...our three beautiful girlies!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

finally!!! how does she do it!??

Have you seen that movie? {How Does She Do It? starring Sarah Jessica Parker}  I haven't, because who has time to go see a movie, but I am thinking, just from seeing the previews, it might be about me... and I even have more kids than her!! Ha!

This will be a very "jump around" style post, because I have literally fried my brain in the last week or so - too much on my mind and not enough hours in the day! 

Things I want to tell you before I forget:
*Go to our local theater and watch the movie "Courageous".  I plan to do this, this coming weekend.  It is a priority.  It is a Christian film by the creators of Fireproof.  Supposed to be life changing.
*I want to invite you to our revival "Life Summit Ministries" at our church - First Baptist Church of Sulphur Springs.  October 2 - 12.  6pm.  I expect it to be life changing, as well.

Hmmmm... so three days a week I am working PRN for my same job - HealthSouth Plano Rehab Hospital - marketing for them to develop a new, untouched territory.  I have been working hard, with positive response, and look forward to the referrals to start coming soon... I do, however, prefer instant gratification, and in this situation, that is usually not the result.  Patience, my dear!

Another three days a week, I am running at 5am with a special group of friends, training for my first half marathon.  13.? miles.  Yes, I am going to attempt to run 13.? miles.  Sunday, December 4, in Dallas, at White Rock Lake.  Prayers please :) I have faith, but it seems a little overwhelming with only 10 more weeks to train.  We are running our farthest distance so far on Friday, and that will be five full miles... So far we run atleast 3 miles every time and sometimes 4.  I never thought I would even make it to that. 

Speaking of running, I am putting together Hopkins County's first ever - annual Turkey Trot 5k Run/Walk in Sulphur Springs on Thanksgiving morning.  It will help raise money for great causes - a portion will go to Mother's Culture Club, which gives to local children's charities.  The rest will go to Hope4Harper.  This is a causes near and dear to my heart - a foundation set up in honor of my cousin's baby girl Harper.  Please read her story at http://www.hope4harper.com/.  There will be a story in the local newspaper, posters everywhere, billboard advertising, online registration... I mean - we are going ALL out :) AND hopefully, since it will become an annual event, we can raise money to donate to great people every year!  Be watching for more details to come within the next week... My brain is going ninety-to-nothing with ideas/plans/to-do lists, so forgive me for being so brief... It is all scribbled down somewhere, and you will see it all soon :) A special thank you to all of my helpers - especially my great friend and running partner, KK... Her creativity is going to make it all the more special, and she has poured her heart into it as well. 

The girls... the girls are fabulous!  We are going all the time - from school, to babysitters, to soccer games, to church, to hometown football games... and it's a blast.  But do you want to hear the best part??  We are LOVING our new home.  Several nights we have just played outside, ridden horses (yes!  they are finally at the same location as us!), put out hay, {I even learned to drive the tractor!!} worked in the yard, stayed home and cooked dinner simply because there is no where else we would rather be... just life's uncomplicated pleasures... and we are in total LOVE.  We even got to sit in our rockers on the front porch and watch the SINGLE storm that has happened since we moved in.  The land, the cattle, the trees, the thunder - with my family - Perfection!

Reese is doing fabulous in Kindergarten - she loves Water Oak, loves her teacher, loves the staff, loves to read... she is reading on a second grade level.  Tanner and I still can't believe each time she reads to us.  It's amazing, and she has a passion for it - so do I, so I am really excited to see her love it so much.  She is doing excellent on her soccer team (minus her sassy attitude, which quite frequently gets her in trouble by the coach -her daddy).  The difference watching her this year compared to last year is night and day.  For those of you with little ones in their first year - hang on - next year will be better :)  She scored four goals the first game.

