Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday Ramblings

Ahhh, I've been listening to my Christmas music this evening.  Some of my favorites are Donny Hathaway's This Christmas (probably my favorite Christmas song ever), Kirk Franklin's Now Behold the Lamb ("why you love me so, Lord I shall never know..."), and some songs off Mariah Carey's classic Christmas album. Oh, and Pandora threw in a little Justin Bieber, too.  Morgan and I were already fans (hey, don't judge), so I wasn't surprised to find a couple of things on his Christmas album that I like -- have you heard the one with Boyz II Men?

Hope everybody's having a good week.  Mine has flown by.  I can't believe tomorrow is already Thursday.  Of course time flies when you have a million and one things to do.

Remember when I told you I'd eliminated Facebook and Twitter as I felt like they were distracting me from more important things? Well, it's been over a month, and I've pretty much stayed away.  Occasionally I'll get on there to respond to/send a message.  Sometimes I'll get on when I'm standing in a long line at the store or am simply somewhere where I can't do anything else, but that's about it. I haven't been actively checking them every day like I used to.   The only thing I really miss about Facebook is the connection I have with my hometown.  I can find out about all kinds of things going on in my small hometown by just checking my news feed.  In some odd way, it's comforting to know what folks at home are up to.

We've been busy. Work's been super busy.  I'm trying to wrap up a grad school class.  I'm starting to think about what I'll be packing for my trip. And I literally have about six loads of laundry on my couch and bed.  I've been trying to do some fall cleaning in M's room for two weeks.  I've emptied all of her drawers and made piles on her floor of things to donate, save for Baby Sister (not preggo -- and not trying -- but just in case Baby #2 is a girl), or simply throw away.  Well, the piles are still there.  And since her room looks like a tornado, I've been letting her go to bed with us.  And one night when I put her in her own bed, she called me in there and told me she was afraid of the monster.  What monster?  She then points to the pile of clothes on her floor that probably did look like a monster in the dark.  And the Bad Mama Award goes to...

I'm gonna feel like a super mama in about a week, though, when M has her birthday party.  She is going to be thrilled to be at a party that's her very own.  As I mentioned before, this will be her first birthday party as I've always said my kids won't get a party until they understand what it's about.  I'm probably the only person I know that feels that way.  I've always known I was weird, so no need to tell me.

I think M's going to love her party.  It's at one of her favorite places and she'll be spending it with some of her favorite people (mostly family).  And eating cake.  Dang, I've got to order the cake!  

I'm no good at this party planning thing.  Which is probably why I've chosen to have it at a place where the kids can entertain themselves and I won't have to clean up afterwards.  Yes, sign me up.

Well, anyway, just wanted to pop in and say hi.

Pics? Oh, of course. These are just some phone pics I snapped one evening while we were out.  Does anyone else take pics of their kids ALL THE TIME for NO REASON AT ALL?

Okay, glad it's not just me. :-)

She told me, "Mommy, I wanna take a picture in front of the water..."

Super blurry but there's something so adorable about this little person standing in front of this huge tree.

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Iron Bowl 2011

We usually don't tailgate when the Iron Bowl is in Auburn, but this year we were there!  My in-laws got up a charter bus and took the tailgating party to the Plains.  We had a great time!

All the Auburn fans I encountered were super cool, too.  They danced with us, offered their clean RV potty when they noticed a certain toddler refused to have anything to do with the porta-potty (she is her mother's child), and were genuinely kind to us on the trolley ride over to the stadium.  I know that none of this seems like a big deal, but I wasn't sure how they'd feel about this big bus of Bama fans coming up to their place and throwing up the best tailgate EVER. :-)   

I didn't do so hot with pics this year (my camera is missing lots of faces!), but I did manage to get a couple of us as a family.

My in-laws, the masterminds behind this whole operation.  I found this pic on my camera once I got home.  I'm not sure who got these two to take a pic, but THANK YOU!  These two kids shy away from the camera, so this is really special. :-)

My sister-in-law and I talked about how two years ago our little M was in her pack 'n play during tailgates.  Then last year we had a gate for her to play in.  This year she's a big girl and played with her toys and books without having to be confined. :-)  

I've sat at the Iron Bowl game in rainy weather (nine months pregnant, I should add) and super cold weather (last year).  This year the weather was PERFECT (high 60s)!

The two bands came together in honor of the victims of April tornadoes. I still tear up when I think about those days.  I thought the performance was a great touch.

