Dear 2009,

Whew! Where do I even begin with this? You have been a year of lessons; lessons learned... most of them learned while I was kicking and screaming; bottom lip pressed firmly out into a big, fat pout. It has been a really tough year. Like; didn't-know-if-I-would-make-it-through-with-my-head-still-attached tough.... I know that it has been for a lot of people.

But, oddly enough, I would like to thank you, 2009. I would like to thank you for the lessons learned. I have learned how to be a mother - this lesson has been the most difficult of my life (by far) as it is backbreaking, really, for an entirely selfish person to learn how to be.... well... not. Learning how to be a mother implies learning all sorts of other things; like changing a diaper with one hand, for example.

I have learned how to be a dreamer - which is directly opposed to the feet-on-the-ground-make-others-happy person I have always been. And let me tell you, allowing your passion to take flight is both exhausting and wonderful. Oh, and totally terrifying. But I am in this wonderful place right now, where I know that anything is possible. Actually possible.

So thank you, 2009. I am so looking forward to 2010. In a different way than I have ever looked forward to a New Year. Because I am a better person than I was last year and, with the help of my friends and family, I am certain to be even better yet. I. Just. Cannot. Wait. So, I will be bringing in the new year in a easy, low-key way: sitting on my parents' couch watching a rented movie and sipping champagne in my sweats. There is nowhere I would rather be.

Lovingly and Optimistically,

Ashley N. Scobey

P.S. - Look, 2009, at what we made!! How great are we?!?

* photo by the amazing Carla TenEyck *


Six Months (and one week)

With grading and finals and travel and family I have been a slogger lately (that's a slacker blogger... obviously). Sorry about that...

In other news: Evie is the most oddly proportioned child on the planet. Her six month checkup was last Tuesday and here are her stats:

Weight: 13.5 pounds, 6th percentile
Height: 24 inches, 50th percentile
Head Circumference: 67th percentile

The pediatrician was a little bit concerned because her weight percentile had dropped from the 13th to the 6th percentile... but I promised that we feed the child as much as we can. She is just such a busy baby. All she wants is the be a part of the action, and it seems like she thinks that eating gets in the way of that... so unless you are in a quiet room with nobody else within earshot, Evie gets distracted.

Her personality keeps coming out more and more... and we are going to have our hands FULL. She is such a ham and really outgoing. It is so much fun to watch her interacting with other people.

Here is Evie before bath-time last week (Graham normally doesn't let me post naked-babu pictures... but this one got the OK because it doesn't show her hoohoo).

More to come on our SIXTEEN HOUR DRIVE to Atlanta this past weekend... after which I am just thankful to still be breathing.


Two Months Till Christmas

It does not feel like Christmas yet. This is a really difficult thing for me to admit because Christmas is my absolutely completely 100% favorite holiday and I am usually mummified in Band-Aids from all the wrapping paper cuts, pine needle pricks, and glass ornament nicks by the first week in November. But not this year. This year it does not feel like Christmas.

Things have been sooo busy and stressful around here. Not only has this been the longest semester of my life, but we also have a staggering amount of obligations, and then there are those things that we WANT to do like, oh, I don't know, SIT DOWN maybe once a day. I am so ready for a break. I know that Graham is ready for a break too. And by the amount of screaming that Evie has been doing over the past 48 hours I will assume she is thirdsies on that list. (maybe she has brain damage)

This weekend I finally found a little bit of time to put up our Christmas decorations. First, though, I had to remove the scarecrow and two giant hay-bales that were still left over from Halloween. Classsssy. It took me about an hour, but it was a miserable 27 degrees outside and I kid you not when I say that I'm fairly certain my ears were bleeding and I'd lost 50% of my hearing from the cold by the time I got back inside.

One big difference between Graham and me is that he thinks things all the way through. I don't. I think them through until that thought process takes a maximum of 10 minutes and I get bored and/or distracted by shiny objects.

The part that I didn't fully consider about the Christmas lights was the fact that they might need a place to be plugged in. And that might require an extension cord. By the time I figured this out I had frozen hands and bleeding ears, so now we have a wreath on the door and lights that can't be lighted.

So it feels a little more like Christmas than it did on Thursday... and I am hoping that it starts to feel even more like Christmas soon.

I mean, I have snow on my blog now, too, so that has to count for something.


The Club I Least Wanted to be Part of

This past Sunday we loaded up the Scobey Clan and spent the day at Carla's for a family portrait mega event with all of the other peeps from the studio. It was so much fun. And Evie, in typical Evie fashion, was a trooooo-per. She was incredibly patient and smiley. Especially considering that she only took a 20 minute nap the entire, 6 hour day.

I guess that shouldn't really surprise me. She is a really happy, good-natured baby. But this one time, when Evie was about 12 weeks, I drank caffeine and by the time it got to Evie it had apparently morphed into rocket fuel and she was all schooooooooom, kazoooooooommmmm, wablammmmmoooooo for the next 12 hours.

