Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Be the Match

Hey, good people.  I've been out of the blog loop for a week -- and I still don't have a lot of time today -- but I wanted to stop by and ask something of you.  And for the sake of time, I'll get straight to the point.

If you've never considered joining the National Bone Marrow Registry, please do so today.  It will change your life in a small way, and possibly someone else's in a BIG way.

I joined The Registry a few years ago in hopes of helping a little girl in my hometown.  I was not a match for her, and neither were all those people who showed up at the Be the Match drive to support her. That was unfortunate, and was yet another example of an unfortunate fact: It's harder for Black/African-American patients to find matches due to the lack of Registry members who are Black/African American.

While the National Bone Marrow Registry is always seeking new members (who are black, white, purple, and green), every July they try to raise awareness in the Black/African-American community. For the simple fact that in most cases, only another Black/African-American can help a patient who happens to be Black/African-American.  A registry that doesn't offer the same chances of a match for all patients is not as strong as it can be.  Let's make this registry stronger, people.

I am personally asking you -- no matter if you're black, white, purple, or green -- to join.  It's easy, and it doesn't hurt.  Knowing that you could one day give a small piece of yourself (no pun intended) to save a life should be enough to get you pumped about joining.

Join me and 10 million others.  Start by learning more at  

Hope everyone's having a good week.  Be back soon.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013


This post is titled "lately," but I almost titled it "rain, rain, go away."  I've concluded that part of my reason for feeling so "blah" this summer is because it's been so doggone rainy.  It's made this summer just weird.

On another note, I'm happy to have my husband back home. He's been gone for about a week.  I never sleep well when he's away.

He spent the first part of last week working a football camp, and then he spent the latter part of the week and weekend in Vegas.  A family friend is getting married, so "the boys" went to Vegas to celebrate his last days of his bachelorhood.  

When DK got back, I asked him the question I ask everyone when they return from a trip (this is important stuff, people):  "What did y'all eat?  What restaurants did you go to?  What did you order?" Call me crazy, but you will always have my full attention when you're talking about different restaurants and foods that you tried on a trip.  I was looking forward to hearing about the infamous casino buffets -- I've heard they're incredible.  But don't you know those crazy fools never ate at any of them??  I was SO disappointed.  Like, why did you go to Vegas if you didn't try a casino buffet??

They didn't spend a lot of time in the casinos, which I guess is a good thing. They mostly frequented bars, lounges, and clubs.  They ate a lot of wings, tacos, and nachos.  How boring is that?? DK said that's the difference in when only the boys go than when the girls are with them - ha! 

Of course I asked about all the other stuff: 

  • The wedding chapels.  They never saw any because they never went to "Old Vegas." Who goes to Vegas and doesn't go see the wedding chapels and stuff?  (Men without their wives and girlfriends, I guess.)
  • The lights.  DK admitted seeing the city lit up was kinda cool.
  • The prices.  Being the frugal person that I am, I am always curious about how much stuff costs in different places.  DK said that getting into a club cost you about $50 (and up). That didn't include drinks or anything; a drink could easily be $15-20. Uh, no. Not EVEN.  DK said that after doing that a night or two, they eventually found some little hole in the wall places with decent prices.
  • The prostitution. One of the things that comes to mind when I think Vegas is the legal prostitution. Now I don't condone prostitution -- I think it's just as disgusting as the next person -- but I asked DK what it looked like on the streets of Vegas.  If it looked like the movies (barely-dressed women looking to show a man a "good time..."). Nothing like the movies, he said. "Professional representatives" were handing out "business" cards with a number you could call and specify the type of girl/service you would like. Crazy.  I tested DK by asking, "So show me a card!  What did they look like?" He claims they never got one - ha! Good answer, my friend. :-)  I find it hard to believe that they never got one out of curiosity...because I probably would have. (My inquisitiveness has almost no limits, people. Except that I wouldn't have actually USED the information on the card - duh.)
Anyhoo, I didn't really start this post with intentions of recapping DK's Vegas trip, but he didn't have any good pictures for me to post to our little family scrapbook (this blog). They're guys, which means they didn't really take pictures. (So boring.) There are a couple of funny videos, but I think DK is purposely not forwarding those to me so they don't end up here. :-) They had the "guy's version" of a good time, which is all that matters, I guess.

