Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Celebrations and Reading Funks

Sunday was a big day for this busy little person:First, she got to celebrate all of the important men in her life--her daddy, her Bear, her Pop, and her 2 great grandfathers. She's a blessed little girl. {I'm a blessed "big girl" too... I still think my dad has hung the moon... My baby daddy is quite a hunk too... :)} She got her daddy a book about fathers and daughters and a new navy sports coat. She also proudly told the world with her bootie that she's a "daddy's girl."

Then she got to participate in the baby dedication at church. She received her Bible and blessing from Brentwood Hills, the same church her mommy received a Bible and blessing from all those years ago. It was a special celebration for her and a great close to a fun weekend for our family! (Notice that she's already "feasting on God's word" as well as "patting the Bible" while even trying to read it!)

Below is a picture of the books that have been sitting on my bedside table. I'm reading all of them... or should I say plugging through all of them. Each is good; each holding my attention, and each is relevant to some aspect of my life--as a wife, a parent, a teacher, a writer, a human rights advocate... None of them have captured me, though; I cannot immerse myself into any of them; I'm not losing sleep because I can't put them down. And that's the essence, the beauty, of summer reading to me. I am craving something to dig into.

Maybe I haven't found it yet because I'm waiting on this:

Ah, my living literary obsession... I salivate to devour his every word... My 1st Edition copy of The Lords of Discipline is one of my most prized possessions... August 17th seriously can't come soon enough...

Until that time, I'm going to try this piece of chick lit I picked up at the library last night: (Thanks for the suggestion, Jesse.)
If any of you have any good suggestions, I'm wide open!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Weekend Update

We've had a fun and full weekend this weekend, and we have so enjoyed spending this time together as a family. Here's a quick recap, although not in order...Last night we celebrated the wedding of Colin and Kristen (Cover) Allred. It was a beautiful wedding at the Cover family home, and we enjoyed celebrating with our lifelong friends-who-are family as they begin their marriage journey together. It was a great reunion of old friends and a fun celebration with a catchy band. Sadly, we had to leave before we could watch my parents "cut a rug." Apparently, they showed their stuff, and I would have been so proud to see it! :)

It was our first time leaving sweet Addison with someone other than family, and I was so stressed out about who I trusted to keep her. Thankfully I remembered a suggestion from our Marriage Dynamics class about setting up a "trade." Our great friends April and Jeremy kept Addison with her friend and their son, Carter. She's been having some separation anxiety lately, screaming the entire time that I leave her in the church nursery (I'm 0-3 in that department), so I was a little nervous, but April kept me updated through texting--"She's straddling Carter laughing," "No tears, all smiles," "We got her dancing to Soulja Boy," so we were able to fully enjoy ourselves. We can't wait to keep sweet Carter-man for them!

Speaking of our little person, here is what I caught her doing while Daddy was cutting the yard yesterday:

My shutter speed is slow, but when I approached this sight, she was standing up and Maggie was jumping up at the glass with her. This is the best I could do. Isn't it adorable, though??? She LOVES her daddy!

Friday night, we had another night out. We don't get out much these days, so 2 nights in a row have worn us out, but the fun has been worth it. We love live music, and we've been on a bit of a concert craze lately--Jason Mraz at the Ryman, Coldplay at Sommet, an Eagle's Cover Band at Crockett... We're already looking for our next show! Meiko, who has had a couple of songs on Grey's Anatomy opened for Eric Hutchinson who we LOVE at 12th & Porter on Friday night, and we got tickets with our great friends Heather and Briley Price to go listen to them. They were great, even better live, and we thought that 12th & Porter's atmosphere was the perfect venue to see them in. It was intimate and even pretty classy for a bar setting. Before we went to the show, we dined at Sambuca in the Gulch--the food was so yummy, and it was such a unique place that provided live music as well. None of us had been there before, and it was fun to have a different kind of night out.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Order Envy and a Summer Craving Fulfilled...

