Friday, November 30, 2012

More Soccer for M

M's little soccer class ended last month, and I finally have the few pictures I took all in one place (so I can finally blog about it).
This was our second round of soccer.  We tried a few classes back in the spring that M really enjoyed, but didn't make a long-term commitment because it was a little farther than I cared to drive.  This most recent class we signed her up for was a closer distance-wise, but was taught a lot differently.

The coaches were awesome and hilarious with the kids -- they were great. I'm just not sure the pedagogy was what we were expecting.  It wasn't enough for me to determine if M is truly interested in soccer or not, so we're gonna try another class in the near future.


She met a friend, K, one of first weeks of the class and they were instant buddies.  They insisted on being near each other all the time, and were often a distraction to each other when it was time to focus on soccer. All K's mama and I could do was laugh when we weren't spending our energy trying to get the girls to focus.  

Getting her little certificate and medal.

Ready for cake!

The Two Silly Willies

Soccer was fun and was yet another way for my little one to burn off some of that energy.  We're trying to decide what's next - swim, dance, more soccer -- it always depends on our schedule.  So we'll see.

Have a great weekend, y'all!

G

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My Little Blog is Four!

Four years ago, I started this blog because I didn't have the motivation, creativity, or time to create and maintain a baby book.  I still have scrapbook supplies that were purchased for the sole purpose of me being a good record-keeping mama. Those supplies (and I still have tons of them) are now used for random projects like thank you cards and crafts. They were never used for their initial purpose because I got the idea from a friend to start a blog.

Because of this blog, I can quickly go back to sweet memories - baby milestones, family trips, personal growths. Never in a million years did I think this little spot would serve so much purpose and hold so many treasures.

Now, YOU reading it?  I never really imagined that.  I created this blog mainly for myself...and then close family who wanted to see "pics of the baby." But then more family started reading it, and then my friends, and then friends of the family, and then blog buds started popping in every once in a while, and now instead of one or two people reading it, it's more like three or four. :-)

I am mostly thankful that despite the opportunities that blogging can bring, I've stayed true to the purpose of my blog.  I love the fact that on any given day, I can click a link and re-live my thoughts as a brand new mother.  Or a link that shows my baby girl at one week old and all the things about her THEN that amazed me.  Do you know how sweet it's going to be when I finish this degree and I can one day look back and see just how much hard work and sacrifice I've put into it?  More importantly, do you know how awesome it's gonna be when M wants to look back at her childhood and I've captured SO MUCH of it, post by post?*

Yeah, very awesome.

As you can tell, I'm kinda proud of my little space.  There are definitely days when I look back and say, "I can't believe I posted that."  And days where I look back and cringe at the bad writing or typos.  But you know what?  That's a part of what makes it special.  Perfect little imperfections.

Thank you for letting me share my little world with you.  I hope to see many more blogging days.  But if I die today, I am thankful that my daughter can grow up and still "know" her mother. This blog holds countless traces of my thoughts, personality, beliefs, and most definitely my love for her. 

This blogging journey has been fun, and I'm so glad I did it. Looking forward to adding even more memories.

Enjoy the rest of your week, folks.

Love,
G

* You hear that, family?  If something happens to me, use some of the insurance money to get this blog printed (there are many companies that do this).  Several copies of it, too, so that if one is lost/destroyed, there will be others.  Do I need to put this in my will?? :-)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Iron Bowl 2012

Hey, guys.  Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and enjoyed their time with family and friends. As planned, we spent the day at home watching football and eating good.


We spent Saturday in Tuscaloosa. It was a beautiful, chilly day -- perfect for some Iron Bowl tailgating.

Believe it or not, I haven't been to a Bama tailgate/game all year (not counting Dallas).  This year I decided to take a little time off from the "gameday life" to focus on my studies. Saturday is pretty much my only real day off, and I couldn't afford to spend it anywhere but at home handling my business. (I learned that the hard way.  Last year I tried to "do it all" and paid for it big time.  Lesson learned.)

Anyhoo, Saturday's tailgate was fun as always -- family, friends, food, football, music, etc.  



This kid had a good time, too, with a little help from 
her animals, Doc McStuffins, and  the iPad.
And cake.  Lots of cake.














I got these two camera-shy kids to take a pic.  It's my mother- and father-in-law, the brains behind these awesome tailgates.  Good times!

Next weekend they'll be taking the show to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game.  I'm not sure if I'll make it since my final paper is due, but I know it's gonna be awesome.  Even better is the fact that a win on Saturday will secure Bama's spot in the national championship (which is in Miami this year)!  Fingers crossed!

