Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Frizzy

When it comes to Black Friday, Sal Gal is all over it. Black Friday, for Sal Gal, is like strategic shopping on steroids. I seriously think she makes her list depending on what she predicts she'll have to fight the most for. Unfortunately for her, her plan to just stay up all night until we left at the butt crack of dawn backfired. She gave in at about 1:30 and decided to get a couple hours of sleep. This led to her inability to keep her eyes open for the beginning portion of our trip, as evidenced in the photo below.

Me, Sleepy, and our friend Kerri

After a shot of some heavily caffienated coffee from none other than our local gas station (only the best for my sweet girl), she slowly began to come out of her fog.

Look at her. Isn't she cute?

But who wouldn't look cute in a bright fucshia puffer vest?! Everyone knows that the person wearing pink is always the cutest that day.

After some intense shopping, we stopped in for lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. Yumolicious!

Then we headed back out for some more shopping with Express being our next stop.

While browsing the jean area, I saw many cute, shorter than me (not hard) gals trying on the Mia fit jean. I thought, "Why not? I'll give them a try."

After trying them on, with Sal Gal in the dressing room with me (yes, we still go in together), we quickly established the fact that Mia jeans are not for me. Even the long length wasn't quite long enough. They gave me LBC (Long Butt Cheek) and made me want to go M.I.A. On me, Mia stands for Mom In Action apparently. Let's just say it wasn't pretty.

Sal Gal decided to take the opportunity to kick me while I was down and suggested that I start shopping at Big and Tall. I knew I brought her along for some reason. I then decided that if you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?! And maybe I won't shop at Big and Tall, maybe I'll just shop at Giants R' Us.

I did end up finding the perfect pair at Abercrombie. Whew. Crisis diverted.

Here's a pic of us in the dressing room right after laughing at my expense.

On a brighter note, here are a few of the photos taken by Sal Gal from our holiday card photo shoot at the beach.

And this last photo is a cropped version of how 98.763% of the shots came out. Do whuh?

(A quick PSA: Some of you have asked why Sal Gal does not have a blog. Sal Gal doesn't blog, she Facebooks. So, if you Facebook too, and would like to hit her up for a friend request, you can find her here.)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful to have a jaw to chew on

Today I give thanks for many, many things. I've decided to list 100 things I'm thankful for.


Yeah, I still say 'sike'.

But, to be serious for a quick (really quick) second, I am truly thankful for my family and friends (real-life and blogging), my health, and my salvation....

and the fact that I have an inner jaw to bite on when I'm feeling a little less than relaxed at large family gatherings. Because let's face it, they're enjoyable and nerve-racking all at the same time.

Here's a quick pic that M to the Izz-A snapped of me today just when I was starting to get my chew on.

See? It works like a charm. It looks as if I smirking, maybe even smiling a bit, but really I'm going to town on the inner lining of my mouth.

And make note, the situations in which this can be applied are endless.

Hey, it works people. Try it.

After we ate, we headed to the beach to take some family photos for our Christmas cards. I'll try to post a few of them tomorrow, after I side-jab my way through Black Friday. Don't expect much, Matt had one eye closed in 99% of them....and don't think I won't still slap them on a Christmas card for all to see!

Also, if I know Sal Gal, she will probably have her camera strapped to her hip while we make our way through the crowds tomorrow, which means a few of them will most definitely end up posted here.

Happy Thanksgiving ya'll!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fly Away Bird

I'm going to find that bird. The one that mysteriously manages to creep into Kate's room at night and make his nest in the back of her head.

I'm sure there's another child out there with more lustrous, flowing locks that would make an excellent spot for his nest.

Please Mr. Bird, if you're reading this, have a heart and give the back of my child's head (and her comb) a break.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Saturday Night, Roastin' It Up

Our friends Brandon and Casey had an oyster roast at their house Saturday night and if you know me, you know that you definitely don't have to twist my arm to get me to attend an oyster roast. I love 'em!

