Monday, December 21, 2009

Riding the Crazy Train

Every now and then I get a little lost
my strings all get tangled, my wires all get crossed
Every now and then I'm right upon the edge
Dangling my toes just over the ledge

~Kenny Chesney, You Save Me

This song describes exactly how I have been feeling for the last couple of months. I have tried everything I know to snap out of my funk but nothing has worked. In fact, in some ways, I have managed to make it worse. It has been escalating on a daily basis and by Friday I was on the verge of a panic attack. So, I did what I do best.

I ran.

Well, more driving than running, but you get my point. My sweet friend Christen invited me to get away to her house in Mississippi and before I knew it, I was on the road! It felt so good to be spontaneous and just do something instead of thinking about all the reasons why I shouldn't go.

Saturday morning her hubby headed off to New Orleans for a bowl game. We were still feeling a little restless so we decided to pack up the girls and join him! We left at a much more respectable hour though, since traveling with babies who have napped recently is infinitely better than tired, cranky babies in the car. The girls did beautifully together and we just kept laughing about how bizarre it was that we were taking a road trip together. We got there and spent the whole day wandering the city.

My word, there are some interesting people there. I'm fighting with my computer but I promise to post pictures soon. There was one woman who was wearing a shirt that hit her right at her waist with what I thought were leggings.

No, no, they were tights. Just tights. No undergarments.

I almost pushed the stroller into 10 people trying to get a picture to post without her realizing that I was taking pictures of her. None of them came out perfectly, but I never claimed to be a professional. And I am sure that Annie Leibowitz does not have bangs, a stroller, or a thousand drunk Saints fans to interfere with her photography greatness.

After a truly wonderful day, we packed up the girls and headed home. It was such an easy, successful trip that we are already planning our next road trip. We plan to brainwash our children into believing that this is a way of life so that they'll be seasoned travelers by the time they get old enough to start driving us nuts. Portable DVD players go a loooong way.

Yesterday was my dad's birthday, so I stopped in Birmingham on my way home and told him Alaina wanted to sing to him in person. He and my mom had no idea that I was coming so they were both thrilled to death that we were there. It was so nice to see them and it gave me a great break to stretch my legs and get something to eat. We finally got back on the road and got home late last night.

It was a wonderful, exhilarating, exhausting weekend and it was exactly what I needed...an open stretch of highway, good music, and time to sort out all my thoughts. Some of the things that I've been struggling with were suddenly crystal clear. Some are still murky, but it was only one weekend after all.

And this crazy train has been around for a long time...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Perfect Definition

Chatting with an old friend last night who described me as:

"delightfully sarcastic and bluntly amusing."

Love it!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tiny Little Bug

Tonight, I got to spend some much-needed time with Hailey and her sweet Logan. I am amazed at how much he's grown in the last month! Even though he's definitely getting bigger, he still seems so tiny next to Alaina. I love knowing that our babies are growing up together and can only hope that they will always remain good friends.

Don't you just love his sweet baby face?!?! He was being so good and just stared at the camera the whole time we were taking pictures.


He felt so small tucked into my arms. Alaina weighed 2 whole pounds more than he did when she was born! Of course, by the time we held her, she was so full of tubes and fluid that she was super heavy. It's been a long time since I snuggled a baby that tiny.


Our two babies snuggled up together! In between pictures Alaina kept leaning over and trying to kiss the side of his face. Hailey and I are thrilled they are so taken with one another because we have already considered an arranged marriage. We would get to be in-laws and could pass over all those pesky dating problems that parents of teenagers have...


Now if I could only find a way to skip the years of sighing and eye-rolling!!!




Sunday, December 13, 2009

Off to see Santa

I have been very apprehensive about taking Alaina to go see Santa. It's something that I've been looking forward to since last Christmas and SO many of my friends have had horrible experiences trying to see Santa. Either their kids were crying the whole time or they freaked out and just refused to go near him. I realize that I have no control over how it went so I am thrilled to report that...