...and just like that, my 10-day break is over. Back to real life in the morning.  It should be a pretty good week, though.  My students are doing a fun project, so it should be easy to reel them back in after their long break. 

Anyhoo, have a great week, y'all.  Be back soon.

~ G

Past Couple of Iron Bowls:  2011 |  2010

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Life's Little Snapshots

Hey, guys!  I wanted to pop in this late Thanksgiving Eve night since I had a little downtime.  This break from work is really throwing off my sleep because it's less than an hour 'til midnight, and I'm not even sleepy.

We're having a quiet just-the-three-of-us Thanksgiving tomorrow. I don't think that's ever happened.  We had different plans initially but today decided we'd just chill at the house for Thanksgiving.  The only problem with that is...well...FOOD.  You kinda need Thanksgiving FOOD on Thanksgiving.  

So I ordered two dishes from a local southern spot and will pop them in the oven in the morning.  I also got my (already cooked) ham today.  I'll make one homemade dish in the morning and bake a cake from scratch.  And that will make our little Thanksgiving-for-three tomorrow. :)

I'm enjoying my little break.  I haven't been as productive as I'd planned, but you know how that is.  

I AM enjoying my extra time with THIS little person:  

My Sunshine (pic from Friday night's football game). LOVE HER!

On another note, did anyone notice my hair on the last post?  No?  Good -- but I did.  Nothing like a picture to tell you how much your hair needs some attention!

I admit, I'm very low-maintenance in the hair department (sometimes to a fault).  Since I stopped relaxing it 15 months ago and stopped going to the salon five months ago, I've tried learning my hair -- what works and what doesn't.  And boy, it is an adventure.  I have VERY coarse hair that tangles easily, and that makes hair-wash days TOUGH.

That picture on my last post made me want to RUN (not walk) to the shower and restore some ORDER to my mane.

This pic was taken right before a run the other day.  This is blown straight and flat-ironed.



It is HUUUUGE when it's wet and I become easily frustrated with it.  But I'm still dealing with remnants of processed hair, so I hope that once that's all gone for good, it'll be easier.  We'll see!

Someone had their six-month dentist appointment today:


This kid is NOT a fan of the dentist or doctor (and there's a little bit of drama anytime we have to visit one), but she did such a great job today.  Great looking teeth, too.

This may have been my method of bribery today:


Be a big girl at the dentist, and we'll decorate the Christmas tree.  It pretty much worked.  And gave me an excuse to put up the tree BEFORE Thanksgiving (and yep, I blasted Christmas music while doing it).

My kid was more interested in playing with the beads and ornaments than helping me put them ON the tree. TOTALLY not a good tree-decorating partner!


Last, but not least, she will be four years old in a few weeks. *sigh*

I still considered her a baby at three, so I'm feeling some kind of way about four.  I mean look at her!  The baby fat is melting, the legs are getting longer and slimmer, and I'm losing my precious little monster.

*sigh*

I guess it's true what they say:  kids grow up.  I'll just enjoy the journey.  I admit it's kinda amazing to watch.

Anyhoo, Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!  Be back soon!


Saturday, November 17, 2012

St. Jude 2012

Hey, y'all. I hope everyone's having a good weekend.  My weekend is about 10 days long thanks to the Thanksgiving break, so I'm kinda giddy right now.  I've got plans to do all kinds of stuff -- work and play -- and I'm hoping I can at least do half of it (you know how THAT is).

Our long weekend has started off pretty special:


We got a chance to do the St. Jude Give Thanks walk again this year.  It was actually outdoors this time (last year it was in an indoor shopping mall).

It was held at one of our favorite parks, and the walk was routed on the wooded trails. PERFECT.



It was a chilly morning, but the sunshine made it all better. 


I love this event because it's so family-friendly - another opportunity for me to show my kid how fortunate we are and why we do for others.


Of course my mom was there -- she does all of these events with me!


The hubby joined us, too!

One of the impromptu speakers at this year's St. Jude walk was a mother whose son was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor at three-and-a-half years old.  Her son lost his battle with cancer at four-and-a-half.  My heart broke for her.  MY kid is three-and-a-half.  

Could. Not. Imagine.

BUT.  She was not there for our sympathy; she was there to celebrate St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  She mentioned several times how St. Jude not only took care of her son, but her family.  The hospital made it as painless as possible for them ALL.  It had even gotten to a point where her son ENJOYED going to St. Jude - she remembered how his eyes would light up as they approached the hospital.  

