Thursday, December 23, 2010

I Want to Remember This

I find myself up late just a couple of days before Christmas taking care of lots of last minute things. I've spent most of my day in and out of the kitchen in various stages of making goodies for the Christmas weekend. I think I've finally wrapped all the gifts.

Also on tonight's to-do list was making way for the explosion of new toys that will take place in a few days when the grandparents arrive. This was accomplished by packing away most of the toys from last year. There are two categories: A. toys that might get called back into duty one day...either because Sam is now interested in said character, etc. or because Jack has realized that it is gone; B. toys that I hope to never see will be donated or passed along. In case you were wondering most of the things that sing and make lots of noise fall into category B.

Anyway, during the craziness that was today, I stopped several times to notice my two little ones actually playing together. I decided I wanted to remember that this Christmas season was the time when these two became real playmates. Sure, it takes more effort on big brother's end, but they really have begun to play together. A couple of nights ago, they were in the bath together. Now that Sam is no longer flopping around, Josh walked by and said, "there's two brothers in there playing; it's not a boy and a little baby anymore." It was hard to decide if I should be happy or sad. I had been told that watching the relationship develop between siblings was going to be the highlight of raising two boys just two years apart. It's bittersweet to see our baby Sam growing up, but it's also a joy to know what we have in store ahead.

So today while pausing to watch Jack play chase with Sam, I decided...I want to remember this.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


I can't really put my finger on what exactly it is or the reasons why, but things seem different this Christmas.  And, I'm pretty sure it's not just because there are two little ones in our house this year.

Usually wrapping gifts is one of my most favorite parts of Christmas, but it seems I'm relying more on my hubby to do most of the wrapping this year. Instead I'm searching for boxes and bags with bows, tissue and tags.

Even my Christmas decor is different. Usually there are reminders of the season in every room of the house. I would describe my style this year as "simple, but spirited" but is that because it sounds better than "lazy and lackadaisical?"

Don't get me wrong, we have the trees (yes, in three) up and stockings hung. There's even live greenery on the mantles and doors (although not sure it's actually still living). But, the thought of getting the boxes and boxes of decorations out this year felt too daunting, much less the idea of putting it all away in just a few days. Not to mention, the constant, "no, don't touch that," etc.

Don't worry...I still LOVE Christmas. The reason for the season is enough to get excited about. Usually Jack is oblivious to the fact that Christmas is on the way, but this year he's fully aware. And, although he's pretty wrapped up in when Santa will arrive with a present...we've been talking a lot about the Savior's birth too. Tonight, in fact, we got to drive through a live nativity on the way home from church. He pointed out each and every thing he saw. When talking about stars the other day, I asked him about the star the Wise Men had seen and where it led them. He answered in an obvious tone, "Bethlehem, mommy!"

So, even though my usual may have changed a bit this year, we're enjoying this wondrous season of joy! How about you?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dear Sam

Dearest Sam,

Today marks your 10th month of life. At least outside the womb...I can definitely attest to the fact that you have been making an impact on my world (and body) for a lot longer than that. Several times today I caught myself looking at you and wondering where the past 10 months have gone. In some ways it seems like you just arrived, peeking your sweet head full of dark hair into our world. Other times, I can't remember there ever being fewer than four of us.

I had my doubts (and some days they resurface) that I could juggle two boys 2 and under...thank goodness your big brother turned 3, right? : ) But, I was reminded this morning that God chose us for one another. You for my son and me for your mom. He blessed our family with another precious son and brand-new brother who has been such a joy. We're all enjoying watching you master new skills. Like your closed-fist wave. Your expanding vocabulary, which includes da-da, ba-ba & occasionally ma-ma. Your growing affection for standing. Your ever increasing appetite and insistence that you can indeed eat whatever everyone else is eating.

I'm so thankful you are a part of our family.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

thankful thursday

Many of my fellow bloggers have a weekly feature "thankful thursday." I have to admit I can't promise that I'll remember to do it weekly, but was sitting here and realizing I have much to be thankful for today.

I'm thankful for the safety of my family. It got pretty icy here last night and conditions were still dangerous early this morning. Josh was able to get to the office safely and even managed to come home for lunch with us, which is always something to be thankful for.

I'm thankful for my warm home today...and every day. It's been crazy cold here and winter has barely begun. Although I had hoped to venture out today to take the boys to their last day of Early Steps Preschool for the 2010 year. The fun was to be capped off by a birthday party for Jesus with lots of adorable singing preschoolers. Alas, the icy roads had something else in mind. So, we have been here in our warm house all day. There are definitely worse places to be! So, thankful we'll be!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

short & sweet

Last year an incredibly sweet friend from church who spends most of her time and talents caring for the itty bitty babies and teaching precious preschoolers shared this with me.

Blessed is the mother who knows how big is Christmas and how small.

Blessed is she who leads the way to the manger rather than the toy counter at Christmas time. Her children will follow her.

Blessed is the mother who stops in the midst of the cookie making, the turkey stuffing and card addressing to hear the angels sing. Her children will hear heavenly music.
Blessed is the mother who brings a share of her possessions to the cradle of the Christ Child. Her children will follow her---none of them empty-handed.

Blessed is the family that knows how big is Christmas--and how small.

Their whole year will shine with happy memories and a zest for living.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Just like many of you, I've been caught in the hustle and bustle of the joyous Christmas season. I feel like I've been busy forever. Running from place to place with a mental list of hundreds of things to cross off...although a handful of the lists have made it to my BlackBerry to help reduce some of my insanity.

