Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thyroid Awareness

Today wraps up Thyroid Awareness Month.

I've been a thyroid patient for six years (learn about my Graves' disease diagnosis here), but only learned last year that there was a month dedicated to thyroid awareness.  I guess I'm guilty of being more involved in other causes versus the one that hits the closest to home.  I don't talk about it much...but that's part of the problem, I guess.  I'm not helping anyone else if I don't talk about it...

The fact of the matter is it's not current thyroid patients who could benefit the most from Thyroid Awareness Month -- it's the people who may be living with a thyroid disorder (or thyroid cancer) that have no idea their health is in jeopardy.  I suffered with symptoms for months (possibly years) before finally going to see a doctor.  I should have known something was wrong, but I chose to ignore the symptoms.  I was young, I was busy...blah, blah, blah.  We've all been guilty of that.

I won't go into my whole spiel about it (if you're curious, I wrote about it here), but I do encourage you to learn more about thyroid disorders.  Just a quick fact check will alert you to possible symptoms.  Many people are living with an undiagnosed thyroid disorder, and the ramifications can have quite the negative impact on your life.

I'm happy because I learned at my bi-annual checkup earlier this month that my levels are GOOD.  You just never know (especially when you're like me and go through periods of not taking your medicine correctly).  But I've been good, y'all. :)  Popping that pill every day like I'm supposed to!

While Graves' Disease and other thyroid disorders are not curable, they are completely manageable. Go here to learn more about thyroid disorders and the importance of simply KNOWING.

Have a great weekend, folks!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Little Moments: My Little Chef

Hey, y'all.  Hope everyone's safe in this sloppy weather we're having (in the Southeast).  So far I've heard of no injuries reported, so that's good...

I really need to catch up on blogs posts.  I'm going to start with doing a better job of posting the random around-the-house pics I take on my phone.  These are the memories that I'd love to look back on years from now when my kid is asking for the car keys...and I'm wondering where the time went...

The time passes so quickly.  I want to remember the when she insisted on helping me in the kitchen...

I'm not sure how long it will last, but I'm loving it.  She wants to help with EVERYTHING -- from oatmeal in the mornings to the big dinners I've made back during Thanksgiving and Christmas.  She's helped me make everything from pound cakes to casseroles - my sweet girl.  The pouring and mixing is what she likes best.



This was taco soup from a couple of weekends ago.  Unfortunately she barely touched her soup when it was time to eat because she didn't like the black beans that were in there.  I guess that's one disadvantage to letting her see every single ingredient that goes in.  Oh, well...she was proud to have made it.  

Happy Wednesday, folks.  Be safe.

*No children were harmed in the making of these pics.  The crock pot wasn't powered on yet. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Circus Love ( +What I'm Reading )

Hey, y'all. Hope everybody's having a good weekend. Does your Monday come way too quickly, too?  If I could just have one more day...

We went to DK's basketball game Friday night, which ended up going into triple overtime.  Ah!  We pulled out the win, though...

Saturday morning we took the little one to her first ever circus.





Fascinating...but, there's just no way, y'all.

I've mentioned how I'd rather not spend money on the trinkets they sell at these shows (too pricey). I've come around, though.  Especially since the toys we've purchased the last few times have lasted a while (surprisingly none have broken). 

I've also learned to guide M's choices.  I ask her to choose from the big spread of the decently priced items, which keeps her distracted from the $40 and $50 stuffed animals. I just can't.  


Anyhoo, she chose this adorable little elephant whom she has affectionately named DUMBO (duh).  She loves stuff like this and will just add him to her little collection (that includes a giraffe, tiger, lion, and... dinosaurs). 


The show was pretty good.  We'll probably go again next year. I bought AWFUL seats this year, so I definitely won't be doing that again.  Sometimes upgrading is worth it.

Meet Dumbo.



Does anyone else look at circuses differently after reading Water for Elephants?  Am I the only one?

Speaking of reading, I finished 50 Shades of Grey.  I liked it. Once I finished it, I didn't feel like it'd been all about the kinkiness (which is what mainstream has labeled this book).  There's actually a beautiful love story developing between this very regular girl and this wealthy (but disturbed) man who doesn't feel worthy of giving or receiving love - yet, at the same time, he's clearly in love...  

I need to know why he feels this way, so I'll be reading book 2. Unfortunately I'm on a long waiting list on my library's Web site, so it'll be a while...

The next book in the God Don't Like Ugly series finally became available again, so I'm currently reading book 4. I hope to finally finish this series before jumping into a new one...

