Where We’ve Been…

by admin on July 30, 2014

WOW!! It’s been a long time since my last post! Almost a year in fact. But I’ve been kinda missing blogging lately, and so I figured I’d do another post. This one to sort of fill in the gaps of where we’ve been in the past 9 months.

Well, for starters, I launched a photography business, The Lovely Days Photography!

The Withers’ for The Lovely Days Photography

It’s been a lot of fun and a great way to combine my love of families and photography. I was blessed from the beginning with some really great clients who’ve passed on a few nice referrals. Although, it hasn’t morphed into a full on replacement to my day job, it has been profitable, and, even better, has given me some great exposure into what it’s really like to own and market a small business.

Also, James and I developed and sold a brand new product on Amazon! It’s called the Precious Tummies re-useable food pouch.

Precious Tummies

Precious Tummies

Boy! Talk about an adventure! We did everything from research the market for them, to find the manufacturer, manage the design of the graphics & the packaging, do quality control and inventory management, create the website, launch the product, perform constant customer service and follow up (both good and bad), and manage our own the accounting. Unfortunately, in the end, we had some quality issues with the pouches, and so we had to take the listing down. But wow! We learned so much both professionally and personally, that it was definitely worth it.

James lost his grandmother, uncle, and father. I didn’t write much about it on this blog, but with the loss of Grandma Mary in August 2013…

We Love You, Grandma Mary!

We Love You, Grandma Mary!

… Uncle Wilson in October 2013…

We Love You, Uncle Wilson...

We Love You, Uncle Wilson!

… and his father, Ollie James Williams in November 2013…

We Love You, Mr. Williams!

We Love You, Mr. Williams!

… it was a tough holiday season for us. In a lot of ways our family is still healing from the losses, but we know that each of them is smiling down on us and sending blessings from above.

The biggest of those blessings being, WE PAID OFF OUR HOUSE!!!

It's OUR Home!!

It’s OUR Home!!

It was a goal we’d been working toward for a while, and every opportunity we got we put a little more into the house fund. Then, with the help of Precious Tummies and James’ internet marketing business, we walked into a bank one afternoon, and got the last check!

So Proud!

It is still just sinking in, and there are no words to express how grateful we are to GOD for this and all of His blessings on us. :)

Finally, I got a promotion! Originally I was doing sales and customer service a the flower shop I work at, and that has since transformed into a position in Outside Sales. I now manage the creation of the new website and all social media and email marketing, in addition to networking for new business and managing the wedding department. Most days it’s emails, phone calls, meetings, and posts, but some days it means getting to dress up like this and go to parties, which is fun. :)

Ready to Work!

Ready to Work!

So if you were wondering where we’ve been, that’s it in a nutshell. Also, below is a gallery of more photos from the past 9 months to get you fully caught up on where we are now. Enjoy! :)

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Happy Pre-Halloween 2013

by admin on October 31, 2013

So tonight’s the night! Halloween 2013! Yes we’re Christian and we don’t celebrate the evil associated with Halloween, but we do dress up and partake in all of that wonderful candy, so sue us! :-P

Lauren’s official Halloween costume is a pirate (Arrrgh!). But in advance of the festivities, I took the opportunity to dress her up to go to school this morning as a fire-girl. I debated on whether or not to do, but after I put it all together, it came out SOOO CUTE, we had to head outside for a quick photo shoot!

So I’ve included the photos below, along with real -life quotes capturing what it’s like to take pictures with a 3 year old. :-P

"OK Let's Go Take Some Pictures!"

“OK Let’s Go Take Some Pictures!”

"Where Do I Stand?"

“Where Do I Stand?”

"OK, Cheese!"

“OK, Cheese!”

"Mommy, Can You Take A Picture Of My Shoe?"

“Mommy, Can You Take A Picture Of My Shoe?”

"OKAY... One More Timeee.. Cheeseee!!"

“OKAY… One More Timeee.. Cheeseee!!”

Then I guess it was time to go, because she just started walking off and as she did, I said “OK, Lauren, let Mommy get one more picture, can you turn around and say ‘Happy Halloween’?”… and I got this…

"Happy Halloween!"

“Happy Halloween!”

…and we were off to school! I hope you all have a safe and a fun night tonight, and I’ll be back soon with more pics! :)

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Lauren’s Favorite Things: Fall 2013

by admin on October 29, 2013

Hello Blog!! Long time no chat! I know, I know, my bad. But these days I’m lucky to get a moment to call my Mom (hi Mom!), much less blog post. I promise, my next post will be titled “Where We’ve Been” as a bit of an explanation. But for now, I wanted to post something fun! A bit of a time capsule if you will. I wanted to share the Top 5 things our little 3 year old (can you believe it?!) is into now a days. OK, you ready, well let’s go!

Lauren’s Top 5 Favorite Things: Fall 2013

1. “Chicken Said Cluck” by Judyann Ackerman

Chicken Said Cluck

Who knew a little library book to make a kid so happy?! I picked this little guy up at our local library the other day to read with LDH. She’s been doing really well with her pre-reading skills, and I thought this might be just a fun one off story to keep her on the path. BOY, was I wrong?! She’s completely obsessed with little 30 page story about a chicken who’s shunned and then embraced by his two pumpkin farmers, Earl and Pearl. She asks about it all day long, and so we read it all day long! We even let her take it school yesterday to share with her class.