I can't really pinpoint when the madness started, but it was sometime before Thanksgiving. It all blurs together since I spent the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving focused on giving our 3-year-old the best bouncy/fireman birthday party I could manage. Do I seriously have to throw another birthday party in February?! Anyway, despite the craziness, I feel like we've managed to get some major fun and major family time squeezed in these busy schedules, which is what has helped me maintain my sanity.

You see I don't just love my husband, I also love spending time with him. And this time of year is no different. Unlike a lot of men, he doesn't loathe shopping, in fact he kind of enjoys it...and doesn't even mind doing it with two kids in tow. He's been helping get that gift list crossed off and for that I'm so grateful. After one of our mega shopping trips, we put the kids in bed and he wrapped almost all the gifts while I found boxes, tissues, bows and gift tags.

Since I got so behind on my blogging, I feel like there are a few pics I wanted to share with you.

Jack riding with cousin Jessi at Grandaddy & Mimi's house on Thanksgiving

Daddy & his boys after finding the perfect Christmas tree.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

In case...

In case you thought I forgot about my blog, here's a quick recap of a few funny things that have happened lately. We have been busy enjoying the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. I really miss making time to blog, but am hopeful I will find my way back more regularly very soon!

  • Today I picked the boys up from preschool. Jack said, "I made a thing for you! But, let's keep it a secret." I'm guessing I have some sort of cute homemade Christmas gift on the way.
  • We talk a lot these days about making good choices vs. bad choices, and how good choices make Jesus happy vs. sad, etc. While loading the boys up at church last night, Jack passed gas. And, since he's a boy and a toddler it was a hilarious event. He said, "I pooted! That makes Jesus feel funny!"
  • A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of having pancakes with Santa. When asked what he'd like for Christmas, Jack promptly told Santa: "PIZZA!" I'm not really sure where that came from.
  • A week later while shopping, he spotted a really cool pump gun that shoots balls. He told Josh he wanted. Josh told him he should talk to Santa. So, we visited Santa again...this time he told him all about the gun he wanted...and also that he needed to bring a "soft gun" for Sam. (Obviously since a hard gun would hurt him!)
  • A couple of weeks ago, my mom watched the boys while we did a little Christmas shopping and took in the Georgia/Ga Tech game. My mom asked Jack if he wanted to order pizza. He went a little nuts yelling, "I don't want pizza anymore! I want the gun with the balls!"
I hope to catch you up on more at some point. Hope you are enjoying your Holiday season as much as we are!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Three is Terrific!

Look who's three? We had a ball celebrating our fireman fanatic yesterday! Many thank yous to our family and friends that helped make it such a special day! More photos here. Hope to find time to blog about this and more sometime soon...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Nine for Nine

Today marks Sam's ninth month. So, I thought I'd share nine little observations about our sweet baby.

1 - You absolutely LOVE eating. Ask anyone that knows you, they'll agree. You go through two jars of baby food in about five minutes flat. Most meals we can't spoon it in fast enough to keep you happy.

2 - You spit up A LOT. Although I'm sure there are plenty of babies out there that spit up more, you spit up a lot. It's pretty much just a've managed to lovingly spray most anyone who has held you for any length of time. And since you LOVE to eat so much, that spit up is such a lovely color these days. On the bright side, I've gotten quite skilled at dodging your projectiles.

3 - You LOVE the Johnny Jumper in the nursery at church. It is hands-down your favorite thing to do when you are there.

4 - You are a wonderful sleeper. Most nights I can count on a good 10-12 hours from you. Naps are a little less predictable...some days I can get you to snooze at the same time as big brother. Other days you refuse to miss out on whatever mommy has planned to do during naptime.

5 - You have three teeth. The first two came several weeks ago almost simultaneously and are on the bottom. A week or so ago, a third made its way to the surface of your top gum. It is so funny how it has changed your little grin and certainly makes that chomp hurt a lot more!

6 - You have these funny wild hairs. Your big brother had hair that stuck straight up all over the place for practically his first year of life. You, on the other hand, have shorter hair...with the exception of these little wild, long hairs that look so funny. Your daddy wants to trim them so bad, but I kind of like them and am holding out a bit longer.

7 - You are so curious. You have just mastered crawling in the last few weeks and have quickly moved on to pulling up and finding your way into anything and everything. I really don't remember un-baby-proofing the house...but I feel like we are having to RE-baby-proof the place! You LOVE big brother's cool toys and mom & dad's fun to gnaw on. Just this evening you were showing off your skills in one of your favorite spots...
Seriously, you love this potty! Are you trying to send me a message?
8 - You've recently decided that you hate getting buckled into your carseat. You usually settle down within a couple of minutes, but you wiggle and squirm and whine the whole time I'm trying to buckle you.

9- Your big brother loves to entertain you. And you save all your best laughs for him.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Evolving Traditions

So, I promised more on our beach trip from a couple of weeks ago...and so, here are a few images of our trip. We enjoyed the getaway more than I can remember in years past...despite the outcome of the game. On the way home, Josh and I were talking about how much this (mostly) annual pilgrimage has changed for us.

mid to late 90s - a fall break trip to catch a football game, fun with your buddies, the excitement of a new relationship, lodging just steps away from The Landing in downtown Jacksonville.

early 2000s - a quick getaway to support the team, dinner with other couples, lodging several miles from downtown in Jacksonville Beach.

mid to late 2000s - as long a weekend as schedule will allow (exceptions for pregnancies which led to skipping a year & a fly-in/fly-out wknd), shopping with old friends, golf with old buddies, halloween carnivals with costumed babies in tow, lodging dozens of miles away at Amelia Island Plantation....oh, yeah and a football game.

Anyone hungry?

Q: What's better than the park? A: A park at the beach!

