instagram alphabet vol. 2

I am still working on getting all of the images together for Evaleigh's Instagram Alphabet. When I get it all together I am going to send it to print for a board book for her. 

I am either using this website or this one. Can't wait!

(follow along @johnandrachelmurphy)

I only have 7 letters left to gather images for.

E, G, I, K, U, W, X

Any suggestions??


bungalow bridal shower brunch

This weekend my friend Maxine and I threw a bridal shower for our dear friend, the future Mrs. Jenna Zimmerman. I can't get over Maxine's perfect little house in the perfect little spot. It made me so excited for the day that ill get to have a cute home of my own! I enjoyed making this pretty little event happen with her. The shower was so intimate and small. There were six of us ladies (+baby EJ) and we sat around and talked about married advice and stuff got REAL. It was so honest and just about the best chatting and fun I've ever had at a bridal shower. 

We had:
Greek Yougurt Nutella Dip
Pancake Balls from Trader Joes
the yummiest Doughnuts from Sublime Doughnuts in ATL (YES, THERE WAS A MAPLE GLAZED BACON DOUGHNUT!)
Piggies in a blanket
& Pink Lemonade

One of the girls typed up the advice and emailed it out to all of us, here are just a few toned down snippets of the advice. ; )

Let the boys have their toys, they are still just little boys in big bodies.

Don't complain to your parents about your husband. You will forgive them but they won't.

Expect change in your husband. Someone who stayed the same all the time would be boring. Don't be afraid when 10 years down the road you look back and say, "I'm not married to the same person anymore." Change can be a great thing and you will change too.

Learn to stay awake during movies.

Get alone time- both with and without your husband.

Make time with women.

You will get annoyed. It's okay.

Sex. We'll leave at that.

Keep dating after marriage.

Combine bank accounts and talk regularly about finances.

Remember what brought you together.

Both of you pray out loud together every night.

Flash him in the middle of arguments.

Frozen Peas.

Learn to find the humor in everything, it's there.

Try to be the first one to apologize even if you don't think you were in the wrong. You will make up eventually, theres no use in stewing over it longer than you need to.

Be silly.

Marriage is fun.

Don't make the children the center of your universe, just allow them to join it.

Cant wait for your wedding this weekend Jenna, its going to be lovely!  Now I just need to finish all of those fabric Z's for you!

**Drinking chalkboard mason jars made by me with my friends Cricut and some chalkboard paint.**


whoa sweet child of mine

Evaleigh Joy,

You are perfect.  Just simply perfect.  Yesterday at dinner your daddy looked at you and said, "Did you get cuter during your nap?"  And that's just how it is.  Every new moment you are cuter and cuter.  You are constantly doing new things.  Just two days ago you started a very high pitched squeal.  Last night you had to try it out VERY loudly at Target.  You must have your mommy's singing lungs because you are SO loud.  You say 'dada' ALL the time.  Is that the only word you know?

You will be crawling in no time.  You are trying so very hard to push yourself up and it is precious.  You have 4 teeth now.  I must say that out of all of the months 6 to 7 seemed to be the longest, in a good way.  I felt like time slowed down for a bit there and I am so thankful.

You have started reaching out for strangers to hold you and it makes my heart sink each time.  Oh, if I could just protect you always I would.  I can't describe how it makes me feel, you are such a curious one.

You are the absolute joy of our lives.


on making it my own

As most of you know, ever since my parents divorced last year John and I have been living with my mother.
It was difficult to go from living in a cute little apartment where I could express myself and decorate however I wished to a space that was fully its own and someone else's.

I don't know what it is inside of us that gives us the urge to create and make a place our own, but I lost a lot of that last year.  I didn't feel like this home was mine and I couldn't break out of that funk for a long time.  There is something so satisfying about creating your own space.  I take so much joy in making our home a beautiful place to live and I find that it really does make me happier when I do so.

With my mother's recent engagement (congrats to my mom and her gentleman emailer!) we have solidified our plan to live here for about two more years while she goes to be with her new husband for a while before returning back to this house.  With this news my mother said to me about the house, "HAVE AT IT!"  So, thats what I did.  Today I made the living room ours.  