I'm the person who, after deliberating on what to order at a restaurant, narrowing my choices down to 3, eliminating the other possibilities systematically, and emphatically making my selection, STILL wishes I'd ordered what my eating companion chose when the food is brought to the table.

So many times, I try to entice P in the game "Wanna Switch?" where we totally swap entrees and eat what the other person ordered. It worked some when we were dating--not-so-much any more. I'm lucky to swap a few bites. I don't know why I'm this way, why I suffer from what I call "Order Envy" so extremely. But I do.

The latest incident occurred when I was lunching with my friend a couple of weeks ago at Henpeck Market. She ordered a grilled pimento cheese and tomato sandwich; I don't even remember what I got. All I remember is salivating over HER plate when they brought my food.

All summer, I've been craving this sandwich. In this miserable heat, it's so hard to find something that sounds good to eat... Every day, when I think about what I want for lunch, I think "A grilled pimento cheese and tomato sandwich..." and I never have it on hand. So, yesterday, I finally made a batch and this is what I enjoyed for lunch today:

I used my grandmother's recipe, and just in case you're craving one of these too, here it is:

1/2 lb sharp cheddar cheese (grate)
1/2 c mayo
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 oz pimentos (I used more--3 heaping tablespoons)
1 Tbsp sweet pickle relish
1/4 tsp garlic salt
(I also added a dash of vinegar, and my grandmother suggests a Tbsp of gravied onion.)

Once you have combined all of the ingredients, the key to making this spread is to use your electric mixer to make it light and fluffy. Mix it longer than you think necessary. It makes a yummy pint!

I enjoyed my WHOLE sandwich (even though only half of it is pictured here) grilled with a slice of tomato. A trick that a friend of mine gave me about grilled cheese's is to sprinkle the buttered bread with a little garlic powder. YUM! My cantaloupe and strawberries were also delicious with it! Enjoy!

{Also, FYI, I'm trying to cut calories, and I tried this with 2% milk cheddar and light mayo, and I couldn't tell the difference!}

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Pilly Update and a Tangent on Nicknames

Here are pictures of the Pillar (yeah, I called my daughter the Pillar--I'll explain below.) at 7 months and 8 months. It's getting harder and harder to get this little one to stay still. She's crawling fast and furiously, pulling up, dancing (her favorites tunes being "Boom Boom Pow" and "Kiss me through the Phone"--ghetto girl, I know, she gets it honest), squealing, and talking incessantly. She's even trying to learn how to snap. Now that she's mobile, I spend my days chasing her, shooing her away from Maggie's food and toys, the door stops, the air vents, and my shoes... She's a busy little thing! She still has no teeth, so anything and everything falls prey to her mouth of vengeance. She even tried to eat the man sitting next to us at church's watch on Sunday. I was so embarrassed. Bless her. If one doesn't come soon, I'm looking into Baby Dentures, poor thing... I have loved these past few weeks and months. She's a sponge--soaking up everything that surrounds her. Her favorite times of the day are bath time, puff time, and reading time. I thank God for this little girl daily.

So, Addison has acquired many nicknames already in her short life--so many that I'm not sure where some of them even began or what they have been derived from. P has to remind me that we want our daughter to respond to being called Addison or Addy, so I have to keep myself in check, but he has become almost as bad as me in the nickname department. Some of her nicknames that I've randomly, subconsciously called her are Addison Person, Addisonian, [the] Little Person, Addy Crawdy, and Addypillar which became [the] Pillar and has now evolved into Pilly. She's going to beg me to stop one day.

I get it honest. My dad is the nickname guru. To this day he calls me "Reno" every once in a while. It began as "Kris-a-reno" and was shortened to "Reno." Other nicknames I've gone by have been Kris, Kirsty, KD, Dean, Deaner, Whoopi, PB, Deandrone, but none have been as endearing to me as "Reno."