He's got that wind-blown look, huh?


A dog that can blow raspberries!! Impressive, huh?

Fireman Jack to the rescue!

Who doesn't love puppy dog kisses?!?

So, you see a trip that started as a college rite of passage, became a treasured getaway from the craziness of med school and residency and then finally a fall family vacation. Throwing a few polos and flip flops in a bag morphed into packing an SUV to the guild with pack 'n plays, strollers and golf clubs. And as I stated earlier, I can't remember a time when we enjoyed our trip so much. Who says change is bad?

Friday, November 12, 2010

On the move

So, one of the most exciting developments of the last two weeks is that our not quite 9-month-old Sam has become mobile. That's right...he figured the crawling thing out. The neatest part is he debuted his new accomplishment last Monday when Josh was watching the boys while I was at bible study. And, if you know us well, you know that Josh works every Monday night in the ER. But, last week was Judgment House, and he had requested the night off in case an emergency rehearsal was needed before opening night on Tuesday. Since his scene was full of such great kids, they didn't need the extra rehearsal...and thus he spent the night hanging with the boys. What a neat time for Sam to choose to debut his crawl!

Since we've made such a big deal of his new feat, big brother has too. Jack likes to get down in the floor a few feet in front of Sam and say, "Do our trick, Sam!" He also has said numerous times, "Look...he's crawling," (in his best high-pitched, surprised voice).

As I told my sister last week when we got to chat (don't you just love technology, at least when it works!), that he won't win any medals for speed, but he can certainly get where he wants to go. I've forgotten how fast they get proficient at it. The first couple of days it was a couple of strides and then he was done. Now, he can go much farther and has also started pulling up to his knees on things like stools, baskets, etc. He's usually trying to find a big brother toy. He's really not interested in any of the soft, chew-friendly toys of his...he'd much rather gnaw on a hard, metal matchbox car most likely covered in lead paint!

Friday Folly

So I used to think the recipes on the Food Network were over my head and just too complicated to even attempt. I mean the ingredients, the multiple steps, the specialized equipment or even skilled techniques...but thankfully, there are a few I could actually handle! Happy cooking, folks!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


So, a few weeks ago we had some family photos made with our favorite photographer, Sue Ann! Here's a peek at some of the images she captured that beautiful fall day. We are so blessed to have her travel to the North Georgia mountains at least once a year, and she usually brings her camera along. As always, Sue Ann, we love our final products, and although I'm not in a hurry for him to grow up am already eager for our next shoot with you...Sam's one-year portraits! Looking forward to having another one of your canvases on my wall!

The photo in my new header is of course one from our recent session! You rock, Sue Ann!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Picking Back Up

I hate when I am unable to make time for the blog, because there is so much that passes through my brain each day that I think would make worthy blog topics. But, for lack of creativity at a late hour...we'll do a simple quick re-cap of what's happened in the last couple of weeks.

Just days after our night on the town to see Yo Gabba Gabba Live, we packed up and headed south to Amelia Island. The weather was beautiful, and I'm planning a post dedicated to our trip later this week.

Upon return from our fabulous fall vacation, we jumped head first into the madness that was the week of Judgment House at church. Spending hours each afternoon and evening at the church was rough on the kiddos and mom and dad too! We were thankful for some reinforcements when grandparents arrived Friday to help keep Jack and Sam distracted.

Looks like fun, huh?
In addition, mid-week a little surprise was assembled in the backyard. Despite the hectic schedules and less than ideal weather we managed to arrange a lunchtime reveal last Friday. Jack was uber excited and keep saying, "I like this!" except for when Josh had him climb up to try the monkey bars, "I don't like this yet," he explained as he climbed back down.

We've managed to squeeze in some park time with our friends and celebrated some recent and upcoming birthdays too! A busy couple of weeks, but thankful for the blessings of a bit of fun, relaxation, service, friendship and most of all FALL!

Friday, November 5, 2010


Since we're in the middle of a crazy week and I have failed to update my poor neglected blog, I've got to pick up somewhere. My sweet friend, fellow blogger, fellow mommy friend, bunco companion, and fellow judgment house participant Lindsey awarded me the label Versatile Blogger. So, here's how it works:

1) Thank and link back to the blogger that gave you the award.

2) Share 7 things about yourself.

3) Pass the award on to 7 blogs you've recently discovered and enjoy.

4) Leave your recipients a note, telling them about the award.


1. I still remember my favorite shirt from second grade. It had designs similar to clock faces on it and my best friend at the time happened to have the same exact shirt!

2. Me and that same best friend participated in the second grade talent show by lip syncing "He Loves Me" by Whitney Houston. We had that cafeteria rocking...let me tell you. Also, I clearly remember planning to wear our hair in side pony tails and my friend showing up without the agreed on do...maybe that's why she's not my best friend anymore. That and she moved to Illinois after second grade. 

3. In middle school, my dad would make my lunch for me and always decorated my brown paper sack with some interesting artwork. My friends and I always enjoyed seeing what he had drawn when we sat down for lunch. One of my favorites was when he wrote, "This may be Wayne's World, but this is Laura's Lunch."

4. I LOVE Coca-Cola and can't stand the thought of drinking a Pepsi. Restaurants that serve Pepsi, require me to order Mountain Dew, water, etc.

5. My husband and I dated for 5 years before getting married. It's hard for me to believe that we've been together for more than 11 years. Most days I can't remember much about life before him. (Except of course important stuff like talent shows, favorite clothing items, and middle school lunch room laughter.)