She LOVED it! My happy little baby smiled and talked the whole time that she sat on his lap. Everyone in line commented on how cute she was and my heart swelled with pride. Santa was so sweet with her and just laughed when she got her fingers tangled in his beard. Overall the experience was just about as perfect as I could have hoped for!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Inviting the Crazies

Do I have some sort of beacon that calls out to crazy people? Something that says I am just waiting to hear what they have to say? It happens every where I go! Understand me please, I am not talking about generally chatty people, as I am one. I will make friends anywhere, anytime. Seriously. I met my friend Maria because I was lusting after her silver purse and just had to know where she got it.

But I think you have to draw the line somewhere. Tonight I was at the gas station, minding my own business, and the woman at the pump next to me starts talking. I am being friendly and listening, but then she starts telling me about how she is banned from the front office at work for being unprofessional. As I'm nodding along, wishing the pump would move a little faster, she continues on, telling me how she got passed up for a promotion because she's a woman and her boss said she just has penis envy but it's not true because, "hers is bigger".

What???

I just stared at her dumbfounded for a minute. The shock wore off and I quickly finished at the pump and drove away, laughing out loud at the absurdity of it all.

So, if you are embracing the crazy tonight, bring it on! My ears are open and ready to listen...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cookie Exchange



Cranberry & White Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon brandy
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchement paper.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and brandy. Combine the flour and baking soda; stir into the sugar mixture. Mix in the white chocolate chips and cranberries. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets.
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes in the preheated oven. For best results, take them out while they are still doughy. Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.


If any of you have any great cookie recipes, now is the time to share them!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Brutal Honesty

A few days ago, I shared my obsession with laying under the Christmas tree. Scotlon happened to be home last night when I crawled under and this was our conversation:

Him: What on earth are you doing?
Me: Looking at the lights. Come lay down with me.
Him: I don't want to.
Me: Please. It will be fun.
Him: Fine. (He sighs and crawls under the tree)

30 seconds pass...

Him: You are a FREAK! This is dumb. (gets up and walks away)

I love it when we share.

Be encouraged

Every Tuesday I look forward to reading the Titus 2 Tuesday at happyascanb. She honors the amazing women in her life each week and I think it's so awesome! We spend too much time tearing each other down instead of building our sisters up. This week she asked any who want to participate to share about the women that encourage us and the women that teach us Godly lessons.

I am so encouraged by each of the women in my life in different ways and I couldn't do it without any of them. You see, I need the person who will let me whine ENDLESSLY and never tell me to snap out of it. Who will ask if I want advice or just to vent and then do whichever I choose. The person who will not only join me, but will throw one heck of a pity party for me at the drop of a hat. Who will inflate my ego and tell me 1000 times how wonderful I am for no reason.

If she was the only person though, I would be so much harder to live with than I already am! I also need the person who will let me whine when it's justified, but tell me when I'm harping too long and need to move on. Who will prayerfully and in love, get in my face and tell me that I need to clean up my act, stop being an idiot, and get right with Jesus. The person who I ask when I need a brutally honest, don't-hold-anything-back, opinion because I know that she will tell me EXACTLY what she thinks. You know, in the nicest way possible.

I need the person who will sit quietly and hold my hand, transfering all her love and strength to me in the silence. Who knows me so well that no words are needed to convey exactly what she's thinking.

I need the woman who knows my past, loves me in the present, and looks forward to being a part of my future.

I need the woman who has struggled with the same things that I am struggling with so that she knows exactly how to pray for me.

I need the woman who knows my deepest, darkest secrets and still refuses to pass judgement.

I could go on forever because each woman in my life plays a different, vital role but this post is getting long already. So tonight, I thank ALL of the women in my life for the unique blessings that they bring to my life. I wouldn't be who I am without your influence!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Unspoken

I am usually specific in my prayer requests, but tonight I ask you to lift up someone without knowing who or why. Lift up the person that is walking a dark and scary road tonight. Pray without ceasing for strength and courage. For wisdom in all decision making. That our Abba Father will wrap loving arms around this person and pour out His love. For the peace that passes all understanding. Please stop what you are doing and get on your knees now.


Romans 8:26: In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

Thank you so very much,

Stephanie

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I'm a little all over the place

I'm a little scattered tonight so I'm posting bulletin-style instead of trying to write something cohesive.

