Thursday, January 31, 2013

Happy "Gotcha Day" Minnie Pearl.

One year ago today-Todd walked in from work carrying a baby blanket and a small black puppy. (This was NOT the first time he had done 6 months) He went on to explain how he was backing out of his office and almost hit this teeny tiny pup. It was dark & cold that night so he thought bringing her home would be okay-since it was just one night.

In normal circumstances, I would not have complained but just 8 months earlier he and I dug out 2 lab mix puppies out of a hole at his office..per his request. Plus, I had just gone through the miscarriage and we were trying to really press forward with the adoption process and I knew 1 more dog meant 1 more thing to take care of in that aspect (you have to have shot records, etc...)

Jan 31, 2012

 That night-I was lying in the bath being quiet-trying to unwind. When this whimper came from the door. I had made it clear-the dog was to stay in the laundry room. I cracked the door (expecting Todd to walk in with the pup) and in waddled this little puppy. I shut the door, climbed back in the bath, and looked over at her. With these big brown eyes she looked at me and at that moment it was like the time you hold your child for the first time. I knew she wasn't going anywhere. I began talking to her-telling her she needed a name. She sat intently listening to my list of suggestions-I said "Minnie" because of our love for Disney & she looked like a Mini lab. and with that she came over to the bathtub and like a seal...slide into my bath water. Before I could gasp-and try to get her out-she cuddled on my chest, buried her head in my neck and was still. Within a few minutes-she was asleep. Todd came in and smiled and said-"I guess she is staying" and I told him-she thinks, I am her momma.

The months that followed have shown that dogs-have souls. I never have been close to any of my animals-after working in a vet clinic in high school/college and the zoo as an adult. Animals are Animals and they need to be treated like that...Not Minnie Pearl. Minnie Pearl understands human. She listens to commands, she knows when she is in trouble, she adores the family. She plays with the girls like a kid, she loves to kayak, she adores nap time, and is always ready to snuggle.

With all the sadness 2012 had with it-Minnie Pearl was a great healer during all of it. Many nights-where Todd and I were up crying-She was there. When the girls were coping with grandmomma's death-Minnie never left their side.

It is safe to say that I am now 100% a dog person...or dog momma. But I couldn't imagine our lives without her. It's defiantly safe to say that God even chooses the animals for your family-you just have to be open because you never know how they are going to come into your life.

Minnie Loves Amelia's Baby Belly home. This is a daily scene.  

Minnie Pearl, thank you for wondering into our lives a year ago today-You have helped this family heal so much this past year and we look forward to many more years with you!

Saturday, January 26, 2013


In my short 28 years of life I have experienced death in many levels. The death of my grandfather as a preschooler, the death of my dog as a child, the death of a friend by cancer as a preteen, the death of a friend by tragedy as a teen, the death of friends in college, the death of a mother-in-law...

All have taught me that life is short. That no matter what you have planned for the next year-God has bigger and more powerful plans.

In the last 4 months, Todd and I have been reminded of just how short life is-as we have watched new friends of ours suffer the most painful lost-the lost of a spouse. In their early 20's newlyweds and new to our bible study-they have endured "in sickness and in health-til death do us part" sooner than they had planned.

With the death of Todd's mom 3 months ago-we have been working on coping. It really changes your marriage when your spouse looses a parent. God was gracious to us-he gave us months to "prepare" for Kathy's death. However, when you have to adjust to not picking up the phone and talking to your mother everyday like you had the past 28 is an adjustment.

We have been learning how to handle a child that is mourning the lost of her best friend. Daily-Madyson talks about "grandmomma" and how much she misses her, and how she can still hear her...and how she can't sleep some nights because she is so sad.

Aubrie Kate ask at least 4x a week, when Grandmomma is coming back...

Death is a very painful experience and so confusing.

As Christians we are taught to trust in Him and His plans and some days-that's just hard. I usually don't speak about the very personal parts of our life but I have had the feeling laid on my heart that this is something that needs to be shared.