6. I once rode in the Goodyear blimp. I was about 3 years old. My grandfather was once the operator/manager of the airport in Athens. The blimp was in town for a big Georgia football game. The only reason I got to go was because my grandfather couldn't get my grandmother on the phone, so he invited my dad. I never got a chance to thank her for being unavailable that day.

7. I've never visited a foreign country (since Jamaica and Canada don't really count), but look forward to changing that sometime in the next three years since my sister is a full-time resident of Germany.
Now, I'm passing the award to some other awesome bloggers:

1. Emily, my sweet sister who pens Red Letters.
2. Sarah, who juggles the fun with the Higgins Hullaballoo.
3. April, who is taking it one day at time over at Chris & April
4. Jenn, who isn't getting to blog as much as she'd like because she's too busy using any free time running in the grass.
5. Alicia, who enjoyed her brief stay in the North Georgia mountains but is now back in the big state and left us Seeking Senkels.
6. Kajal, who lives life in the big city, and keeps me smiling, laughing and adoring with shamu the goldfish.
7. Heather, who is also living in a big city, but her's is halfway around the world in Abu Dhabi Adventures.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Town

So, in case you didn't know, Athens is my hometown. It's where I grew up, and basically the place I have called home for the majority of my life. Ever since I left Athens about eight years ago, I've had a love affair with that town. My parents still live there, which is an incredibly convenient reason to visit quite often. And of course, I still have many friends there. The boys and I were in Athens on Friday to have the car serviced before our road trip, catch up with Mema, do a little shopping, hang with Pop and take in a little high school football. It was then, that my rose colored glasses were briefly removed.

You see, I've always loved Athens, and don't get me wrong I still do and always will. But, I've always loved it in a way that I often wish I was back there. Back there as a care-free kid or a fancy free college student or even as a family of four. I hear about all the fun activities going on and remember going to all the UGA sporting events as a kid, and assume it would be a fantastic place to raise a family.

On Friday, I took a scenic route to my parents' house and passed through downtown, the heart of Athens. Where the city and commerce meet the campus of the university. As I saw the many sorts of people you see in downtown and the hustle and bustle, I began to wonder would I really like living here? I saw so many students, which in turn just reminded me how far removed I was from actually being one. Would I really like that constant reminder? I think I prefer to limit it to six Saturdays each fall and the occasional trip to campus.

It was in this revelation that I realized Athens wasn't the "big city, with the small town feel" that I always remembered it for. It's actually a lot closer to being a "city too busy to hate." This revelation also made me appreciate that we've made our home in a community that not only feels like a small town, but pretty much is least by my standards.

I'll always have a special place in my heart for A town, but I'm realizing that I'm thankful to be exactly where God placed us. I'll always enjoy my day trips down to Athens for fun with family, shopping and of course, football. But, these days I'm glad it's my former stomping ground and not my current.

There's a Party...

Waiting on the show to start.
Josh sporting his DJ Lance specs.

A few months ago, I was excited to hear that Yo Gabba Gabba's There's a Party in My City was coming to Atlanta. I quickly got tickets, but it seemed so far away. So far that we never even mentioned the show to Jack, our little YGG fan. Well, showtime finally arrived this past Sunday evening. My mom graciously agreed to watch Sam for us so we could give big brother a special day out with mom and dad.

the Gabba Gabba gang hits the stage!
I was looking forward to seeing what D.J. Lance and his crew had in store for us, but mostly I was excited to watch Jack take in the show. He was mesmerized at times, singing along at others, and up dancing and yelling sometimes too. The only thing I didn't expect was to have such an enjoyable time myself. The Super Music Friends Show guests for our show was Arrested Development, which I'm sure was a sure flashback for most of the parents in the audience. Unfortunately, they didn't play "Tennessee," but rocked out nonetheless. One of the show's staples is a segment called Biz's Beat of the Day, where Biz Markie does a beatbox for the kids to mimic. So, we were also transported back when Biz himself waltzed out on stage. And even more so when he broke into a few bars from his best known single, "Just A Friend."

A month shy of 3 years old on
his first trip to the Fox.
Another great highlight was Jack saying unprompted numerous times after the show, "that was fun!" Makes you want to do it again and again. By the way, Josh...saw there's a 7 pm show in Jacksonville Wednesday night...think we can make it on our way to Amelia Island?

You can check out more pics from our night out at the Fox.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tag...You Could Be IT!

So, sweet Julia encouraged her fellow bloggers to answer a few questions. I feel so far behind on all the fun we've been having recently that I don't know where to start to catch up. So, this post is a good way to bide my time.

1) What's your favorite room in your house?
It's a toss up. I love our master bedroom (despite the constant clutter and piles of folded laundry). It's where we start and finish our day. Me and the little guys on most mornings; the whole family on Saturday mornings; watching Curious George; or the most recent UGA game on DVR). My other favorite is probably actually Josh's man cave in the basement. Especially this time of year! There's always a game on, and it doesn't hurt that there's a huge leather couch to spread out or snuggle up (whichever suits your fancy that day), and of course the fireplace!

2) If you had to spend the rest of your life in one season (fall, winter, spring, summer), which would it be?
I'm going with fall. This past two weeks have been gorgeous! The mornings are just a bit on the chilly side, the afternoons are warm with a slight breeze, and you can almost smell the coolness in the air each evening. Not to mention football, blue jeans, comfy sweaters and new tv!

3) Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip?
Mayonnaise,  no question. And, Duke's, if I'm buying....which used to be a source of contention in our household since Josh was raised on Blue Plate. But, he hasn't turned down my mayo yet.

