Monday, March 30, 2009

Weekend Wrap-Up

My granny has had a sign hanging in her kitchen for as long as I can remember that reads: Good Bread, Good Meat, Good Gosh Let's Eat. I've always loved that sign and I'd say that it pretty much sums up our weekend.

We had a great weekend, not so much because of what we did, but more because of the company we kept.

Saturday night we went out to eat with one of my most favorite couples, K-Bo and Jeremy. The guys aren't that big on pictures. In fact, they'll make fun of us in a heartbeat, so here's Kerri and me, smiling with our best Bloomin' Onion satisfied smile.

Sunday after church we had 'dinner on the grounds'. Everyone in the church brought food and ate together after the morning service. We are so thankful for the church family that God has given us. Kate always has the best time running around with all of the other kids, which lends itself to a wonderfully long afternoon nap. And again I find myself wondering, "Is there any way we can work this dinner on the grounds thing out to be an every Sunday affair?"

Sunday evening we attended a going away party for Matt's cousin John and his family. John recently got a job with the border patrol and will be moving to New Mexico. John is one of those guys that will do anything to help someone. He's worked extremely hard over the past year to earn his new position and I know it'll be a great move for him. At the party we got to spend time with friends and family we don't see on a daily basis.

Matt, John, and Adam (Matt's bro)

Kate and Kennedy

M to the Izz-A's mom, Kennedy, Abbi, Adam, Kate, and me

Cheesin' it up with Granny Mac (She may be one tough cookie but you've never seen her smile so big as when she's with her grandsons. She thinks they hung the moon...and we haven't told her any different!)

The party was held at a friend of the family's (I didn't know them) and it was such a beautiful location, right on the water. The only thing about beautiful trees and landscaping is that sometimes it oversteps its boundaries and leaves you with a little going away present. On the ride home I felt something crawling on my arm and looked down to find what I thought was a small spider. However, upon further extremely quick observation, I realized that it was actually the biggest tick I've ever seen! I of course freaked out and Matt got it off of me as quickly as he could, which is never quick enough. I proceeded to itch and scratch myself all the way home. I went to bed and dreamed amazing tick dreams. Don't get me wrong, I love nature...through a window.

And this last picture, although a little unclear, I'm posting to show you one of the unwanted side effects of spending too much time with Daddy.

Grab it girl!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ghost of Easter Past

Thank you to everyone for all of your thoughts and prayers for my family during the loss of my grandmother. I am so grateful.

After my last Wordless Wednesday post I knew I'd have some explaining to do. The picture is a bit deceiving. M to the Izz-A did in fact throw Kate up into the air, and while it was higher than I would have liked, it is not as high as it looks. My cousin Ben snapped the pic and because the tree limbs start pretty low on that particular tree, it makes is look as if she's extremely high. Or at least that's the story I keep telling myself. As you can tell, I'm trying to convince myself just as much as I'm trying to convince all of you.

With Easter around the corner, I thought it would be fun to revisit a few Easters photos from way back when. (Fun for you all, not so much'll see why.)

I've always loved Easter. Til this day, I still think of coloring Easter eggs every time I smell vinegar. The eggs, the hunt, the Easter dress, and that annoying fake grass in the bottom of my basket, I love it all. But I have to tell you, when it came to the Easter egg hunt at Grandma's house, most everyone stayed out of my way. I was all business and didn't like losing, although I did... a lot. Not only did I want to win by finding the most eggs, but I also wanted to find the prize egg, which was always one of those egg-shaped containers that Grandma's Leggs Pantyhose (shade: Suntan) came in. Why did people ever think that buying suntan colored pantyhose really made them look like they had a tan?? Did they think that everyone would think that their legs had somehow gotten tanned and that their ivory arms missed the rays? Or that the big seam running across their toes while hanging out of her strappy heels didn't provide a clue?)

Let's take a look at a few Easter photos from the good ole days...the days when Aussie Scrunch Spray ruled and posing came easy.

We'll start out easy (on me). I'm the babe in my mom's arms.

