Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Happy and You Know It

The other day I told Ella that I loved her and she sweetly said "I lub you tooooo" and I said "Oh, you make me so happy." Ella replied, "If you Happy, know it, cap a hand!"

Saturday, December 16, 2006

December Updates

Well a lot has gone on since the last post. We had a great Thanksgiving. I had Mom, Dad, Aunt Ricki and Uncle Ron here on Thanksgiving day. We all had a wonderful time and too much food as always. Then on Sunday Stepen's Sisters and their husbands came over for dinner. We had a great time with them as well. A week later was the Holiday Fair at the Greenville Expo center. This is something that I really enjoy every year. It's a huge arts, crafts etc expo. Mom wasn't feeling up to going and so she kept Ella for me and Dad said he would go. I would have never thought that Dad and I would share such a wonderful time together at a craft fair but it was a perfect day. We talked a lot and laughed more and looked at all the diffenet things for sale. Not many people can say that they spent the day with their Dad at a craft fair! Anyway, we have been getting shopping done and spending time with Ella. She and I have battled being sick off an on the past few weeks. But other than that we are all fine. Ella helped us decorate the tree she enjoyed it, and to my suprise, she really hasn't touched the tree much. We have only had 2 ornament casualities. I think she is getting excited, but she really doens't understand what is going on yet. She know who santa is and says HO HO HO, but I don't think she quite gets it that next week she will have presents to open etc. I think next year she will definitly get it and we will probably miss this time that she doesn't. We can still have presents for her in our spare room just covered up in a corner. It will be the last year for that certainly!!! Well some sad news: Stephen's Mother Kay is a diabetic and has other health issues. She is in and out of the hospital several times a year. On December 7th she had a severe stroke. For about a week she was in ICU and not given much hope but she has taken a turn for the better and is in her own room. She has a long long way to go but she is improving and we are just so thankful. I will update again after Christmas.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!
Holly, Stephen and Ella

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Uncle Joe and Aunt Jane

Joe and Jane were here this weekend. It was so good to see them again. Ella had a great time playing with both of them. Joe would always pump his arms and make a funny noise at Ella and she would just laugh. Now everyday she says to me "What Joe doin"? and then copy him. It's really funny and sweet. Anyway, we all had a great time visiting with them. Joe has been in NC for several weeks and I know he was glad to get back home to LA!

I not see him Mommy

Today I was taking Ella to day care and the sky was so pretty. I told Ella to look at the sky and that it was pretty. She said "pretty sky Mommy". I told her that God made the sky and didn't he do a good job, she said "good job in the sky", I like a da sky". I told her that Jesus loved her and for her to tell Jesus she loved him. She said "lub (love)you Jesus. She said "look at sky Mommy". I told her Jesus lives way up in the sky.........she looked up out the window and said "I not see him Mommy". Doesn't get much sweeter than that!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Autumn, I love it!!!

You would think that it wouldn't be so hard to enter a blog, attach a photo and update about our life but for some reason, I just don't seem to get around to it much. And the next thing I know it's almost November. I love October though, it's my favorite time of year. The leaves are beautiful and right at their peak. A couple of weeks ago we all went to KY to visit Stephen's Dad. Stephen's sister Robbie drove her new Honda Accord. All was well until we got up around the Waynesville area, Ella then puked all over herself, and Robbie's beautiful leather seats, which makes for easy cleaning, but still not good. And don't get me started about the aroma for the next 200 miles. It wasn't really that bad, thankfully I knew where the Wal-Mart in Waynesville was and it wasn't out of our way at all. So we stopped got Ella cleaned up, bought some Febreeze and about a dozen towels (just in case). She was fine the rest of the trip. We had a good time in KY. We went to the Explorium in Lexington which is a science center for kids. Ella had a blast. She enjoyed seeing the horses and of course playing with her Pa Pa Howard and Dorane. We were glad to get home though. It takes a lot out of you to travel with a child even though she could not have behaved any better, it was exhausting for all of us. Let's see what else is new? Not really that much, I am still enjoying my new job. Well not really new I have been here 6 months now. I got a promotion a couple of months ago so that was good. We are finishing up our Football and Soccer season and the Basketball season is about to hit. We will be really busy in a couple of weeks as most leagues start their evaluations and practices in November and December and then games start in Jan. So it will be full on soon. I really love what I do, I could not ask for a better organization to work for. For those of you who want to know more about Upward, go to Well I will sign off for now. I hope it won't be so long next time. Until then keep the Faith!!!