4) What are you most looking forward to?
At this very moment, our extra long, super-sized weekend getaway to Amelia Island Plantation. Most years late October signifies that it's time to make a trek down to Jacksonville for the Georgia/Florida football game. Since the game doesn't always turn out the best for the Dawgs, we've learned to make it a mini-vacay out of it. I'll be so glad to get away from the hustle and bustle for a few days and enjoy some time with my family and catch up with some old friends we don't see nearly enough.

5) What was your favorite vacation as a child?
My most memorable vacation as a child was a trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. I can remember touring Kitty Hawk where the Wright Brothers took their first flight...Walking for what seemed like hours on monstrous sand dunes...Staying in what seemed like an old gigantic house that had been subdivided into apartments...Having the swimming pool all to ourselves...And of course, my Coca-Cola Swim Team bathing suit.

6) Books or movies?
Movies. I do enjoy reading, but movies I can enjoy with Josh sitting right beside me.

7) How do you drink your coffee? Do you even drink coffee?
Nope. Love the smell. Hate the taste.

8) What was your favorite childhood Christmas memory?
When I was in about second grade, my grandparents (along with help from my parents and aunt) surprised me with a homemade doll house. It was hidden under a big sheet at my grandparents' house when we arrived Christmas morning. It was an incredible delight...I remember playing for hours on end with that doll house.

If you're up for the challenge, here are a few questions you could answer...
1) What is your favorite month of the year?
2) Your favorite place you've ever lived?
3) Sweet or Salty?
4) Who was your most memorable teacher?
5) What makes you laugh the hardest?
6) Go to the game or watch from home?
7) If you had to pick one item from your closet to wear everyday, what would it be?
8) Worst movie you will admit having seen?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Member that?

The funny conversations just keep coming these days with Jack. If anything funny or neat happens, he often talks about it off and on for days usually followed by the question: "Member that?"

Tonight at dinner Jack says, "you member that song whoop there it is?"

Josh & I immediately look at one another completely puzzled. Josh said he was thinking 'yes, I do, but how do you remember it!' So, I said, "where did you hear that song?"

Jack looked at me very innocently and says, "from Buddy."

It was at that point that I remembered he watched Elf a week or so ago and then fondly remembered the scene with Will Ferrell's character dances in the mail room. I can't fault Jack for having a great appreciation for fantastic cinema.

Can you put a cherry on top of a cherry?

So, I'm sure I've made my feelings for Chick-fil-A clear. Hands down it's the best fast food restaurant anywhere and the best food for the money. On top of that, there are just so many little extras. Can't think of many other places that have complimentary table covers for your toddlers or will bring your food to your table so you can go ahead and sit down with your children. Who else has hand sanitizer right beside the playground or little bend-y straws for the kids (or adults...they don't discriminate) or little plastic cups of cheerios for the ones even too tiny for nuggets?

Well, just when I thought I'd seen it all and my affection (a.k.a. love/extreme desire for one in our county) couldn't get any stronger...CFA went and earned another notch in it's awesome belt. At the CFA in Commerce, I spotted a shelf in the women's bathroom with a basket of baby wipes (name brand too!) and another basket with at least a dozen diapers in what appeared to be varying sizes!! Seriously?! Could this place BE any awesomer?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Endless Supply

Surely there is something that you consider a bit of a treat for yourself. Whether it's a massage or a pumpkin spice latte, etc. What is something that provides you a bit of sanctuary and rest from the hustle and bustle? If you had an endless supply of time and money, what would you do? And don't say you'd move to the beach...I'm thinking something a little smaller scale.

For me, I'd use my endless money and time to have my hair washed and styled every day! Maybe I wouldn't appreciate my trip to the salon as much as I do these days, but I absolutely LOVE having my hair washed and of course never seem to be able to style it as wonderfully as the stylist.

So, what simple pleasures would you take advantage of if you had an endless supply of money and time??

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I know hate is a strong word, but it certainly seems to fit as the opposite of love. I recently thought of a couple of things that make me so happy. I would even go as far as to say I love them, but then there are things that are directly related with these activities that drive me crazy. So, here are a few of my Love/Hates.

LOVE saving money with coupons.
HATE 55 cent coupons.

LOVE walking to the mailbox and getting the mail.
HATE returning to the house with said mail and having to find a place for all the un-fun stuff (bills, catalogs, etc.) until I have time to give them said attention.

LOVE getting great photos and shots with my digital SLR camera.
HATE lugging that giant camera around with me to all the places that I want to capture.

Surely you have something or some things that you Love/Hate. I'd love to hear them.


So, last week Jack and I were having one of our car ride convos when I witnessed his little light bulb coming on. I had dressed Jack in a baseball style shirt with the words "Big Brother # 1" scripted across the front. He asked about his shirt.

Me: It says Big Brother #1
Jack: I'm not one. I'm two.
Me: Yes, you are two years old, but that is a one.
Jack: But, I'm two!
Me: That one isn't for your age it means you are the # 1 big brother. (Jack still puzzled looking). It means you are the BEST big brother.
Jack: Oooooohhhh!

So cute!

Monday, October 11, 2010


October has arrived, and it brought some cooler temperatures with it. They were short lived, but they will be back again soon. Although we've still had some days hovering in the 80s, most days have been pretty perfect weather wise. They are the perfect kind of days.

Perfect for tailgating with fellow Raiders

Perfect for spending time with cousins!

Perfect for celebrating milestone birthdays! Dad, I'm guessing you weren't specific enough when you wished for a Bulldog victory that night.

Perfect for pumpkins!
Perfect for afternoon outings at the park...with bubbles, of course!

Perfect for train rides with fellow choo-choo enthusiasts

Perfect for a hayride with my boys!