Ramsey - bless her heart - has been sick.  She has had everything under the sun, from runny nose to hand/footh/mouth disease, which is spreading like wildfire around our town, to all of the childcare and church nurseries.  However, the last few days, she has began to feel better.  I would like to see her back to her little singing self... have I mentioned that the 19 month old child can probably sing 30+ songs? This is nursery rhymes to popular songs on the radio, to church songs.  She can have a complete conversation with you.  Everyone we come in contact with can not believe how well she can talk.  Including her pediatrician.  She is so much fun right now, and constantly keeps us on our toes.  She is crazy about her sisters, which makes my heart swell with joy too :)

Ryan!  She is almost six months old!!  Where does the time go?!  I don't want her to grow up at all - I snuggle and cradle her all that I can, but she is much happier standing in my lap and bouncing - a familiar action she also loves to do in her doorway jumper.  She is the happiest baby I have ever seen.  She actually sat through the entire homecoming football game  last week without so much as a whimper.  The last 8 minutes of the fourth quarter, I guess she got tired of smiling, took her paci and passed smooth out.  She is a pleasure to have, and is completely entertained watching her big sisters.  She is almost sitting up, rolling over one way and almost the other, eating cereal and about to start baby food.  I will cry when she crosses all of these lines, because right now she is still my baby.  I love every minute of her!  And the three combined makes my heart melt - such fun ages, all of them.  I wish they could stay just like they are forever.

Tanner - chipper as ever ;) - especially now that football season is in full swing.  I wonder sometimes which one of us he loves the most - me or football - but I guess I win... I can tell by how hard he works to provide for our family.  He is still selling all of the cattle right out of Texas, where it continues to be as dry as a bone.  Saturday, he did manage to get home at 10pm, which was a true gift from God.  But most days continue to be as busy and long as usual.  Still praying for rain.  I love my husband, have I mentioned that?!

The house... the house is DONE!  We have come so far.  Right after we moved in, as VP of MCC this year, I committed to hosting our first official meeting at my new home (tradition in mother's club for the vice president).  Anyhow, I thought it would be a great deadline for Tann and I to have our project completed... And it came way too fast.  But through blood, sweat, and tears [and money!], we finished, and the meeting was a success - I hosted 35 women in my new home!  And when it was over, I got a chiropractic adjustment and a massage.  I think the chiropractor pulled my neck out of my shoulders 3 inches - that is how tense and stresssed I had been!  Glad to have it behind me, but mostly glad to have my house completed!  Sure, there are a few small weekend projects to tackle - nothing major at all, just cutesy ideas ~ some Pinterest inspired ~ but they will come much later.  For now I am just sitting back and enjoying my new home with my babies and husband.

Okay - have I missed anything??  Oh, yes... Pictures.  Here they are... and I will see you again sooner than later!

Reese's room... Bought bed for $35 at Goodwill... (brand new mattress) Painter's painted it white along with the rest of her existing furniture... Splurge on the bedding from Pottery Barn, and signature touch  - canvas painted by my mom over the bed = Success!

Living Room

Living Room
Front of the house - we did new flower beds, painted front door freshly and added shutters.


Front porch

New mantle - LOVE this by Sanvig Sawmill

My beautiful hallway showcase :) so proud

My bathing beauties!  Everyone LOVES the water!

Reese rides alone....

Ramsey on Charlie for her first ride :) Happy girl!

My Ramsey James :)

This is a more realistic photo - what she looks like 90% of the time - "Blue Blank" (silk blanket) in mouth!

Big and Little :) 5 years old and 5 months old


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

end in sight...

There are several of these approaching {"end in sight"s}, including our fun, school free summer time.  As much as a dread the daily routine of getting up early, getting every one dressed, fed, and loaded into the car, distributed to all of their activities, picked up, dinner cooked, baths, bedtime and everything in between, only to blink and the day be gone... I am looking forward to a routine period.  Reese and Ramsey have gotten into the habit of staying up late watching movies or playing, and then, as a result, sleeping late... And Ryan... well, she has no routine at all - and I'm so over it.  I swear it makes the day fly by so fast when we are all in our little routines, which makes me sad {they are ALL growing up way too fast!}, but things sure do function more smoothly!  I am struggling to get Ryan, who is now four months old, back to sleeping all night!  Yes, I said, "back to", because she was doing great.  Since we've moved, it seems she has gotten more and more off track.  It's also very difficult for me to allow her to "cry it out" when there are so many other people around here who need sleep.  So I usually absorb the blow, by putting her in bed with us, nursing her multiple times, tossing and turning and kicking all the while.  This should NOT be happening, and every night I say to myself, THIS is the last night.  Then in the morning, I forgive her because she is smiley and happy, sweet and cute, and I'm still alive and then we end up fighting the same battle the next night.  I keep telling myself this is okay, since she is the last baby.  But we truly need to face this demon, and move forward!!

