“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together there is something you must always remember, you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart I'll always be with you.”

~Winnie the Pooh


i know i said i would be better about posting but oh my have we been busy.  by the time bedtime for the kids rolls around we're beat and ready for bed ourselves.  why is it that the days just seem to be going by lightning fast?  the other day i was getting carson out of the shower and it dawned on me that he will be 10 in a few months.  i typed that correctly...10.  double digits.  and not only is he getting older but he's getting taller, too.  i wish i could say he's getting heavier but i'd be lying.  the poor kid is stretching out like gumby.  just like when he was a 1lb 15oz micro preemie, he is all arms and legs.  skinny arms and legs, but all limbs none the less.  i remember thinking that this tiny little thing would never grow and now he's playing video games and growing out of pants and shoes by the day.  i have never agreed more with the saying, "babies don't keep."

since miss priss turned three we have been in full princess mode.  a different one a day, sometimes multiple ones.  if it has a crown, dress and pretty shoes she's on board.  we took the kids to disney on ice and she was fascinated with all the princesses that came out.  but when the lights went down and she heard the frozen music it was priceless.  she sang every word and covered my mouth so that i couldn't.  i'm pretty sure she thinks she is going to be elsa when she grows up.  she can be right there with her oldest brother who will be in any costume he can find/fit into.

waiting on frozen to start

here they come!  you can even see that brooks was excited but he would never admit to that.

i think the boys' favorite part was all the food and junk there to buy.

...and the shoulder rides to the car.

this princess life is rough.  sometimes you get put in time out for your "princess" like behavior and fall asleep.  win-win for everyone!


she is three!

dear baby girl,

the day we found out you were a girl was one of the best days of my life.  daddy was a little bit in shock at first but came around in the end.  but for me, the moment i heard the word "girl" i could see it all flash before my eyes.  i was going to have a mini me.  a little bit girly and a whole lot of tough all wrapped up in a cute outfit and a hair bow.  oh, and a ton of stubborn thrown in.  i don't think we ever knew how much our family needed you till you arrived three years ago kicking and screaming (there was a lot of screaming).  unlike either of your big brothers, your entry was on time and so "normal".  something none of us had experienced yet.  i even had time to take a shower and put on make-up before you arrived!  we were early to the hospital and had to wait for the doctor to get there something that had never happened before with your brothers.  we were determined that nothing would go wrong.  and you were just perfect.  all 6 lbs 14 oz of you.  every day since then has been some sort of adventure, lately dressed in a princess dress and heels.  thank you, miss shelby cooper for choosing us and completing our family.  we couldn't imagine doing life without you!

so typical...trying not to smile when i ask her to

how did she grow up so fast? 



this is her attempt at making the number 3...we may need some work on her fine motor skills.

what photo shoot is complete without an outfit change?!

three going on 18.  {sigh}

love her little freckles

happy birthday sweet girl!  


not too much going on in the hess household lately.  we've been busy getting back into our school routine, getting up at 6:30 am is not easy for my people.  we are not an early morning group.  that being said, the boys are doing great at school.  they have jumped right back into being the excellent students they are, and even better they get to see each other once in a while which makes my heart happy.  this has been 4 years in the making.  even though they were in the same system last year, they were in two different buildings.  this is the first time since preschool they are actually in the same building.  i'm not sure how much they acknowledge each other but i at least know they are together.  and actually, their classrooms are fairly close to one another which makes it even easier for me.  if i've said it once, i've said it a million times...this move was the best thing we ever did for our family.  we kind of went in blind and had no idea how it would turn out but man did we hit the jackpot.  we simply could not be happier.

next up is miss shelby turning 3.  it makes me want to shed a few tears that she will be that old but am also loving this time with her (well...not all the time.  she is a firecracker.  we like to call her "the beast" sometimes, even warning people to not make eye contact with her).  i didn't put her in a preschool program this year, deciding since she was my last one to keep her home one more year.  it sounded like a good idea, talk to me in january and see how i feel about it then.

picture day.  where did my babies go?

talk about not being a baby anymore...check out this little thing.  i can't handle this bathing suit.  too cute!
just a normal day shopping at wal mart in our cinderella dress.

and coloring our face dressed as minnie mouse.  typical day in our house.

