47 In Life

Summer Comes Early


Summer comes early in the Deep South and we welcome it with open arms, pool floats, wiffle balls, seeds, water, dirt, popsicles, sunscreen and brown bath water. Unfortunately with all of these wonderful things it also brings the lovely mosquito and it’s vicious bite.

Speaking of vicious bite… check out these little rovers.


Last Sunday we went over to my brother-in-law & sister-in-law’s house for Mother’s Day and these little rascals were there waiting for us! Justin’s brother ran off and adopted Sunny from the local animal shelter and made an appointment to have her spayed.


But a few days before she was due for her procedure she popped out three little puppies! You can imagine their surprise when they found her and her puppies in the backyard! She has the sweetest temperament and was so patient with all of us who were enamored with her and her babies.

You’ll never guess who couldn’t get enough of them {besides me}.


If I could train one to poop in the toilet and not under the swing set I’d  consider getting one!

Earlier this week some friends came over one afternoon to make jewelry. We had so much fun. I have a friend who is a pharmacist by day and talented jeweler by night. She came fully equipped with 239,736 beads and all the necessary parts. We spilled two sweet teas  {one on the table of beads}, ate 2 pounds of M&Ms, laughed a lot, and all walked away with cute new pieces of  handmade jewelry!



I made a necklace that I loved and when I put it on  to show Justin he asked if I was joking, in case you didn’t know, men aren’t necessarily the most sensitive creatures on the planet. It took me 5 minutes to convince him that it was in fact not a joke and that I really did like it! I keep reminding myself he’s a man, he has no taste in jewelry.


The little girls worked at their table while the big girls worked at theirs.


We’ve also been doing a little bit of this…


The girls more so than myself. I like the water to be a balmy 85° before I get in. They’ve been getting in since mid-April and they pretend like it’s not cold.


We’ve also been in the back yard… a lot. My head gardener still takes a paci, prefers watering over weeding and on occasion he nearly tramples plants to death.


But I can’t bring myself to fire him {or take away his paci for that matter}.

The girls favorite things in the flower beds this year are the Zinnias. We started them from seeds a month or so ago and they’re just now about to bloom! And they’ve been chewed on by some sort of pest… but I think they’re gone now, or so we hope!

about to bloom2

We’ve also started batch two…


And batch three…


Batch three will likely be my favorite, it’s a mixture of Green Envy & Candy Cane. Zinnias are so easy to grow and thankfully do not require a green thumb. You can start them directly in the soil or transplant them. We like to get them started in pots, thin them out and then transplant them when they’re a couple weeks old.


The kids never quite grasp that it takes a few days for the seeds to actually sprout. This is Paige waiting just a few minutes after she planted them to see if they had gawode yet!


I’m slowly learning that with little ones planters are a better route and are more trample-resistant than flower beds! These are some I put together this year… New Guinea Impatiens, regular Impatiens, and Creeping Jenny.


My sister-in-law gave me a coral Geranium for Easter and I put it in a big pot with a lavender one and they seem to be happy together. They sit on our grill which Justin thinks is a little strange to have flowers on the grill and tried to talk me into taking them off the grill last summer… obviously it didn’t work!


I think that brings the ole blog up to speed on what we’ve been up to.


Gotta run… Rover wants a new song on his iPod.

This will be the girls last week of preschool. We love preschool but are very ready to “officially” begin our summer! It will likely be action packed but there will be no, “Hurry, hurry, get dressed, eat your breakfast, grab your snack… we’re going to be late!”

And for good measure… a couple more pics…



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  • Cath
    May 16, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Lab lovers we are and were in ah of the new babes. Opened our pool last weekend only to have below normal temps since, but that didn’t stop our one lab from taking a dip. Guess in some ways labs and rovers will swim no matter what the temp.

  • I Love Pretty Little Things
    May 16, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Everything in this post is so pretty! I love summer and so remember those carefree wonderful summer days when my kids were little. Some Mom’s were sad because school was out, but I was always happy-
    My middle son, who is now 18, looked so much like your little pun’kin. Same big’ol blue eyes and that blonde hair!
    ENJOY them & you carefree days…


  • Ashley
    May 16, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    I know exactly what you mean about Justin and the necklace! The other day my boyfriend picked me up for an outdoor concert and I was wearing a VERY casual sundress.. he announced “You look like you’re going to church!!” and then when we were leaving he asked me if I needed to grab my Bible lol! Men- they’re lucky they are cute! 😀

  • natalie @ our old southern house
    May 16, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    it is my last week of school too {i’m a teacher}. hallelujah! summer can’t get here soon enough!

  • Katie
    May 16, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    LOVE it all! The flowers, the puppies, the jewelry, the pictures, your kids are all beautiful! Have a happy FUN summer! Love your blog!!!