Perfect for basking in the glory of God's beautiful canvas. A canvas on the verge of changing all around us!

Perfect for photo posing with friends.

Perfect for watching football. Although I'm not used to having to go to this much trouble just to watch a game. I guess that's what happens when your team is struggling (to say the least).

Perfect for monkeying around with friends. Think Evelyn is having any fun?
Perfect for cutting loose and letting things slide.
So, we've been keeping very busy these days...but still been managing to get our fair share of fun too.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Who's Behind?

In the words of a popular movie at my house, Toy Story 2, Buzz Lightyear asks who is lagging as he leads the toys to find their friend Woody.

Buzz: "Who's behind?"
Slinky Dog: "It's mine."

Anyway, that's the way I feel tonight...way behind. Behind on my reading, on my photo uploading, and of course my blogging. We have much fun in the last few days as the weather has turned to a crisp cool fall. I hope to update you very soon. Thanks for being so patient with little ole me!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Top 5*

So, a fellow blogger of mine recently posted her top 5 favorite shows on television, an idea she borrowed from a friend of hers. Anyway, since I believe all good ideas deserve to be recycled I thought I'd share my list of top tv shows. I try to tell myself I don't really watch that much tv, but then when I found myself trying to narrow down my list to 5, I felt like I was leaving off a few favorites. I guess I've become so dependant on my DVR that I don't really think about the fact that I follow several shows throughout the year. So, I decided to do my top 5, but then also share my honorable mentions!

30 Rock. Hands down my favorite show on tv. No matter what sort of mood I'm in I can always count on 30 Rock to deliver about 22 minutes of solid laughter. Tina Fey is a comedy genius, and I can never get enough of this show. It is also one that Josh loves so it's great to sit around and laugh together. If you've never watched this show, you are surely missing out. I have a few of my favorite episodes just sitting on my DVR. It would just pain me too much to delete them!

The Soup. Without question the only other show on tv that comes close to making me laugh out loud as much as 30 Rock. Take a 30-minute clip show that fills you in on all the ridiculousness and hilarity that has taken place on tv in the last week and combine it with witty (and not bad looking) Joel McHale's dead-on joke delivery and you've got The Soup. This show is the only reason I usually know when there is a popular reality show taking place, as I see all the funniest/most embarrassing/redeeming clips from The Bachelor, Dancing With the Stars, etc.

Mad Men. I first heard about this show when I read about it in Entertainment Weekly a few years ago. I decided to add it to the DVR schedule and give it a test run. The timer hasn't left my DVR since. It is dramatic, interesting and has the advantage of airing mostly during the summer and early fall. Mad Men has the chance to woo you when there really is nothing on tv and then you are hooked. The intriguing Don Draper, the inspiring yet sometimes confusing Peggy Olson, the debonair Roger Sterling, the annoying yet essential Peter Campbell. The list of fascinating characters is endless. Not to mention the whole thing takes place in the 60s. The time warp itself makes for interesting tv.

Grey's Anatomy. In case you've been living on another planet, this show is a medical drama that started by following a group of residents as they started their first day of their surgery residency. I never was a huge ER fan, but I guess I was lacking for a good drama in my rotation when this show began several years ago. Although the last couple of seasons seem to have been lacking in entertainment and a few of the initial characters have moved on, I'm still drawn to the show and interested in what happens to the characters. It also doesn't hurt that this show is one  I can count on to score me a Girls Night Out every now and then.

The Office.  Shot in a documentary style where the characters often make eye contact, gestures, etc. to the camera, this show is one that started slow. Like a fine wine (so they tell me), it has only gotten better with age. Steve Carell has made the fumbling idiotic boss Michael Scott a household name. Another show that Josh enjoys right alongside me, The Office rarely disappoints. I'm a little nervous about next season though. Carell is moving on, and I'm not sure the show will really be able to survive without him or his character.

And since I must share my remaining tv obsessions, here are my very highly ranking honorable mentions:

Law & Order: SVU. Since I couldn't rely on comedy alone, I enjoy the thrill and bit of twists that this crime drama brings. Another show that my hubby and I enjoy together, I've been an SVU fan for many years. Last year brought several great guest stars in some unusual roles.

Hoarders. A reality show that airs weekly on A&E, I stumbled upon Hoarders last year. Monday nights are my evenings to catch up on blogging, the DVR or in this case find new tv programming. Each week the show documents the struggles of two new sets of hoarders as they attempt to regain control of their stuff, their homes, their families and their lives. Incidentally, I have a much easier time parting with clutter these days.

Teen Mom. My other reality tv show obsession, Teen Mom, follows the lives of four young women struggling to find their way mostly because of the consequences surrounding an unplanned pregnancy. Maybe it's because I'm a mom to young kids, but I'm strangely curious about how these teens survive. Some of them make you proud while others infuriate you. Either way, I find myself watching.

Gossip Girl. A definite guilty pleasure, Gossip Girl is my time warp back to high school. It's a cross between Dawson's Creek, 90210 (the original) and Dallas. There is drama, suspense, ridiculous lavishness and often an intensely large vocabulary.

Thank goodness we're just covering current tv. Otherwise I'd have to give big shoutouts to a few of my old favorites, like this, this and of course this (pre-Tori, obviously)!


For those of you that might have seen my husband or his truck at base camp for the filming of the movie  currently taking place in our sleepy community (or at least heard he was there), I thought I'd fill you in on what he's been up to. Several weeks back a friend contacted him about the fact that a movie production company was looking for a local physician to service the needs of their cast while in town filiming scenes for an upcoming movie. He agreed to be available. Filming has been taking place for a few weeks now, and he had gotten no call. We almost thought maybe they had found someone else. Well, on Monday and then again on Tuesday, he got called to the set to see a few of the actors. Most of them were familiar to him and somewhat famous actors but none were the actor or even this actor. Although, he tells me he did have a brief brush with Ms. Anniston as she was kindly asking about the well being of one of her castmates.