We had a great Iron Bowl tailgate and a sweet Thanksgiving a couple of days earlier.  We spent the day at DK's granny's where my mom and grandma came over as well.

Tomorrow starts a super busy couple of weeks for me.  I'm wrapping up my semester in grad school (lots and lots and lots and lots of work to do).  If my sanity and I make it through this crazy week, I'll be heading to NYC for a fun work trip.  Then a birthday party for M!

I love that the Christmas season is officially here.  This time of year is my favorite for many reasons.  The holiday spirit in the air is just magical, and my Pandora Christmas stations are comforting and joyful.  LOVE!

Have a great week, everybody!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Flashback

On that flash drive I was telling you about, I found some pics of my nieces from a few years ago (pre-Morgan).  I can hardly remember them being this small! :)

Time flies!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks for Life and Health

During the holidays, we tend to be more aware of the things we are thankful for.  For most of us, health has always been one of those things.  I found that when I became a parent, health seemed more important than ever.  You do all you can to protect your child(ren) from illness.  But there are some illnesses that that go beyond the cold and flu -- those that can completely change your life.  Like cancer.

On Saturday, November 19, supporters from 80 communities walked to fight childhood cancer.  The St. Jude Children's Research Hospital held it's "Give Thanks.  Walk.," a 5K that raises funds for the world's premier pediatric cancer research center.  St. Jude's mission is to cure and prevent pediatric diseases through research and treatment, and no child is denied based on race, religion, or the family's ability to pay.

There simply aren't enough words to describe my support for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. We all have special places in our hearts for children who are ill, and we all feel somewhat helpless.  But the truth is, we can help.  We can help organizations like St. Jude whose every day commitment is to treat, prevent, and find a cure.  Go here to learn more.

Life and health are beautiful, but some aren't so lucky.  Support the mission of St. Jude and help more children have more birthdays.

Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving.  

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Season of Giving

Okay, maybe the "season of giving" is a bit much since we all give all the time, but your heart seems to warm a little more around this time of year.

We put up our Christmas tree today. I love seeing M's reactions -- she's at such a fun age.

I always want M to know how blessed we are -- we have each other, our health, warm clothes, a roof over our heads, food in our fridge, and much more.  I want her to know that there are little girls just like her that may not have a Mommy or Daddy or warm clothes or food to eat every day.  Or a home for a Christmas tree.

This evening, after putting up our tree, we packed a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child.  I explained to M that the toys were for another little girl, and I showed her a video from the Web site.

We chose a little girl age 2-4 for obvious reasons.  We just got her things our own little two-year-old enjoys, and we tried to give a variety of items (fun, clothing, and hygiene).  I'm so excited for this little girl to get these goodies.  

M looks willing and helpful in the pic above, but we had a slight issue with the Barbie.  She wanted to keep her.  :-(  Since she's just two (almost three) and doesn't fully understand what we were doing, I may or may not have made a quick run to Target to buy this Barbie's identical twin sister. :)

I guess it lets me know that this little girl who will receive this box -- wherever she is -- will love this little Barbie, too.

M and I had fun packing the box (she told me it's for the little girl's "birthday.").  Tomorrow, November 21, is the last day of National Collection Week, so we'll be dropping this baby off.  If you donate the shipping costs online (just $7), you can "follow" your box online.  You'll see exactly what country it's shipped to.  Cool, right?

Go here learn more about Operation Christmas Child.  Have a great week!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Flashback

Okay, so I know I haven't done one of these in a while, but I recently found a flash drive that had a few oldies on it that are too precious to lose forever.  I probably only run across this flash drive once a year (in the oddest places), so I'm bound to lose it forever eventually.  Gotta record these memories.  You know, like, um, OUR HONEYMOON.  From 2006.

Danny surprised me with a honeymoon to the Bahamas.  We literally left our reception to catch a flight.  Danny HATED taking pictures back then, so I really have only a few to share.  He still hates taking pics, but I just ignore him now.


I took a pic under this sign because Danny used to call me "Animale," like animal.  He claims I would make animal noises in my sleep, yet he still married me.  Nice guy.

We are SOOOO not that couple that dresses alike, but when you're packing light and only have a few outfits, this happens.  We look a little corny, but it's okay. :)

View from our room. I've always thought this pic looked post-card-ish.