Here's what the little one and I have been up to:

Taking advantage of what little "dry" time we've had.

National Ice Cream Day

I've been trying to keep her mind fresh since I've kept her out of preschool most of the summer. A few days a week, we take a little time to do educational activities.  I plan to do a separate post on that one day soon to record kind of what I did with her.

M actually went to school a couple of days this week, so I had the opportunity to try a new trail.  It was wet (ugh), and there were a couple of times where I almost bust my arse in the slippery mud.  But I got a halfway decent run.  I also went to my gym's Zumba class for the first time this week and released my inner Beyonce.  I know I'm super late with the Zumba craze, but now I see what the fuss is about.  I'll be going back 'cause it was fun, fun (and I'm sore today, which definitely makes it worth it). 

Hope everyone's having a good week!


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Hey there.

Hey, good people.  I'm here today for no particular reason.  I realize I haven't blogged since Monday...I try not to let my little spot go too many days without an update.

We haven't been up to much. I'm trying to figure out how I get more done when I'm working eight hours a day than I do when I'm not working at all.  I think this is part of the reason I wanted to teach summer school again.  Having a job to to go to every day adds structure to my day.  It forces me to have it together -- to have a plan...because I just can't seem to get it together these days.

I'm not saying I'm ready to go back to work.  I've actually enjoyed being home.  But it's turned me into a bum, y'all.  This stay-at-home mom thing doesn't work well for me. Some of my favorite bloggers are stay-at-home (and work-at-home) mamas who cook, clean, parent, and everything else, and seem to do it well.  How do y'all stay motivated and on point?  'Cause I kinda suck at this.

Anyhoo, here's a little of what we've been up to:

My hair.  I've been learning more about what works and what doesn't. I  naively assumed the stuff that works for my daughter's hair would work for mine.  Turns out it's true what they say: everyone's hair is different.  I've always used Miss Jessie's on her hair, but I've found a friend in KinkyCurly and a couple of other brands for my own. I ran into this display while trying to kill time in Belk one day:

(If you're familiar with Carol's Daughter, then you know how rare it is to find it on sale!  In fact, this same stuff was regular priced a few stores down in Sephora.  But Belk was trying to get rid of this inventory, and I was one of the lucky takers.  I'll go back in a week or so to see if it's marked down any more...if there are any left.)  

I'm still learning to care for my mane -- and it's quite an adventure -- but it's a very cool adventure.

Army Wives.  I finished watching Downton Abbey several weeks ago, and told myself I was done watching shows on my iPad for the summer (it's part of the reason I'm a bum).  Until one day I was bored and clicked on that first episode of Army Wives.  Big mistake.  My mom had suggested Army Wives to me before -- I'm not sure what took me so long.  It's GOOD.

I started with Season 1, of course, and am now midway through Season 2.  Almost every episode has made me tear up or cry.  (I used to be able say "I'm not a cryer," but something about motherhood changed that about me.  It's been 4.5 years -- I think it's time I stop saying it because it just isn't true anymore.) I don't like when movies and shows makes me cry (I used to make fun of my friends who did the same thing), but this show has pulled me in. I see myself in all of these wives and their personal struggles and accomplishments. It's also been interesting learning about the military life (the TV version, at least).  It's TOUGH. Soldiers are strong and dedicated, no doubt about that, but military wives and children are a different kind of strong. They're heroes, too, in my eyes.

Swim.  M finished swim this week.  Here's her latest. She's been pretty afraid of jumping in, but showed more courage this day (I titled the video Diving, but she's really just hesitantly jumping in):

I'm proud of her.  Especially watching her swim across that 13 ft water.

She's still not quite where I want her to be, so I'm thinking we'll do lessons in the fall, too.  I kinda wanted her to do soccer again this fall, or maybe gymnastics, so we'll have to make a decision soon.  I think one activity is enough for this age.  We'll see.