but the best is seeing her with her brothers who love her so much.  especially this guy.  he is her biggest fan.


back to school

can you tell that we have gone back to school?  i can since my last post was at the beginning of august.  whoops.  i'm not doing a great job of keeping my promise of posting more often, am i?  lots has gone on in the month of august, most importantly back to school!  the boys weren't so excited about it (and to be honest, i wasn't either.  i'm more of a summer mom...staying up late, sleeping in late, etc.) but i was glad to get back on somewhat of a schedule.  the best part of going back to school was that the boys are FINALLY in the same school.  can i get an amen?  we have waited for this day for years.  since our school system has a different building for K-1 brooks was at a different school than carson, but not anymore.  they both get on the same bus and get off at the same school.  if i go to lunch with one, the other one is just down the hall.  if we have to donate money for one fundraiser, it counts for both (kind of).  my point is, it is so much easier!  of course, now that they are getting older it's not as much fun to see your brother at school.  the other day carson told me he saw brooks on the playground but he didn't wave back to him.  i was kinda ticked at brooks but when i asked him why he didn't wave to his brother he said, "i was busy chasing some girls."  oh, great.  but the next day brooks said he saw carson in the cafeteria and he waved.  i don't expect them to run and hug like they did in preschool (i am a little sad that time has passed) but i do at least want them to look out for one another once in a while.  now they can do that. 

3rd and 2nd grade with the best teachers at the best school.  go wolves!

before we headed back to school (too early in august if you ask me) we had one last vacation to the beach to visit our buddies who have been in brazil for the past year.  it was so great to see them and play in the sand for a few days.  it was the perfect end to a great summer.  complete with brooks learning to ride his bike without training wheels.  he had gotten pretty comfortable riding around with the training wheels on and didn't seem to mind.  we kept telling him that he could do it, he just had to try a few times.  maybe fall once or twice but that he would learn.  well, the word "fall" kept him from even considering it.  until our buddy mimi, who is 4, zoomed past brooks on her tiny 2-wheeled bike.  that was just the motivation he needed and one try later we were on two wheels.  when i asked him what made him want to try he said, "mimi rode by me on two wheels and she's 4!"  a little peer pressure never hurts, right?

sitting at the water's edge, just where he likes it.

toes in the water, butt in the sand.  we could get used to this.

beach nap with our buddy, mimi.

this may or may not of been right before she decided to throw an epic 2 year old fit and throw sand at me when i put her in time out.  please tell me they get easier at 3.  

no stopping him once he learned.  we went on a bike ride every morning, afternoon and night.


the candy bar!  a new favorite spot.


she wasn't sure what to do, she wanted it all.

someone thought this looked like a good choice.  um, try again bubba.

sweet friends and beach buddies.
feed them sugar

we survived with 6 kids at the beach and celebrated with a dinner out.  till next time, hopefully sooner than later.




oh my shelby

i love this little peanut and everything about her.  she is sassy, silly, sweet and spunky!  our little shelbs is growing up!  in a few months she'll be 3!  and then i'll blink and they'll all be grown.  just trying to savor all these little smiles and moments before she starts to roll her eyes at me when i pull out my camera (the way her brothers do).

almost 3 shelby3

you never know what is going through this little mind
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such a little doll
almost 3 shelby



i guess we can consider this your "golden" day,  your are now 7 and it has been 7 years since you got a new start at life.  i shudder to think what life would've been like without you here.  seven years ago you were wheeled away from your dad and i and for six hours we sat and waited to hear what your heart decided it wanted to do once it was fixed.  looking at you now, how could we have ever been worried?  a simple (ha!) open heart surgery at 4 months old couldn't keep you down.  not mr. incredible.  i love to see just how much you have grown each year and it never fails that the pictures from the year before i think, "how could you have been so little, look how old you are now!"  it all starts with the first picture from 7 years ago.  funny to think that the doctors were pleased with how you looked.  it sure scared us to pieces.  but, without that first picture we wouldn't have all the ones that followed.  we love you brooks, and your strong, sweet, kind, amazing heart! 

ground zero



b hooray1

hands on heart mcp



and now seven years later...

7th heart anniversary10

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7th heart anniversary6

7th heart anniversary8

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happy heart day, kiddo.
7th heart anniversary3