Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Daniel's suggested title. I kinda like it. 

You guessed it! We’re expecting! Baby #2 will be here in December! December 27, to be exact. It’s 2 days away from our friends' due date (Mark and Amy Brown). That is a funny story in itself. I joke that Mark (CPA) and Daniel planned it because of taxes.

 (photo credit: Liz Taylor)

Anyway, we’re thrilled! Harper and the new baby will be 23 months apart. We have delayed telling the social world, because it’s more fun to tell people ourselves. As you know, with the first pregnancy, you thought we had a serious disease. “We’re…. sniff sniff….. going… cry… to have a bbbaaabbbby.” We weren’t that excited when we told other people. Now, we get to see their reaction and also have a big smile on our faces. Finally! It’s been a smooth pregnancy so far. The first 13 weeks were tough (extreme fatigue) with a one year old. She is busy, busy, busy and I was not. Thankfully I am able to nap with her during the day.

I actually found out we were expecting while Daniel was away on a work trip. He had been in South Carolina for a week, and we were in Clinton. I came home a few days early and surprised him with the news when he walked in the door. Harper had on a Big Sister shirt, to which he paid no attention to until I made him read it. (Obviously, men don’t pay any attention to what we wear) What a greeting, eh? Welcome home and … we’re pregnant! I videoed the entire thing, but he might sleep in the guest bedroom for awhile if I post it. He laid on the ground for awhile then got up and cleaned the house. We had just started talking about baby #2, and he was so fine with another one… until… it was real! Ha!

 Betsy and Graham's beautiful wedding

It took him a week to fully process it. I was thinking of clothes, decorations, rearrange furniture, snuggles, 2 children, etc! Duh. He was thinking money, more rent houses and so on. That was months ago, and to be honest, we forget I’m pregnant most of the time. I’m 17 weeks and feeling great. Ok, I am tired still, but who isn’t?

 Harper Lee Sims and cousin, Robert Arrington Miller III

 We could find out in 2 weeks what we’re having, but we’re going to wait! I think it will get me through the labor process, and no one has ever regretted not knowing, right? If it’s a girl, GREAT! We have plenty of clothes. If it’s a boy, GREAT! Best of both worlds. We will see………..

Here's the video from when we found out Harper was a girl! 

Daniel and Mary Kathleen's Gender Reveal

one of my favorite pictures of us. thanks, rachel hill!

Three's a crowd. FOUR'S A PARTY! 

Right now, we really need to concentrate on getting up early and reading. Harper has thrown us for an ultimate loop! Getting up early is our only option, because we’re too tired at night. I think we might read, “Gospel Powered Parenting” at night. We need it!! I didn’t realize how far I had fallen off until recently. I have no accountability or structure. I really want to get into a healthy rythhm of reading and praying before baby #2 gets here and it’s double the craziness. By the way, I don't tell you I'm reading these or potty training to show you how good I am (BECAUSE I'M NOT!), it's to get out information to other moms. I hate it's the whole competition thing in parenting. If you don't have kids, you'll understand one day. It's annoying. My baby reads, my baby eats everything, my baby sleeps through the night, AHH! I just like to read about different things, learn from other moms (Emily Ulrich, you have taught me so much!!!) and teach Harper what I know is right. People parent differently. Children develop at different speeds. I just hate this competition thing. Be happy for one another, help one another and stop judging. (Can you tell I don't have coworkers?) 

highly recommended by John Kwasny, to anyone who knows the genius

I also started (started, not finished) Dr. William Richardson's book, Loving Obedience. He's a professor at RTS (thanks for the recommendation, MK!). It's an insigtful book, but geared toward older children (3-...). There is one part in the introduction that stuck out to me. It's so TRUE! 

(After the birth of their son) "We had recieved some instruction- birthing classes. We were trained for the first 10 hours of labor, but we were not equipped with the knowledge or skills for the thousands of hours of parenting that would follow. Who trains parents to train children? 

Parents need skills. Imagine reclining in your dentist's chair and hearing him say:  'Well I haven't exactly been trained to drill and fill your cavity, but my father was a dentist. I saw him do it many times. He even worked on my teeth. I think I can do it. Open up.' 

Think of your airplane pilot making his preflight announcement: 'My dad was a pilot. In fact, I sat in his cockpit and watched him fly many times. He never crashed. I'm sure I can fly this plane. Just relax, sit down and buckle up.' 

Attempting such jobs without training is unthinkable. What about the job of parenting? Molding the highest of all creations into men and women who can build rockets, make friendships, and converse with the God of the universe is more complex than drilling teeth and flying planes. Attempting parenting without training is outlandish and unfair to parents and children. Yet, it is our practice.