Speaking of my little one, I've truly enjoyed being with home with her full-time this summer.  As I mentioned, despite the fact that we still have to pay preschool tuition throughout the summer, I've kept her home all but one day. I was afraid that by Week 2, I'd be ready to take her back - ha! - but it's been fun.  I've seen her mature.  She's still not sleeping the whole night in her own bed, but I'll tell y'all about that (along with all the other stuff I still haven't accomplished this summer) another day.

In the meantime, here are a few recent pics of my girl (these are from at least two different days, but she's wearing the same thing):

Headed to the Children's Museum

Eating chicken fingers at Mama's favorite chicken finger spot.

Dinner at Firehouse

Dinner with Daddy

Have a good weekend, good people.  I'm going to TRY to be somewhat productive this weekend!


Monday, July 15, 2013


What does the number seven mean to you? 

Just a number?  Means nothing to ya?

Or maybe you're superstitious, and the number seven makes you feel lucky.

Or maybe you know the Biblical associations with the number seven.

Well, seven has been a pretty cool number for me.  I'm not at all superstitious, but I do appreciate that Biblically the number seven is associated with "completeness." Because seven has been associated with some beautiful moments in my life:  
  • DK and I started dating October 27, 2001.
  • DK proposed to me January 7, 2006.
  • We got married in the the seventh month of 2006.
  • We bought our first house the seventh month of 2007.
  • We had our first baby the seventh day of December.
And I really think I'm missing one or two more.  Interesting though, right?  

Well, today we celebrate seven years of marriage. No pun intended, but I feel so lucky and blessed that I've had seven years with DK (and almost five years before that).

My marriage is far from perfect, but this guy I married is PERFECT FOR ME (cue J. Cole,  y'all).  I knew it when I met him.

I started dating DK when I was barely 19 years old. I remember seeing him for the first time and thinking, "He's good-looking -- especially for a former athlete." 

(Yes y'all, at 19, looks were a deal breaker -- judge if you must.  And I found most athletes to be...well...I'll use my grown-up word: unattractive. I never understood why girls gushed over athletes because most of 'em were just...blah. And honestly I preferred my guys a little rougher around the edges...bad boys. Cute ones, of course.  That was until I grew up -- yep, at 19 -- and realized that I was not "about that life." At all.)

I got to know DK and fell hard.  For the first time in my life, I had a picture of what I wanted my husband to look like (not just in the physical sense). A picture of what I wanted my child(ren)'s father to look like. I held tight to this special guy, and thankfully he let me. 

Now here we are at 30 (me) and 33 (him). It's almost like we grew up together. Over the years, we've changed and developed in so many ways.  And whaddya know, we still like each other!

I'm so thankful for my man, my friend, my roomie, my baby daddy, my teammate, my husband -- all of that -- and I thank God for the years He's given us. I pray for continued strength and partnership in our marriage as we continue to grow into who He wants us to be.

Now...this post wouldn't be complete without a little trip down memory lane:

Just Engaged

Wedding Day

First Official "Coaches Family" Pic

Happy Seven to Us!

Have a good week, good people!

Love, G

Friday, July 12, 2013

Lately + MY NEW HAIR.

Hey, good people. I hope everyone's having a good week.  We've been good around here. We've had swim lessons every day this week, so our days have been planned around those. Four days a week (in the mornings!) was not something I would have chosen, but in order to get in with this guy again (who's highly sought after and really good) we did it.

M is still doing well, and we've had no more scare incidents.  We still have quite a ways go with her skills, so I'm thinking about continuing lessons into the fall.  We'll see.

I don't know how it is where you live, but the weather around here has just been yucky. For at least a couple of weeks now. I've never been one to be despise rainy days -- they usually don't stop my party -- but I could use a rain-free week right about now.  Seriously.

We did get one sunny day recently, and we ventured out to the library.  While the books, puppets, games, and toys were all great...

...we mainly went because their small outdoor play area is carpeted.  That meant we didn't have to deal with all the mud from the rainy days before. I'm sure every regular playground in the area was just YUCK.

Some of the toys were still wet, but we didn't care.  Water is certainly better than mud.

