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Monday, December 27, 2010

Joy

My little boys bring me lots of joy.  Along with that joy comes tiredness and a bit of exasperation, but those feelings could never outweigh my joy.

As we have celebrated Christmas and I have thought about Christ being born a baby boy, I have looked down at my boys and wondered what Christ was like as an infant and a toddler.  I wonder in the toils of everyday life, did Mary stop often to ponder that her little son was the Lord of all Creation.  What did he do as a small boy that brought her joy?

I want my boys (and their wonderful daddy) to see that I take joy in them.  I want Weston and William to be able to find joy and love in our home, but ultimately I want them to find their joy and love in Jesus who gave up the joys of heaven to save his people from their sin.  Along with so many other things, he came to bring us the Joy of Heaven!

Lots of deep thoughts, but now some not so deep pictures of what has brought me joy the past couple of days...a baby's smile (and feet) and some red raspberry jello...enJOY :)!







(And thank you to Aunt Nan who got Weston his own Camelback water bottle!  It is bringing him lots of joy!)





Monday, December 6, 2010

William Taylor

Thought I'd post a video of my new little man so you can all meet him.  Here are a few things I love about this video...
1.  It took me 9 days to finally post it.  Having two children under the age of 17 months really sucks up any free time I thought I might have :)!
2.  Weston's scream in the background.  He is saying, "Momma, give me more attention!!"
3.  The great faces William makes (and yes he is propped up in the Boppy on the kitchen counter - that way Weston can't get to him)

Enjoy!
Rebecca
video




Sunday, November 28, 2010

How Quickly I Forgot

My oldest boy is only 16 months old, but it has been amusing to me that I have so quickly forgotten what it was like to have an infant.  I KNOW that a lot happens in those first months of life, but it is so glaring to me at the moment because I can see the big differences in my two little boys.

Here is Weston now with his favorite new boots.
And enjoying his favorite pastime of pushing the white stool all over Mimi and Granddaddy's house.
And here is that same little boy about 15 1/2 months ago...CRAZY!

As far as I can remember (which might not be that well), William seems a lot like his brother.  He can be rather expressive.  He's slept well, cried loudly, and been somewhat of a lazy eater (which is funny Weston was that way considering that he is NOT a lazy eater now!).  But here are a few "new baby" things that I've begun to remember...

1. Infants are really floppy - those little spastic arms and head will surprise you!

2. Praise the Lord they can sleep through just about anything.  William has already visited 2 restaurants in his 11 days of life and he slept beautifully.  Weston didn't go to a restaurant with us until he was like 3 months old.  Oh how things change with the second child :)!

3. It is a pain to change a diaper and have to avoid that little piece of the umbilical cord.  I can't wait for that thing to fall off!

4. Breast feeding might be cheap but it is sure painful for those first few weeks.  William better appreciate all those nutrients and antibodies he's getting!!

5.  How wonderful 4 straight hours of sleep can be.  Maybe one day I'll get 5 straight hours of sleep again!

6.  How absolutely precious new born babies can be - I don't think I really forgot that but it hasn't been something I've pondered the past year or so.  Here are a few precious pictures of William from the last couple of days...





Loving my new little man,
Rebecca

Thursday, November 11, 2010

And he shall be called...

Well the Corley family is 6 days away from the birth of our second boy.  Weston graced us with his presence 15 1/2 months ago after a long labor and eventual C-section.  Because of that, we have this next little guy's arrival scheduled.  He could surprise us and come early, but that is okay because he does now have a name.

William Taylor Corley

Now some may ask if we are doing a "first letter thing" since we will have a Weston and a William.  No...our third son will not be Wayne or Wendell.  Both of our sons are named after people and they just happen to start with the same letter.

Weston is my mother's maiden name and his middle name, Michael, is Kevin's middle name.

Our second little boy is named William after William Frances Joseph III and his son Will the IV.


Billy was Kevin's RUF campus pastor at the University of Alabama and he was the first man to clearly explain and exemplify the gospel for Kevin.  What a blessing you are Billy Joseph!  We love you!  Billy's son, Will, is one of Kevin's best friends and is a constant voice of encouragement and wisdom in his life.  Two great men of God!

Now the middle name took us more time.  Kevin was all about using the full Joseph name of William Frances, but since Frances is a girls name in my family I just couldn't go along with it :)!  We deliberated over 4 different family names and Taylor won out.

Taylor is my paternal grandmother's maiden name - Julia Taylor Cushman.  The Presbyterian lineage in my fam comes through the Taylor family, and more importantly just a lot of spunky, fiesty, friendly, wise, and Godly character.