Despite his time with the Hollywood crowd, the biggest VIP he's treating this week may very well be his first born. Jack spiked a fever Tuesday afternoon and was a pitiful sight. A few other symptoms arose and today we got our first dose of antibiotics to treat what looks like strep. Hoping he doesn't share his ailments with anyone else in the house. He seems to be taking it pretty well, especially since it means watching lots of Toy Story and drinking lots of OJ.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's me...Warla

So, just a few short months ago, Jack thought my name was Girl. Since then, he's caught on to the fact that most folks call me Laura. He's had Josh down pat for months, and even calls his daddy that every now and then. Well, Laura is just a bit more difficult to spit out, I guess. So, his version sounds a lot more like Warla.

jack: You are Warla?
me: Yes, my name is Laura.
jack: Hey, Warla.

So funny. I also managed to upload some of our latest adventures here.

Monday, September 20, 2010

His Fair Share

So, I've been meaning to update you on what's been going on around here, but I just haven't made the time. Here's hoping it happens soon. In the meantime, here's a little teaser:

I think he had his FAIR share of fun. What about you?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hard Work

We're closing in on the seven month mark for our dear Sam. He's working those core muscles pretty hard these days really trying to master sitting up on his own. He sits pretty well in a high chair, but that may have more to do with his affection/obsession with eating. Anyway, most days I find some time to surround him with a few pillows or his boppy and let him practice his sitting up. Yesterday it happened to come at the same time as Jack's bath. With one eye on Sam and the other eye and both hands helping big brother, I notice this:

Yep, that sitting up business is hard work, folks. So hard in fact that this little guy decided to stretch back and just take a little cat nap. I guess it also could have been the fact that his mean mommy made him get a flu shot that morning too!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Some words from Pop (4th installment)

So, if you've been stopping by here for a decent length of time, you'll know that I've included some of my dad's eloquent words over the past few months. He's a wonderful writer and always seems to find a way to bring beauty, humor and truth to his columns no matter the subject. You probably also know my sweet little sis is off in Germany with her Army husband, and her goodbye was certainly cause for some of dad's words. Here's your latest installment of Words from Pop.

Bonus baby changed the definition of the perfect family

A quarter of a century ago, Jan and I thought we had the perfect family. We had each other, and we had a boy and a girl. John and Laura.

We were so certain that our birthing days were behind us that we gave away all the trappings of infant care. Well, we kept the high chair and loaned it out. It would come in handy one day for grandbabies.

It was 1985, one that marks a sad moment in family history. Having a baby was most definitely not on the to-do list. You see, Jan's mother died in September of that year. Annie Ruth Pulliam had only recently retired from her toil at Thomas Textiel, where she made clothes for toddlers.

She was suffering the effects of chemotherapy that year. It was thus a bittersweet moment to tell her about a grandchild that she would never see.

"Well, how did that happen?" she asked. Given that her son had already presented her with six grandchildren to go with our two, I suspect it was a rhetorical question.

We began assembling the paraphernalia necessary to bring up a little human being. And as we looked around, we noticed a house too small and cars built for four. So we started planning a move.

I'm not sure that many people can tell you the exact date that they moved into their home. We started moving furniture March 7, 1986, hindered not in the least bit by the chimney fire at my parents' house. Saturday, March 8 was moving date.

Sunday morning as I awoke in our new home, I caught Jan looking at the clock radio on a regular basis.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"Timing contractions," she said.

"Doesn't look like we'll be going to church today," said I.

We had babies back in the dark ages when ultrasound was reserved for special considerations. We never knew. Boy or girl? Yet, in the weeks before the birth, we had picked out a girl's name, but not one for a boy. So maybe it was no big surprise when Emily Ruth, our "bonus baby," arrived that Sunday afternoon.

The date was March 9, 44 years to the day when Annie Ruth eloped to secretly marry James Pulliam.

For a while it seemed we had misplaced our parenting skills. Three seemed exponentially more difficult than two. And those two will tell you that Emily got away with a lot more than they ever did.

She gave us a scare when she was hospitalized with pneumonia before she was even a year old. But she gave us countless joys too.

Faithful readers of The Oconee Enterprise may remember that I introduced Emily to you last year as the bride whose wedding was moved around about three times to accommodate the Army's schedule for her husband, Jonathan Rupard. They were wed Aug. 8, and he left for duty in Cuba on Aug. 15. What a way to start a marriage.

She visited him in Guantanamo over the holidays, but they only really started their married life as a couple when he returned Aug. 14.

All summer long we have looked forward to his return with mixed emotions. Because we knew that once he got home, it would be just a few short days before they left for his next duty station.

Mannheim, Germany. For three years.

The world is smaller these days, thanks to electronic communication, so it is not like we can't talk and even see each other via the Internet. But the last hug for a while was last Friday, standing in the Atlanta airport, surrounded by luggage and travelers, blurred together by tears.

As a man who makes his living as a communicator, I had no grandiose message as we embraced. Just three words.

"I love you."

Of course, John and Laura are still close at hand, each married. Laura has children of her own.

There was a time when Jan and I would have considered that the perfect family.

Thanks to Emily, we know better now.