If I strategically place myself beside Matt around the oyster table, I can get him to shuck mine for me. It's all very well thought out.
Sal Gal seems to be enjoying herself immensely.

Chas and Ben in some deep competition.

My cousin Ben is seriously one of the funniest people I've ever known. I LOVE this picture.

Look at M to the Izz-A, all up in our biz.

We had a great time and even made smores. YUM!

If I could do this every weekend, I would.

Actually, Sometimes Big Girls Do Cry

Wow, it's been a while. The past few days have been pretty busy and I haven't had much time to blog.

On Friday, I jump started my weekend with my annual visit to the gyno. Needless to say, not much to blog about, and definitely not one to file under the label 'Post with Pics'.

While there, I was however, reminded of the last time I visited that dear office, which brings me to the following heart wrenching story.....guaranteed to make you feel sorry for me:

The last time I was in this particular office location was when I was 9 months pregnant. As usual, they ask you to take your personally labeled cup into the restroom and provide them with a liquid gift of sorts. After doing this once a month, and towards the end of my pregnancy once a week, you would have thought I would have been a pro at it. Actually, I thought I was, until....this particular visit.

The nurse gave me my cup and I proceeded to do what I was, at this point, getting so tired of doing. And let's face it, the larger and more pregnant I became, the more difficult the task was. As many of you know, when you're pregnant, you're almost always able to fill up the cup with no problem, as was the case this time. Feeling pretty proud of my skills, I began to bring the cup forward and finish up when the tip of the cup hit the rim of the toilet (or was it my large and in charge stomach?) and fell down my pant leg. Actually, to be honest, they weren't pants, they were big, fat, maternity capris. The entire cup fell over and all the way down my leg. I had to reach my hand down the leg of my capris and pull it out.....empty.

At first I think I just sat there, in shock. How in the world was I going to walk myself out of that bathroom with wet drenched pants?!

I called the nurse to the door and said with a smile, while trying to maintain my composure, "You're never gonna believe what I just did."

The moment I started to tell her the story, I busted out crying. Humiliation had set in. I told her to just reschedule my appointment, that I just wanted to go home. She, of course, tried to make me feel better and told me not to worry about it and gave me some type of big, blue plastic sheet to wrap around me. Very discreet. Oh great! Thanks! No one will ever look at me with this wrapped around my waist. Pshhh.

I decided to just stay and get the appointment over with, but not before balling my eyes out to my doctor in the examining room.

After the appointment, still wet and crying, I got in my car and called Matt to explain what had just happened.
The first thing he did was laugh. The second thing he did was....laugh again. I asked threatened him not to tell a soul (which I later find out he did). He told me it wasn't a big deal and not to worry about it.

As I pulled out of the parking lot, Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry" came on the radio. What I wanted to say was, "Actually Fergie, big girls DO cry....Really really big girls cry." But I didn't, I just turned it up, sang my heart out, and pretended I was LC all the way home.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

LNO: Edition 2

Last night I attended my second Ladies Night Out (LNO) and had an absolutely wonderful time.

The host, Rhonda, talked about several topics related to parenting and living the life God has planned for us. The funny thing is that the part that made the biggest impression on my heart was not one of her main topics, but rather something she just happened to touch on.

When I was pregnant, I always wondered what Kate would be like as she grew up. My friends and I would talk about how we hoped our children would be smart, talented, beautiful, funny, and every other character trait that the world deems as important. And then I realized that what the world sees as important is not always what God sees as important. Lately God has revealed to me (a lot of it through LNO) that more than any of those things I had hoped for her, I want her to have a deep love for the Lord and an unquenchable desire to serve Him.