As you can tell, I have enjoyed reading for pleasure again now that grad school is over.  I got the FINAL FINAL approval on everything a couple of weeks ago, so I can rest knowing that there's a degree waiting on me in May.  I've done the walking thing enough already, so I'll gladly receive this piece of paper from the postman, thank you.

Have a great week, y'all!

Edited to Add:  If you're like me and never print any of your pictures (or if you ALWAYS print your pictures), today is a great day to order prints.  Shutterfly has 101 free prints today (use the code GET101PRINTS).  You just pay shipping (mine ended up being about $7).  Ends at 11:59 PM.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wrapping Up Miami in January: Game Day

Last Miami post!  Game day!

It was fun seeing all the Bama fans in Miami.  It felt like Tuscaloosa.  But with palm trees. :)



It's kinda crazy that M has traveled to every bowl city with Bama since she was born (as young as three weeks old - which makes us her daddy crazy). She's been to bowl cities as close as New Orleans and as far away as Pasadena (CA).  Of the five trips, three resulted in a national championship.  She even attended last year's game. I'm pretty sure when I was four years old, my biggest trip was to the zoo.  Or maybe the beach.

Anyhoo, I am so glad that, through my sister- and parents-in-law, M has gotten to experience such exciting history.  She can always look back and say, "I was there!"

M, my mom, and I watched the game from the hotel room, but my husband, his parents and sister were there:

They've taken a picture like this for every recent game national championship game.  That's kinda cool.  

DK w/one of the players (Cooper) and a his new favorite hat.

The game ended late, which means they got back late.  There was a post-game celebration at the hotel that I was too exhausted to get out of bed to attend (I told y'all I'm no good after midnight)...but mama didn't mind.

Which was great since she ran into this guy: 


Speaking of which, there were a couple of other faces we spotted at the hotel that week:  Dick Vitale, Braylon Edwards, Sean Kingston, and Scottie Pippen.  Odd mix, huh?

Anyhoo, this wraps up the trip, folks.  We had a great time.  Other highlights from the trip include M's plane ride.  She's flown several times, but I guess it fascinates her more as she gets older. It was fun watching her pure excitement over all the planes at the airport.

And just spending time with fam and friends was wonderful.  We're really blessed.

Thanks for re-living the trip with me!  Be back soon!

~ G

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Miami in January: Miami Beach (+ What I'm Reading)

Still recapping Miami, y'all.

As I looked back through the pictures, I realize the beach is where we spent the least amount of time.  Probably because despite the beautiful weather, the water was COLD.    



But that didn't make the sand any less fun.


M enjoyed it, of course, and made sand creations with my mom.




Most of the eBooks I wanted to read on this trip were all checked out from my library, so I had no choice but to finally start this book - ha! 

I heard casting for a possible movie is in the works -- I already have my choice of who should be cast for the two main parts.  But I can't help but think that if this movie is going to theaters, it's going to be nothing short of an adult film. Seriously.  

But I guess somewhere mixed up in all that kinkiness is a love story.  I've heard this series ends in some normalcy, but I'm not sure I'm interested in reading the last two books...we'll see. Still working on the first one.

Speaking of books, I saw the movie trailer for Nicholas Sparks' Safe Haven over the weekend which, of course made me check my library's site for the eBook.  I'm #59 on the waiting list...womp, womp!  The movie will be on DVD by the time I can read the book. Oh, well...


So anyway, the beach was great.  One more Miami post left (game day), which I've scheduled to post on Thursday.  See y'all then!

G

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Miami in January: Walks and Runs During the Vacay (+ a Great MLK Read)

Hey, y'all!  It's the weekend -- woooo!  And it spills into tomorrow -- woohoo!

My weekend has been a mixture of work and play.  I'd let my house get cluttered again, so I spent Saturday morning de-cluttering.  Then my mom drove over to spend the day and night with us.  She and I went to see a movie (Silver Linings Playbook) while DK and M went to a Bama basketball game.  Not sure what the rest of the weekend holds, but I'm just glad to be home.

What do you plan to do for MLK Day?  The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute has free admission tomorrow.  However, based on our last trip there, I think we'll wait another year or two before we visit again.

I DO have this little treasure on the bookshelf that I remember, at one point, M started memorizing. 


It's been a while since we've read it, so we'll pull it back out today.  This book is perfect for little ones (toddler and preschool).  It has great pictures and is a pure story of who MLK was.  I ordered it from Amazon a couple of years ago (currently available), but you can still get it from Barnes and Noble.

Anyhoo, let me show you why my runs in Miami were TheBomb.com.

Three words:  Miami Beach Boardwalk.  


Miami is a myriad of fit people, so it was easy to find the encouragement to get SOME exercise while we were there.  One thing I enjoyed the last time was this boardwalk. I was sure to pack my running gear again so I could get me a couple of jogs in. 