Anyone of you who have met my darling G'mom Cushman know what I'm talking about.  She has more energy then I'll ever have.  She's a wonderful example of a loving wife.  She is always an encouragement to me. And she hiked Lookout Mountain in Montreat, NC when she was 81 years old.  How cool is that?!?

I'm looking forward to meeting my little William in less than a week.  And I'm even more excited to see how God is going to use William in the lives of those around him.

Baby Mama Love,
Rebecca

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Southern Weather

I love being from the south.  I am a southern girl and rather proud of it!  Dalton, GA was home for 20 years and now I consider Birmingham, AL to be home.

One thing about the south that I love is the weather.  Now don't get me wrong.  I don't enjoy the hot hot July-August part of summer because I definitely sweat like a man.  But I love the springs and falls in GA and AL!  And I love that it doesn't usually get too cold during the wintertime.

This year has been a bit different though.  It has been unseasonably hot for October (no good) here in good ole B'ham.  But what a difference a week can make!  It was in the 80s last weekend but the cold has moved in and we have dropped ever so slightly below freezing this weekend!

Weston would like to illustrate for you the difference in the two weekends.

Well, this picture really has nothing to do with the weather, but Weston wanted to show off his favorite new hat.  Yes that is a swim diaper that he discovered and I fashioned it as his hat.  He wore it around for a good 15 minutes.

Okay, back to the weather.  Last weekend we were in Gulf Shores and Mobile and it felt warm enough outside to go for a little swim.





 Man, that swim diaper would of come in handy!


Never mind!  Who needs a swim diaper when you can just skinny-dip in the ocean at the end of October :)!

Now fast-forward one week.  Oh the times they are a-changing!



Now we are all bundled up for daddy's race.  No nude swimming on this southern November weekend!

Love from Dixie,
Rebecca

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dear Cracker Barrel, Thank you for being wonderful!

October was a rough month for the Corley Family blog!  Hopefully November will keep all 3 of my blog readers more entertained!

As a family we have been traveling a lot lately. Job interviews. Family weddings.  Road trips to Michigan.  We've had lots of family adventures.  But one tried and true thing that we have been able to count on whether we are in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, or Indiana is that wonderful brown, yellow, and white sign that declares "A Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is just a ahead".




Now if you had asked me 6 months ago if I'd ever been to the Cracker Barrel website I would of looked at you like you had definitely been smoking something.  But now it is the first website I go to when we are planning our trip.  I plan our lunch/dinner stops for every trip we take.  Call me crazy, but I like to have a plan!

You may be asking why?  Don't you have to pay a tip?  Doesn't it take longer to get your food?

Yes to both of those questions!  And it is totally worth it!  No meal with a 15 month old is quick.  Fast food is not really fast when you are trying to feed yourself and any small children.  Also, after my sweet little boy (who doesn't necessarily sleep well in the car) has been in the car for 3 to 4 hours, both we and he need a break.  And that break better consist of him using up as much energy has possible.

So here are a few reasons that I have fallen in love with Cracker Barrel.  If I was truly creative then they would be in the form of a song or poem or rap, but you'll have to settle for my list.  Enjoy!

Ode to Cracker Barrel - How do I love thee! Let me count the ways!

1.  I really think there is a CB every 50 miles or so.  It makes planning a trip very easy :)!
2.  A porch full of rocking chairs that Weston can walk up and down and make each chair rock back and forth.  A marvelous use for pent-up energy!!
3.  A whole store to walk around and explore.  There is nothing more exciting than emptying a bucket of candles or lip gloss and then filling it back up!  That spells N-O B-O-R-E-D-O-M while we wait for our food.
4.  High chairs that fit the tables and actually have straps that keep Weston from trying to stand up and turn around when he gets bored of eating.  Does anyone else's child try to do that?!?
5.  Veggies that my child will eat!  He can make a plate of CB carrots and green beans disappear like a ninja on a dark night!
6.  Oh and the biscuits and cornbread.  Not only do I love them but Weston could eat his weight in those things!  Nothing like yummy food to keep your child entertained!
7.  That great triangle game at the table is like a built in toy to play with while we wait for those yummy biscuits to be delivered!