  • Katie
    May 16, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Wow, you lucked out with such a cute hired hand out there in the garden. TOTAL CUTIE! I think he’s a keeper…even if he still takes a binky. ;o) Bless momma-dog’s heart…and them sweet babies. The girls in the pool…”pretending like it’s not cold”…hahahahaha!

  • erika (mommasis)
    May 16, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    can I borrow John Martin? Chance isn’t much into yard work. I could eat those puppies alive. I love every ounce of it. I hope this summer I can come see you for a few days… me and my Sandwich. I bought her a new pool raft at a yard sale Saturday. Love you.

  • Lauren
    May 16, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    Love the flowers! I need to plant some Zinnias….because they’re easy! Love that little Rover and his pacci – too cute! And Paige watching to see if the flowers had gawode yet. All of them are precious. Glad ya’ll are enjoying all of this warm weather we’re having. You are so right. Summer does come early here in South Alabama! We are enjoying it too!

  • Whitney @ www.whitsyadayada.blogspot.com
    May 16, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Looks so much like what we’ve been up to here, minus a pool in our backyard…lucky! Love your post and pics, such an inspiration to this momma of 3!

  • Melissa (melissab74)
    May 16, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Love it! Every single picture is so cute, but my favorite is Rover with his green shirt & green paci watering those green plants. I can’t wait for summer fun to start! Even though I live in AL, I teach in FL, and because of our crazy calendar, we still have THREE AND A HALF WEEKS left…and that’s just the students! I don’t get out until June 14, and it can’t come soon enough! Oh, and if you get the urge to make some more of those hanging baskets, you can drop one off at my house. Hee hee hee! 🙂

  • Bell
    May 16, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Hi! I read your blog all the time but have never commented. So I thought I would. Because I really wondered today, why didn’t you show us your necklace that you made?

    While I’m commenting, I’m going to ask you something else, something that I find myself often thinking after reading one of your posts: Have you thought about homeschooling? You would be so amazing at it. I just wondered. Don’t remember you ever mentioning anything about that.
    Love your blog. Love your photography. Feel like I know you!

  • E @ Oh!Apostrophe
    May 16, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    So wonderful! Happy early summer! I do think you should take one of those squirmy little pups home though… it would make good blog material at least, no?

  • Katie
    May 16, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    That is hilarious about Justin and the necklace. The other day I bought one of those headbands with a flower on it and when I pulled it out of the bag my husband laughed at it. I am taking it back now. Men have no appreciation for style.

  • Brooke G.
    May 16, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Great photos!
    Looks like you are all enjoying the SUNSHINE. I just love this time of year… sigh…..

  • Brittny Hemphill
    May 16, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    that looks like so much fun! and i had to laugh b/c i put a photo of my little girl looking just like yours in the pool on our blog. kids are so funny! i just read an article about zinnias and you have convinced me that i need to grow them. i have always loved them, but the soil is terrible here and like you said, pots are easier with kids and a dog. we don’t even have grass in our yard, it’s just weeds! at least it’s green though. that’s the only reason i’m ready to leave florida, i’m dying for a lush grassy yard and a garden that will actually grow. i love your jewelry too!

  • Cat Moore
    May 16, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Love all these pics! It’s summer here in jackson, ms too. 🙂 Can’t wait to get the kids in the pool. Still haven’t finished that email I said I was sending…..I’ve got two sick babies with high fevers.:( breaks my heart. Love the post and the flowers and the swing set!

  • Married with Puppies
    May 16, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    I want to see the necklace, too! Please post — I’m pretty sure none of us will laugh. I unfortunately did that to my husband a couple of weeks ago — he came home with a pair of very . . . . vibrantly colored plaid shorts, and when he showed them to me I couldn’t think of one thing to say. I finally managed to get out “Wow . . . they’re really . . . colorful.” and then it took me 10 minutes to convince him that they were great and he should keep them! Poor guy. So I know how your husband might feel! 🙂

  • zoeB
    May 17, 2010 at 7:19 am

    Last week of school !! The Uk still has another 8/9 weeks. I’m just a little envious of the sun. Here in central England its struggling to reach 14 degrees celsius.

  • Melise
    May 17, 2010 at 7:22 am

    Summer’s coming! I can’t stand it! For us, of course, it means the beach! :0) Great shots!

  • Nancy
    May 17, 2010 at 7:25 am

    I am so looking forward to summer and you just got me more pumped! My girls are the same way with our pool. THey say it is so warm. Please note we don’t have a heater working on this pool! But, kids don’t care, right? Your plants are dreamy. I just planted some zinnia and I love creeping jenny. It makes all pots perfect, I think. Flowers on a grill… what is the problem with that?!? :)Have a beautiful week.

  • beki
    May 17, 2010 at 7:31 am

    So much cuteness in one post! We had beading as an activity for Ava’s birthday party, so making bracelets & necklaces have been a daily activity at my house.

  • Dianne
    May 17, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Precious pictures of a very precious family! Thanks for sharing.