Monday, September 18, 2006

I like a de monkeys!

We have been busy the past month going here and there but never seeming to get much done. Ella has gone to the zoo the past two weekends. Mom and Dad took her to the Greenville zoo 2 weeks ago and this past weekend the three of us went to Hollywild. She loved it! She kept saying "I like a da monkeys" "I like a da elpants" she had a great time and so did me Mom and Dad. It's just a joy to see the wonder in her eyes and that smile on her face. Stephen had a busy weekend too. He rode in a charity event for MS. He rode his bike from Columbia to North Myrtle Beach in two days. We are very proud of him. He did great, a little sore and tired but overall it was a fantastic experience. He raised a little over $200 for MS so it was all for a great cause. Not much else is going on right now. Work for both of us is going well. Upward just moved into our new building and it is really nice. It overlooks water and is in a wooded area. It's really nice. Well I will have to post later and try to post more photos soon.


Monday, August 14, 2006

Weekend Get-Away

Stephen and I went away for the weekend to Georgia. We have not done that for a very long time. Mom and Dad kept Ella for us. Friday we drove to Rome, GA to spend some time at Berry College where I graduated from. The above photo is from one of the dorms I lived in for awhile at Berry. Some has changed but it was still like going back home. I told Stephen all the memories I had and he did a great job pretending that it was so very interesting! We really did have a great time and Berry is so beautiful. Deer are always around the campus and we saw at least 50. Saturday afternoon we headed to Clayton, GA where Stephen's Aunt and Uncle live and spent the night with them. It was really nice and we enjoyed them. His Uncle keeps bees so we saw his hives and all his blueberry bushes which are more like trees at 10' tall! I couldn't help picking them and eating them off the vine, nothing better! Sunday we spent some time with them in the morning and left around noon. We got home around 4 and Mom was at the house with Ella. It was a wonderful weekend away but it's so nice to come home. I missed Ella, and I think she missed us. Maybe she was getting back at us for leaving because I noticed she was quiet in the kitchen and went in and she had colored on the kitchen floor. So she got a time out for that and she thought her life was coming to an end. Sitting in a chair for a few minutes was torture. She was sweet after time out though and told me she would be a good girl and she was sorry. So hard to dicipline when they look at you with huge round eyes filled with tears. Anyway, she learned her lesson, for now anyway......there's always tomorrow!!


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

August Already???

It's hard to believe that it's August. If it wasn't 100 degrees outside I would think it should still be June! We are all well and happy. Ella continues to grow and say new things all the time. She has learned to blow her nose which is great! She twirls her hair when she is drinking from her sippy and tired so that has lead to little hair knots to try to get out each morning. Usually I can pull most of it apart and what I can't I just have to cut it out. So far you can't tell. Nothing else is really going on right now. Stephen's job is going well and after 8 or 9 years, of steering clear of bees, Stephen has been stung close to 16 times this summer. Twelve of those were at one time but the others were freak stings, riding on his bike or mowing the lawn. He is allergic and has to be very careful but thankfully none of them were too bad other than the 12 stings at once. With those he was really hurting and swollen. I have had a good but uneventful summer so far. Work is going really well. It has only 3 1/2 months but it seems like much longer. I love what I do and know that God has put me there for a reason and it is amazing! We have had some friends move back to the area recently, Jason and Kimberly. Actually they knew Stephen first and Jason was in our wedding. They moved back from Charleston a few months ago and they have 3 daughers: Megan 5, Katie 3, and Lauren 1. We have had them over and vice versa. It is so nice to have friends with kids close. We really enjoy them so much and Ella just loves playing with them too. Well I will close for now until my next update. Hopefully something a little more exciting!