~My Christmas tree is finally up and decorated. The rest of the house is on it's way but not quite done yet. I figured about the time we finish, it will be time to take it all down again.

~Alaina has a cold and a double ear infection. She has not been a super happy baby this weekend for good reason. On the upside, she seems to like the way her antibiotic tastes so we're not having to fight her to get it down.

~I'm a little over drama and the people who thrive on it. I know that we can't always avoid drama in our lives (hello!) but there are people who just love to be in the middle of it all. It's like they can't function unless all the attention is focused on them. You know exactly the kind of people I am talking about. You probably know at least one.

~Football is a beautiful thing unless you're watching your team self-destruct. It is then the most frustrating thing in the world. This was the case in my house on Saturday night and I would like some credit for not throwing the remote control.

~Sometimes I wish that no one knew that *I* was the one writing this blog. And then I could write exactly what I feel or think without the worry of upsetting someone that I might wish to write about.

~It's so cold here and I love it. I really, really wish that we would get snow again this year. Preferably on a weekend so I can really enjoy it.

~I have only purchased 2 Christmas presents so far. I am WAY behind and instead of being stressed about it I am very zen. I plan on shopping like a man this year and finishing the rest of it on the 23rd and 24th.

~I have to stop posting random things and go put together bottles to send with Alaina tomorrow. Aren't you glad that there is finally an end to this nonsense???

Saturday, December 5, 2009

New trick

It takes her a full minute or so to get warmed up but she is LOUD after that!

video

Friday, December 4, 2009

$100 buys a lot of chocolate

Big Mama and the fabulous people at Hershey's have sponsored a $100 giveaway! I don't know about you, but after all the holiday crazy, I could use a little extra spending money. All you have to do is leave a comment with your favorite family tradition during the holidays. Head on over here and enter for your chance to win!

There are so many things that I love about Christmas. Listening to Christmas music alone is enough to make a rotten day instantly better. Something about the way the house glows with lights makes me all warm and fuzzy. The smells of the tree mingle with baking cookies and cinnamon candles. Watching A Charlie Brown Christmas and The Grinch all snuggled up with my honey on the couch. Starbucks Christmas Blend coffee.

My favorite tradition though (silly as it may seem), is laying underneath the tree and looking up at the lights. When all I can see is the glitter of the ornaments hanging on green branches and the tiny white lights, all is right with the world. Time stands still and for just a moment everything else fades away. I am looking forward to crawling under there with Alaina this year and can only hope that she is as mesmerized at the lights as I am.

What is your favorite Christmas tradition?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Fortune Cookies

One of my silly guilty pleasures is fortune cookies. I don't always think that they're accurate but I love to open them up and read the tiny paper. I even have a box where I keep all of them so I can look back later and laugh at them. Lately there have been a few that have stared at, jaw on the floor, because they've been so unbelievably perfect.

So, last night I took a break from all the cooking I usually do (ha!) and we ordered Chinese. When the food arrived, I opened my fortune first because it's my fortune and I am not known for my patience. It was:

"An unexpected event will soon make your life more exciting."

Hmmm...I can definitely think of a few unexpected things that would make my life MUCH more exciting! Winning the lottery is somewhere near the top of that list...though I'm pretty sure I have to play the lottery before I can win the lottery. Details.

Scotlon's fortune was just as good:

"You will soon be picked for a promotion."

Wouldn't that be great?!? He would love to move up and I've already started dreaming about/spending the extra money in my head.

Because if the fortune cookie says it, it must be true, right?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Santa Baby

Me Ma and Pa Pa brought Alaina this super cute Santa hat to sport this Christmas. Of course we had to try it on her immediately! She was (of course) adorable and thought her hat was great. I am so, so glad that she loves wearing hats. It's going to make this winter much easier!





How can anyone resist that face???

Monday, November 30, 2009

Trustworthy

"Trust enables you to put your deepest feelings and fears in the palm of your partner's hand, knowing they will be handled with care." - Carl S. Avery

I read this and thought it was incredibly accurate. I've realized reccently that there are very few people that I trust enough to truly open up to with my most intimate thoughts and feelings. That I can say anything to without fear of judgement or criticism. That I can tell my deepest, darkest secrets to and know that they are safe. That I can be completely open and vulnerable with. That will always have my best interest at heart. Very few people that I willingly share every aspect of my life with. That I can be 100% myself around.