  • Mary Elizabeth
    May 17, 2010 at 8:25 am

    I remember when the last day of school officially became the first day of summer!
    I thought I would no longer go by those rules when my children got older, but two of my “kiddies” are teachers now…so I continue to go by that rule.
    No matter how old I get, the last day of school is the best!


  • Melissa
    May 17, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Looks like so much fun. I can’t wait for summer to arrive here! I love all your flowers and the kids are adorable as always.

  • Lillian - Domestic Simplicity
    May 17, 2010 at 8:54 am

    I LOVE IT!! We are so so so ready for summer:) We just made a fun list of all of the things we want to do this summer and I can’t wait or all of our fun relaxing and adventures!

  • Laura
    May 17, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Love the flowers and your gardener! And while on the subject of plants…I would love to know what kind of plant is on your coffee table in the picture of JM listening to the ipod. I’ve been looking for indoor plant of that approximate size/shape that doesn’t require much of a green thumb!

  • Tara McClendon
    May 17, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Loved it all, D! And this just made me even more ready for summer AND to try to turn my black thumb into a green thumb and do some gardening!

  • chi anne
    May 17, 2010 at 10:24 am

    could you tell me if your pool has chlorine or salt water system? we just installed an inground and have much yard work to do now for the summer any landscaping tips?? are yard has now become a project and we are four days from k5 graduation … yipee!!

  • Maria@Live Beautifully
    May 17, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Love it all 🙂 CBS sounds a lot like my bible study, Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) so if your readers are looking for something and don’t have a CBS near them, BSF might be a good alternative. We just finished John for the year and next year we are going to be starting Isaiah.
    Love, love, love your values and your blog!

  • Becky
    May 17, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Please, please, PLEASE do more posts with the phoenetic spelling of whatever Paige says. I LOVE IT!!!

  • Tina
    May 17, 2010 at 10:57 am

    It’s still rainy & chilly here-we can’t wait to get outside! As for your ugly jewelry, I just posted about the ugly purse I bought-but I know its ugly & love it!

  • Lexi
    May 17, 2010 at 11:36 am

    You are going to have a puppy by the fourth of July.

  • Megan
    May 17, 2010 at 11:41 am

    You can imagine my 2 year old’s delight when he just glanced up and saw that he and JM have the exact same green paci in their mouths! Ha!

  • Caroline
    May 17, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Love the picture of Rover and his Daddy! Great post!

  • the domestic fringe
    May 17, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    What a beautiful post! I am glad you are all enjoying every bit of the lovely outdoors.


  • Kristen
    May 17, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    I laughed out loud at the picture of John Martin with his headphones — he needs another song on his iPOD, lol. Cracks me up! And love the pictures of your flowers. Finally able to really get planting in Chicago this past weekend! I have some zinnia seeds I want to throw in our backyard and see if they grow, hope they turn out as well as yours.

  • Melissa
    May 17, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    Did you get a Brickmaker coffee table? (Notice where my eye goes!) Those are such great shots– I love the pool ones, and the slide, especially.

  • Kerri
    May 17, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    My zinnias are being devoured by little yellow ladybugs!

  • Nelle
    May 18, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Darby, I love your blog more than you could ever imagine and have shared with so many friends. You are just a joy. Keep up the delightful posts. I gave Zinnia seeds as gifts to our wedding guests. They are truly just the happiest little flower.

  • amanda
    May 18, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    I am about to dig-up some friends strawberries thatshe offered me…do you know anything about those/how to grow them?

  • Analia
    May 18, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    I love your blog. I wish the summer came early in the North! It is still pretty chilly in New England.

  • Renee Smith
    May 18, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    How young did your kids start enjoying the kiddie pool and playing in the hose? I tried out the sprinkler with my 17 month old, and he was a little freaked out (I’m wondering if it wasn’t quite hot enough or if it was too cloudy that day in Houston!).

    Your family is so beautiful, and as I make my segue to being a stay home mom to have my second baby, I anticipate using many of the ideas I see on your blog… thanks for keeping us moms coming back for more!

  • Jenifer
    May 19, 2010 at 1:44 am

    Looks like yall are having a blast …I am ready for summer here

  • katherinemarie
    May 19, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    What a beautiful precious life!!! I need one of those puppies! :):)

  • More than the stars in the sky
    May 19, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    You have probably already heard about this…..but regarding the pacifier. Some of my friends have had a party so the child can give the paci’s away to the paci fairy so she can give them to other children. It’s a celebration and collecting of the paci’s to pass them on.

  • Melanie Gore
    May 21, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    I miss the warm weather and the sunshine. I am from Florida and we moved to Cincy last November. It is the end of May and it is still cool up here. I am like you, I like the water a balmy 85 before I get in a pool. I don’t see that happening this summer.

    Great photos by the way!

  • Jackie
    May 24, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Bless that momma dog…hope those darling puppies find good homes 🙂