Saturday, July 22, 2006


Ella has transitioned to her "Big Girl Bed" and she loves it. The first night she woke up several times but never asked for her crib. She has been in her bed for about 2 weeks and seems to love it. Here is a photo from her second night sleeping in her bed. Now, potty training........somehow I don't think that will happen in a day!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Weekend at the lake

Last weekend Stephen's Dad came down from KY and we all went to the lake with Stephen's family for the weekend. We all had such a nice time and Ella really enjoyed everyone. She loved the sprinkler, blow up pool, and of course the trees. She has started climbing up trees. She wants to climb on anything and jump off of everything. We certainly have our hands full all of the time. We celebrated Ella's 2nd birthday there. She got so many nice things: books, clothes, nemo chair, princess chair, potty seat, bubbles, toys a blow up pool and lots more. She had a wonderful time. We went Saturday night down the road for a fire works show and Ella was scared at first and then within 30 seconds, she was asleep. She just couldn't hang on any longer. We came back Sunday afternoon and Charles (Stephen's Dad) stayed with us and left Monday morning. He had a wonderful time with her and we all had a great weekend. Thanks Robbie and Bob for a great weekend at your place. Thanks Mary Kay for the great meals! Thanks to everyone for making Ella's birthday special and all the wonderful gifts!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Ella's Birthday June 29, 2006

I can hardly believe it was 2 years ago I was a week over due and felt like the Michelin Man. Then at 12:26am the Dr. said "it looks like a girl". I could not believe my ears as I was convinced I was having a boy. I was so happy to have my girl. At times I still look at Stephen and say "I can't believe we have a girl". She is my whole world and I can't imagine life without her nor can I really remember what life was like before she came. I know it was a lot quieter and less expensive that's for sure but I wouldn't change it for any peace and quiet or any amount of money!!! Last Sunday June 25th my Mom, Dad, Aunt Ricki and Uncle Ron came over to celebrate and we had a little cookout. Ella opened her gifts up and enjoyed everything. She loves her Dora video she got from Ricki and Ron, and also her pig/hippo/zebra flashlight from Dad (we can't really figure out what animal it is). She got new sheets for her first big girl bed. We sang happy birthday to her but I walked in the room starting to sing it and started out singing "A,B,C" and then realized it was the wrong song. Well, she is 2 and can sing her ABC's all the way through so obviously we sing that a lot!! She knew exactly what to do with the candle, she blew it right out. We had a very nice time. Thursday Stephen's Dad came from KY and stayed with us. He enjoyed spending time with Ella. Friday we all went to Robbie and Bob's (Stephen's sister and her husband) lake house and Stephen's other sister Mary Kay and her husband Chip came also. We spent Friday-Sunday at lake Murray. We all had a wonderful time with food, food, and more food and lots of laughs. Ella got so many nice birthday gifts. A Nemo chair, blow up pool, several outfits, a princess chair, bubbles, a bikini, potty seat, shoes, books, toy puppy, college money, toy stroller, watering can, and lots of other gifts. She had a very very nice birthday!!! Saturday she played in her new pool and climbed up the trees. We went to see a big fire works display at the lake. At first Ella got a little scared and within 30 seconds she was fast asleep. She had a long day and just couldn't hang on even for fire works. We came home Sunday and Monday Stephen's Dad left to return to KY. It was a wonderful weekend and Ella had a perfect 2nd birthday. Thanks to everyone for all the gifts and for loving Ella so much. Seeing how much she is loved by everyone on both sides of the family brings that much more joy to being a parent! I will post photos of her birthday celebrations soon.

