Merry Christmas!

Tis the season to look at the lights on the square with a handsome boy

and celebrate Jesus's birthday with my favorite little baby!

We had a great Christmas (minus some family members stuck due to the weather) and can't wait for the new year!  Now, I've got to come up with my resolutions...


God Has a Sense of Humor

No matter how much we plan and analyze, He always has a bigger and better plan in store.

The scene in the hospital room (don't worry--I was present for everything, and it wasn't that bad at all.  I decided not to rule out kids just yet...Erin was worried this experience might be too much to handle, but I couldn't resist being the official photographer) went from this

to this

in a matter of minutes.  I couldn't believe my ears when the baby nurse said, "What a beautiful baby boy!"  What??? A boy???  We were expecting a girl (and I say "we" like it is my child)...

We broke the news to our families with a hastily made well-designed shirt that read "I heart Hayes".  (They are almost positive that this is his name--I'll keep you posted).  They could not believe it and demanded to see pictures.  Good thing I was the photographer.

Oh but he is a heartbreaker.  

The girls will be swooning soon.

They could eat him up (and I might too)!

After all the excitement, he needed a little rest.

Walker family photo

Just call me Aunt Jen (still searching for the perfect aunt name)--I look like a natural!

Even Will got in on the action

I can't wait to see him tomorrow!  I'm wanting to play hookey, but I guess I'll break the news to my kiddos bright and early.  Then, off to the hospital I'll go!  I may be a regular there for a few days...



Tis the Season to be Jolly

We are so blessed!

And for so many reasons, I am jolly.  The one that is keeping me up at the moment is a little baby named Lucy.  Tomorrow I get to become an aunt!  Words cannot express how excited I am.  I've taken the day off work, and I cannot wait to hold and kiss that little girl!  I've been worried that I would get sick and not be able to be there, but all is well (including me), and I'll be there early in the morning with bells on (and snacks for all).

Since I'm playing hookey tomorrow, I thought my class should benefit in some way.  We decided to write a book.  Oh, if you could see inside the pages.  You would laugh until you cried.  Literally if you were the teacher--we have a long way to go with spelling (FYI-Lucy and Lucky are not interchangeable...)

Trent will need some energy in the morning!  His favorite cookies will hopefully do the trick!

Don't know why I call it Monkey Munch, but it is DELICIOUS!  I've been "munching" all night!

Oh my!  I can't wait for the morning to get here.  It's been a long nine months.  You'd think I was having the baby, but I guess she is kind of like mine.  Trent might debate this one, so I'll just stick to being an aunt for the time being.  I'll be back with pictures tomorrow.

It Had Him at "Hello"

Now, you see Will is a bit indecisive when it comes to big purchases.  He figures and figures and figures some more.  Just when he has it all figured out, he figures a little more.  Don't get me wrong, I like a fiscally responsible man.  And that is Will.  In the last year and a half, he has told me he is going to buy a new car 1,453 times.  He has told me that he wants a Tahoe 353 times, a "good, used" Land Cruiser 432 times, and that he is "back to trucks" 584 times.  So when he bit the bullet today, I couldn't have been any happier.  And I don't think he could have been either...

pardon his basketball shorts--he didn't expect a photo shoot when he dropped me off at my house.
(Precisely the reason he shouldn't ever wear these...)

styling in his new ride

Love at first sight!

Deck the Halls

with Boughs of Holly

Here lately, I have been struggling to find the motivation to decorate for the holidays. Don't get me wrong, this is my absolute most favorite time of year--but sometimes the idea of unpacking the boxes and fluffing the branches of the tree (fake of course) is not that delightful. The fluffing is the worstpart (you've gotta admit it--even if it does make you feel a little Scrooge-ish).

Kate and Rachel decided to pitch in, and we knocked it out. Now, I feel sooo much better, and the house is looking quite toasty and delightful! Spreading the joy from my house to yours--feast your eyes on these pics! I'll even go so far as to add a bit of descriptive narration.

I'm a fan of glitter. Especially at Christmas--the way it reflects and makes things all sparkly just makes my heart beat faster. Blue and green are my two favorite colors, so you can only imagine what this little area on top of the tv does to my heart! I must attribute the ornaments on the cages to Rachel. My first attempts just didn't look right. Now, I think they're perfect!

Go Hogs! Now, a certain someone (name starts with W and ends with -ill) thought I would like this souvenir from a trip. Boy, it is just what I've always dreamed of :)

In my opinion, wreaths were made to hang on mirrors. Double the fun (especially with a jumbo ornament tied on)!

Watch out...or you might get a kiss!!!

a little mantle shot--still need some stockings (maybe one day)

just a hint of what's to come...

Christmas decorations shouldn't have to come down in January. I'll leave these "flakes" up in the hopes of a snow day very soon!

TA-DA! I think it's perfect! It's official--our house is ready for Christmas!


I'm Thankful (just a little bit late...)

Oooohhh I am so thankful these days!

There are way too many reasons to list, and being the perfectionist that I am, I would hate to make a long list only to leave something/someone off.  So instead, I choose not to make a list at all.  Just a few highlight from here lately.

We are baby crazy around here these days.  My mom is still dying to feel Lucy kick.

Definitely thankful for this old ole boy...

and these kiddos (plus a few others)

Loving my family, friends, Jesus, and life!  Hope your Thanksgiving was a wonderful treat!


Mr. Will Goes to School

Well, it finally happened!  Mr. Will was able to come to school today.  He stopped by on his way home from the airport, and I couldn't have enjoyed it more (especially since he came bearing a Sonic drink)!  The kids were pretty stoked too...

