canyon, it proved itself worthy of the Baby Equipment Hall of Fame, or at least a place on the registry of every expectant mom I know.
I’m also thankful for the rain that reminded me even in the desert places, 
God will supply our every need. 
And finally, I’m grateful for my little sister.  She’s an incredible person whose life is turning out to be more than she ever imagined.  Thanks, Ashley, for letting us sleep in your incredible California king, for rocking Amelia back to sleep at 5 a.m., for making spaghetti, and for showing us the amazing place you get to go to work at everyday!  We love you!