We also went downtown a couple of times recently to hang out with the in-laws -- they were in town for a convention.  They were staying at a hotel, which M gets a kick out of.  She loves hotels. She is a child who loves anything travel-related.  She keeps asking can we go somewhere on a plane.  Her travel-crazy daddy has created a monster.

We had dinner with my mother-, father-, and sister-in-law one night. We ate at one of our favorite eating spots.  It's particularly a favorite of M's because of the hot, buttery rolls. (Who doesn't like hot, buttery rolls?)

Well, we had a funny incident with these rolls.  M didn't want to share, and at one point told my mother-in-law, "Honey (what she calls my MIL), don't ever touch my bread again.  Do you understand?" 

Now. Obviously it's not acceptable for her to speak to any adult this way...but at the same time, she sounded JUST LIKE ME. Much like when she's done something wrong or unsafe, and I tell her "Don't ever do X again -- do you understand?"  You know, serious stuff.

Well. Apparently taking her bread warranted the same kind of reaction. Taking her bread is a very serious matter that I wouldn't recommend anyone attempt.  For now, at least.  We've gotta have some talks about sharing...

I may look sweet, but don't ever touch my bread.
Anyhoo, let's talk hair.  Y'all know what I looked like on most days this past year. I had "big" hair that fell to around my shoulders. Hair that I stopped permanently relaxing almost two years ago.  Hair that, on its good days, I looooved. Hair that warranted people to stop me all the time in public and compliment it. 

Well, notice I said "on its good days."  Because there were certainly the bad days. Growing natural hair out the way I did it (straightening the natural hair to match the relaxed hair) brought its own issues. Like when it rained...when it was humid...that natural hair would say, "It's my time to shine!" So that natural hair would make its appearance while that relaxed hair kinda sat there.  And they just kinda sat there together -- the same strand of hair! -- with two different textures.  I'm sure on those days, people wondered why I even left the house that morning.

And on those occasional bad hair days, I usually didn't care. I knew a wash, blowout, and flat iron job would do the trick.

But then it rained for two weeks.  And the bad hair day turned into bad hair WEEKS.  And during that time, it became increasingly evident that my hair had grown tremendously, and that I had more natural than relaxed.  I KNEW this, but thanks to my blow dryer and flat iron, I was able to kinda ignore it for quite a while.  But let me tell you this:  the rain and humidity don't give a FLIP about a blow dryer and flat iron.  Rain/humidity rules.  Every time.

So after yet another bad hair week, I saw a Facebook post from a girl that I went to high school with who also now lives in this area. I knew she wore her hair natural, that she had experience with naturals, and that she worked for a great salon in the metropolitan area.  I'd toyed with the possibility of finally doing "the Big Chop," but felt it was only right when I happened to see her Facebook post that day.  She shared that she had two openings left.  I contacted her with LOTS of nerves, and told her I wanted to come in.

Yes, I was nervous.  I'd been happy about my hair growing back out (even though I was slowly cutting out the processed hair). I had visions of soon having THIS hair again...


...but a much thicker and healthier version of it.  And going in for the Big Chop would delay that vision.  

But I was frustrated.  Tired of battling with my mane. So I went to see K (the hair girl) and told her my frustrations.  

I kinda wanted her to talk me out of chopping it off..but she didn't.  She felt around, looked at everything, and told me that I should DO IT.  I told her my fears of having hair too short (I like short hair -- just not on my big weird-shaped head), and she assured me that there would be plenty of hair left on my head after cutting.  She told me she's never had a client regret getting the Big Chop.  She told me I'd feel a sense of freedom once it was gone.  And gradually, she convinced me that it was time.  I believed her, I trusted her, and I let her have her way with my head. 

First we washed, and we went back to her chair where I saw my BIG fro (Loved it, by the way.  I've done my own hair at home for over a year, and I'd never really just taken the time to sit back and explore the natural-ness.)

Then it was time.  To SNIP, that is.  Nerrrrves.  But when she started doing it, I realized, that most of my hair was still on my head.  It wasn't very dramatic at all.