And you know what? I am okay with that. Because those few are more precious to me than anything in the world. So to my "people" that are good, honorable, and worthy of trust...

Thank you.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

5 months

Due to the crazy of the holiday and everything else going on, I am a couple days late getting Alaina's 5 month pictures up. She is getting so big, so fast! She talks very loudly and ALL THE TIME. I can't imagine where she gets her gift of gab from...

She is so animated! She has really started to realize that she can grab things and pull them. Mostly she just grabs my hair, but she caught my lip the other day and that hurt!


We officially entered the stage where EVERYTHING goes in our mouth. And if it's too big to put in her mouth she will just press her mouth against it and gnaw on it.
I am so incredibly grateful to have my baby girl. When I think back on the beginning and how far we've come it brings tears to my eyes. I am so blessed by this sweet, healthy daughter that God has given me!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

My Sadie

I don't have a lot for tonight. My sweet Sadie had to be put to sleep today and it's been rough. To make matters worse, it was totally unexpected so I didn't even have time to prepare for it. I've had her for more than 5 years and she was my baby. While I am so, so sad that she's not with us anymore, I am glad to know that she's not hurting anymore. I thought I'd post some pictures of my girl...

This picture always cracks me up! She had really long fur that got tangled so we had to give her a bath periodically. She was NOT happy with us.


I took this on Christmas last year. I was playing with my new camera and she was just sitting at my feet looking up the whole time.

Even though she was my baby, she was a Georgia fan. She loved to stick both her front paws into Scotlon's slippers and then take a nap. No matter where he left the slippers, we'd find her sacked out in them.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Change. It's inevitable.

Change. It's inevitable. No matter what you do, there's no way to stop it. It's going to happen at some point so you might as well embrace it.

Riiiiiight.

Every year, I spend the day after Thanksgiving shopping with Hailey and the rest of the Norton crew. There are usually 7 or 8 of us and we have honed our Black Friday skills. Seriously, we have walkie-talkies and we're not afraid to use them. We are gone roughly 19-20 hours from the time we pull out until the time we pull in again. It is exhausting and exhilarating and just plain fun.

This year there will be no shopping. No thermos of coffee, no code names, no stop at the McDonald's in Greenville on the way home. Don't get me wrong, it's not that we don't want to go; it's just not feasible this year. Something about major abdominal surgery 2 weeks ago and two infants that don't need to be exposed to all those germs. We hope that we will go again next year when life isn't quite so crazy. I will get over it, but tonight I'm a little sad that it's changing.

I generally avoid change like the plague. I like things all happy and lined up in a neat little row. There is no hiding from it though. And this year has been one for changes! It's been full of new jobs, babies, and a million unexpected things. While my first instinct is to panic, I keep trying to remind myself that some change really is good. It's just that while it's being good, there's a fear of the unknown. It can be scary when you don't know what's up ahead!

It is also a little exciting too though. New people, new experiences can lead to a place that you never dreamed you would be, doing things you never dreamed you would be doing. I want to get swept up in the excitement instead of being crippled by the fear. I want to embrace change for breaking up the monotony of life. I want to seek out new challenges.

While all of those things are true, there is still a tiny part of me that wants things to stay exactly the way that they are because that is where I am comfortable. That is what I know.

So today, I will sit at home and drink my coffee from a Thermos and do a little online shopping to make it feel more real. I might even make Scotlon talk to me on the walkie-talkie from the other end of the house.

After all, while I have decided to try and embrace change, there's nothing that says I have to embrace it all at once...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

video7

Our little turkey talking to daddy after dinner! He was the one filming, hence all the shaking.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Date Night

Tonight Scotlon and I did something that we haven't done in a long time.


We went on a date.



It was wonderful. We haven't been on a date since we brought Alaina home from the hospital and we were in desperate need of one. It was so nice to have some adult time where we could talk without one of us tending to a baby. Not that we don't love our child to pieces, but we just needed to be "us" again. I even had my mom take a picture of us to mark this great event.