No doubt my dad is the winner in this pic. The perm and the 'stache...well, they speak for themselves. Props to my mom for making her daughters wear their Easter hats, which I think was a requirement for Easter Sunday services back then, and for labeling this photo...with a snippet of notebook paper and tape. And that of course is Sal Gal in the front. The only one who appears to be truly happy. It must be those perfectly straight, blunt cut bangs.

Next is brown on brown. I'd say that 80% of my childhood pictures are brown-tinged. This is me with Sal Gal. As you can see, I had already busted into my chocolate bunny, before the sun came up I'm sure.

Ahhh yes, now we're getting somewhere. Here I am with Big Al....and a lion's mane worth of hair. Last night's bangs obviously still intact, fly backs still flying.

And here I am on a mission. A mission to be the Easter egg hunt champ. Unfortunately I didn't win this particular year and I can only assume it was because my hair weighed more than my body, which totally messed with my speed.

Wow. Really? The toe point, the bangs...and I very well could have benefited from wearing suntan colored pantyhose, over my entire body!

This particular year I chose the nautical/sailor girl look. And I can almost guarantee that I had a brushed out perm in this pic. I think I had a brushed out perm throughout most of my childhood. I'd get a perm and then hate it, and try to brush it out. Needless to say I was unsuccessful in my attempts. And although I used to make fun of Sal Gal and her friends for laying their hair across the ironing board and ironing each other's hair, I'm thinking I should have slapped my head on that board and let them go to town. Thank goodness I couldn't get this pic to zoom in more than this.

I remember taking this picture. Again, with the hair. Why?! This particular year I gave the nautical look to Sal Gal and went for a more flower girl look, hat and all. But I think Big Al wins this one with those bangs (or lack of) . I distinctly remember that she cut them herself. And if you've ever done this, you know there is absolutely nothing you can do to make them look any better. My mom was horrified. Out of three of us, if anyone was going to cut their own bangs, it was Big Al. The same Big Al that while at church one Sunday, walked through the church doors and because the doors closed so quickly it caught the sleeve of her dress in it. Well, instead of opening the door to release her sleeve, she just jerked her arm really hard and ripped off part of her dress and kept walking. Yep, that's Ali in a nutshell.

To post this last pic I had to lay all pride aside. Can you say awkward phase?
I mean, I understand the Easter bunny leaving you Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies. But did he have to leave me his teeth?!! I'd like to give a shout-out to Dr. Geiger and associates for their time and dedication to my grill during the early nineties. Holla!

Here's to hoping that this year's family Easter photo is missing flybacks, bunny teeth, and unibrows.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009


My Spring Break is now officially over. It had its highs and lows and I didn't get to blog for a few days because on Thursday we decided to take a last minute trip to the lake house and to visit M to the Izz-A's Granny Mac. It was more his idea than mine, as I had planned to meet up with what I like to call the 'neighborhood park posse' for a fun day of swinging and sliding with Kate and her friends. Well, that plan quickly got tossed aside and we packed and loaded up for the lake.

Most of the time I enjoy this particular mini-vacay but I knew the weather wasn't supposed to be all that great. Kate did however love riding in the boat. She wasn't a big fan of her life jacket though, so I tried to explain to her that the life-saving value that the jacket provided completely outweighed her complaints of its discomfort. She wasn't buying my sales pitch, so the boat ride was short and sweet.
These pics were taken after the boat ride, right before going back inside to listen to Granny tell me for the hundredth time that she cannot believe that I don't get up every morning to cook Matt a full course breakfast before he leaves for work. Talk about enjoyable...

After paying Matt's mom a visit, we headed back home to make it to a birthday party for my nephew, Chas.

Chas (What a cutie!)

My sisters

Yes, it was that funny.

Me, Grandma (my mom's mom), Sal Gal, and my cousin Garrett

My mom with Kate and Lillie

Kate with Great

Me with the other man in my life, my dad. I love him sooooo much.