Poor Lindsay's are wild. Dad called her Linds-a-belle which became "Belle" which became "Belly-welly" which she really hated but even-more-so when it was shortened to "Belly." She's also been Little Dean, Litter Bug, Lit, Intsy, and Linds-a-doodle.

Patrick is Patty Crawdy, Pidilidatrick, Padatrick, Crawdaddy--just to name a few...

I can't help it. I even have them for my friends... They are my terms of endearment.

***Edited Note*** I just realized that I left off my FAVORITE nickname of mine to date--"Kiki." This is how my precious niece "Vanni" hears and speaks my name. I LOVE it. Once she said it, I told Lindsay that I don't ever want her to learn to say, "Kristy." I love how Kiki sounds. It's eccentric, don't you think. Eli Stapler has adopted calling me Kiki too...

Second half of 30

I just celebrated my half birthday. It snuck up on me. I had been excited about turning 30 for so long... it was going to be a huge turning point in my life... and then life happened. I've lived long enough at this point to understand that while life is beautiful, it is also unpredictable. The first 6 months of my 30 have been about "surviving"--weathering major life changes and adversity. Looking back on those hard months, I am proud of what God has brought my family through. I am thankful for his strength, patience, and provisions as we've reaquainted what a life truly submitted to him looks like. It's crazy how we can take detours along the way only to get back to that point--realizing that He meets our every need, that He is sufficient to fulfill us. I can truly attest to the Ecclesiastical truth that "there is a season for everything under heaven."

I know I have many more lessons to learn and assuredly more times of adversity to experience in my life, but I also feel like my days of "doggie paddling" are changing into "freestlying." While some of my favorite moments in all of my 30 years took place during this season and I wouldn't change anything, I'm still excited about getting past survivial mode and truly embracing living. I have many ideas about how I want to spend these next 6 months of 30. I hope that my actual living of them will exceed my expecations.

Lamentations 3: 22-26 "Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, 'The Lord is my portion; therefore, I will wait for him.' The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord."

Monday, June 15, 2009

People are good...

Every time I think I'm about to give up on "people" being good, something someone does always surprises me.

I have a friend who is seriously intentional about taking care of her friends. She organizes food when someone is going through a rough time, offers monthly free babysitting to one of her and her husband's couple friends who don't have family in town so that they can have a date night, and encourages people regularly through notes, quotes, scriptures, even care packages.

I have coworker who, anonymously, throughout the year supplied goodie bags with personalized encouragement to members of the faculty--and I'm not even talking about just her circle of friends.

Tonight, I am enjoying a meal courtesy one of my dear friends--yet a friend who I don't keep in touch with as much as I wish I did. When Patrick began traveling so much, an out of town friend sent us a generous giftcard to Super Suppers. (If you are unfamiliar with this concept, click on the link. It's pretty awesome.) She knew that dinners would be difficult to get through alone with a newborn. She heard about our situation and thoughtfully planned a way to help us meet one of our needs. While I love to cook, it is difficult to prepare meals for 1 during the week--especially with my mobile daughter who I chase around every hour of every day. My "super suppers" have been so delicious and allow me to feel like I am eating a homecooked meal every night. Plus, they have a "healthy meal" menu, and each meal in this catergory has under 600 calories. It's truly a beautiful thing. Tonight I had parmesan chicken, sauteed vegetables, and a flake roll. So delicious.

In a world filled with selfishness, materialism, even violence and hatred, it always inspires me to be reminded that there are people who seek goodness, people who truly love. It also makes me want to be one of those people.

God is love, and He is still everpresent in this fallen world.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Sanz-off and the ultimate arm workout

I don't like sand. But I love the beach. Paradox? I like to look at the sand--the way it changes as the ocean waves ebb and flow, and I don't mind if it gets squished between my toes when I walk on the beach; however, I HATE it when it attaches itself to my freshly sunscreened legs, when it shows up in crooks and crevices like armpits, necks, and backs of knees... or when my 8-month-old thinks it is hilarious to roll over face first from her nice plush beach blanket into the grainy grimy sand and then stick fistfulls of it into her mouth.