Wow, we are some seriously pale people.



After a wonderful dinner, we wandered the mall and did some shopping. It's amazing how quickly the shopping high sets in. It's been so long that I think I actually forgot how much I love to just browse with nothing in particular in mind. No where to be, nothing to do, but just look. I am so, so thankful that my hubby likes to browse too so it was fun for both of us.



After we shopped all that our wallets will allow (and then some since VS was having a sale), we headed over to the movies to see The Blind Side.


If you have not seen it yet, you need to. Even if you're not interested in sports at all. It was incredible and I am so glad that's what we chose to see. Sandra Bullock was just precious and did an awesome job in her role. We don't buy a lot of movies anymore but I can promise you that one will be on our shelf when it comes out. Seriously, go see it. You won't be sorry.





And now that I've told you all about my super exciting evening, I'm off to bed. It's late and tomorrow's going to be a lovely, but very busy day!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Random Thoughts for the Day

So...I had this ready to go for yesterday's post and accidentally hit save instead of post! My blonde is really starting to show...none the less, here it is.

Random Thoughts for the Day

1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How in the world are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this -- ever.

15. I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Darn it!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

16. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

17. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

18. My 4-year old grandson asked me in the car the other day "Dad what would happen if you ran over a ninja?" How the heck do I respond to that?

19. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

20. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite OR Budweiser than Kay.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

very productive day

Being the procrastinator that I am, I waited until the weekend before company coming to tackle my dining room table. For the last 6 months or so, it has served as my craft table and it was COVERED in stamp stuff. In fact, I don't think covered even begins to describe it. If you've visited recently, you can attest to that fact. So, after many hours of cleaning and organizing, I am proud to say that my table now looks like this:

It's been so long since it was clutter free that I forgot how much I love my dining room set! I had to post a close-up of the pretty lilies that my hubby brought me last week. It was a rough week for me and it was so sweet of him to surprise me!


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Christmas Wish List

I was doing some online shopping earlier and came across a few things that I wouldn't mind finding under my tree this year. Bear in mind that under no circumstances will any of these things actually BE under my tree, but a girl can dream, right?

~I would love, love, love to have a new phone this year. Seeing as they don't offer insurance on the iphone, I have been told repeatedly that this is not an option. You drive away with one phone on the roof of your car...

~I have an addiction to coats. I have at least a dozen so I'm sure that means I definitely need this one from Express. I just love the bright blue color!

~These are so pretty. I will NEVER own them since they cost more than my mortgage payment. Should I ever win the lottery though, these babies are mine!

~Best sheets ever hands down. They are on my bed right now and I love them. I just need a couple more sets so that I can rotate instead of washing and then putting my current set right back on.

~I was recently introduced to this lotion and I hate her for getting me addicted. It's stupid expensive but it smells SO good.

~I never cook so the need for a new frying pan really isn't that immediate. When I do decide to I would like to have more than one pan to choose from though.

~Ah, Lush. You are too good for words. I would be happy with any of their products but this body wash is my absolute favorite. It has real cocoa and coffee in it. It's like they made it just for me!

~Just looking at this makes me want to get my craft stuff organized.

~And while we're dreaming big here, wouldn't mind having a pair of these bad boys.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Seriously Cute

My good friend Allison is keeping my girl this week and took this picture of her! It cracks me up!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday's Ten



Today I'm joining Lora in Thursday's Ten! Everyone who knows me will tell you that I'm addicted to quotes. There are so many that I love that it was hard to choose just ten!


"Everybody likes to go their own way–to choose their own time and manner of devotion."
~ Jane Austen


"There are moments in our lives when we find ourselves at a crossroad, afraid, confused, without a roadmap. The choices we make in those moments can define the rest of our days. Of course when faced with the unknown, most of us prefer to turn around and go back."
(One Tree Hill)


"A woman uses her intelligence to find reasons to support her intuition."
~ G.K. Chesterton


"Housework, if you do it right, will kill you."
~ Erma Bombeck


"Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous."
(Sex and the City)


"Those who don't know how to weep with their whole heart, don't know how to laugh either."
~ Golda Meir


"Wherever you go, go with all your heart."
~Confucius


"The truth is the kindest thing we can give folks in the end."
~ Harriet Beecher Stowe


"In a good shoe, I wear a size six, but a seven feels so good, I buy a size eight."
(Steel Magnolias)


"A happy heart makes the face cheerful"
~Proverbs 15:13

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A good day for a run

I got home from work yesterday and decided that it was a good day to go running. No, that's not a typo.