Tanner... oh Tanner...  What a wonderful, hard working provider... who has been working his ever-loving tail off!  In the midst of this heat and drought, everyone has decided to sell their cows.  Can you blame them?  It feels like all of the lakes and oceans should be dried up from the heat, and we are praying constantly for rain.  And we love the job security... but Lord I want my husband back home with us!  The cow sales that usually end at 5 or 6pm in the summer are ending at 10 or 11pm.  The Saturday sale he works at every Saturday has lasted till wee hours of the night the last few weeks.  One week he sold cows from noon on Saturday until 5 am on Sunday morning.  Then he drove 2 hours home, took a brief nap, and met me at church.  Unbelievable.  {Another reason I need Ryan to S-L-E-E-P!} Anyhow, the Lord who is faithful to provide, WILL send the rain in due time, and I hope it pours, and pours, and pours.  I want my husband home!!  We are so thankful for a Daddy who works as hard as Tanner to provide for our family... Thanks, Tann - we love you like crazy...and miss you when you are gone!

So another end in sight... the house project.  It's not completely done, and we are not completely settled, but we have come a long way {baby! ;)}.  I got my countertops put in which look fabulous, and my kitchen is functional again.  I still have little projects like finding a place for my books, getting a mantle, painting here and there.  And outside... well, there is LOTS to do, but right now we are working on the stuff where there is AIR conditioning ;) But when it cools off, there is a long list for outdoors.  I have included more pictures, but encourage you to come out and visit!!

That's about it for now... Reese starts KINDERGARTEN next Monday... WOW!!  I am so excited for her, but so sad that it is already here.  Where does the time go??  I really, really can't believe she is old enough to go, but she is excited to start at Water Oak.  Be praying for her a smooth transition back to school {and for all of the kiddos and teachers to go back, too!}.  Thanks!!!! 

My new granite countertops :)

My living room (minus mantle)

My kitchen!  Still need to do some stuff!

My countertop super-models ;) Fresh out of bed!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

we've moved...

Our address has changed!  We are so excited to finally be official owners of our new home and 28 acres!  The last few weeks have been a whirlwind - packing, remodeling, moving, more remodeling, and more remodeling!  It's amazing the changes that took place in the 10 days we had to renovate and be out of our old house... and we are definately not quite through.  Reason???? Well, my minor changes turned to some major changes, but I have to say, for the better!!  Original plan:  scrape ceilings, cover fireplace, and put new carpet down in bedrooms and tile in master bathroom... Then the painters showed up for a 2-3 day job, and ended up with a 6 day job, thanks to me.  Yes, once they are at work painting, the following is too common a phrase, "Well, might as well do it now, while they are doing everything else..."  HA!  I had my ceilings scraped and painted... plus: new built in cabinets built and repainted, all trim and doors painted, closets painted, two bathrooms hand textured and painted.  I also got my fireplace covered with stone... then added under the bar in the kitchen.  Which led to paint on the kitchen cabinets, and new counter tops.  They patched some holes in my ceiling where I had a furdown wall and cabinets removed, new lighting, new door knobs.  Then came the flooring... it started with tile in the master bath (which was previously carpet!!) and a little patch in front of the fireplace.  Turns out, they could patch that with wood and the "patch" tile (plus the additional tile I ordered) got assigned to the kitchen flooring.  "Might as well do it now," though, RIGHT?! ;)

Results... not quite finished... but AH-MAZING transformation!!!!!  I am really falling in LOVE...

Before:  Ugly fireplace with wood burning insert and cheap cabinets setting on the hearth.  Also, notice ugly patch of tile on floor in front of fireplace. 

And Viola!  After:  Stone covered fireplace, old hearth and columns torn out, stove insert removed, and new built in cabinets.  Still to come, a new hearth and wood flooring in front of the fireplace... no more ugly tile!  Plus, new paint color on walls this week!