Until next time, Holly

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Wedding News

June has been one of the busiest months. We have had so much going on with travel, work and Ella it has kept us going. June 8th I went with Mom and Dad to Louisiana for Joe's wedding to Jane. We left Thursday and stayed in Gulfport, MS. Then drove the rest of the way to Bunkie, LA on Friday. We couldn't believe the coast in Gulfport. I new we would see damage but thought we would see mostly rebuilding. The coast was gone, everything just gone or destroyed. It will be a long long time to rebuild and it really put it all into perspective. We drove through New Orleans and it was just like a ghost town. All you could see was neighborhood after neighborhood and no people, cars. Everything just empty. Friday we arrived in a little town called Bunkie and stayed at the old hotel there The Bailey which was just beautiful and on the national historic registry. We went to Jane's parents Friday night for a fish fry and it was fantastic. Everyone there was so nice to us and we really enjoyed meeting Jane's Mother, Dad and the rest of her family. Saturday Bunkie had their cornfest going on and a parade so we enjoyed all the festivities. That evening we went to Jane's friends home for the wedding. They were married inbetween a row of oak trees. It could not have been a more beautiful ceremony. Jane was beautiful as were Stephanie and Anna. Joe did great and I don't think I ever remember seeing him smile so much in my life. Dad was his best man. It was wonderful and I am just so happy for them both. We left early the next morning and 13 hours later we were home. It was so good to see Stephen and Ella. Ella looked like she had grown in just a few days. Four days later I had to fly to Columbus, OH for an Upward conference. Next weekend Stephen's Dad is coming and we will all be going to Robbie and Bob's (Stephen's sister and brother-in-law) lake house for the weekend. We will celebrate Ella's birthday there so that will be fun. We will have a little cookout here with family this weekend. So after next weekend things will hopefully settle a little bit. I will post soon about Ella's birthday celebration(s). Last night we had an Upward training conference here in Greenville so I was able to take Stephen with me to hear Caz (founder and President of Upward). It is such a joy to hear him give his testimony about how Upward came about and what God's vision is for Upward. I have heard him speak several times and each time is like I am hearing it for the first time. I am so thankful to work for Upward what a joy it is to love what I do and know what Upward is all about and to be a part of it. I was so glad to bring Stephen and be able to share it with him. I will close for now. I have a lot to do today, Stephen is going for a ride with his friend so I have a little time to myself before going to Mom's and getting Ella. I will sign off for now and post again soon!


Saturday, June 03, 2006

Howard Happenings June 3,2006

We are finally getting with the times by creating a family blog. I always say that I am going to keep a good journal and within a few days it's in the drawer and collecting dust. Maybe this will be a way to keep a journal for our family. How well it is kept up to date remains to be seen. But my intentions are good. All is well on the home-front. Stephen likes his fairly new job at USC Upstate. He works hard and it's a state job so we are thankful. Ella is just growing like a weed. She will be 2 in a few weeks which is so hard to believe. She makes us laugh and want to pull our hair out at the same time. She says everything we say now. She counts to 10 and sings her ABC's albiet random letters but she is trying. She sings Jesus Loves Me, Rise and Shine but she says give God "gory gory" which I know makes the angels chuckle. She sings Twinkle Twinkle and other songs here and there. She LOVES Care Bears and Nemo. They were both really cute the first 30 not so much. I am fine and love my new job with Upward Unlimited (see It is a Christian Sports Ministry. We have Upward Basketball, Cheerleading, Soccer, and Flag Football. It feels so good to know that I am working for such a wonderful organization and I am a part of something that matters and is reaching out to kids and their families.

My brother Joe is getting married one week from today. I am so happy for him and so happy to gain a new sister-in-law, Jane and two nieces Stephanie and Anna. I am a little sad that Joe is moving to Louisiana I will miss him and miss seeing him with Ella but so happy that he and Jane will be married and happy together. I will be driving down next Thursday with Mom and Dad and come back on Sunday. It will be a long long drive. I would have liked to have had Ella but I just don't think 13 hours in a car would suit an almost 2 year old. She can hardly sit still long enough for me to put a bow in her hair. Plus this is Joe and Jane's day, Ella would want to run around and make noise and I wouldn't want to distract from their time. She will be staying home with Stephen so prayers for him!!! He will be fine, he is the best Daddy!! Well, it is Saturday and I have so much to do to get ready for the trip next week. I am really going to try to keep this up to date and hopefully as I learn more make it look nicer and add photos.

Until next time;