The other night we were having a normal family night. I had made Chicken Spaghetti for dinner and everyone had eaten. Todd and the girls were watching The Disney Channel-and with our dining room table being in our den now-I decided to escape to the bedroom to eat in our sitting area and watch DVR'd Nate Berkus shows...because I can only handle so much teenybopping Disney.

All of the sudden-Todd burst into the room and had tears filling his eyes. He started... "I...just...can't....." and then the tears flooded out. I didn't have to ask-I knew what he was feeling. I sat and held him and cried with him. After a few minutes of sobs-he tried to shake it off and say "he needed to be strong...for the girls" The switch flipped to breakdown when Aubrie Kate looked at him during the show and said, "I miss grandmomma-she was the best grandmomma ever"

It took a few hours of crying, rocking, holding, rubbing, talking to help Todd and the girls through their breakdown. We talked about our favorite grandmomma times, and things we miss, and things we can do to remember her. We even pulled out her blanket-that Todd keeps put up-to "feel" her.

Everyone felt better after our little cry fest and again-I had to remind the girls that its okay to be sad at times-we are human and that's a feeling we have.

The girls and Todd attend therapy sessions at a center twice a month. this is only our 2nd month to be enrolled and learning to cope is part of our normal daily routine now.

Weather you are learning to cope with the loss of a parent, child, spouse, pet, friend...Please know that the pain that you are feeling is normal but you  have a purpose here on Earth and yes, their are others out there who feel the same way you do.

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Babymoon!

Todd and I are doing a lot of new things this pregnancy!

With Madyson-we were newly married-young-still in school. We just had to make it through her pregnancy (preterm labor, bed rest etc.)

With Aubrie Kate-we were in shock. We had just finished year 1 with Madyson and we were busy starting careers and trying to enjoy her pregnancy (6 months of morning sickness...)

So with Amelia-we are really trying to embrace this pregnancy - it really is such a blessing to us. We decided to take a "babymoon"-a trip prior to the baby for mom and dad.

We haven't been away together since our 5 year anniversary to Chicago-So we are LONG overdue!

We discussed places to go from the mountains-to the beach...even Disney :) After hours of searching I finally gave up.

The next day Todd was at work at messaged me "I have planned our trip".

He chose for us to go to Savannah, Ga. I have been wanting to go to Savannah since I first saw Paula Dean on Food Network years ago. It's a travel destination that was on my bucket list!

So Todd planned our trip-hotel and all :) and we were off for our relaxing vacation :)

our original plan was to fly out Thursday morning. But after 9 consecutive days of rain, snow was in the forecast for MS. Todd text me at 3:45 Wednesday afternoon and say "get ready, we fly out at 5:15". Talk about anxiety. I had not packed, I had not made plans for the girls for that evening...nor gotten them ready for the rest of the week. And I had 25min to do all of this. I threw clothes in a suitcase (forgot pjs, lounge clothes and brown shoes...but we had underwear.) Rushed to get the girls situated. Luckily, my mom hadn't left work yet, so she grabbed the girls for us. And with 10 minutes to spare-we made it to our flight. When we landed in Savannah the pilot said "its a beautiful 77 degrees.." So those sweaters I packed...maybe a bit warm. We checked in to our hotel and by this time it was 10pm. I was starving and my nerves shaken. So we found a little pub/brewery that was close and had quesadillas ( After eating, we returned to the hotel for our first night of solid sleep. It was glorious. Thursday morning we woke up at 8:30 to facebook pictures of snow back home! That sunshine outside the window was looking nice!! We ventured out through Savannah to Goose Feathers...a place I had heard about for a Belgium waffle. (my favorite breakfast food) we indulged

 and then did some sightseeing via the trolley. Being 29.75 weeks pregnant, walking long distance is hard. So Todd arranged a hop on/hop off tour (similar to the one we did in Chicago) so I could see and enjoy the historic district without running myself ragged. We ate lunch riverfront at the shrimp factory. Their shrimp and grits were amazing.