What we learn about parenting we snatch here and there haphazzardly 'by the seat of our pants'. Our society supplies specialized systematic training for nearly every profession from hairdressing to aerospace engineering. But our culture, even our Christian culture, does not train us to train our children. We are not given skills of parenting in an organized, step-by-step fashion. 

But knowledge and skills are available- contained in God's Word and world. Special revelation (Scripture) and general revelation (creation) hold the truths we need for training."

That's just the introdution. It presents specific skills, one piece at a time, so that parents may be built into more effective builders of their children. Keep in mind, I am not boasting. Daniel and I are FAR FROM PERFECT. We fall into selfish sin every single day. 
Grace. Grace. God's grace. 

Happy 18 months, Harper!

Whoop! Whoop! Who wouldn't be excited about a potty? This is not because I am mother of the year, but we can't afford 2 in diapers :) After reading about it, I'm really looking forward to it! 

Thanks for reading! We’re excited to share our joy with you! Christmas baby is on it’s way… now if I could communicate that to Harper Lee :) 

 Here are a few pictures from this summer. Oh, go ahead. Delete me from Instragram and Facebook. I'm surprised my iPhone camera hasn't given up yet. 

                                                             college world series

 blueberry picking with Luci

 "chick chick" with "Whit Whit" - I love that she can communicate now! 

 4th of July week

 one of my many doctor's appointments

 Sal & Mookies ice cream

 love being the baby

 lots of playing outside in the "wa wa"!

 little fishy

She has been an absolute JOY. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

the "old" me

If you know me, at all, you know I do not meet a stranger. Contrary to my childhood of being shy, I am now a people person. I am an extravert, where my husband has, over time, become an introvert. Maybe I am overbearing? I don't think I am. Or maybe he has hung our with Crawford too much? Haha... back to my story. I love people.

In the past year, I have been a stay-at-home mom of a one year old. Let me emphasize the "stay-at-home" part. That's what we do. This girl was not used to staying inside (ok, other than running errands) for months. We really couldn't go anywhere until her morning nap was over, but who am I kidding? I didn't get out of my robe until she laid down for her morning nap. I would've frightened people if I walked out of my house. I tried to get out at least one time a day. We would go to the park, play with friends or visit the Tigretts. I love my low-key, simple life, but something was missing. I was absolutely 100% exhausted. Being Harper's mom (disciplinarian, chef, diaper changer, 24 hour entertainer, milk provider (ha), security guard, comedian, chauffeur, doctor, etc.) is a great gift. Do not get me wrong. I love every minute, but I needed some time to myself. 

Last weekend, a friend from high school (she went to Oak Forest - we actually high jumped against each other)Tiffany Travis Pittman, contacted me about Rodan + Fields. I read the first few sentences, laughed and sent Daniel the message. His response was, "You're the perfect target." I knew it. I had gotten messages from Advocare, Rodan + Fields, Mary Kay, and on and on and on (by the way, Advocare IS GREAT! If you want to buy something, contact Kandice Rowe - look on Facebook). Anyway, they just did not interest me at that time. I do like to work out, but selling supplements, vitamins, energy drinks and such was not for me. In other words, the Lord's timing was not right.

Let me back up. My preconceived notions of direct selling products was ... sinful. That's the only word I can use to describe it. I looked at people selling these products as moms who wanted to stay home with their children, not get a "real" job and beg for money from family and friends. How sinful is that??? I am the one now begging for forgiveness for thinking that. These so called pyramid schemes have horrible reputations.

Anyway, I thought about Tiffany's message for awhile. In the Facebook message, she said her business partner was Ms. Lynne Spears. I said to myself, if this well known lady is going to put her name on something, it must be good. I had actually attended a R+F party for my "cousin" Kaitlin, a few months ago in Madison, so I was a little educated on the products. So, Daniel and I thought about it and Ms. Lynne and Ms. Jill called me that Saturday night. Anyway, after days of contemplating (you know my husband.... he was ALL NUMBERS and risks. He wanted to know every single detail. I was like, COME ON! Just let me sign up already!) I am thankful for him. He's super responsible with our money. 

Now, I am a Rodan + Fields independent consultant and a business partner of Ms. Lynne Spears. What. The. Heck. Did I just do? I couldn't sleep for days, because I was so excited about great opportunities! Ms. Lynne and Mrs. Jill are the most encouraging business partners. They make a lot  of money, but it's not about the money! They ENJOY this business. I was just overwhelmed with how much they want to help me. I talk to each of them probably once a day. They're great. 

Whyyy are my pictures so blurry?