Before... There was suede adobe red paint on the wall, brown cabinets, furdown wall with cabinets above bar which left the kitchen feeling extremely tiny and dark.

After!  Furdown wall and cabinets above sink and bar - down!  Brown cabinets - painted fresh dover white!  Stone under bar - bar cut down and lowered to counter height (to make one large counter top/bar instead of raised bar)!  New  stainless range and microwave and my black fridge! 
Still to come... tile floors, granite counter tops and new sink!! Plus, the walls are now hand textured and I am painting them in the next day or two! This is NOT the completed project, but isn't the difference amazing!?

Finally, the last MAJOR change... the master bath...

Before:  Gold fixtures, adobe orange paint, carpet.  Boo!  (Sorry, don't know why it won't turn horizontal!!)

After:  Working on tile (finishing this week), toilet in the bath (temporarily!!), new light fixtures, and hopefully painting trim on shower nickel to match! Don't you LOVE the color!! So "Spa" :) 

Soooooo, as you can see, we are HARD at work!  Still lots to do, and I will post more pics when it all comes together!! 

Monday, July 11, 2011

changes coming...

I must apologize... I have not upheld my promise to keep you updated as planned... Things have been extremely hectic around here - but here is a brief update... can't wait to tell you in more detail :)

We SOLD our house... a total answered prayer.  We had gotten super lazy about praying for direction in our house situation... 8 months on the market... growing girls with multiplying toys... cattle and horses in various locations around town... We were considering staying here and adding on, but really wanted to have all of our livestock in one place, and get out to the country - to our land.  So we prayed really hard about it.  And less than two weeks later, we had a contract on our home!  AND... where we had once wanted to build on our land, we found an older house and 30 acres (our land is around 18) right around the corner connected to another man who wanted to trade... so we did!!  Basically, he is getting our 18 acres to connect to his land, and we are getting his house and 30 acres!!  It is really pretty... an older home (which I find has more charm) that has been updated, but we are adding some "personal touches" to.  It has pipe fence around the entire place, a long concrete drive, a 2 acre fishing pool, a barn, and lots of TREES, which is my favorite part.  I can't wait to post before and after pics of the changes we are making, because even though it is very nice, it will make it even more "OURS" :)  We get started on rennovations and moving next week!!

There is so much more going on, some family stuff, some job stuff, etc... but I have to go and will get back to you later... at least now, you know what is keeping me away!  Coming back with more soon, I promise!!

Love, Holly

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I love this...

"A mark for every breath you took, every blink, every sleepy yawn. One for every time you sucked your thumb, waved hello, closed your eyes and slept in the most perfect darkness. One for every time you had the hiccups. One for every dream you dreamed within me. It isn't very pretty anymore. Some may even think it ugly. That's OK. It was your home. It's where I first grew to love you, where I lay my hand as I dreamed about who you were and who you would be. It held you until my arms could, and for that, I will always find something beautiful in it."

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I am mostly relieved to have this week behind me... not so much because it wasn't a great week, just exhausting!  I can't say today was easy - I ran a 5k this morning {we will get to that later!}, but otherwise I showered, and then because it was so hot and we all needed to recover from the week, we played inside and took multiple naps, and now we are in bed, and it's only 9pm!!  Pure BLISS!