Seriously, pick your jaw up off the floor...I've been known to run on occasion! Mostly when being chased but that's so not the point here.

It was a little damp but a perfect cool fall day. So, I loaded up Alaina and away we went. Thirty seconds later, I remembered why I don't take my child running with me. Strollers are HEAVY. Seeing as my neighborhood has crazy steep hills, I spent the entire hour either being dragged down and trying not to fall, or moving at a snails pace trying to push it back up the hill. Every time I stopped to breath for a second, my child would look at me and laugh. Apparently, mommy about to pass out is the most hilarious thing in the world.

Whatever.

After our run we had a great impromptu photo shoot that resulted in exactly 3 acceptable pictures. I won't tell you how many I took to get those 3. It was so much easier when she was less active!

She loves her jumparoo! She cracks me up because stares at the little animals for the first couple of minutes in awe every time we put her in. It never gets old for her and I love it.
She is the happiest baby all the time! The only exception is if you are jet-lagged and have gotten zero sleep. Then she's a rat and will do nothing but cry and refuse to let you put her down. Mostly, just smiles and giggles.

Scotlon makes fun of me because I have an obsession with her feet. There's just something so sweet about tiny little baby feet!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Crazy Days

What a crazy few days it's been! Sunday morning I took Kris to the airport and it was so sad. We had such a wonderful visit and I've been in a little bit of a funk since she left. Even Alaina misses her. Aunt Kris taught her how to blow raspberries and she refuses to do it now that she's gone!

Hailey & Logan are doing well and settling in at home. He's such a cutie! Alaina usually stays with Hailey but she's hanging out with Allison for the next few weeks. Allison's kiddos, Justin & Chelsea, are so sweet with Alaina. They are thrilled to death to have her there!

Scotlon has a busy schedule this week and then a mid-term on Friday. We will both be SO glad when he is done with school. Only 2 more classes to go!

I am going to completely ignore the fact that I didn't post yesterday and pretend like I didn't fail my 365 day challenge one week in...

Hope that you have a wonderful day!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I saw that going differently in my head...

So often I look around at a moment or situation and think that it didn't go quite the way that I saw it happening originally. Pictures that I tried to take of Alaina. A conversation that went in a totally different direction. A relationship that has completely changed from what it used to be.

I like to have a plan. And a back-up plan. And a back-up, back-up plan. I plan for all of the different variables that might possibly happen. It's so incredibly frustrating when that carefully constructed plan comes crashing down. I want to throw my hands up and just quit planning things all together! After I've analyzed how my plan got a kink in it, I usually go right back to planning it again in a new way. I'm relentless.

However, there are times that my plans get changed and it's so much better than what I had planned. More exciting, more fascinating, more stable, etc. I tend to get so hung up in the fact that it wasn't the way I pictured it that I lose sight of how great the new plan is. I can only hope that as time goes by, I can learn to relax a little and let go of the crazy plans and just trust that there's nothing up ahead that I can't bear.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hailey's Surgery

Good Morning! I'm posting early today to ask for your prayers. My best friend Hailey is having a C-Section this morning! Please pray that everything goes perfectly and that she and baby are both healthy. I'll update as soon as there's more to share!

********************************UPDATE************************************

James Logan Emerson has arrived!
8:06 a.m.
20 1/4" long
6 lbs. 7oz.

Once I've gotten more details and gone to visit I'll have some pictures for you!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Friends

My all time favorite tv show is hands-down 'Friends'. I've watched every episode so many times that I can recite most of them from memory. It never stops being funny and I never get tired of watching. Since we are spending the evening on the couch watching hours upon hours on DVD, I thought I would share some of my favorite quotes.

Carol: Oh, what do you know? No-one's going up to you and saying, "Hi, is that your nostril? Mind if we push this pot roast through it?"