I feel brand new.


do you still love me in the morning?

Remember how I said cry it out wasn't for us? Well, I put on my grown up mommy pants and changed my mind. That's the great thing about being the mommy...you can change your mind. John and I tried CIO last week and the first night was horrific. 45 minutes of horrific. An episode of Friday Night Lights on Netflix horrific. John rubbing my feet to keep my mind off of the sad whimpers coming from the 1980's Fisher Price monitor horrific. (well the foot rub wasn't so bad) I felt awful.

But...then we did it again the next night and it was 5 minutes of bearable crying. We couldn't believe it!

NOW, let me tell you what. Miss EJ sleeps from 7:30 to 4 or 5 o'clock and then I'll bring her in bed to nurse and then we go back to sleep til 7:30 or 8. There are tears around bedtime some nights. Some nights, no tears at all. We are slowly moving to the nighttime schedule we want.

We are all still figuring things out over here but thats what I love about parenting. It is all about trial and error. We are going to make mistakes and change our minds over and over again. We are going to find better ways to do things and probably a few really crappy ways too.

The best part though, she still loves us in the morning!


for EJ

I've had a drop of rain for each kiss that has pressed sweetly on your skin, we are swimming in a deep warm ocean.

I collected a petal for each amorous sentiment whispered closely to your ear, we are hand in hand in a field of yellow and white wildflowers.

I've spoken with God and uttered quiet prayers from my lips for you and each time I earned heavens white fall drift. We are standing on the highest snow capped mountain.

Yet all of this I did with you in my arms.



Tonight I lingered.

After a long day in the city my baby was tired. We spent it having a voice lesson, wedding planning with a friend, and eating Figo and cupcakes with Daddy and Lisa. EJ was weary and cried most of the way home. She fell asleep with a bag of pillow stuffing in her hands. When we got home daddy had to pry it out of her sleeping death grip before taking her up to the nursery. I walked through the very quiet and dark house with an arm full of bags hoping I wouldn't bump in to the many obstacles on the living room floor.

I stopped to talk to my mother before going up for the evening. At some point during our warm conversation the cry of my baby travelled down the stairs and through the hallway to my ears. The mother in me leaped instantly to wrap things up and to go to her. She was unhappy about being woken up to get a clean diaper and soft jammies. After her daddy readied her for bed I scooped her up and went to the blue chair in her nursery. She began to nurse and her eyes closed slowly the way they always do when I know she is just about a goner. Her breathing deepened and got louder and rhythmical. Adagio. She was out.

I sat there ready to get up and transfer her to her crib but I couldn't move. I couldn't move because she was just so beautiful. I couldn't move because there she was growing right before my eyes. With each breath I knew her body was stretching a little longer.

I took her in. I brought her up closer to me and rested my cheek on the top of her head. This is something she will never let me do while she is awake. She is already rearing her independent spirit. I took advantage of that moment and lingered with my lips swooshing back and forth on her soft hair. My arms rested back down so that she was in simple view of the soft pink glow of Daddy-rose-light. The light landed on the tips of her eyelashes and scattered across her long body.

In that instant she looked older and for that I cried. The gratitude for this time with my Evaleigh Joy deepened. I love her so.

Tonight, I lingered.


here's my heart

This weekend John and I got to play at Ponce Unplugged in Atlanta with a few friends. I love being married to someone who loves music just as much as I do. Some others who performed were Sam Crowley, Jenna Kimble (soon to be Zimmerman!), and Jenn Mack. John and I did two songs. The first one was a funky arrangement we wrote ourselves of Come Thou Fount, I'm in love with it. Then we did our original To Be. It was so much fun and we are going to try to make it a regular thing, so if anyone wants to come perform let me know, we are trying to get people together from all different denominations of religions to perform.

This song means so much to me. It reminds me of my freshman year of college singing the Mack Wilberg arrangement with Alan Raines and the University Singers. This song was a great comfort to me at that time, we had just found out my father had cancer and I thought of him each time we rehearsed that song and would pray for him as we sang it. Thank God he is ok now, but this song will always remind me of my father and my personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Enjoy our version of a beautiful classic.

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