Heartbreaking and special at the same time.

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.  St. Jude's daily operations are mostly possible because of contributions from people like you and me. 

Pretty amazing, right? 

Go here to learn how you can help.


I hope everyone enjoys the rest of the weekend.  I plan to blog again soon, but if I don't get to it before the holiday, enjoy your Thanksgiving.  Be back soon!

Love,
G

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Christmas (& a Birthday) in November

Hey, y'all.  Did everyone have a good weekend? Mine was good.  Besides the mini panic attack I had in the last few minutes of the 'Bama game (I couldn't even watch. My friend T was updating me through Facebook chat.), the weekend was good.  My husband's team defeated their opponents in a first round playoff win, so that was one victory over the weekend.

The fam and I got together and had a bit of a Christmas/Birthday gathering. 


Last year M and I packed our very first shoe box for Operation Christmas Child.  This year I thought it'd be cool to make it a small family affair (much like we did for the Easter buckets last spring), and put a little joy in the hands of a few more kids. 


We packed nine shoe boxes for a wide range of ages (2-14).  We inadvertently purchased more things for little girls, but one of my aunts thought to purchase little boy things, too. 


If you've never done Operation Christmas Child, give it a try.  It's as simple as buying small toys, school supplies, and hygiene items for a child in a certain age range (2-4, 5-9, 10-14) and packing them in a shoe box.  Samaritan's Purse ships* them to different countries to children who live in extreme poverty.  And just like that, you've brought joy to someone else.  


My grandma's birthday happened to be this weekend, too, so we made it dual engagement.  Everyone brought a dish, so we had lunch and cake.


Grandma's a Ross fanatic, so several of us went the gift card route.  Someone mentioned that she had enough gift cards for several Ross trips, and Grandma commented, "No, ONE trip should do it."  Ha!


We did have one male from the family attend - my baby cousin X.  I say "baby" because he was one of the last grandchildren to be born.  I remember bouncing him on my hip, and now he's freshman in college (huh?).  I'm tickled that he spent the afternoon with us considering he's now a college man. :-)

Our little gathering was fun.  We look forward to seeing which countries** will receive our boxes.  If you're interested in packing a shoe box for a child who has nothing, go here to learn more.  (This is National Collection Week, so do it soon.)  

On another note, I spent my day off yesterday hovered over my laptop scratching my head.  I submitted three chapters of edited research last night, and I'm pretty sure it's getting worse the more I write. My brain is screaming at me:  "Your years as a student are over!  Please stop!"

Don't worry, Brain.  We're almost there.  And I don't plan to ever put you through this again.

Ha!

Enjoy the rest of your week, folks.

Love, 
G

* They ask that you include $7 with each shoebox to help with shipping costs.

** If you pay the $7 online, you'll get a tracking code for your box that allows you to eventually see where your box ends up.  Fun, right?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Can't We All Just Get Along (and Get Ready for Christmas)?

Hey, y'all.  I just love this time of year.  Thanksgiving is in a couple of weeks and the Christmas decorations are already in the stores.  I LOVE Christmas time.  I'll TRY to wait until at least Thanksgiving to put my tree up and blast the Christmas station on Pandora.  I get excited just thinking about it.

How was your week?  Mine FLEW by.  Seriously, this school year is racing.  We're already mid-way through the second nine weeks.  Time always flies when you're having fun.

I've loved seeing all the "thankful" posts on Facebook and the November challenges a lot of bloggers have taken on.  Posting every day is not something I could ever do, but I love reading others'!

Speaking of Facebook posts and other social media, this was kind of a big week for our nation.


We voted for President of the United States.  Kind of a big deal, right? 

Unfortunately it's brought out the worst in people - from supporters of BOTH candidates (yes, I know there were more than two candidates, but let's be real here -- the race was between only two).

I've never seen so much hatred as a result of a presidential election in my lifetime. Maybe social media has magnified it?  Given people the courage to post their true feelings for the world to see?

I'm not one to pull the race card, y'all (I think it's wasted energy because you can't really change other folks' feelings). But the things I've seen about President Obama online this week are kinda unreal.  And for a brown girl living in the south, that kinda says a lot. 

It's no secret that racism is still alive and kicking down here. I've seen people who claim to love and obey God -- and they claim to love all.  Yet those same people eventually show their true colors - some in small ways, some in bigger ways.  Sure they love you and want the best for you -- as long as you meet certain requirements.