We had a great honeymoon, but were both thinking about our brand spanking new jobs we would be starting as soon as our flights touched back home.  I remember getting the call while we were in the Bahamas that I had gotten the job (the same one I have now).  Ahh, memories.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chuggin' Along

Hey, guys.  Just wanted to pop in and say hi.  It's now mid-November, which means a very special person in my life will be three soon.  That's pretty hard to believe -- well, until she acts like a tween.  Not kidding, y'all.  M will go into her room, close the door, fold her arms, pout, and politely tell me "no thank you" when I tell her to clean up her toys.  And it's not the cute little pout you'd expect from a toddler, but the kind with the smirk that you'd see on a tween/teen's face.  How and when did this happen?  I have no idea where she even gets it from.  And then here's another one of her comments when I ask her to do something she doesn't want (like get ready for bed):: "I'm sick" (insert the pouting again). I have to tell her, "No, you're not sick.  Don't say that."

While she doesn't take it as far as not doing what she's told to do, I am still not a fan of the dramatic behavior.  Where in the world does she get this stuff?  There is nothing cute about a toddler with a tween attitude.  Nothing.

Anyway, 95% of the time, M is this typical toddler who says and does funny, adorable stuff.  Her birthday is in a few weeks, and I'm in the process of finding a place to have her first birthday party. Besides taking some cupcakes to school to share with her friends, she's never had a real birthday party.  I've always wanted her first birthday party to be when she actually understands.  She definitely "gets it" this year, so I'm excited to give her this day. I'm in the process of choosing a place for her to have fun and eat cake with her cousins.

I'm not sure if we should go with a theme, or if the theme should be Princess Tiana or trains...yes, I said trains.

 A couple of months ago I saw a Thomas and Friends DVD at the checkout line at Target for $5.  Since I've always wanted my daughter(s) to grow up with diverse interests (not just princesses but Legos, trains, etc.), I decided to throw the DVD in my cart.  Since Princess Tiana had been the only thing in the DVD player for weeks, I was sure she wouldn't give Thomas the Train the time of day.

Boy, was I wrong.

She has memorized every single Thomas story on that DVD and acts them out with her own toy trains.  (I couldn't resist buying her a few Thomas toys to feed her interest).  Speaking of acting out stories, you should see Morgan act out scenes from the Princess and the Frog.  She gets SO into being the characters (body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, etc.) that her daddy one day turned to me and said, "Okay, no more princess movies."  Haha!  Now that I think about it, maybe she's just a theatrical child...which may explain the DRAMA I get when she's pouting and pretending to be sick -- because, again, I have absolutely no idea where she gets that from!

Anyway, she plays with these trains for hours and even takes them to bed with her.  I couldn't have been more proud in the store a couple of weeks ago when we were standing in the "little boys" toy section, and my GIRL was naming all those trains.  Go, M!

Life with a toddler is loads of fun, I tell ya.  Just really sweet.

Makes bad days go away.  I've actually had a rough couple of weeks -- a combination of being completely overwhelmed and having random things go wrong (at the same time).  I had to look up Bible versuses on being overwhelmed -- I really needed some guidance because there were a couple of times these past two weeks where I wasn't sure I could handle it all.

I admit that I still find myself feeling like this at times, but I know that He will not put more on me than I can handle. I have to remind myself to trust in Him -- especially when times get tough -- and that worrying is not what He wants me to do.  I'm getting there, y'all.

Anyway, I hope you all are having a good week.  In the next few days, I hope to spend some time with family, put up my Christmas tree (yes, before Thanksgiving), and get a boatload of things done.  

Enjoy the rest of your week. :-)

By the way, I am aware that lots of my pictures from old posts are not showing.  Working on fixing that.  I've got issues with Google right now. :-\

Friday, November 11, 2011

10 Random Things About Me

Hey, guys.  So glad to be home today (and so thankful for the veterans who have served our country).  I thought I'd take a few minutes to do a different type of post for blog award season.  Honestly, I have no idea what that is, but my buddy Jasmine over at The Mrs. The Mommy. The MD. linked me and I thought, "why not?" :)