8.  Did I mention the store for my wild child to walk around in and explore?!?  That reason needed to be mentioned again :)!
9.  Sensational changing tables! Yes, I said sensational!  If you don't have a child then I know you haven't taken note of any changing tables.  But when you've had to change a filled-to-capacity diaper (and a whole outfit for that matter because the diaper leaked) and you have to do that in a crammed gas station or McDonald's bathroom on a changing table that is dangling precariously over a toilet, you'll begin to take notice of sensational changing tables.  Most CBs have a full, marble-like counter that has enough room for your child and their diaper bag!  Sensational!
10.  And my favorite CB amenity, the above mentioned changing table is usually in the men's restroom as well.  Dad can no longer look at you with a twinkle in his eye and say, "Honey, I'd LOVE to help out with that leaky, smelly diaper but there isn't a changing table in the men's bathroom.  Bummer because I was really looking forward to changing it!"  CB has thought of everything to make your trip with crazy children just a little bit better.

Here's to delicious buttermilk biscuits!
Rebecca

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Little Man Clothes and So Much More

I'm surprised everyday that Weston is looking more like a little boy than a baby.  Thankfully God moves that process along and doesn't leave that up to us moms because I have a feeling that I wouldn't be the only one who would like to slow this process down.  The last 15 months has flown by!

I know some moms put their little boys in khakis and button down shirts (aka Little Man Clothes) long before 15 months, but we finally passed that milestone (Can you call that a milestone?!?) this past weekend.


We have had a busy two weeks and as I've thought about our last few weeks, looking at Weston in his little man clothes has brought one thing to my mind - how God has provided for and protected us.

Cold weather is (sort of) here and Weston is growing up fast.  Last spring a friend at seminary gave us loads of boy toddler clothes.  Weston has all the winter clothes he needs including that handsome little outfit above!  Thanks Meg!

We've heard No from one job prospect, but have 2 more prospects on the table.  Thanks to all our wise friends who have counseled us and prayed for us so far in this process!  Your wisdom is appreciated more than you know!

One sweet Grandmother has filled our gas tank more than a few times and another sweet Grandmother housed us on our way to North Carolina (and even bought us some pacifiers because we left that much needed item at home!)

On our to North Carolina we had an unfortunate run-in with a dog on the interstate.  We won but not without a few damages to our car.  Our insurance company was fabulous, arranged everything and we were back on the road in time to make it Uncle Kyle and Aunt Halley's wedding weekend.  Thank you USAA :)!

Our insurance deductible for that little wreck was $500.  And that was the EXACT amount we received in the mail from a friend who had no idea we had that expense.  They just had some extra money in their budget and thought we could use it. You know who you are and we love and appreciate you!

I could go on and on...free lunches, a friend giving Kevin a great part-time job, free sewing lessons from a friend, two beautiful houses to live in...and more and more.

If you know me well enough you know I am a doer.  I keep myself busy working and it is hard for me to rest.  Hard work is definitely not a bad thing.  I will hopefully instill a good work ethic into my boys.

But one problem that raises its ugly head in my life is that I don't really believe that God is the one providing for me (Matthew 6:25-33)  I start believing the lie (again and again) that I have earned everything I have.  It takes an EXACT monetary gift in the mail to remind me, yet again, that I am not in control!

 It is my Heavenly Father who gives me the ability to work and earn money.  It is He who provides the cars we have, the food we have, the health we have, and most importantly my salvation in His Son.  I could never earn that!!  It is a free gift (Romans 6:23).

Thank you to the givers in our life!  You are a picture of Christ and his gift on the cross!

Rebecca






Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Trail of Mischief

I have a wonderful friend from seminary, Melinda, who has two entertaining blogs that I follow.  When you get a moment check out Speece School and Secure Your Own Mask First.  Every once in a while Melinda will post a "Found" picture and description on her SYOMF blog.  The "found" item is something her kids have left and she has discovered.  Thanks Melinda for bringing a little laughter to my day!

I was inspired by this and thought that I'd share one of the latest things I "found" my little man doing.  Like most little people, he loves to empty things - the toy bin, the clean laundry basket, the bathroom trashcan, etc.


Mama Ann's food pantry is looking a little bare.


Looks like Weston took a page from Hansel and Gretel, but instead of a bread crumb trail he is leaving mama a cereal box trail in the dining room.


Aha!  Caught in the act!  Son, are you really trying to eat a hard noodle?!?


Thanks for helping to clean up little man!  Every little bit helps!

Here's to finding a little laughter!
Rebecca

Monday, October 4, 2010

My Little Parasite

Let me start this short post by saying that I LOVE both of my boys.  I love my cutie-patootie who is taking a great nap right now, and I love my little man who is currently punching me in the spleen and kicking me in the lungs simultaneously (that is a hard word to spell!).

I wanted to make my love clear before I wrote my next statement because I didn't want anyone to think too badly of me.