Rhonda talked about raising our children to be selfless, putting others first. Now that's not to say that we want our children to be taken advantage of nor do we want them to be a push over, but selfless in a way that they have a desire to put others before themselves and to have a serving spirit. In a world full of "it's all about me" (I've even seen that phrase printed on baby onesies), and the fact that we are all born with a selfish nature, I know it's one of the more difficult traits to develop in a child, much less ourselves. It really made me think of who I am as a person and I was broken at the fact that I haven't always acted in the most selfless of ways. I want to be a role model for Kate in so many different ways and being selfless is one of them. I want her to see me putting others before myself and having a genuine desire to help and serve other people.
Easier said than done, I know. I found myself getting a little upset thinking of how I've failed in this area so many times already. The good news is that God is a forgiving God and that he sees our deepest thoughts and loves us just the same.

Rhonda spoke about the importance of teaching our children to rejoice when others are rejoicing and to mourn when they are mourning. And not to judge people based on our own (or others) benchmarks. The best way for our children to learn this is, of course, by seeing us live it. Nothing like a little pressure, huh?

The Lord has also shown me lately that there is a fine line between sarcasm and being judgemental. Saying something we think is funny and light-hearted may indeed be judgement in disguise. And if I'm going to be the selfless, serving, non-judgemental person that God wants me to be, I need to know the difference between the two. I pray that the Lord will keep me aware of this throughout my days.

The past two LNO's have left me feeling inspired, motivated, blessed and broken, all of which I feel are healthy emotions and necessary if we are to grow in Him. I find myself wanting to praise His name and thank Him and at the same time wanting to fall on my knees before Him and ask for forgiveness for my sins and shortcomings as a parent and as a child of God.

I'm learning as I go, and like the childhood song says, "He's still workin' on me."

Apparently She Has Way Too Much Time On Her Hands

I woke up this morning, checked my email, and found this from Sal Gal Kate.
(The following is copied and pasted directly from the email.)
hey mommy! i pee and poop all day long and aunt hattie wipes my butt all day long. it is so nice and refreshing when she uses one of those wet, wipey things. it makes my hiney feel shiny like the eiffel tower. i heard aunt hattie mention today that she was about to use the last one. please don't let her run out. i need to smell good for when she takes me to the post office. and that's hard to do when you have poop smeared all over your butt. i just know you won't let me or my gluteus maximus down, i just know it!!
i love you mommy,
ps. what is the eiffel tower and can you take me to see it?
Anyone in need of a complete nutso of a sister?!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Camera Loves Her......Or Vice Versa

Lately it seems that every single time I bring out the camera, Kate really cheeses it up.

She does this...

...and then runs up to the camera and says, "See, see."

She immediately wants to see the picture on the digital screen.

When I say that she does it almost every time, I mean it.

Here it is again:

I realize it's not the most natural of smiles, but it just gets me! It's adorable.

A few more to prove my point...

We kept trying to figure out where in the world she picked this up.

We couldn't figure it out.

Then while revisiting a quick photo snapped by Sal Gal at my house a few nights ago, I notice this cheese ball of a mama staring back at me:

Mystery solved.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Savings: Edition 8

For those of you wondering what ever happened to Sunday Savings (yea, all both of ya), it's back. I've still been playing The Grocery Game, but had a few Sundays recently where life kind of took over and I didn't have time to shop as strategically as I would have liked.

I have however, without fail, been collecting my weekly coupons and filing them away until Miss Veronica seems to have put on a few L.B.'s and is getting a little on the heavy side. In fact, I almost couldn't button her closed today.

Yep, Ronni can kiss the Junior's Department good-bye.

Nevertheless, I'm back in the game, and it feels good! (Cue me some John Fogerty here - "Put me in coach, I'm ready to")

This afternoon Sal Gal (accompanied by Mr. Jones) and I (with my lovely Veronica) went to Winn-Dixie. I saved $58.84 and only spent $60 and some change, cutting my bill in half.

Not too shabby.

That's all I've got for today. It's late and I'm tired.

