Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fun with old things...

This weekend we tried to recreate this: (me at about the age Addison is now)
But I'm not a bonnet girl (meaning I don't know how to tie/position them because my daughter doesn't wear them), and about the best we could come up with was this: (my same dress and bonnet after many laughs, readjustments, wardrobe malfunctions, etc.)
It was fun, but I think we'll try for another photo shoot tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's finally starting to pay off...

So, this summer I posted looking for couponing tips. I have been "getting the hang of it" over the past several months, and with the help of this book that I got with a birthday giftcard (Thanks, Ames!), I am figuring out how to make it work:
This past week I saved 40% of my bill. I spent $102 this past week, and I saved $68. Plus, I've only read 4 chapters of the book so far! I used the strategies that she suggested, and I am hoping that I can hone my strategies even more, consequently saving more. So, I'd love to keep hearing any tips you have that you are figuring out along the way.

Although I'm only 4 chapters in, I'd recommend this book if you are interested in saving some moo-lah!

It's about to be Spring Consignment Season, and I am gearing up to plan my strategies with that again too!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Teacher moment of the day...

"Let us think of ways to encourage one another
to outbursts of love and good deeds."
~Hebrews 10:24

Everyone needs encouragement... As a teacher, I don't get a lot of "atta boy" pats on the back. That was my choice though. Venturing into the high school English classroom doesn't always provide a teacher with inspiration, appreciation, validation. But every once in a while I have one of those moments that makes my profession, my calling, worth it.

Today, one of my former students signed a scholarship to play soccer. It was a big deal. Last week, I received an email from her mother inviting me to be there. She said that I was her daughter's "favorite teacher in high school, and I had instilled a love of reading and learning in her that would continue to influence her in her coming years." I was so humbled. I had no idea. I "keep up" with this student like I do all my former kiddos--catching up when I see them in hallways, ask them sports questions if they are athletes, music/theater questions if they are drama kids, but it's mostly just polite chit chat. To be invited to a scholarship signing by the parents of a former student was a high honor to me--silly as it may seem to some of you--and you better believe I got coverage for my class and showed up. It was cool. I am so proud of her.

I only wish the feeling had continued into the next 30 minute period when I received an angry email from a parent questioning me on why I hadn't recommended their child to take AP English next year... Ah the fleeting joys of the high school world. I'm gonna live on that first moment for awhile though.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rainy Days, the new Chick Fil-A, and some sweet moments of late

It's been raining quite a bit here, but this little girl doesn't seem to mind. She's a tad bit obsessed with her new rain gear... coming at me with her boots, saying, "MoMma... Boots!!!" as she sits down and motions for me to put them on her.

Last night we ventured to the new Chick Fil-A that opened with our good friends the Stephens. Addison started "Moo-ing" as soon as we pulled into the parking lot. She had so much fun playing with her bud, Carter. They "hugged" several times--here is a shot of one of those times.

Isn't this little guy adorable?

Loving her time in the toddler play area... Speaking of Chick Fil-A playgrounds... Have you ever noticed that these play areas are very loosely chaperoned at best. The four of us pretty much set up a barricade in the toddler area because so many big kids were pushing our tykes around. Not wanting to be "helicopter parents," what do you think is the proper amount of supervision in venues like this? Just curious.
Addison loves her "Ruf." This is a stuffed hot pink dog with turquoise ears that her teachers at school got her. The only other stuffed animal she's taken to is her Elbo (Elmo), but this dog takes the cake. She'll hug him and go, "Awwww. Ruf Ruf Ruf." She never lets him go. Seriously.

This pic was before her Sunday afternoon nap. She had a busy morning at church. She's decided she loves church. We pulled in this morning, and she started saying, "Yay!" and giggling. She made it through most of the service with the aide of goldfish, her quiet book, and her crayon pouch, and when it came time for class, she said, "Bible? Pat Bible?" Earlier in the week, she had gone to Patrick's bedside table, picked up P's Bible, brought it to me, and said, "BIBLE!" So we patted it, and we opened it, and pointed to the words, and said, "God loves Addison!" She repeated it and clapped while yelling, "YAY!" It melted my heart. Melted.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

We've been referred...

Despite her urgent pleas to "Momma... Daddy... Dowa (Dora)... Elbo (Elmo)..." as she endured her most recent ear exam, nobody could rescue sweet Addison from her 7th ear infection (and 3rd double) of her short life.

Her vicious cycle: Start working on a new tooth (of which she now has a whopping total of 6); drool; drool some more; runny nose; runny nose some more; ear infection. Her sweet little eustachian tubes cannot drain her excess fluid.