Amy and I were people-watching today while our girls were napping (wait, read while Caroline was napping because Addison was too "busy" playing and trying to charm onlookers while eating sand...) and we noticed this girl who had the coolest gadget EVER. I need to ask her where she got it because all I have been able to find on the internet is this:

It's the same concept, but not nearly the same caliber of gadget that my lay out neighbor had. She would get up from her towel, brush off the backs of her legs, and then brush off her beach chair. I was mesmerized. I have always wondered how girls can look so perfectly put together while laying out--like they are not hot or sweaty at all, their hair and make-up just perfectly proportionate to their perfect tans. That person is not me! I am the sweaty, visor-wearing girl with tan-streaked legs because I was too impatient to put my sunscreen on evenly. Maybe if I can locate this tool to get the sand off me, I can be one step closer to being girl #1.

We began our morning with a nice long walk after breakfast. Yesterday, we tried to alternate our walks while the girls were taking their morning naps, but that didn't work, so this morning we decided to go early while it was still cool enough to take the girls. Our first half of the walk was perfect--nice breeze, cool shade, happy babies. When we turned around, we were directly facing the rising sun and there was no breeze. In order to protect our sweet babies' porcelain skin, we chose to walk the return portion of our trail like this:

It was HARD. 30 minutes of walking like this is quite the workout. Keeping the stroller from zig-zagging back and forth, making sure the girls were shaded, avoiding bumps and tripping, we were WORN OUT, and my arms are going to be so sore! But it was awesome. We got lots of looks and laughs, but, "oh the things we will endure" for the protection of these little bathing beauties. I may even do it again tomorrow.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Little Swimmie Leakage...

We just got in from eating at The Back Porch and shopping at Destin Commons after spending a sunny day out at the beach. Addison took her first nap out on the beach and looked like an old pro, sweet girl. Our first day of vacation feels complete--everybody has full tummies and is ready for bed.

I had an issue with the swimmie diapers this afternoon, though. After the girls woke up from their afternoon naps, Amy and were planning to take them to the pool. I put Addison in her swimmie while I was heating her bottle, and I was feeding her in my lap when I felt a warm puddly sensation in my lap. It took me a minute to realize that she had PEED ON ME--straight through her diaper, through my coverup, through my bathing suit. She took a break from her bottle and sighed real contentedly, like, "Ah, that felt good." What a silly girl. Anyway, not to big of a fan of those swimmies, but it made for a good laugh.

Sunday, June 07, 2009


Best. Concert. Ever.

For Mother's Day, one of my gifts from P was a ticket to Coldplay--a "date" with Chris Martin, if you will. :) My man is awesome, I know.

Anyway the show was tonight with Snow Patrol opening for them. They started off the night with a captivating energy. Most of the audience sang along to their familiar songs, and when they played "Chasing Cars," I replayed Grey's Anatomy's Season two finale--scene by scene, line by line--in my mind as I intently listened {which, on a bit of a tangent, is arguably the best episode ever...} It was a great moment.

However, none can compare to Coldplay. I've watched several of their shows on music tv, but seeing them live is altogether an emotional experience. They played for a solid 2 hours, performed every song I would have wanted them to except "Swallowed in the Sea" which I really didn't expect. My personal favorites were "In My Place," "Fix You," and of course "Yellow." Chris was humble, funny, personable, and they gave each audience member a free cd of live tracks.