And that I did. I mean, LOOK AT IT.  

Quick shot from an early day run. 

This boardwalk is probably one of my favorite things about this city.  It's a great place to bike, walk, run, people-watch, etc., and (according to locals) it's never overly crowded. 

I went on an evening run one of the days and was able to watch the sky get darker as the minutes passed.


I was so caught up in this beautiful, breezy evening that my mom (being a MOM), called and told me to get back in -- it was dark out. 

Anyhoo, we also enjoyed some beautiful walks. The hotel was super expensive, and that actually encouraged our morning "exercise." Instead of paying $30/person for breakfast, my mom and I would walk to the closest Walgreens (half a mile away) and pick up breakfast/snacks.  It actually worked out well since it kinda forced me to only eat bananas, yogurt, and smoothies for breakfast the whole time.


One of the views from our morning walks:


Miami, I love you.  I REALLY REALLY love you.

I'd probably be in much better shape if I lived in South Florida.  Seriously.

Anyhoo, I've got a couple more trip posts (beach and game day), that I've scheduled to post Tuesday and Thursday.  See ya soon.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, folks!

Love,
G

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Miami in January: South Beach/Night Life (+ Snow)

Hey, guys.  How's your day going? We were expected to have an inch of snow this morning, which here in the South calls for a delay in the school day (or even better - a day off).  But the snow didn't come soon enough (womp womp).  It DID start snowing mid-day, but nothing significant.

So anyhoo, still recapping our trip...let's talk South Beach.

My husband and sister-in-law were invited to the party of an old Bama classmate somewhere on South Beach, so we made an evening out of it. We met up with friends for dinner and drinks beforehand.

I managed to get only a few pics (if any of y'all are reading this, text me that group pic we took).  It was obviously dark out, and I don't think anyone took a real camera out there -- so all of our pics are fuzzy cell phone pics.

W/the hubby.

Buds since elementary school.


W/tailgate buddy, C.

We didn't stay at the party very long, so we were back at the hotel a little earlier than expected.  I can't say I was disappointed -- I'm such a wuss when it comes to the nightlife. Once the clock strikes midnight, my mind and body start shutting down. (I once fell asleep in the club, y'all -- and this was in my younger, college days.)  This is one of the reasons I was never a party hardy...

Anyhoo, we had a good time. I've still got a few more trip posts, so I'll be back soon.

Love,
G

Edited to Add:  I originally posted this blog during my lunch today, and 30 minutes or so later, the snow started coming down harder and faster.  The was the view from my classroom:  


What's funny about this is I mentioned earlier in my blog post my disappointment about not getting a delayed start to the school day.  The complete opposite almost happened:  there were official plans in place this afternoon to keep us at school LATER until they could get the roads salted. Folks started checking their kids out, kids were complaining about having to stay at school later, etc.  Luckily the sun made an appearance (for the first time this WEEK), started melting the snow, and we were released around regular time. 

What a day.  For my northern friends, THIS is what snow does to us crazy folks down here. :-)

Edited to Add AGAIN:  Just got an email saying there will be a two-hour delay to TOMORROW'S school day.  Ha! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Miami in January: Boat Tour

Hey, y'all.  Having a good week?  It's cold and rainy here (and will be all week) - yuck.  The good thing is I'm teaching my favorite unit in class this week, so that'll help with the dreariness. :-)

I wanted to blog over the weekend, but just didn't find the time (between resting and being lazy). I'm back now, though, and hope to get the rest of the trip posts out this week. 

Let's talk Biscayne Bay today. 

I love being a tourist no matter where I am or how many times I've been somewhere. We've never really done anything touristy in Miami (unless you count South Beach and the children's museum), so I was glad when we decided to do a boat tour along Biscayne Bay.

It was pretty cool learning a little more about Miami and seeing the seasonal homes of some celebs. The biggest mansion on Star Island didn't belong to a famous person (though he's very wealthy) -- it belonged to the guy who created Viagra. Ha!

We also got an outside view of the super-exclusive Fisher Island, where Oprah, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Roberts, and other mega celebs have a home.  Interestingly (but unsurprisingly), Fisher Island has the highest per capita income of ANY place in the United States. 

Here are some random pics:

The weather was just amazing.

Waiting to board with friends and fam.






"No nap" blues. 








We had a great time on the tour.   On the next Miami trip, I hope to tour Vizcaya (so beautiful).  The Everglades, too (though alligators freak. me. out.).

Anyhoo, hope everyone's having a great week. Be back soon.

Love,
G

P.S. Happy 105th to Alpha Kappa Alpha (from an inactive member). :-)  

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