We decided on a simple natural "style" so that I wouldn't have to experience too much of a change too fast.  I wasn't sure my heart could take it (or my husband's, who kinda had no clue I was changing my entire look that evening) - ha!  I asked her to give me some twists that would stretch my natural curls out a bit to give me a little length.

So this is how I looked when I went in.  

Big hair, don't care.

I'd just washed and blown it out earlier that day (before I knew I'd be going to the salon).

And this is how I left (the phone pics really do it no justice, but it's all I had):

I LOVED IT.  And K was right -- I felt GREAT afterwards.  No regrets whatsoever.  Sure I thought about my husband, who's never seen his wife with short hair, but it was kinda like, "If he doesn't like it, oh well!" Because I did!

Well, I got home, and my little one met me at the door.  She was a little thrown off by the difference, but immediately said, "Mommy, I LOVE your hair!"  I felt a sense of relief, which I didn't expect.  I apparently wanted my kid to like my hair, too. Then I walked in and saw the hubby, and he said, "WHAT DID YOU DO?"  I expected that.  He's so silly.  But a little later he told me that he actually likes it.  Not gonna lie -- it made me feel good to know that my man liked my new 'do.  He even took this pic:

Since then, I've shown family and friends -- some in person, and some through texts and Facebook messages.  I've gotten mostly positive reactions. (And naturally there have been a few reactions and/or comments that couldn't be classified as positive or negative, but I'd been warned about those. They come with the territory.)  While I've never been one to care much about what others thought of me or the things I do, it still feels good to know that my peeps -- at least most of them :) -- like my new look! Thanks for the support, y'all! :)

Since then, my husband has caught me (and teased me about) staring at the mirror admiring and playing with my hair over and over.  I explained to him that my hair has been relaxed since I was a child.  I had little to no memory of what my hair looked like or felt like in its natural state.  So it's all new to me.  

I loved my hair when I came home from the salon, but I was eager to wash it again and twist it out on my own to see how much easier the process would be now that I'm only working with one texture.  So I did! Here are the results:

Love! And my hair was pretty easy to detangle (unlike before), and took me SO MUCH LESS time!

I've never been much of a selfie picture taker, but I've done it more times in the past week than I have my whole life - ha! (That's not gray hair...yet...I just kinda didn't rub in the curl creme all the way. Didn't realize it 'til I got out in the sun.  Ooops.)

For those days when I want to blow it out and straighten it (and I'm sure they'll come), I still have a little length to work with.

I'm dying to straighten it just to see what it looks like, but I'm gonna try to hold off as long as possible.  I've broken up with heat -- we're not friends anymore.  (Let's see how long that lasts.)

So, ANYHOO, at the end of the day, I do NOT regret transitioning for so long (nearly two years is a long time for some people).  The Big Chop early on was not something I would have been comfortable with (remember?  weird-shaped head?).  Waiting this long obviously left me with plenty of hair when I did finally Big Chop, which was my goal. 

What I probably DO regret, however, is the amount of heat I put in my hair while transitioning.  K had to cut out heat damage, and I still have a little bit of hair (mostly around the edges) with a messed up curl pattern because of it all the heat I used.  Lucky for me, though, I have SUPER COARSE hair.  And because of this, the heat damage was minimal.

So today I stand 100% natural.  Like my little girl. :)  My hopes are that she never feels she has to permanently relax her hair.  That with her own hair, she can have fun -- wear it curly, straight, and do whatever without ever permanently changing its texture. I hope I can be an example for her.

If you made it this far down, thanks for reading.  My hair is something I rarely talk about here, but I wanted to record this very cool experience. I can't promise I won't talk about my hair anymore, though, because I'm so completely fascinated with it right now. :)

And the natural hair blogs and YouTube videos are endless (and awesome). I  used to see these posts and videos and ignore them for the most part because I wasn't 100% natural.  I couldn't do much of what they were doing.  But now...NOW...I'm ready to explore!

Have a good weekend, good people! I'll be celebrating my wedding anniversary with my new kinky curls...oh, and my husband! Ha!

Be back next week!