Blake Giles is the editor for The Oconee Enterprise. Opinions expressed are those of the writer.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Rules

I know some rules were meant to be broken. Most of us gals raised in the South were probably brought up with a certain set of rules. ie. With your arms at your sides, your skirt should always reach your fingertips, etc. One of the rules I feel like my mama ingrained in me was "No wearing white after Labor Day." As a little girl, this usually applied to my Sunday dress shoes. The ones that had made their debut on Easter Sunday (and not a second before). Labor day approaching always signaled the retirement of those pretty white shoes and the welcoming of a pair of black (usually patent leather with a bow and strap) Sunday shoes. I still smile when I spot a little girl at church with similar shoes, especially when they are complemented with a pair of white lacey dress socks...folded down, of course.

Anyway, I have a pair of long white shorts that I wear all the time (at least once a week, sometimes more if they are clean). It certainly doesn't feel like Fall yet, and I hate to pack these go-to shorts away for the next several months. Is this one of those rules that is meant to be broken or at least bent these days? Tell me the truth, ladies. And, share with me what rules do you remember your moms passing down to you that you still carry with you today?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Someday I'll Miss...

If there is one phrase I hear more than any other it's usually something along the lines of: "Enjoy it. They grow up so fast." And, I believe it. I'm witnessing it. I mean I can't figure out how I have a near 3 year-old and an almost 7 month-old. It certainly doesn't feel like I've been doing this mothering thing for three years. Somedays it feels like I've never done it before. You know the kind of days where you forget to pack an extra set of clothes for your infant or one of those days when you have packed his bag to the brim with every essential and then some, but leave said bag behind at home. Or when you pride yourself on having remembered to not only check the bag for extra clothes and bring it along to find that the extra clothes or spare underwear (in most cases) is a leftover soiled pair.

Anyway, back to my point...I'm fully aware of how fast my children are growing. Today I found myself looking forward to a few things, which made me realize that someday I'll miss these mundane things. Although, I'm pretty sure it will take a few years. Someday I'll miss...
  • all the tops, lids, valves, caps and various pieces that accompany bottles and sippy cups and the fact that sometimes they occupy the entire top drawer of the dishwasher, but not today.
  • changing the diaper on a wiggly baby, cleaning poopy underwear, basically dealing with number 2, but not today.
  • that my toddler needs my help to do the second set of buckles on his carseat and that he always waits for my help to get out of the same carseat when we arrive at our destination.
  • shopping on the baby aisle at the grocery store, especially those itty, bitty jars/containers of baby food and how they hog your entire cart.
  • the fact that I must accompany my boys when they want to play outside. I often dream of saying, "go outside and play." But, the truth is, it often means I get fresh air, a moment out of the house (and a break from housework, etc.), and a chance to just pretend I'm a kid again.
  • washing loads and loads of laundry every week. I fondly remember having a laundry day usually once a week when Josh and I were a family of two. Adding Jack increased that immensely and then just as I'd gotten a handle on things and a system, we added Sam. Baby clothes are the worst. They are so tiny and these outfits with multiple pieces. I mean really, who needs socks, a bib & a hat to go with every outfit? Also, if you've got a spitter on your hands (like Sam) you may go through multiple outfits in a day, definitely multiple bibs in a day and count on having to Shout/OxyClean/SprayNWash every single spot if they have a chance at wearing it again. I feel I am in a constant state of putting laundry away. I think the ideal house would have a laundry room gigantic enough to hold several clothes racks, drawers, etc. and everyone's clothes would just be kept there. Then you'd just go grab everyone's clothes for the day the night before, etc.
  • changing crib sheets, but as of now this task is the bane of my existence.
To my fellow mommy bloggers, what things are you eager to say goodbye to even though you know someday you'll miss them?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

raNdOm tHouGhTs

A few of my random thoughts & observations from today:
  • The Tuesday morning following a Monday holiday (ie. Memorial Day or Labor Day) is probably not the best time to try to buy hamburger buns at the grocery store. Guess we won't be having burgers tonight. (Update: Wal-Mart came through for me! And, we had the most delicious bacon cheddar burgers!)
  • How insane would people think you are if you jump into the Sara Lee truck (spotted in the parking lot while leaving the bun-less grocery store) and look for hamburger buns? For the record, I did not do this...only thought about it!
  • What is weirder? The fact that the little old lady working at the nail salon was wearing white pants the day after Labor Day or the fact that they were baseball pants? (And, yes, I'm sure. I saw the "Bike" logo and could tell by the reinforced areas on the knees.)
  • I can't imagine there is a cuter firefighter in this world.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Raider Fun

Friday night we took in the first Habersham Central home football game. Jack was in absolute heaven all day on Friday as I kept telling him we were going to see football that night. In fact, he was a bit upset that we were tailgating before the game instead of heading right into the stadium! We had a lot of fun letting the kids run around and play ball before the big boys took the field.

Sam sure didn't seem to mind the noise and game going on...he fell asleep sometime during the first quarter. His nap was somewhat brief, but he was a trooper. We eventually headed out just before the fourth quarter before meltdowns had time to occur. Jack has been to the Raider games the last two years, but I think he's really starting to enjoy it this year.

Unfortunate side note: the Raiders lost. They fall to 0-2, but there's always next week!
This was his face/reaction when he saw the team running out. I like that his left hand is almost nudging Josh as if to say, "daddy, are you seeing this?"

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Wednesday at the Park

Some days it's good to just get out of the house. Last Wednesday was definitely one of those. And what better way to do that than with some sweet friends. Thank you to Erin for not only inviting us to join her crew of three, but grabbing my camera and capturing some of the fun...
"Need a push, Gus?"
Is this not one of the sweetest faces ever? His mom says he's ornery, but I've never seen it! :)
And surely this is the scariest face you've seen, right?! Roar!