So we've been referred. I've made a tentative appointment in 3 weeks, and we wait and see how these ears heal up this go around. In the meantime, say a prayer for little Pilly... and her momma who's trying not to be afraid of tubes.

Monday, January 11, 2010

One of my favorite things about my sister

She still calls me to keep me updated on the newest "booty music."

On today's list: Ludacris' "How Low" and The Black Eyed Peas' "Imma Be."

When I asked her how to spell Ludacris so I could Grooveshark it, she rattled it off like I'd ask her how to spell her own name.

She's the best.

Where it all began: Circa 1989
One of our many goofy college dance party pics: Circa 2000
In other news, my great friend Kris has joined the blogging world, and she has interesting stuff to say. Read her It's Krismet thoughts if you get a chance!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sweet moment of the day...

Rocking Addison to sleep, she sang...

"A, B, C, D, eeeee, uh, G, Addy, Addy, all fall DOWN! YAY!"

Love her.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Some of my current favs...

This funny face saying "cheese..."
Using this great resource to help plan my weekly meals and grocery lists... and feeling inspired through keeping up with her unique story and witty words. I love her photography tutorials and her harlequin story is worth the read for sure! Plus, she knows what she's doing in the kitchen. Her mac and cheese is scrumptious.

Listening to my favorite songs on demand on the great Grooveshark. While I will always be a loyal Pandora member, my instant gratification moments are best met by Grooveshark--

especially when I want to hear my favorite songs from my favorite show. I have not missed an episode, and I refuse to delete them on my DVR. I feel like I LIVE this show. I can find a match to every single one of the characters from my students, and the music just makes me happy--Mr. Schu's not too bad either... :)
Rereading and TEACHING my favorite book by my favorite author to my AP kiddos in conjunction with our "gender" unit.

Graduating myself from a "My Agenda" and keeping my life organized with my new "Mom Agenda."

Ending my day studying one of my favorite books of the Old Testament with Beth Moore's unique commentary. This go around I'm reading Esther as a suspenseful, complex God-orchestrated road to self-discovery with a rapturous love story, and I can hardly wait to settle down with it--and a cup of hot tea--each evening.Waking up to this pretty toothy grin, chapped cheeks and all!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Favorite moment of the snow day...

Addison has been calling the snow "milk" (bee-uwk) all day. She runs to the door, points both fingers in the air, and yells "milk!" Hilarious.
This concerned look on her face transpired as she was anxiously awaiting Swiper's attempt at swiping Dora's cake for the 3 Kings Feast. :) I could eat her up!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Happy Birthday to...

these 2 pretty girls tomorrow! And good luck to your team tonight! :)

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

We did our dance...

and it worked! Pajamas inside out, snow angels on the ground, and we're getting our 1st snow day. Sure the snow is hypothetical still at this point, but even if it doesn't make it our way, I'm sure my little person and I will find something fun to do:

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Needing some more of HIS Power...

in our little girl's weakness this week. It's been a traumatic one for her.

She loves school typically. Miss Mary Jean and Miss Ann have been like 3rd and 4th grandmothers to her, and she would get so excited to see them each morning. She became so attached. So did they.

This week she moved up to a new class...with new teachers, new toys, new everything. She naps on a cot and has to feed herself completely independently. She has cried all day--off and on--for 2 days straight. When they took her on a walk yesterday to come see me, it made it even worse... She ate all of her lunch the first day, but today she hardly ate anything. I saw her at the pep rally, and all was good. She was dancing and laughing and clapping, and she didn't even cry when she saw me. When we got home, though, she ran immediately to her chair, said "up," "gogur" (yogurt), and then scarfed it down. Then she asked for a "bar." Then she ate goldfish... Poor baby. At least she gets to spend the day with her Jaydee tomorrow.

I also have a nutrition question for any of you moms with any advice. Vegetables??? LOVED LOVED LOVED her some baby food vegetables. Now, NADA. Liked green beans the first time--refuses them now. Liked carrots the first time--GAGS at them now. Brocolli with cheese is hit or miss... Any suggestions??? They are welcome here for sure!

Monday, January 04, 2010

His power works best in our weakness...

That sure was the truth today.

We had it all planned--our lunches made, our bags packed, our clothes laid out. We were in bed by 10, ready to accomplish one of our New Year's resolutions of getting up at 5:30 so we could actually enjoy our morning.