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Our Fourth

Hey, y'all.  You ever feel like the day is going by way too quickly and you're not getting anything done?  

All the time?, too.  Especially the last few days. I haven't necessarily been super busy, but before I know it, I look up and it's 10:00 PM. 

Not cool.  I have so much left to do before going back to work (in a month), and the clock is ticking away... I'm simply not getting ANYTHING accomplished.

Anyhoo...enough complaining about my first world problems.  Despite the short days, all is well.  M is on four-days-a-week swim lessons for a couple of weeks, and she's enjoying that.  

I got to spend time with my friend E and her brand new baby girl the other day, which was a sweet, sweet treat. She and her hubby moved from Atlanta a couple of months ago to be closer to home as they began their journey as a family.  I cannot be more thrilled -- especially since I am IN LOVE with that precious baby girl!

I also went and got my hair cut -- spur of the moment! -- and have been enjoying my new look.  More on that later, though.  

Let's talk about the Fourth.  'Cause we had a great one.

My aunt hosted a family shindig at her house -- you know, food, laughter, good times...  She happens to live right on a lake that hosts the area fireworks show, too, so we even got "front row" seats to the evening action.

It was rainy and yucky (and actually kinda cool) that day, but that didn't stop these two kids -- my Dad and M -- from getting out there and having some skating fun.  (Remember my dad is kinda serious about the knee pads and stuff.  Clearly.)

I think they would've skated all day had the rain let up.

Sweet pic of M and my mom.
We sat out near the lake and watched them skate -- in the rain.  Good times!

This is my sweet Aunt R, who hosted the shindig. She and my Aunt L had the place cute and patriotic, and her husband J made sure we ate well. (Why yes, my hair is so big and crazy that it's nearly blocking my aunt's face, but I'd been in the rain, people. Since this picture, I've gotten rid of some of that hair.  Outta control...)

My dad with three of his girls . My step-mom and other sister were in Baltimore with their church that day, so we missed them.

I was happy we got to see the baby sis, though.  We don't get to see her often since she's always away at college whenever we do come around.  (She'll be done soon! So proud of her!)


Pic of M, my mom, and me that I stole from my aunt's Facebook. :-)

The fireworks show was awesome.  M hates loud noises (she held her ears and stayed close to her daddy the whole time), but she loved it.  She's STILL talking about it.

We didn't take a group pic until the end of the night when folks had already left, but I still love this pic.  My fam!  What's even sweeter is that I get to see them again next month for a family reunion (already looking forward to it)!  We had a great Fourth!  Thanks, Aunt R, for having us!

I'm gonna hit the sack now. Maybe watch a little DVR.  I'm only watching two things this summer (The Game and The Haves and Have Nots), and they both come on on Tuesdays.  So my DVR has new presents for me tonight!

Enjoy the rest of your week, peeps!  If you want to hear about my hairscapades, check back in a couple of days. It's been interesting! :-)

Be back soon!


Friday, July 5, 2013

Hiking with My Roommate

Hey, good people.  Hope everyone had a good Fourth. We spent the day with family -- eating, laughing, and watching fireworks on the lake.  It was perfect.  Of course I snapped a few pictures.  I'll post those soon.

We got our little one back from the in-laws a couple of days ago.  As usual, she loved being with her Honey and PaPa, and was NOT ready to come home. They give her candy and cookies and all those things grandparents do, so I'm pretty sure she loves them more than us - ha!

While the little one was away, the hubs and I took an afternoon to hike the trails of a local nature preserve.  We'd just eaten Mexican for lunch, so it was a great way to walk it off.

I've been wanting to check out this spot for a while now -- and take M. With her being away at the in-laws', it gave us an opportunity to evaluate the spot before taking her... opportunity to become familiar with the trails so that when we DO take her for the first time, we can focus on her safety without trying to learn the surroundings at the same time.  Does that make sense?

It's a very cool place. The boulders, streams, waterfalls, etc. were all beautiful. I was just hoping we didn't see too much wildlife, if you know what I mean. 