I spent the majority of that day crying. It was enough to scar me for life.

It is also the reason I am still a little shocked when Evie is her typical, awesome self.

At the end of the day we all sat down and watched a slide-show of the images: they were unreal. It got me all jazzed up and made me want to take more pictures.

So on Tuesday I got Evie all dressed up, put her in a little tutu, and we had a little mini portrait sesh of our own.

Super cute, yeah? Mommy-daughter bonding time, right? Except that exactly .45 seconds after this photo was taken I look down at my camera to check my exposure and Evie rolls off the chair. Does a full 360 degree flip in the air. Lands smack on her big 90th-percentile-head. On the hardwood. And starts screaming.

Yeah. I am officially one of those moms who drops their children on those-things-that-HOUSE-THEIR-BRAINS.

I felt/feel awful about it. Like, seriously terrible. So much so that even after Evie had stopped crying I kept the good ole' Tear Train going for a solid hour.

If life were a video game I would have had little "Mom-guilt + 2,000" signs popping out of my head for the next four days. My mom assures me that every parent has accidently hurt their child in some way, but that doesn't really make me feel better about it.

What have you done that has caused the most self-inflicted-guilt?


Holiday Thrift List 2009

This afternoon... for an embarrassing number of minutes... Graham and I played Dirty Mad Libs. What's Dirty Man Libs? You ask? Well... it's this, only dirty.

I want to tell you in explicit detail what our Dirty Mad Libs said. I really really do. Because, as Graham says, I have no filter. And he's right. I don't. So I really really want to tell you what they said. But I can't. I have been strictly forbidden by the SCC (that's Scobey Communications Commission) to just....please....don't.

So, instead, here is my first annual Holiday Thrift List. All gifts featured here are under $28... and they are pretty much guaranteed to make someone in your life very happy (but my Dirty Mad Libs would have made everyone happy. just sayin'.)

This beautiful Cuckoo clock is by Decoylab... and I just dream of all the walls in my house that could be hipenized (ya know. made more hip.) by it. $28

These wooden teethers are all the rage in eco-friendly baby stuff. Problem: they're freakin' ugly. Solution: Mr. T-Rex here. $15

Every little girl needs this book. Except Evie... because her Dad forbids it. And he is heartless. And he doesn't want her growing up dreaming of living in the Plaza Hotel. But, as anyone who has read this book knows, that is so not the point. $14

LePapier Studio makes these beautiful, custom sibling prints. I love them. But not enough to make Evie a sibling. $20

One of my friends from Atlanta takes ordinary old buttons and turns them into these beautiful, stylish rings. I want one. They're so FANCY! $10-15

Hark Industries does some of the most beautiful hand-lettering I have ever seen. In. My. Life. These monthly calendars are among the things for sell in her Etsy store. And did I mention that every detail is done by hand!? Amazing. $16


Things to be Thankful For

Relationship. It is pretty much my favorite word. I study relationships, I am in relationships, I love to give relationship advice. But this past week... this past week I got to capture relationships with my camera. And y'all: it was so much fun. Here are just a FEW of my favorites.

Everyone, meet the S. Family. Talk about some EN-ER-GY! These kids were so much fun to chase around. Everyone had such great senses of humor, too. They had Graham and me laughing pretty much the whole time we were there.

Miss Emma and Mr. Tripp... climbing on the Japanese Maple

And then Drew joined in the fun.

Sweet Anna has the most beautiful smile.

We went straight from the S's to the Scobey/Chamblee Family portrait session. This family is near and dear to my heart because...well... it's mine! People, I cannot stress this enough: DO NOT DRINK THE WATER IN THE SCOBEY'S HOUSE. I am pretty sure that everyone who has in the past 2 years has ended up pregnant. Between the two families, we have SIX babies under the age of two. Six. But you guys? They are all so stinkin' adorable. So at least we have good genes if we are all out there trying to set the Guinness World Record for procreation.

My sweet niece, Sophi.

Ryan, Amy, and Miss Ella Grace. These three are so in love with one another. It is contagious.

There is just something special about a Daddy's boy. Maybe that is why I love this picture so much.

Two of my favorite people in all of the world. Belle and Rach.

The last portrait session of the week was with the E Family. Margaret and Steve have built a beautiful home that is so full of love. It is really wonderful to be around. I had been DIEING to meet little Kherington ever since she was born in May (exactly one month before Evie made her debut). And may I just say she totally lived up to the hype. And then some.

Ayton made me want to go out a buy Evie like ten-thousand cable knit sweaters. He just looked so dapper in them!

Kherington was even sweeter than I had anticipated. We all know that I am a sucker for cheeks... and I just wanted to nibble on hers all day long!

Thank you to everyone for letting us spend time with your amazing families. We had a wonderful time soaking up the love that you all have for one another.

I will leave you all with a little bit of Evie... because it keeps the Winter blues away.


Merry Scandalistmas

whoooaaaaa now... break me offa piece of THAT!

Merry Christmas from The Scobeys