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???