There WAS that big ol' squirrel that came out of nowhere that made both DK and me jump - ha!  I can deal with a squirrel, though.  I was more cautious of the wildlife that slither on the ground, you know? I'm not super afraid of snakes (remember?), I just don't want to run into one in the wild.  You know, accidentally step near one and scare it -- which would make the snake react -- which could be bad. I get chills just THINKING about it...

But nope, we didn't see anything that made me never want to go back.  What we DID see were families with children M's age, and those children were enjoying themselves immensely.  It made me miss M in the moment. She would have loved to take a picture right here:

The hike was a nice little workout for DK and me -- we both were kinda sore the next day. Though we were quite sweaty and dusty by the time we were done, the weather was good to us.  In fact, this summer's been good to us overall.  We've been enjoying temps in the 80s.

We'll go back to this cool little spot soon with the little one in tow -- I know she'll love it.  

I was glad my husband and I could spend a little time together just as a couple on this day, though.  We don't do that enough.  (Remember, it was on one of my summer goals?)

Enjoy your weekend, good people!


Monday, July 1, 2013

A Cave and a Pony

Hey, y'all.  Hope everyone had a good weekend. We spent a night in Atlanta just hanging out (and ate here - YUM!).  The only picture I think I took this weekend was of this crazy sky that appeared Friday evening.  We came out of Target to this (no filter).

Kinda spooky, right?

The little one has been with the in-laws the past few days, and hasn't wanted to come home to us yet. We miss her. 

Today I'm finally posting about last, last weekend.  That Friday, my mom and sister-in-law came to town to watch M's new and improved swimming at one of her lessons.  Afterwards, we hung out at the mall and toy store (M's reward for being so "brave").

Riding the train w/Memaw  |||| Getting a "Build-a'Bear" gift from my sis-in-law for her good "swimming" |||| Pretending to be asleep with her new pony, whom she named Thunder Pony

That next day we decided to spend the day at a cave park near my hometown.  (That meant we could spend the night at Memaw's house, which is always a treat for M.)

I was nervous about M and the cave because caves are obviously dark, weird, wet, etc. -- but so very cool.  I wanted M to think they were cool as well.

On the way down into the cave (as our walk got darker, wetter, and cooler temperature-wise), I remember her exact words to me: "Mommy, I think I don't like this." I was so tickled when she told me that, but I also remember thinking, Oh, my, oh, my.  Please don't let this get ugly. All I could do was assure her that it was gonna be a fun experience.

Thankfully once we got down there, she got a little more comfortable. Obviously it was nothing like anything she'd ever seen before, but luckily, that turned out to be a good thing. 

I took a few pics, but they're all pretty awful because the lighting -- or lack thereof -- in caves.

The tour was great -- M enjoyed it!  I loved hearing all the history (and myths) of these caverns.  M liked the 12-story high views, light show, and stepping in all the dirty puddles (These days I rarely put M in white shoes, but I chose to put them on her this day.  I'm a genius.).  We had to watch where were going at every step because it was so wet, slippery, and at some points, hilly. Thankfully no one had to be picked up off the ground. 

Speaking of wet, my hair was a MESS by the time we came out of the cave.  The tour guide warned about the overall moisture in the air, but I had no clue just how much it would affect my mane. I mean, I DO live in the South, where humidity is nothing new.  Apparently the humidity in a cave is a little harsher. I came out of there looking a HOT mess. Ha!

The park also other fun things for the kids, like panning for gems and crystals.

Her findings.

And mini paddle boats.

And, of course, a train (w/her train buddy, Memaw).

I remember coming to this park as a little one, and thinking how cool the gift shop was.  M thought the same thing and chose to take home a little bag of purple gems (sorry, I don't recall the official name).  She was in awe. 

We finished the weekend with church & lunch with my mom.

It was a great one!

Check back in a day or two. I'll be posting a few pics of the hike DK and I went on today. In the meantime, I'll use this child-free time to clean and do a little more preparation for the new class I'll be teaching in the fall.  My brain has gradually began to transform back into teacher mode. I was proud that it took an entire month off, yet I knew it wouldn't be long.

Enjoy your week, good people!


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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