Ok, back to what I said earlier. These direct sale "pyramid schemes" have a horrible reputation, do they not? Do you cringe when you see someone who sells ______ because you know it will be awkward? Yeah. In saying that, when I announced I was a Rodan + Fields consultant, the response did not meet my expectations. At all. I actually got a text message from a close friend after announcing it to the Facebook world, it read, "I never thought you'd jump on the skin care train!!!" Boom. I was shocked. This is what people expect of me. I'm a stay-at-home mom. I want to contribute, but don't want to put her in daycare (daycare is NOT bad!). I'm "supposed" to be a what I called, money beggar. I stopped for a second and explained how excited I was to start networking again and planning events! THAT'S MY NICHE! I now feel like I have a purpose. For a year I have been Harper's mom and waiting on her hand and foot.... for crying out loud, what else was I going to do?? Again, I think parenting is more important than making money, but I needed to do this for myself. I feel like me again. I'm contacting people. I'm meeting moms at the park and natural talking to them about R+F (not annoying, hopefully). I'm waking up knowing someone is counting on me, and not just to change a dirty diaper :) I love feeling needed. When people ask (and they frequently do), what my major was, I say, "Human Development and Family Studies, my dad paid out-of-state tuition and I'll never use my degree." That is not true anymore! I am using my Mississippi State degree in this business! I had the honor and privilege of meeting many, different people at State. It was a sweet treat for me. I am so excited I'm getting back to my "old" self. It feels amazing! For a year, I really really struggled. Really struggled. Daniel and I almost moved to Brookhaven in February for a loan officer job. We kept saying, "We might as well move. We don't have any friends here." The week before, we started going to Pear Orchard Presbyterian and friends came out of the woodworks, ha. The Lord's providence. Goodness. Tis so sweet! He was providing for us. And is still providing. Even when we are unfaithful, He is faithful. 

These past 2 weeks have rocked our world. I have been working my tail off every night trying to plan for events. My launch event was last night! We had a great turnout. Thanks to all for coming! It was definitely a learning experience. I learned a lot about the company and about people. I invited.... probably 100 people and about 20 came. 10 cancelled the day of and 10 I was counting on, didn't come. WHICH IS TOTALLY OK! It was also spring break. I am not frustrated or the tinniest bit mad. I would never. It was a GREAT teachable moment for me. You know, don't set such high expectations next time. It was a perfect launch event! It meant so much for the friends and family I love to be there. Ms. Lynne and her team were so welcoming. They made me feel so loved! 

In this journey, I want to help you get better skin. I never want to burden you or pressure you. The products sell themselves. Believe me. I am using the UNBLEMISH regimen now (1 week) and can REALLY tell the difference. It's amazing. These are the same doctors who created Proactiv. Trustworthy. A team of scientists are always working on new and better products. I'm excited to start this new journey! Daniel has been so supportive, too! Yes, we were both #1 skeptics. Like, will never sell a thing, but now, I feel like Mary again. I'm using my God given gift to have relationships with people. I LOVE IT. Sure, I could work behind any desk, but that's just not me. That might be my dad, but that's not me. The Lord made everyone different. I, unlike many people, like to talk and host events! Daniel would die if he had to plan events and talk to people all day. 

Speaking of, we will be in OXFORD on Thursday, March 21! Would love to see you! Really.

At the end of the day, I'm just asking for your support. I'm not asking for money. I would never do that. I am asking that you please come to an event if I'm in your area. Or, Ms. Lynne would LOVE to have an event at your house for me. Just 10 friends and we'll have coffee and cake. No big deal. This business works by word of mouth. It was taken from behind the glass counter at Nordstroms, because friends would ask about someone's skin and they would refer them to Nordstroms. It was all word of mouth and the glow others saw. It's an unbelievable product with a great macro exfoliator. You NEED one! 

Phone: 225.244.0535

Product Website:

Business Website:


Here's just a little preview: 

REDEFINE (Anti-age)
A ton of young people started using this for maintenance on their skin, so R+F renamed it. This is what Ms. Lynne swears by! 

More before and after pictures on my website!

Short video from the doctors!

(what I'm using - skin feels so soft!)


PERFECT for teenage acne

60 DAYS! 

 (what older women start out with to remove sun damage, dark spots and dullness) 

Ms. Lynne uses this in the mornings and REDEFINE at night. 

SOOTHE (redness and sensitive skin)


WATCH THIS!!! I can tell the difference in a week!!! 

I would love to talk to you about any of these products! If I can't answer your question, I can send you on to Ms. Lynne! We will have a 3-way chat so I can learn with you. Also, if you just want to learn more about the products (a lot more than I was able to show), let me know! A 10 minute phone call with Ms. Lynne will help you, but really help me learn about the business. 

Look, I completely 110% understand if you are not able to buy the products. But, you don't have to pay for a dermatologist visit or run in Walgreens every month and buy a jar of something that half way works. You'll end up spending more money on over the counter products, when I can give them to you! Ask me how you can save 10% and get free shipping. 


Would love to talk to you about the business or products. There's so much I didn't touch on!