Ali and her hubby, James

Although spending time with all of our family was fun, we ended up receiving some unexpected bad news. My dad's mother (my Granny) passed away this weekend. Although losing a grandparent is difficult, it's even harder for me seeing my dad deal with the loss of his mother. I've always had an extra soft spot when it comes to my dad and I can't stand the thought of him hurting. I am grateful for the fact that he was in town from South Carolina for the birthday party and got to spend time with her before her passing. Please keep him, my Papa, and the rest of my family in your prayers.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pacing and Porta-Potties

First and foremost let me thank my sweet blogging friend, Katie Lake, for my goodies that I received in the mail last week. I love every bit of it! Thanks so much!

Next is the update on the Gate River Run 15K. First of all, if you've ever ran in a race, you know the deal with the bathrooms. You, without fail, always have to go and there is nothing but porta-potties. It's a straight line of hundreds of those blue boxes holding mobile potties and you're standing there watching everyone come out, trying your best to judge the bathroom abilities of each and everyone of them while choosing who you think did the least amount of damage before going in behind them. Do I go in after the man in spandex or the lady in cutoff jean shorts? The answer is neither. You choose the lady in black yoga pants who looks equally disgusted at the situation as you are. And as if this topic needs further elaboration, it's no secret that no one washes their hands, because there is no sink, which for some reason makes me blush a little. The whole scenario is enough to make anyone wanna run...

The race itself went pretty well. Actually, the run felt great. The weather was nice, except for the fog on the bridge, and it just felt right. This was the first run that I felt like I found my pace and stuck with it. Miles 1-3 felt fine as I was just taking in the scenery and getting warmed up. Mile 4 found me feeling a bit off, so on Mile 5 or 6 I took a Strawberry Banana POWERBAR® Gel packet and I really think it did just the trick. This particular brand is not as thick as other brands and was much easier to handle. I timed it so that I could take it as I was going through a water station so I could have something to rinse it down with. Mile 8 was all uphill, going up the Hart Bridge. And Mile 9 was almost entirely downhill with the last half mile or so a straightaway to the finish line. Although this was my fourth year running the River Run, it was my first year running it since having Kate. So needless to say, I was a little nervous as to how I would do. Child-bearing can do a number on ya, if you know what I mean. I finished in 1:30:13...and headed straight for the banana and bagel tent.

On this particular day I was painfully aware at how 'behind times' I really am. I ran with my headphones....meaning, my running radio strapped to my arm. I was at the mercy of whatever Mr. Jacksonville DJ wanted to play, which was all fine and dandy until he wants to bust out with "Nobody Knows" from the Tony Rich Project on my uphill climb of Mile 8?! Everyone else had there Ipod's jamming something motivational I'm sure. Again, where have I been? Oh that's right, living in the middle of a hayfield in small town Georgia. So now I'm on a mission to obtain an Ipod Shuffle...and earbuds. And mainly it's just because I like saying 'earbuds'.

I rode to the race with my dear friend Jobeth and it made the day ten times more fun.

Here's a pic of us after the race.

I am on Spring Break this week from teaching and although I think it's a little early to be having a Spring Break, I'm looking forward to spending the week at home with Kate. Today we went shopping for her some much needed Spring clothes. Tomorrow I think we're going to try and make it to the beach for a while with Sal Gal (weather permitting).

Whatever we do, I'm just thankful to have a whole week at home with my love.

She makes my heart sing.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Anna!

Tonight we went to Cousin Anna's 4th birthday bash.

It's obvious that the birthday girl gets the best seat in the house!!

Aunt Sal Gal and Kate

She LOVED the little playhouse.

My cousin Ben (Anna's daddy) and me

All the fellas, discussing grocery lists, hormones, and exchanging recipes I'm sure.

We had a great night, but left a little early. I'm running in the Gate River Run 15K in the morning so I didn't want to stay out too terribly late. (But you know I had to stay long enough to grab some candy from the pinata.) Plus, the temperature started to drop and although Kate was sportin' her pajama bottoms under her skirt to try and stay warm, we were all getting a little chilly. After telling everyone goodbye a hundred times like we always do, we called it a night...a fun night at that!

Again, Happy Birthday Anna!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!