Reporter: I like that. what's your name?
Phoebe: Phoebe. That's, P, as in Phoebe, H, as in heobe, O as in oebe, E, as in ebe, B, as in bebe, and E as in... Ello there mate.

Monica: My motto is get out before they go down.
Joey: That is so not my motto.

Phoebe: We can be guys. Come on, let us be guys.
Chandler: You don't want to be guys, you'd be all hairy and you wouldn't live as long.

Monica: Okay, I've got a leg, three breasts, and a wing.
Chandler: How do you find clothes that fit?

Monica: Is it me? Is it like I have a beacon that only dogs and men with severe emotional problems can hear?

and my all time favorite...

Joey: You're so far past the line, you can't even see the line. The line is a dot to you!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day

Tonight, I just want to take a moment to recognize Veteran's Day and all my friends and family members who have served this country. So often, we take our freedom for granted, but it has come and will continue to come at a great price. Our veterans deserve our thanks for keeping this country the greatest country on earth. Let us all be sure to say thank you to them not just today, but every day!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

Let it go

Over on Without Wax, Pete Wilson wrote a post about striving to be a person who is fast to forgive. I have to say that while it was not what I wanted to hear, it was exactly what I needed to hear tonight. Those who know me will tell you that I am definitely not fast to forgive. I am the queen of holding on to things that I should have let go of years ago.

I don't know why I struggle to let things go. I choose to let things eat at me instead of just moving on and focusing on something else. I know that forgiveness isn't always an easy thing to accomplish, but I rarely even try. I think there's something about holding onto my indignation that makes me feel like I'm taking back a little control over a situation that didn't go as I had planned. It affects every relationship & friendship that I've ever had. I feel very certain that I would be a much happier, lighter person if I could just learn to let it go. I let myself get robbed of so much joy because I'm too busy focusing on who I'm mad at today.

So, going forward I am going to make the conscious decision to be fast to forgive. Or at least make a valiant effort...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Magic Couch

I planned on writing a great creative post today but you know how plans go...

Alaina was super fussy and a serious grump today. My in-laws came and visited for the afternoon and I cringed the entire time because my house is SUCH a disaster. I hate when people come to visit and my house is a mess. Not enough to actually clean it, mind you, but still.

I stayed up entirely too late last night and slept right through church this morning so I don't even have a great sermon to tell you about. Pretty much, this is a post about nothing in particular because I started the 365 day challenge and I can NOT fail on day 3.

I promise that I will have better content in the very near future to share with you.


Oh, and I have a magic, magic couch. In case you wanted to know...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Live, laugh, love

Today was a great day of fun, friends, & football. What could be better?











Friday, November 6, 2009

Like a breath of fresh air

Today has been a wonderful, lazy day. My friend Kristine is here from California and we spent the day just laughing and catching up. I forget how ridiculous and giddy we are until we are together again. She is an absolutely wonderful friend and I feel incredibly blessed to have her in my life.

During the time that Alaina was in the hospital, we were blown away by the love and generosity that was poured out on our little family. One of the most incredible things was done by Kris and her fiance Bryan. Because the majority of my maternity leave was eaten up by Alaina's NICU stay, I was only going to have a week or 2 home with her. She decided that it just wasn't acceptable that I only have a tiny amount of time with my child so she did what any good friend would do.

She threw us a party.

A ton of people that we have never met got together to celebrate my daughter. They donated money. They donated items to raffle off. They made us beautiful handmade gifts that we will cherish forever. A couple weeks after the party, I got a package with the presents and a check that enabled me to stay home for 5 weeks with my baby girl. It was one of the most incredible, generous things that anyone has ever done for us.

I can not express enough how grateful I am to her, and to all of the people that supported us during that season. You blessed us in ways that I can not even begin to describe.

Thank you.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

365 day challenge

There are many areas of my life where I am steadfast and consistent. However, when it come to blogging, I'm a total flake. I am so bad about posting on a regular basis. It's gotten better since Alaina was born but I am still more sporadic than I want to be. I always intend to write more and I even have several posts that I've started and never quite gotten around to finishing. Somehow I manage to get distracted by just about anything else and then forget to post.