But what can you do other than love them, pray for them, and keep it moving?  It's much easier than getting worked up and hurt by it. Yeah, I was a little surprised that some people could be so OPEN with their hatred, but I can't say I was completely shocked.  They have issues of their own (we all do).  Pray for them.

The crazy anti-Obama stuff wasn't the only thing I saw online this week.  I saw all kinds of Obama supporters posting crazy stuff, too.  For example, pictures of the Commander-in-Chief with stupid captions -- many meant for Obama haters-- rubbing it in their faces that he was re-elected.  And Romney on the Maury show learning he is "NOT the president."  Really?  

Not cool. Not cool at all.

Why do we do this to each other?

I almost didn't post anything about the election because it's such a touchy subject. And my blog is usually sunshine and rainbows.  And quite frankly, I didn't want to offend anyone.

But here's the thing:  I write this blog to record history.  Sure, most of the history you've seen here were related to my kid and her firsts, but I also talk about things that mean a lot to me. And that's so that generations who are not yet old enough (or even born yet) can appreciate it one day.

So, yeah, I'm gonna go out on a limb and write about the election.

I've voted in every presidential election for which I've been eligible.  I turned 18 just in time for the 2000 race.  Back then, I voted just because I was old enough.  Honestly, I didn't care about the issues at hand.

By the time the 2004 election rolled around, I was an adult entering the world of work. I cared a little more.  Age kinda does that to you.

Four years later when the 2008 election came up, I was weeks away from having my first child.  We KNOW how that changes your perspective in life.  EVERYTHING matters more.

But naturally this year has mattered the most.  That child who was in my belly four years ago is now a little person (a person who was sitting right there with me on election night asking questions). Issues are magnified when you have a little person.  You care about things more than you want.

I hate politics.  I hate the lies and the finger-pointing and the fact that the last few months have been about proving the other side wrong.  

And while I hate it, I care enough to know that it kinda matters who eventually wins.  If you'd asked me 12 years ago when I was 18 years old if I'd ever donate to a candidate's campaign, I would have laughed at you.  If you'd told me I'd be making calls to voters in battleground states, I would have been quick to tell you I don't care THAT much.

But I did.  And I do. This year's election meant a lot to me. More than I care to admit.

But I can breathe now. :-) I'm glad that it's over. And I'm glad to know despite all of this, He who controls all of this does not walk this Earth.  That gives me peace. 

I hope that this week as a nation we can get back to being civil to one another. Because at the end of the day, we've all got to live together.  Can't we all just get along? :-)

Yes?

Now. Let me share my usual sunshine and rainbows with you:


I snapped these shots as I was leaving work a few years ago and they still make me happy.


Isn't this time of year simply gorgeous?

The leaves will be gone soon and we'll be decorating our trees and singing Christmas songs.  I'm so ready! :)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Love,

Friday, November 2, 2012

My "Week Off" from Running + a Little Disney

Everyone have a good week?  Mine was pretty good. Some randoms:

I cross-trained a little bit this week. Instead of running, I attended two classes: cardio and cycling. The cardio class was nothing -- I didn't even break a sweat. I left thinking, "Man, I must REALLY be getting in shape." But then I went to the cycling class the next day and got a big fat reality check - ha!!

I didn't feel up to running this week (for the second week in a row), but I couldn't stand NOT doing anything.  So the classes were my way of staying busy during my "break."  Let's just say I'll be back to my running next week. Cardio nearly bored me to sleep and cycling -- I just don't know about yet. The instructor was great and I loved that I was sweating when I left, but it sure made running look a whole lot easier than it has been.  Whew!

Anyhoo.


We took the little one to Disney on Ice last night.  She enjoyed it even more than last year since she now is familiar with a few Disney movies.  Her favorite performance was The Lion King. She was all wide-eyed and in awe (it's her favorite movie right now).  She also enjoyed seeing Belle and Tiana, her favorite Disney princesses.  It was fun night. 



We left with not one, but TWO of the little trinket toys they sell (for way too much).  I want M to know that just because we attend events doesn't mean she'll get a toy/trinket every time. Her daddy thinks the complete opposite -- he thinks it's part of the experience. So we ended up paying more for trinkets than we did tickets for the show.  Crazy, right?  (Okay, maybe I got the tix for like $10 each, but still!)

Now if I could just convince her daddy that these Stella & Dot earrings I've been eyeing are "a part of the experience" of being a woman or wife or mama (pick one), we'll be all good. :)

Have a good weekend, y'all. 

Love,
G

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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