I have to tell you 10 random things about me and then link up to other blogs.  Here goes.
  1. I am the most disorganized person you will ever meet.  My brain doesn’t even work in an organized way.  At work I fake it and have these super organized lesson plans – really for two reasons:  1) To make my job easier.  If lesson plans didn’t exist, I’d be an awful, all-over-the-place teacher.  2)  How am I to ask my students to be organized when I'm not?  So I'm forced to stay on top of my game at work.  But you should see my house.  Actually, no, you shouldn’t.  But it is something that I’m always working on.
  2. This is pretty ironic, but I’m also a germophobe.  It's even worse now that I have a child.  For example, I think it’s a character flaw (we all have them, but this one is so FIXABLE) when people use the restroom and walk out without washing their hands.  I just don’t understand HOW people do it: use it, flush it, and just…WALK OUT.  It should just FEEL wrong.  And honestly, I think it's selfish since generally we all touch the same surfaces (doors, tables, etc.).  Though my house is cluttered most days, you should never worry about touching germy surfaces. I’m all over that.
  3. I’m a very happy person, and I love to smile.  I tend to see the good in everything – sometimes to a fault.
  4. I can’t cook.  One word:  All you other domestically-challenged girls out there, you can thank me later. 
  5. I don't really like talking on the phone.  Text me.
  6. I think we’re put here on Earth to do for others
  7. I think motherhood has been my single-most life-impacting blessing.  Not life-impacting as in the fact that I now spend my days wiping spaghetti off the floor and reading books about curious monkeys and big red dogs, but the way I see life.  It makes you stop and smell the roses, appreciate the more simple things in life, and want to be the best person you can be.
  8. The first thing I notice about people is their eyes - particularly their shape, placement, and intensity.  I'm sort of obsessed with them.  I love my husband's and was thrilled that Morgan got her daddy's eyes.   
  9. I love nature and being outside (in warmer months). 
  10. I love my life – faith, family, friends, and career – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Now I have to link to other blogs.  I have a ton of favorites (Have you seen my list to the right?  Out of control.), but here are a few of them:

Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Family Birthday Fun!

Okay, so how about I woke up this morning, got Morgan and myself ready, and told Danny we're getting ready to head out the door.  And then he says, "Do you know what time it is?..." 

Then it hit me.  Though I was fully aware that time fell back yesterday, I kept putting off setting my nightstand clock back.  I kept thinking, "I'll do it later."  I totally went to bed without setting it back and got up super early this morning.  Morgan and I were ready to walk out the door a full hour early and I would have shown up to her school way before it opened. Perfect way to start a Monday since it gave me a chance to update the blog this morning!  :)

We celebrated my Grandma's birthday this weekend with food and family.

Grandma (on the far right) with three of her sisters.

This is my cousin and his godkids (they're identical twins)!  He doesn't have own kids yet but is super close to his goddaughters.  He brought them both to Grandma's party all by himself, and apparently gets them all the time - by himself!  Um, WOW.  Super impressed.  I could barely contain my own child when she was this age, and here he handles two -- easily.  He's gonna make a great daddy one day.

Playing games.  You know my family is all about some games!

Grandma opening her presents.

Grandma and her bestie.

These two were adorable.  

They were both in need of a nap (you know how THAT is), so we sat them on the couch to keep them out of trouble while we packed up everything to go.

Love this!  So sweet!

We had a great time!  And I'm so glad that I managed to get pics of almost everybody.  My mom isn't in any of them -- she insisted that she didn't want to be in any since she'd been running around before the party.  I think she felt sweaty and not-so-presentable. :-( She and her sisters did a fabulous job on the gathering, though -- my Grandma loved it. Everyone enjoyed the good food and good company.  It was perfect.

Have a good week, everybody!

Stuff I Talk About

2011 30 day shred age update AKA animals anniversary appreciation aquarium around the house art museum Atlanta baby/toddler sleep issues baking bama football beach birthday birthday party blog awards blog buddies blogher books camping causes celebrations celebrities cheer days childhood children's museum children's theater Christmas christmas card class reunion college days concert conference cousins crafts dance date night dating days deals decluttering dentist Disney dk easter engagement facebook faith fall fun family family fun fashion father's day favorite blogs field trip field trips football friday flashback friends fun event funny pic Gaylord Opryland genealogy girl scouts goals god grad school grateful graves' disease Halloween health holidays Hollywood honeymoon instagram Iron Bowl key west kindermusik learning letter to my daughter library Los Angeles m me miami mlk day morgan is three museum Nashville national championship game natural hair nature new look new orleans New Years nyc out on the town parks parties phone fun pinterest play days at home playdate playground action pregnancy professional development Race for the Cure raleigh ramblings reading Recipes relay for life school program shows singing skating snow soccer social networking sorority spring break spring fun stress summer summer fun summer reading summer to do list teacher life technical difficulties terrible twos Thanksgiving the girls the park theme park thomas and friends three thyroid tragedy trains traveling tricycle trips twitter valentine's day video walk for autism water play we love being outside wedding wordless wednesday work wrapup Yo Gabba Gabba zoo
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