In an effort to change that, I'm joining love and marriage on her 365 day blogging challenge. Perhaps if I have to be accountable for my goal, I will actually reach this one! I won't promise that all of my posts will be deep and meaningful, but I will post something every day. So for those of you brave (or crazy) enough to read this, here goes nothing!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Halloween & Game Day

Since I know several of you are Georgia fans, I'll get the game day portion out of the way first. Being the always fair person that I am, Alaina was house divided on Saturday. She wore a black shirt & Georgia socks with her Gators bib. Which she drooled ALL over.

I think she took it to heart when her daddy told her that, "Dawgs rule & Gators drool."

Her first Halloween was wonderful. We spent the evening over at the Emerson's and had such a great time. We took the girls trick-or-treating until it started to get cold and windy. Scotlon and I headed back to the house with Alaina while Hannah braved the elements in search of more candy. She was NOT going to let a little wind get in her way! I don't blame her a bit, by the way. I would have done the same during my trick-or-treating years.

I know that I am a wee bit biased but Alaina was the cutest thing ever. Don't you agree?



I hope that you all had a wonderful and very happy Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Check-up

I just had to write a quick note to tell you how big my sweet girl is getting! At her check-up yesterday she was 12 lbs. 14 oz. (45th percentile) and 24 3/4" (75th percentile). It looks like she's going to be tall and lanky like her daddy!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

4 Months

My sweet baby girl is 4 months old today! It's hard to believe that the time has gone by so quickly. She is doing new things every day and getting bigger by the minute. I swear I pick her up after work and she's heavier than she was when I held her that morning. Hailey swears that she's not feeding her miracle gro but I'm not so sure... We tried to take some 4 month pictures but our photo shoot was not entirely successful.








After several minutes of this, we changed locations and finally got a good one!




My sweet Alaina,
You are such a joy! Your daddy and I are ridiculously in love with you baby girl. You have really found your voice over the last few weeks and you are not afraid to use it! You usually wait until we are trying to talk on the phone and then you chime in nice and loud. After not getting to hear you make any noise for so long, we are always tickled when you talk to us though. You absolutely love your jumparoo and squeal with delight when we put you in it. We love that you are happy and we have free hands to eat dinner with:) While it is a little sad that you are getting SO big, we look forward to seeing what the coming months hold. We are incredibly honored to be your parents and thank God daily for giving you to us.
I love you,
Mommy


Friday, October 23, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

One of my favorite things to do each fall is go to the pumpkin patch. Last year, I found out I was pregnant right before our annual trip and I remember thinking about how great it was going to be to come back with our sweet baby. We usually go to Burt's and we tried to again this year but it was just miserable. Since Burt's is so far away from our house we decided to try a new place near Athens.

It was awesome.

Instead of having all the pumpkins together, they're still sitting on the vines.

Alaina thought the vines were really cool. And then she tried to eat them.

She wasn't so sure about the pumpkins themselves. She kept touching them and then pulling her hand away and looking at us.




We took a million pictures and tried to get her to smile but she only looked at us like we were crazy. As soon as I lowered the camera she would smile and giggle again!




Finally on our way out to the car I caught a couple of her smiling at us.




Overall it was a wonderful trip and I can't wait to go back again next year!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Sullivans

I just learned of this family recently and my heart is breaking for this new father and newborn baby girl who have just lost their wife and mother. I can not even begin to imagine what they are going through right now. Please keep Brady & Chloe in your prayers as they deal with their new reality.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Happy Monday

One of my favorite times of the day is when I'm getting Alaina up and ready to go. She's such a happy baby in the morning! I love peering over the edge of her crib to see her smiling back at me. This morning she was especially friendly and was smiling in her sleep.



Then we get up and change out of our pj's and into a super cute outfit. The hardest part is picking which one to wear for the day!

We spend the majority of our morning eating breakfast...no pictures needed of that though! After breakfast it's off to the swing to hang out for a few minutes while mommy packs the diaper bag. It should have been packed last night but football was on!



Here we are all buckled up and ready to go to Aunt Hailey's! She's still not so fond of the carseat unless it's moving...


I hope that you are having a wonderful Monday morning!
Love,
Stephanie & Alaina