 Afterwards we went back to the hotel and took a long nap. When we woke up Todd was ready for dinner...i was still full from lunch. So we hung out at the hotel, planned some activities for the rest of the weekend and then headed to Boars head on the river for dinner. This was my favorite meal of the week (more on that later). I had a Savannah Steak Salad that was to die for. The atmosphere was romantic and the prices were reasonable and the service was great. Afterwards we got googly- eyed at the Savannah Candy shop-then went back to the hotel and relaxed.
view of Amelia (with Todd asleep in the background) she got her first sticker a "My first trolley tour" from Mr. W @ the trolley station.
My plan for the trip was to sleep, sight-see and take in time with Todd. It's so rare that we get to be alone. He is truly my best friend because he allowed me all of the above-plus he planned a few fun things! :)

Friday morning we woke up and had professional photos taken in Forsyth Park. This was the first time we have had pictures done of the two of us since we were married! Dana-the owner of Minibird Photography has become a good friend of ours! We both (will) have Amelia's!
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We did some sight-seeing and shopping and then another nap...followed by a carriage ride and a yummy pizza dinner at Vinny VanGoGos :)
The Olde Pink House where the carriage picked us up :)

Saturday was a very relaxed day. We woke up-did some antiquing, real estate looking,

 and then lunch at Bernie's Oyster House. (no oysters for me but BOY did they look good!!) it was a very comfortable atmosphere with really good pub food.

After lunch we went back to the hotel and took a nap. I promise the best part of the trip! Then we got up and headed to Leopold's for Ice Cream. I had a coconut scoop in a sugar cone. Almost a week later....still craving it.

Its not for sale-but if it was-It would be our house.

We went back to the hotel-got dressed and headed back down to the riverfront to have dinner-again-at Boar's Head. I am not usually a repeat eater on vacation. But yall-let me tell you. This is an awesome place. Nestled right on the river front, The restaurant is situated so you can see the boats passing by. We both ordered the Savannah steak salad. It's a bed of salad with hand cut (and amazingly seasoned) meat. Topped with fried onions (really thin fried hand battered onion rings) and served with a honey mustard dressing. Simple and FILLING. The service here is amazing. Our glasses were never more than 1/2 empty, our table was always cleaned of dirty dishes, and when we got ready to leave...our server walked us to the door to wish us farewell. For real. Off the Chart service.

Our favorite part about this restaurant is the open kitchen. You can watch your food be prepared and how long it "sits" in the window. Let me tell you-on this night. Chef Philip (the owner) was working Expo (pulling out the food preparing it to go to the tables) and NO dish sat for more than 1minute 20 sec. (yes, I timed it.) You can feel his pride for his dishes and his staff is very confident in their preparation of plates.

After dinner-we did one more "tour" The Ghost and Gravestones tour. It was a fun experience (not scary) and learned a lot of history about Savannah's darker side :)

We went back to the hotel-to bed-then to the airport the next day. It was an amazing trip-so thankful for the chance to go!

Monday, January 21, 2013

MLK day

Happy Martin Luther King day!

This is one of my favorite "holidays" and has been since I was in 4th grade, Mrs. Edwards class and I was assigned a report on Dr. King.

Growing up in the South (central Mississippi-where Dr. King marched...sit-ins happened and racism is still an issue in some places) a young white girl researching the topic of Dr. King's life and presenting his story to the class can cause for some controversy-but for me-it was eye opening.

I remember the feeling-it was an overwhleming since of pride-that I as a 4th grader felt when I read Dr. King's words.

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter" - MLK

It was that point in my life where I vowed to not see color. To not use race words. To not categorize or judge others because of race, financial status, or religion.

It was a decision that over my life has caused many lost friends and deep heated discussions.

Over the 20  years since that report-I have grown and my views on the world have been opened. I see people constantly posting on facebook negative remarks over our president-a nation being torn to shreds by the left and the right sides. People angry over debt ceilings, healthcare, money. It is sad that on a day like today (MLK and inauguration) my facebook newsfeed is filled with anti-Obama messages.

I started to feel a bit overwhelmed. I know not all things are perfect in our government but as Christians we are called to love and to pray for others-including our enemies. I opened my reader and found this awesome article about things Christians must keep in mind today-and it was all the emotions I have in my heart-written more beautifully than I could express.