SAMSUNG

Daddy Reading “Chicken Said Cluck”

Too bad it’s got to go back to the library tomorrow! :-P

2. My Little Pony / Peg + Cat

mlppg

OK, so some of you may know about our families love for all things My Little Pony. We watch at least one episode a day, keep episodes saved on our DVR, and have family sing-along parties to the soundtracks on YouTube. I can say with confidence that it is one if Lauren’s favorite cartoons. (Yes that link will take you to over an hour of Pony songs. Don’t judge us!)

However, you may not have ever heard of Lauren’s 2nd favorite cartoon, Peg + Cat. It’s a cute little show that comes on PBSKids (I think she found it using the PBSKids app) about a girl named Peg and her cat named Cat (sound familiar?) who go on these musical math adventures. I like that it’s all about a girl who does math (woohoo!), James thinks Cat is funny, Lauren likes reenacting Peg’s super dramatic breakdowns (“We have a really BIG problem!”), and of course we all like the funky songs they sing. To check out a little half episode and see what it’s all about head back on over to our friend YouTube for a short.

3. “Toast Sticks!”

toast stiks

Back at the beginning of September, we decided to put Lauren back in daycare full time for a number of reasons, one of which was so that she could spend more time with kids her age and learn to play in a big group. A big component of this was that she would no longer arrive at school at 9-10am, but at 8am so that she could eat breakfast with her friends.

Well, Daddy and the Toast Sticks have put a kink in that plan! Some days when I have to go in to work, Lauren & Daddy run a little late, so instead of taking her in and just eating there, Daddy takes Lauren out for breakfast at the local Burger King where she gets “Toast Sticks!” At first it was a once, maybe twice, thing. Now it’s become a once maybe twice a week thing, and Lauren asks for Toast Sticks all the time, even when she’s at school eating the school food! Sigh… :)

4. Playdoh

playdoh2

Have I ever mentioned that I don’t like Playdoh? Well I don’t! I guess I used to as a kid, but then I grew up and saw what that stuff could do to carpet. Ugh! That’s why we’ve never had it in our house… until now. One of Lauren’s friends gave it to her for her birthday, and now she’s in love! And it’s not just her, apparently James loves Playdoh too!

James, Lauren, & her friend Zoey Loving Playdoh

So now she asks to play with it all the time. To her credit, she’s pretty neat with it and doesn’t mix the colors. She even helps clean it up and put it back in it’s cups when she’s done. Meanwhile, I stand by nervously clutching a broom, ready to pounce at the first crumb that hits the rug! Ya’ll pray for me… :)

5. “White Ice Cream”

srciadorefood

Not sure why that name rubs me the wrong way, but if you ask Lauren what kind of special treat she wants, she will inevitably say “White Ice Cream!”. I think what she means to say is vanilla ice cream with no sauce or toppings. However, some where along the way she learned that it was called white ice cream, and she’s not sure what vanilla is, so we roll with it. I even keep a little in the freezer as a reward/bribe. However, everytime I go to eat it, I do my best to make it as “black” as possible ;-)

And so those are the top 5 things that make our little girl smile. What’s making you smile lately? Also be sure to check back for that update post on where we’ve been. Until then…

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Happy Grandparents Day!!

September 9, 2013

In honor of Grandparent’s Day (yesterday), and as a small gift to my Mom, who I’m sure is our most faithful blog reader, I wanted to post a few pics and introduce you all to “Princess Lauren”!! She comes complete with a pretty princess wand… … and pretty princess shoes! She uses them to fight […]

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Lauren’s “AprilMayJune” Photos are Up!!

July 4, 2013

Yes yes, I know it took a while, but I’ve finally posted 3 back log months of pictures. Wooohoo!! And after looking at them you’ll understand why. You can go here to see all the pictures, and below is a little summary of what you’ll find! In April’s photos you’ll see how she went to […]

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Random Mom Musings for the Day

June 4, 2013

Hey guys! I know it’s been FOREVER since I posted, but I wanted to share a few of my random musings from the day. Just a few of my thoughts as I went through an typical day with my almost 3 year old little girl. So without any further ado, let’s get into my… Random […]

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In Honor of Mother’s Day, A Letter to Lauren…

May 12, 2013

Dear Lauren, Thanks for making me a mom. Not just any mom, your mom. The way the Lord brought us together was not my design, or even my desire, at the time. But, in being true to your nature, even today, you did not care what I wanted, you were coming anyway. And the first […]

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We Like To Party!!

May 8, 2013

… cue that Beyonce song as the background music… We Hales’ are just now starting to come out our biggest party season of the year. Every year about this time we spend our weekends attending weddings, birthday parties, and baby showers, and we LOVE it!! Of course Lauren loves the birthday parties best, with all […]

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Our Favorite Prayers

April 26, 2013

Jesus said in Matthew 19:14, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to those such as these.” Amen. You see, we are a family of (non-denominational) Christians. Because of that, I’ve always known that Lauren is not just my daughter, but she’s God’s daughter, […]

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(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

April 24, 2013

Who needs a jungle gym when you’ve got Daddy?

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