Until tomorrow...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Big Girls Need Big Rings

Pigs and Pics

Since today is Friday, and we all know that Friday = no cooking (I'm almost positive I've read that in a reputable publication), we loaded up the crew and headed out to eat. We started driving before we decided what our destination would be. After tossing around a few possibilities, we decided on Sonny's BBQ, since it fulfilled all of the requirements:

*Man-sized portions (for both the males and females) - check

*Sweet tea (and of course Diet Coke) flowing like a river - check

*Kid-friendly environment - check

*Leaves you smelling like a fire pit - check

I enjoyed a delicious meal of barbecued goodness, also known as I ate my weight in a variety of BBQ'd meats and beans.

Lillie and Kate

Sal Gal and me

Chas and Kate

Matt and Chad

And we established tonight that this is obviously M to the Izz-A's "go to" shirt. He will pull this shirt out every time we go somewhere.....anywhere.....everywhere! We then went a bit further and established the fact that Chad is in desperate need of a "go to" shirt.

And because what kind of parent would I be if I didn't put my child on top of a pig for a quick photo op?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Little Early? Maybe.

But we're already pretty pumped about the big guy in red paying us a visit next month!

I'm still trying to convince Kate that being able to do unsanitary cool tricks does not equal more presents under the tree.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mother-in-law and Cheez-Its

My mother-in-law popped in for an overnight stay last night so I wasn't able to blog. I found out she was coming at the last minute. Actually, to be completely honest, I found out Sunday night, but in mom-in-law time that IS last minute. Especially when you're at work and remember spotting a half-eaten Cheez-It while rushing out the door for church the day before and can't remember where you saw it. So after work, which actually wasn't as much work as it was staring at a Power Point for eight hours while drifting in and out of a coma (I had to attend yet another workshop of sorts), I rushed home with the goal of finding that Cheez-It and doing a few last minute spot cleans.

Sal Gal and her fam were coming over for dinner, too. I already had a roast in the crock pot so I just had to throw together a few sides dishes(and have Sal Gal pick up a couple other sides from our fave chicken joint...shhhhh), make a big pitcher of sweet tea, and we were set. We had a great time talking, laughing, repeatably telling the kids to settle down, and eating.

Before bed we made hot chocolate, which I haven't had in a while, and I think it may have had a sleep aid in it because it made me the sleepiest girl in America. I fell asleep pretty early and actually got to sleep in a little this morning because I'm off work due to Veteran's Day and my dear mother-in-law got up with Kate.

Oh, and I did find that Cheez-It.

All is well 'round here.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Help Save Our Saturday Nights

What do incredibly cool people do on Saturday nights?

I have no idea. But the rest of us play Yahtzee.

Unfortunately for us, Sal Gal's got an unadulterated love for Yahtzee. Seriously, out of all the games there are out there, and she's gonna be sweet on Yahtzee?!!

Here we are sitting around Sal Gal's table. Some of us were enjoying the game a little more than the others.

Sal Gal puttin' on her game hat. When it comes to Yahtzee, this girl 'don't play'.

Big Al being super sarcastic about all of the fun (or lack of fun) she's having

Here I am contemplating whether or not to roll again or to take that pen in my hand and gouge my eyeballs out with it.

Seriously Chad, what part of Yahtzee could ever be that much fun?!

You really need to get out more often.

And now for further insight on our individual feelings regarding Yahtzee, take a look at our score cards.

Da Bomb? Really? Not quite. Sal Gal has loved this game for many years and I still can't figure out why. Too bad her scores didn't love her just as much! She also wanted it to be known that her hubby, Chad, wrote her name on her score card and that she does NOT call herself "Lil Moma". And if she did, she'd spell 'mama' correctly.

Big Al clearly doesn't share the love. Such harsh words for such dainty little flowers, don't ya think?

For my myopic readers: Yahtzee can take a long hike off a short cliff.

And yes, at this point I had already earned myself a big, fat Yahtzee! Even still, my feelings about the lame game didn't change.

Help us.

Help save our Saturday nights.

Save us from the completely boring, lame-0, makemewannapluckmyeyelashesoutonebyone game that is Yahtzee.

Let us in on where we can find real gaming pleasure! What (non-educational, please) games do you enjoy playing? Do share!