I don't talk politics on this blog a lot, because I want this place to be a reflection of my family-our journal that my kids can read and look back on all the memories we have created but I want my girls to know I will not teach you to ridicule others, complain, or view our governments decisions as your only way of life.

Your faith in God is your way of life. Your attitude should always reflect that of a Christ driven attitude. And when people you love disagree with you and you don't understand why they see it that way-remember that your job is to love others the way Christ loved us and if that makes you an outcast-so be it.

Today  we commemorate the universal, unconditional love, forgiveness and nonviolence that empowered MLK revolutionary spirit.

Thank you Dr. King-

Monday, January 14, 2013

Growing Baby-30 weeks :)

How far along? 30 weeks!

Total weight gain: No exact # given but I can say since my pity post and appointment last week-I did not gain any weight-and since I gained enough over thanksgiving, etc...that's a good thing.
Maternity clothes? Love Old Navy Skinnies (don't hate Rachel!) and yoga pants. I have 6 shirts that I am comfortable in-the rest are too tight or hot! 

Stretch marks? Not any new ones. I believe Madyson gave them all to me first go around.

Best moment this week: Amelia's room is almost done. We are busy purchasing all the items that we don't have (gave away all our baby stuff over the years-so we are starting "fresh"!

Miss Anything? being cold all the time. This being hot mess is not for me. 
Food cravings: Mexican-pizza-ice cream

Anything making you queasy or sick: Smells. 
Gender: Girl. Amelia Margaret
Labor Signs: daily contractions but the FFN test came back negative so I am 3-4 weeks free of delivery
Wedding rings on or off? wedding band on.
Happy or Moody most of the time:Happy...well unless the house is a mess :) 

Photo by Minibird Photography more on that soon :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

2013 so far & Family Goals-

This year we are declaring to be "our year". So much has happened over the past few years and well-I figure that if we stay focused and work as a team-we can really make 2013 our year!

Todd and I sat down and made goals for 2013 for us as individuals, as a couple, as parents then we included the girls and helped them created goals for themselves and then for our family. These are going to be posted around our house-that way we can work together to help keep everyone accountable.

So without further a do-our 2013 goals....

The Broadus Family Goals for 2013
Family Goals:
15 minutes of Family cleaning a day as a team.
Family night 1x a month (girls’ alternate picking activity)
Sunday Morning-smoothness
Expect Less-Give More
Family Devotion and Discussion Daily
3-4 Road trips (overnight) trips a year
Couple Goals:
Devotion time together daily. This is something we are striving to be more diligent with.
Overnight trips 2x a year
Date Night 2x a month
Prayer/Couple Journal-I am most excited about this. It is a simple notebook that we write in. Prayers for each other-this is what I did today while you were gone-I love you because...buts its just ours and not for others.
Give more of ourselves to each other without complaining.-All to often I'll hear "Can you help me take the trash out" and he'll be standing there with 9 bags of stuff...and I'll grunt out of not wanting to get out of my cozy spot. Not anymore-and the same for his side.
Be a more patient mom. With 3 girls, its a huge goal.
Be content with what I have. Not needing everything on Target clearance...
Allow myself me time each week. Its okay to go for a walk-sit and read..have a pedicure.
Get a cleaning schedule set-with 3 girls...its the 2nd biggest goal!

Work harder to meet the needs of my family
Be a more Godly leader for my wife
Shorten my temper & be a better father: Patience is a good word to use here
Lose weight
Be more active around the house-Yard work. His enemy.

Madyson and Aubrie Kate have goals for school, keeping their room neat...etc.

They are simple goals that we really want to strive to work towards.

2013 has started-and we have had a lot of positives. We were all dressed and ready for church on time-without any meltdowns from anyone..We are busy working on our backyard. The daily rain is slowing this project down, BIG time. We are getting the nursery ready-and the house cleaned and organized.

Todd and I are going on a trip soon (more about that later) that I can not wait for! Madyson has started back to 1st grade and as of today-I am staying home again. I will be spending the next few weeks preparing our house and family for baby-and resting. Something that I am so excited about.

So there ya go!