Before the show, P took me out to eat at Sunset Grill in Hillsboro Village. It was so fun for us to get to go out and be datey lovey. Addison had a blast with her cuz at Jaydee and Bear's, so it was a pleasent evening for all of the fam.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Summer Lovin'

Two weeks into summer, and I am loving it! I have definitely felt thankful for this period of sunshine in my life after going through a season of rain... This week has been a fun one for Addison and me--going to the pool, the park, playdates with friends, time with family! Here are a few things I am especially loving right now:

1. Tomato Pie. I got this recipe from a girl Julie who I don't personally know, but whose blog I read occasionally because she is a Chi-O at Auburn and has a cool sense of style and sense of self. It makes me miss college and the freedom of spirit that goes with it. It's the easiest thing to make... In a pie shell, coat the bottom with 2 Tbsp of spicy mustard. Cover with 2 cups of swiss cheese. Cover with 3 1/4-inch-thick sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle with dried basil flakes and Jane's Krazy salt. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Top with fresh basil leaves (missing from my picture). Let cool about 10 minutes.

I made this as a side to poppyseed chicken with fresh salad and key lime pie. One of my goals of the summer is to be a culinary goddess on the weekends when Patrick is home with us so that he feels "home." And so that I make sure that he still "wants me." {And I think it is working... He went on and on about how delicious dinner was and jumped up to do the dishes. What a good man! :)} In all seriousness, I really am enjoying trying new recipes wearing my anthropologie apron--a gift of birthdays past a la Jesse.

2. DMB's new CD release, Big Whiskey. Anybody catch them on the Today Show this morning? So amazing... I spent my high school and college years following them like some people follow Widespread Panic and The Grateful Dead. Their new tracks are so so good, and I have listened to nothing else since I downloaded it on my itunes this week.

3. Catching up with everyone's blogs. I really was totally enmeshed with work and domesticity this winter and spring, and I am enjoying getting caught up on fashion, style, funny stories, and family pictures on everyone's pages.

Addy and I went to the park with my oldest and one of my dearest friends and her kids today, and we were talking about life--how to balance being individuals, adults, moms, wives, friends, and our conversation turned to cooking. She said she got some recipes and sewing tutorials off "someone's random blog." Then, she stopped and said, "Wait, you may know her. She went to Auburn. It's 'Fly through my window.'" I laughed and said, "Yeah, it's Darby. She and I were sorority sisters." Articulate response, huh! Ha!

Usually a blog cynic and boycotter, my friend told me how much she likes how refreshing Darby's blog is... how she appreciates the way she does not brag about how great her life is, but how whenever she has a good idea or completes a successful project, she shares the recipe, tutorial, etc. She went on to say how she really feels like Darby is using her blog to be an encouragement to women and young moms, that she felt good about herself every time she follows one of her practical tutorials--and what a great way to glorify God! It encouraged me to hear, and it made me proud of my Auburn family. I need to email Darby and let her know how widely and far-reaching her blog is read and the kind of impact she is making. If you've not read her before, you should definitely add her to your blogroll.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Thursday's Project

But first a peek at Addison's 6 month photos made by my friend Brooke. I love them. It's hard to believe that she had been at Vanderbilt Children's ER just a couple of days before with her stomach flu... She wasn't in a very happy mood this day, but Brooke still got some great shots--she is so talented! Can't believe my baby is 8 months already...

Now onto today's project... Lindsay and I are heading to the Smocking Loft to make our girls some matching summer jumpers tonight. Besides my pillow/table skirt living room rehab a couple of years ago, I haven't done much sewing since Donna Brasher's home ec class in high school. In keeping with my summer mantra {see post 2 below}, the pattern is "Simplicity 2672." Should be interesting, but here's to our new hobby!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Mixed Bathing

This is Addison and her Eagle's Nest boyfriend Jackson. She's quite the water baby, and we had so much fun today at Jen's with Becky and Angie! I love summer!

This is Addison's favorite thing to sleep in. She is recognizing who Elmo is, carries her Elmo with her wherever she goes, bends over to see Elmo on her onesie and giggles. As soon as she wakes up, she crawls to find her balls that Eli Stapler gave her. Think she might be a soccer girl?

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


is the ultimate sophistication," says my Life is Good coffee mug. And I'm buying it. This summer I am seeking simplicity.

And right now I'm enjoying the quiet that comes with morning nap time.