Thursday, May 31, 2012

It was a good day

Monday was a holiday we celebrated to show gratitude for the people who have fought for our freedom.

Our family did that, and we also felt gratitude for a day of togetherness, a day of simple fun, a day of making ordinary things special, another day to enjoy this precious life. It was a good day.

Monday, May 28, 2012

1st road trip of the summer

Saturday, Linds and I took our big girls on a road trip to Florence, Alabama. We were in dire need of some sister time, and our ever-obliging husbands were oh-so-compliant with the "out" we gave them from going to another wedding. :)

We decided we'd let our big girls tag along since they are at the age where weddings are magical. Addison has been addicted since the royal wedding last spring. She is a little confused at the terminology, calling the bridesmaids "fairies" and the bride and groom "princess and prince."

This was the wedding of a sweet friend from Auburn that Linds and I both adored. There's just something about those Auburn friendships... We reminisced on our car ride about some of those special relationships. I was thankful to get to catch up with Haley and meet sweet Emma Kate and with Katie and meet spunky Mason (sad we got out of there without a pic of those last 2).

We had fun letting the girls throw rocks in "the ocean" and dance to the music while we celebrated Leslie and Shane and ate some of the best wedding cake I have ever tasted.

The girls crashed on the way home, and Linds and I didn't stop talking the whole time. It was a wonderful first summer Saturday, and we were so glad we got to go!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Wrapping Things Up

This year's end was different than others. Usually amidst the "let's get this over with" feelings of desperation, there is a euphoric sense of accomplishment. I usually write about this feeling most years... Primarily so I will remember. And there was still some of that. Just not as much.

I know one reason why: I had to take Ansley to work with me. During the last week of exams, my girls passed around the hand, foot, mouth virus. Of course they did. My parents were in London, so there was no back-up plan, so sweet Ansley got to hear honors portfolio media project presentations. She was a trooper, but it wore us both out.

The main reason for the anticlimactical ending, though, is the inevitable dismantling of my very special friend group. Since I have been at IHS, I have made some of the best friends of my life... Friends who I have entered the world of motherhood with, friends who I have experienced the highs, lows, and mundane moments of life with, friends who I have connected with on literary, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual levels. We have celebrated weddings, babies, 30th birthdays, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th birthdays. Our husbands have golfed together. We have done life together.

Now we are dispersing. One family is moving to South Carolina, another to a different part of Tennessee. One friend fell victim to downsizing of students and staff, and another is trying to move to the district where her son will start kindergarten. Others of us are just considering different career and life options.

In the midst of a building filled with teenage, staff, and political drama, my friends have been my safe place. I have no doubt that we will remain close friends, but our day-to-day will be different.

That thought just makes me sad. When I left on Friday... Not knowing when might return... I came home, got in the bed, pulled the covers over my head, and prayed for Jesus to come back. :) It was one of those kinds of days.

Thankfully, Friday night pulled me out of my funk. A friend organized a family gathering at Arrington Vineyards. It was perfect. Addison and Ansley got to run amuck with their Eagle's Nest buddies while the mommies and daddies got to enjoy the music and atmosphere in reflective and lighthearted peace. Patrick and I couldn't believe we had never been before. On the way home, Addison said that vineyards are so much better than restaurants!

Who really knows what next year holds for any of us, and our evening was the perfect way to celebrate and ring out the 11-12 school year. Love you, friends.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Firsts and Lasts

Cannot believe another school year has gone by. It almost makes me gasp when I see the changes in the girls from their first day of school to their last. I sure do love these little boogers!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I did a trial run on pdub's vanilla bean scones a few weeks ago. I intended to make them again for my friend Heather's shower... Until I found out that 1 measly vanilla bean costs a whopping $8.95 at public. This recipe calls for 3. I have since learned that you can find paste at Williams-Sonoma, but still... They were good, but I think I will try blueberry scones next time.

A week or so later, we ate at the Stephens' house, and April made this super yummy butterfinger dessert. When I asked for the recipe, she laughed at me and said that she got it off of one of my pin boards on Pinterest. I didn't even remember pinning it, but it is a Weight Watcher's dessert. I have made it again since, and it is super yummy.

I am blogging from my phone and don't know how to move pictures around or share links, but the scones recipe is on the food network blog and the butterfinger one is on my "yummies" board. Enjoy!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Shrimp and Grits

Ever since my 20 year old summer in Charleston, shrimp and grits has been one of my favorite low country dishes. During a recent week of "shop my pantry and freezer" cooking, I made this with ingredients on hand. It was yummy.

I thawed some frozen, peeled and deveined shrimp and seasoned them with trusty ole' Old Bay. I think I used about a pound of shrimp.

Meanwhile I boiled 3 cups of chicken broth, and cooked a cup of grits in there according to the box directions.

Then I mixed the grits with the shrimp, a drained can of rotel, and whatever cheese I had on hand. I think I used cheddar, Monterey jack, and even a little velveeta that I had left over--Between a cup and a cup and a half. I have used pepper jack before, and that is good if you like it extra spicy.

I kept the mixture in my pan, and then I baked it until the cheese was melted and bubbly. My family thanked me. :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Teacher Love

My girls have been blessed this year with some of the sweetest teachers ever. They nurture their spirits and let them be themselves and teach them well. My girls adore them, and so do I. We thanked them recently with some teacher appreciation gifts and end of year gifts. The first pic is for the teacher appreciation day, the second is what I gave the lead teachers, and the third is the graduation gifts I gave the co-op girls.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mother's Day

It sure was sweet this year! Between treats from school that the girls made, gifts from church, and Patrick's shopping trip with the girls, I was pampered and even a little spoiled.

On Sunday morning, I got to sleep in and read a magazine and eat breakfast in bed-- for the first time ever! We went to church, and then during the girls' naps, I watched a movie. It was the perfect rainy afternoon.

After nap time, we celebrated with my sweet mom. It was a great day. Being a mom is such a blessing... And such a huge job... Patrick and I are thankful for our mothers.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Baby Love

One of my dearest friends is expecting. It has been so sweet to get to see her embrace the fulfilled longing of impending motherhood, to watch her grow in excitement, to grow in love, and to grow this precious son of hers.

Jude Briley Price is already one lucky little boy to have such fabulous parents, and it was such a joy to shower this family with love.

We planned this shower around the nursery theme and books... Because what new momma--who is also an English teacher--doesn't love the building of a children's library.

Here are some pictures of the party decor. I hope to snag a pic of the hostesses and mommy in the making that I will post later.
Isn't she a pretty pregnant lady?
This was my gift for the little guy, plus my book choice of The Little Engine That Could... Because boys love trains, duh!
April made these from scratch. She is a culinary rock star for sure.
Our cookies...that are upside down... Sheesh, but still cute.
The food spread. We did a Sunday brunch menu, and it was all super yummy.
Karen graciously opened her inviting home, and this cool and recently refinished hutch served as a focal point for some of our shower decor and sweets.
Drinking mocktails out of mason jars and cool striped straws just made us feel appropriately pinterested. :)
Ever since I became a mom and began hosting birthday parties for my girls, I am obsessed with 2 things: banners and tissue pom poms. My friends feel the same way.
You can see the cute invitation in the background, and we made book plate labels for guests to fill out for Jude.

It was a wonderful afternoon, and we just cannot wait to meet this sweet boy!