This week was VBS {Vacation Bible School} at our church, and since I have not been working full time this year and last year, I have had the priveledge to teach a class.  Last year was so much fun teaching Reese's class, that I requested them again.  My class was much different this year - the group I had last year divided... the reason being their birthdays... some are 5 going into pre-k, and some are 5 going into kindergarten.  I had the latter {which included Reese}.  This year I had a little boy with cerebral palsy.  Now granted, I work for a rehab hospital where we see these kinds of diagnoses all of the time.  But I was fully in charge!  The first day was a complete surprise!  I was not prepared at all for all of the challenges we would face, not so much the disability with his ambulation {he has a rolling walker}, but other things, more disciplinary.  And he is five... so not a small child!  It was me and a couple of teenage girls, and after the first day, we were zonked!  We quickly realized we would need additional help, and the rest of the week became much easier.  It did require a teenage boy {especially for lifting on the playground}, and eventually we got a teacher from his school to help... it made handling him + 14 other children much easier!  But I learned more from them, than they probably learned from me this week.  The first day, everyone was a little hesitant.  The other children were not sure about his walker {which was used often to mow over people in his path}, as well as his behavioral issues {he oftened loved on other kids using extra force, or "popped" them on their heads, and sometimes even spit}.  But they did not judge... they were not ugly, nor did they name-call... and by the end of the week, even a few of them who got hit repeatedly, helped him on the playgroud as he maneuvered himself on the equipment.  It was truly amazing, and it showed the sweet innocence of children.  I will admit, it took a lot of praying to get through this week, but God was faithful!  Each day got easier and easier, and more pleasant, and we faced fewer challenges.  And I was knocked to my knees in humility and gratitude for my chilren's health.  How often we take that for granted!!  I have been a little more patient with my own, a lot more grateful, and appreciate what we {Tanner and I} as parents have to offer them.  Not all children are so fortunate. 

So this is about how the week went: P31 bootcamp every morning at 5:15 am.  Usually a feeding {Ryan}before I left to go to class to ensure she didn't wake Tanner and the girls while I was gone.  Then come home, load of laundry, shower, get ready, get girls {all 3!} ready, breakfast, load car, pick up friend, unload 4 kids and get them into church, 4 hours of VBS with 14 five year olds, load 3 kids back into car {friend's gma picked her up... don't worry - I didn't forget her!! :)}, figure out something for lunch, naps, load kids up for Reese's swim lessons, entertain babies for an hour during that, go home, get Reese ready for one of two things depending on the day 1) VBS at Tye's church or 2) softball game, figure out something for dinner, baths, and bedtime. This went on 4/5 days...

And then I ran a 5k this morning.  And Reese ran the kid's "Fun Run" {1/2 mile}.  She did great... I, on the other hand, nearly died!  I originally wanted to beat my time from last year, but was a few minutes behind it.  I did, however, just have a baby 10 weeks ago, and just start exercising two weeks ago.  Last year, I had a few more weeks of exercising and running behind me {ha!  not too many more, but atleast more}.  Plus, the temperature and the wind did not help.  My goal is to increase my speed and distance, and start running 5k's more often, and eventually, God willing, a half-marathon.

Happy Father's Day to all of the dads out there... especially my dads {Dad and Brad} and my husband, Tanner!  I'm so thankful for you!!

Ryan ~ 10 weeks old ~ holding her head and chest up so well ~ 12lbs

Ramsey loving on her little sister :)

Me, middle and little... exhausted after VBS

My girlies!!

Ryan ~ during bath time... love those eyes and eyelashes!!

Passed smooth out after VBS... this is the girl who NEVER naps!!

Reese and best bud Haylee at the "Fun Run"

Reese crossing the finish line!

Reese's first run

Daddy and Ramsey

I've got some major plans for my time {what time??} when things slow down in a few weeks... Things have been a little tight around the Ragan home with three girls on one income, and what once was a joke {Tanner suggested I start making our clothes} may become a reality... ha!  just kidding... well not in the money-saving sense, anyways... but I did think to myself, "How often will I have all summer off from work?  I will always have a job that requires year around work, including the summer.  I will never teach school  and have summers off - teaching is just not my calling"  And then I thought, "I should learn to sew.  My grandmother sews, and when she dies, who will pass along that trade?   What a terrible thing to waste!"  So guess what... it is in my plans to spend some time with her learning to sew in the near future.  I even have plans to make a few adorable things for my girlies, like this and this.  I also like this for me.  In searching my new favorite site, "Pinterest", I also found these, and these.  Will let you know how the sewing turns out!! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

{enter panting noise!}...

Ahhh! Will be back soon.... I promise... days are filled to the brim with P31 Fitness which starts the day off at 4:45am, VBS, swim lessons, more VBS, softball... and did I mention... 3 children?!  This week any small chunk of free time I get is dedicated to sitting down, resting, and snuggling my babies... will be back next week!!  We are having fun, though :)