I really think the best analogy for this little guy growing inside of me at this moment is a parasite.  He's a precious, darling, and loved parasite, but he is still a parasite.  My husband has gotten on to me for calling him this by saying, "Isn't it more of a symbiotic relationship?"

Nope, Nada, No way!  If you look up that word (or if you were in my fifth grade science class :)) you would know that for a symbiotic relationship to occur both organisms mutually benefit.  There is not much evidence for mutual benefit.

My sweet little parasite is stealing my food, my energy, expanding my dimensions, and using my internal organs for soccer practice.  And the little guy has not helped me out by giving me strong fingernails or a clearer complexion.

Oh well.  I love him all the same and can't wait to meet him!  He'll be arriving by November 17 in either Jackson, MS or Birmingham, AL.

Sorry for all the science terms.  Now I'm going to take a short nap and try to steal back some of that energy that my baby boy is sucking out of me!

Rebecca

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Take a Load Off

Weston is now a master at walking.  Yes he still takes a spill every once in a while probably because he is still a bit top heavy (really just tummy heavy), but he seems to have pretty much mastered that skill.

But there is one skill that I didn't think about a baby having to practice/master.  The skill of sitting down by themselves in a seat.  I hadn't really pondered that that was a skill he'd have to practice, but it has been so funny to watch him try to sit down.  Is it wrong to laugh at your child?!?

I wish I had a few more pictures because now that he has learned to "take a load off" he loves to sit on just about any elevated surface he can find - the inside of cabinets, the fireplace ledge, the bottom of the stairs, my in-laws treadmill, etc.


Here we are resting after helping to clean out one of Mimi's kitchen cabinets.  Please note the other skill that he has mastered - smiling/smirking for the camera. (For those of you who have seen baby pics of my bro, doesn't he totally look like Chris in this picture?!?!)

But by far Weston's favorite place to sit is his new Elmo chair.  What is not to like about a red-shag chair with big eyes, a nose, and a mouth?!?  Weston would like to thank Mimi for hooking him up with this fashionable piece of furniture.  



Here's to a little rest and relaxation,
Rebecca

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tru Wuv and Mah-wige

So the title of this blog post is only a bit funny and understandable if you have seen the Princess Bride.

One of the "predictables" in my last blog post was my funny husband.  If you know him or have had an extended conversation with him then you know he loves a little dry humor.  I wanted to give you a little taste of his humor so below is his rendition of our engagement.  He typed this up in a email to some friends after the big event occurred (almost 4 years ago!), and I loved it so much I included a copy of it in our wedding book :)!


As for the proposal, here's the rather detailed version of how it went down...
We went for a walk in Jemison Park, which is where we had our 2nd first date.  I had my script prepared and I was aiming to be as smooth as possible.  You need to know that Rebecca's nickname is Cush because her last name is Cushman; I've never used that nickname.  So we are walking around the park, making small talk, and she has no clue what's coming.  We turn down a side trail that runs along the creek, where I spy a bench for us to sit on.  I decide that this will be the place where I change our lives forever.  We take a seat and continue what I consider to be a fairly meaningless conversation considering what's going on inside my head and heart.  At a break in the action, I say my line.  "Do you know that I've never called you Cush?" 
"Really?  I guess I hadn't noticed.  Why not?"
"Because I figured I'd one day make you my wife and if I did then the nickname wouldn't work." (how's that for cheesy)
She kisses my cheek and it is at this moment that I planned to "pop the question."  However, I made the mistake of making a nervous pause while I considered all the dramatic ramifications of what I was about to do to the both of us.  If I asked, I was almost sure she would say yes and if she said yes then this was a done deal and I better be sure we wanted a done deal.  If I didn't ask, I was going to have to explain to my family, her family (which was waiting at my house), and the few friends who knew what I was planning.  Now, Rebecca's a bit of a talker so, while I took my ill-considered pause, she shot my entire plan by starting into a story about some stationary that had "Cush" written on it.  I nodded in paralyzed confusion while she finished and tried to respond as pleasantly as possible so as not to vomit on this pretty girl that I was aiming to make my bride. 
She finished.  I still paused.  "Here goes nothing," I said to myself.
And then I rolled/slid/fell off the bench onto both knees - I had little control over my physical faculties at this point.  Rebecca's eyes swelled to dinosaur size and a fine layer of water began to materialize on them.  Her face read something like, "What the heck are you doing down there!?"  (For starters, I was struggling to end the battle between my sweaty hand and the clinging fabric of my pocket so I could fish out the engagement ring that seemed to shrink anytime I got near it.)  I finally gripped it and held on for dear life. 
"I love you (which we had not said before).  Will you marry me?"  
She cried.  I grabbed her right hand.  She laughed and handed me the left hand.  Somewhere in there she said yes.  We hugged for a long time, and kissed some, and talked.  She continued to cry and say yes.  I released the mental death grip I had been holding on my bowels and bladder...and smiled...and said "I love you" a couple more times.  She was completely surprised. 
She was further surprised when we went back to my house to find both of our families waiting in surprise.  She freaked out again.  It was great; she was thrilled and I was glad to have her for good...and to be done with the asking of awkward questions. 