I had talked him up for quite some time, so he had a lot to live up to.  I put him on the spot and had him read a story.  There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Pie was a hit!!!  He loved seeing the kids he has heard so much about over the last few weeks.

After the story, they had a little Q&A time.  My favorite went a little something like this...

Kid #1:  How old are you?
Kid #2: Yeah, how old?
Will:  Why don't you take a guess?
Kid #1:  35
Kid #4: I bet 42.
Will:  Nope, luckily not that old.
Kid #5:  Wow!  You're older than my mom...

Sometimes I think I might take this old boy for granted.  Days like this remind of just how great he really is :)


Fall is Here! - Kick your feet up

Well, I just love fall.  Crisp afternoons, jackets, beautiful leaves, the smell of Thanksgiving, and looking forward to Christmas...what more could a girl want???  I agree wholeheartedly, absolutely nothing.

Life has been busy, and every time I sit down to update this little blog, I vow to be more regular with it.  I would certainly be easier if I would just do it more often.  Maybe it'll be my New Year's resolution...

Also, another thing about the fall...BABIES.  Little Lucy Campbell Thompson arrives in just 5 weeks!  I couldn't be more excited.  Two weeks ago, Will and I got to meet little Satch Cheek, and surprise, the Hopper House will be welcoming a new baby in early summer.  Babies galore!

Lucy was the guest of honor (the girl loves a party already) at Erin's baby shower.  I need to tuck these ideas in my mind until I start throwing baby showers in the future.

yummy pumpkin muffins

monogrammed petit fours - a party staple!

tutus out the wazoo!

absolutely precious!

A few weeks ago, we rolled out to celebrate Loving Choices.  We had a great table, and we were so PROUD of sweet Caroline who is the new Executive Director of the center.  Whoop Whoop!!!

For Annie's birthday, we had to pull out all the stops.  A girl only turns 24 once, you know.

double rice and a straw hat for the birthday girl

who can resist a cookie cake?

Lindsay and Rachel cozy up for a pic

Love you Annie!

Last weekend entailed a bonzai run to Mountain Home to celebrate Will's cousin Drew's awesome football team.  He played his final home game as a senior.  They won and will be in the playoffs!

got there just in time to snap a quick family pic

Did I mention just how much I love fall?  I believe I might have.  Anyways, the only thing better than fall is fall on the U of A campus.  I couldn't resist snapping this pic of my old stomping grounds as I left the Razorback game Saturday.  Oh the memories...

dear old KKG

A while back I got a wild hair to find an old frame to make an old chalkboard for my room.  Well, while some (ahem Will) may have initially doubted my idea, Rachel and I found the perfect fit at a local flea market.  $12.50 later, I had my sought-after frame.  Then, I had to fill it with a chalkboard.

Dear Will helped me bring the frame to life.  Elbow grease, wood, chalkboard paint, and some nails--we were set to go.  It is just what I had in mind!

hanging on a stud (per Will's instructions) above my dresser

a close up view

Ciao for now!


Birthday Celebrations and A Hog Victory

Happy Birthday Dear Will!  (check out the fun Razorback cake!)

Will had a wonderful birthday.  You better believe he deserved it-how many times do you turn very old, I mean, 28 in your life???  We celebrated until we were tired of celebrating, but boy oh boy, it was fun!

A special guest came to the last Razorback game---introducing Lauren Dewey, one of the funniest 1st graders I know.  She loved being the only one in town for the weekend.

Uncle Will and Lauren had a blast at the game!

Wooo Pig Sooooie!!!!

We love the Razorbacks!

Last weekend, we had an influx of old friends, and boy was it wonderful!  Melinda came in on her fall break, and Mikki and Sean were in for a wedding.  Actually, Rachel would say everyone came in to ring in her 24th year.  We had wonderful times together!  The only thing missing was dear old Amy.

An oldie but goodie...

We pulled out all the stops in honor of Rachel's 24th birthday, including a banner made with love.
If you squint really hard, you won't even notice how blurry we are...(not sure why)

This weekend will be full of laughter.  It will begin bright and early with a baby shower in honor of Baby Lucy.  Then, I'm hitting the road to Little Rock to see a little performance by the one and only Miley Cyrus with two fun little munchkins (Leah and Lauren).  To top of the weekend, I'll be meeting Will's new little nephew Satch on Sunday.  Could it get any better?


Paintin' Pottery

Will and I started dating a little over a year ago, and a little over a year ago, I started asking (okay, maybe pestering/bugging/begging would be better fits here...) him to take me to paint pottery. Maybe I just wanted to test his patience, but I'd like to think that my motives were pure. I really just thought it would be fun!

So a little over a year after I started begging, he decided to deliver. For my birthday, Will surprised me with a gift certificate to paint pottery at the local studio/shop. I was so excited!!!

I finally took him up on his offer, and boy, am I glad I did. We had an absolute blast (and I believe Will would second that)!

Will truly didn't know what he was in for when he picked this up...

We picked out a piece, and I started painting. I went with a fun little platter for my classroom. Why not?

But wait, first, I must say that Will did the grunt work. Here he is just washing off the pottery so that the paint could fully adhere to the surface of the pottery. He did get an A in high school ceramics class, you know...

Just trying out one of several brushes he selected.

Finished and ready to be fired. It looks great!

We had a blast, and now I'm just waiting on pins and needles until I can pick it up on Wednesday.
What a fun way to end the first whole week of life in the real world of jobs and being a teacher!!!
And a happy belated birthday to me! Thanks Will!