Then she happened. Maggie happened. 1:45 a.m. She started pooting loud poots that woke her up, freaked her out, and STUNK. Worse smell ever. She started chasing her butt, sniffing the air and crying, crawling up my back, then down, then over Patrick to do the same. He took her out, and she evidenced her stomach ailments. And she was so emotional about it--freaking out all over the place. We called the emergency number at our vet's office, and Patrick was at Walgreens at 2:53 a.m. while I tried to keep the poor girl calm. A dose of benadryl and pepto bismal later, she seems to be back into the swing of things...

Not us. Sleepless night. Poor Patrick--his first day of his new job was today, and he hardly slept. As for me, it was my first day of the 2nd semester, and I hardly slept. For Miss Addison, it was her first day in the big girl room at school, and she hardly slept because of some emerging teeth...and then was upset all day today. Rough all around.

We had big plans for tonight--to go our to dinner with friends to celebrate a 30th birthday, to celebrate P's first night of being officially back. It didn't happen. We were wiped--emotionally, physically, psychologically...

So we bailed, came home, and in my sheer exhaustion and thankfulness that His grace sustained me through the day, made my husband another supper--this time turkey meatloaf with mashed potatoes--a recipe from Real Simple last February. I'm not a meatloaf girl, but this one was made with spinach and mustard, and I scarfed it down. In addition to using my les creseut again for the potatoes, I also used these sadly often overlooked kitchen utensils:

First, my vegetable chopper. I took a cooking class at Williams-Sonoma, was mesmerized by this gadget, and have used it ever since. I used it last night to chop my carrots and celery, today to chop my spinach and onion.

Secondly, my egg separater. I received this as a wedding gift from my Pampered Chef shower. I have only used it one other time in my 4+years of marriage, but it sure came in handy tonight since this recipe called for 1 egg white.

After a long day, it was enjoyable to come to my house and cook in my kitchen with my little helper so excited to stand on her stool and help her mommy. Her daddy liked his dinner too!

I'm off to bed to make up for last night.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Re-entry and my favorite Christmas present

Re-Entry. I learned this phrase from my mom, and it always referred to the first weeks after tax season when my dad was finally around more. She'd been running things for 3+ months while he'd been working like crazy, and during those transitional weeks, they had to reestablish some ground rules.

Now that P and I are permanently back under the same roof (meaning he's not traveling for his job anymore--not from being "separated"--just clarifying), we are relearning each other. This is exciting in many ways, and it is challenging in others. I'm calling it our "re-entry." We're reestablishing our ground rules. We are both leaders in our own ways; we can both be stubborn; we both feel pretty strongly about "our way" being the best. I've been running things for 10 months, and he's ready to get back into the game. We have had many important conversations, some calm and some heated, and we are so thankful for each step in this process, each of our growing pains. We know that the Lord will use this time to stretch us (like He did this entire past year) and strengthen our marriage. Patrick having the opportunity to work back here is what we have been praying for, and I'm ever thankful and lucky that the Lord answered our prayers and that Patrick is my husband.

His being back means that I *get* to cook more. Preparing meals for 1 got pretty old, so I am trying to add some new things to my repertoire. Tonight I used my new favorite Christmas present:

and I made Southern Living's January recipe for Chicken and Dumplings. Yum. It was good. I needed to cook my man a good supper so he could get ready to start his new job tomorrow.

Lots of new things are beginning tomorrow!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

You know the tables have turned...

when you spend your own Christmas gift card on your daughter...

and you are more excited about what you got for her than anything you could have found for yourself.

Mom and I trekked to Anthropologie last week to spend my gift card and utilize my Birthday month discount. They had the most adorable children's pieces. I couldn't resist.

I did pick up the cute sweater at the bottom for me, and I have some credit left that I'm saving for something springy too. Fun shopping day.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Nothing says "Happy New Year!" like...

a clean house!

With clean closets!

Usually, I'm the person who keeps her fingers crossed that when people come over, noone will venture to put anything in a closet or mistake a closet for a bathroom or anything of the like. That's because in mad dash attempts to clean, I usually procrastinate and start shoving things in closets.

Today, I want to invite you over, and will you PLEASE look in all of my closets... especially, you, Mom!

When Patrick and I got back from Decatur, we decided that during our time off, we would make our first transition out of survival mode and organize our life. For us, that meant going through every closet, every drawer, every attic space. It meant 3 trips to goodwill and 2 trips to the dump. It meant getting on the floor and cleaning baseboards. It meant cleaning our cleaning supplies.

And after several days...we're DONE. And it feels GOOD.

So here's to New Year's Resolution #1: Keep a clean(er) and more organized house!