Here are a few details and pictures to go along with his story.

Kevin and I never lived in the same city before we got married.  We met at a conference for youth directors in North Carolina in 2005.  We actually went on 2 dates, which we now refer to as our First First Date and our First Second Date.  They have to have those names because I didn't accept his invitation for a third date.  I thought I had a better option, but when I tell people that I dumped him, he kindly points out it can't be a dumping if it wasn't serious.  Oh well...I still say I dumped him.

Fast-forward one year.  Spring 2006.  Same conference.  Same location.  Kevin hadn't erased my number from his phone :).  We talked.  We flirted.  He made me laugh.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

We had our Second First Date at the end of April and our Second Second Date on my birthday (May 1st)  He proposed in December, and we tied the knot on June 2 2007.
My sexy husband the week we re-met
My favorite picture of us while we were dating.  If you didn't know how short I was, you would think Kevin is  like 6'5"!
After we got engaged
Some couples toast with wine at their weddings, but not the Corleys.  We decided to go the milk-shake route which was very tasty.  I think our guests enjoyed them too!!  Nothing like a little ice-cream at a June wedding in the south!

To Tru Wuv and Mah-wige,
Rebecca


  


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Holding on to the Predictable

My second blog post was entitled "Waiting" because that was exactly what my little family was doing.  And at the moment, we are still waiting.  I went back to that second post to read the poem that I included because it is just as encouraging and convicting today as it was that day.

We are still waiting on a home of our own.  We are still sharing my sweet in-laws home.  Most of our belongings are still in storage, and the things I want are buried deep with no hope of retrieval - except for a complete storage room evacuation.  Really I just want to get to my sewing machine and my retainer - yes I still occasionally wear a retainer at night to keep my pearly whites sort of straight.  Why it ended up packed tight in a moving box I'll never know!

We are still waiting to hear from a certain church about the assistant pastor job.  That will determine a lot of things for us: Will we move or be spending more time in B'ham?  What will that time in B'ham look like?  I keep thinking that we will know something any day now, but meditating on that thought too much can drive you crazy.

We are still waiting to find out where we will be having our second child.  Will it be in Jackson, MS at River Oaks or Birmingham, AL at Brookwood.  I can't begin to tell you how thankful I am for the two Christian doctors who are walking with me through this crazy time and listening to all of my unknowns.  Thank you Dr. M and Dr. A!!!!

Since so much right now is unpredictable, I am holding on to a few things that are predictable.  Kevin could get a job call tomorrow that could answer some of these questions, but I know that even that will not cause my waiting to come to an end.  I'll never have all of the questions answered even if the questions I have now do get answered.  I'm holding on to a few truths, though, that give my crazy world some sanity - My good Father in Heaven is in control (Matthew 6:25-34).  He knows the end from the beginning (Ephesians 1:3-10).  He will not leave me (God's promises in Joshua 1:5 & to his people throughout scripture!)

Now on to a few lesser but still predictable things that are helping to keep my world sane:

*McDonald's ice coffee with hazelnut flavoring.  It is always around $2 and so delicious.

*Zoe's Kitchen's Hummus Salad Plate - so yummy and filling!!

*Peanut Butter on Ritz crackers - my favorite anytime snack (How funny that the first 3 "predictables" are about food!  I must be pregnant!)

*My body pillow - I can't fall asleep without it due to my very large belly!

*My Nickel Creek and String Quartet stations on Pandora.  Life, no matter now sane or crazy, always needs a bit of background music!

*2 sets of grandparents who love to babysit.  What a blessing!

*My good-looking husband making me laugh.  He really is the funniest guy I know!!

*I'm sure I could scheme up some more if I sat here all day, but I'll just leave you with my last predictable that takes up most of my days (and this one has pictures).
My active little man who loves to clear out any cabinet that he can get open.  That is definitely predictable.


Here's to the Already and the Not Yet!
Rebecca