Chronicling The Comerfords

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thankful

This year's Thanksgiving was just as wonderful as the rest have been.  More so.  It does seem like they get better and better with each year.  As a child I was not a huge fan of Thanksgiving.  I did not like the majority of the food served and my simplistic mind thought the day was simply about lunch.  In my opinion, there just was not much to be thankful for.

Every year since Ben and I have been engaged Mom and Sonny have loaded up and joined us for The Comerford Thanksgiving.  I can not tell you how much I love having all of my family under one roof.  I wish it
happened more often. Wednesday night is like a slumber party of cocktails and laughter.  Thursday morning is lazy until the coffee kicks in and Mama reminds us of how many people need to get showered and dressed before we can go to The Comerford's.

2010 has brought us many, many things to be Thankful for.  Since it is 2010, I will rattle off my Top 10 (in no specific order)

1. Sonny is with us!  After a pretty simple surgery went south, he ended up spending multiple weeks in ICU. We love him more than I can describe in a Top 10 List.  We are thankful for everyday he is in our lives.
2. We celebrated Amelia's 1st birthday.  Along with her first year came her first steps, her first words, her first day of preschool and a lot of laughs.
3. Comerford Farms is finally off the ground.  We have had 2 CSA sessions that has provided nourishment for our family, friends and community.
4. Multiple family beach trips
5. Two great jobs in a community we love
6. The ability for me to continue working part time and having my afternoons with Amelia
7. The Sunday School class we formed almost 2 years ago has continued to stay strong and grow with the support of our church.
8. Amelia gets to spend at least one day a week with her Great-Grandparents where she gets "piano lessons" from Grandma
9. My Grandpa is with us.  Not always in his right mind, but he is here. He is also able to be in a home near Mom and that is so helpful to her.  In November we had a great visit with him and I am thankful for that.
10. We have a marriage that grows stronger with each trial and joy.

Really, we have WAY more than 10 things to be thankful for!  Our parents and Grandparents have been such a great support system for our little family this past year.  Our friends our irreplaceable.  The community we live in provides us with more than we could ever give back.  One day to say "thank you" just does not seem like enough.  Good thing we had a long weekend to follow! :)

Here are a few pictures from our day...

Amelia and I spent Wednesday afternoon painting her a turkey shirt with her hand prints.  So much fun!

 This picture reminds me of how much I love this little girl!

 Amelia and Grandma playing a tune on Thanksgiving. (Their lessons are paying off)

 Did I mention how glad I am that my parents come here for Thanksgiving?

What more could you ask for?!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

When Molehills really are Mountains

Last week I blew the leaves in the backyard.  It was the 3rd time this fall. Each time it is more and more work.  As soon as I would get an area completely clear the wind would blow and more would fall.  We have huge old trees in our yard that are so beautiful.  I mean they really are amazing!  But what is even more amazing is the number of leaves in the dang things.  Here I was with Amelia's monitor on my hip trying to beat the nap time clock.  I needed to get these leaves out of the yard before her nap was over or I was just going to have a big pile and a bigger mess.  I thought of a friend of mine who said she "loves blowing leaves because it is instant gratification". 

Well, let me tell you something... there is nothing instant about the job in my backyard.  I cursed the leaves and trees thinking how much I hate our house because of the leaves. I admit, at times I can get a little dramatic.  Then, the baby wakes up. Crud!  I go inside, fix her lunch, change her into some outside clothes and hope and pray I can get finished.  I brought toys outside for her to play with and put the baby gate at the porch steps so she wouldn't climb up and fall down.  We were all set until I turned the blower on. She was not a fan of that at all.  Luckily the leaves were in a pile near the road so I didn't have far to go with them. 
So I broke out the trusty ol'rake.  Then I hear little feet crunching around the edge of my pile and all of a sudden, in she jumped...

 Amelia had the best time playing in my pile of leaves.  It was a lot of hard work.  I'm not going to sit here and act like it was so wonderful and such a sweet blessing, because the majority of it was not all that fantastic at all.  But doesn't God work like that sometimes?  Sometimes the hardest work has the greatest payoff and the sweetest surprises in store.

 I mean, look at this pile!  It's bigger than she is!  It was definitely a mountain of work, but that mountain made a perfect Saturday afternoon play spot for my little girl.

 And afterwards we rewarded ourselves with our favorite sugar cookies from the Fresh Market.  We also took a couple to one of our sweet neighbors who was blowing his yard as well.

"I see you!"

Next time your molehill turns into a mountain, just keep going.  You never know what will be there to celebrate with you on your mountain-top.

Breaking News: Skinny People Don't like to Talk Weight Either!

I never published the below blog.  I have had somewhat of a blogger's block thinking about it.  It has now been about 2 weeks since someone made the most recent comment to me that upset me.  The emotions have simmered so I thought about deleting and moving on, but I have decided against it.  This is a journal of my life and this is a part of it.  There have been multiple occasions where I have been upset or aggravated by people making snide comments about my weight so here is my take on the subject...

I have been frustrated about this topic for about a year now but have not said anything at the risk of offending people.  But, if you are reading this you are obviously interested in my opinion (or just nosey) so here it goes...

Let's talk facts for a moment.  All of my life I have been between a size 2 and 6.  If I am honest the 2's were stand up only jeans, but they did button so there! Since I have been married I have been between a 6 and an 8.  Before I got pregnant the 8's were not comfortable at all.  After giving birth I lost everything I had and then some.  Currently I wear a size 2 and there is some after lunch breathing room in them.

I do not like to exercise.  I do not even like speaking the word.  I do love to push our daughter around town in her stroller and probably walk 5 or more miles twice a week when the weather is nice.  When the weather is not nice I am chasing and wrangling a 15 month old all over our house.  So I guess by default I do exercise.  I should also mention that I breastfed my baby until she was 8 1/2 months old.  I have heard that helps drop the weight in a hurry, but I really don't know.

All of this is to say that I have no idea why in the world I am as small as I am right now.  I have no idea how it happened.  I am grateful it did, but I can not take credit for it at all.  I can also understand that it could be frustrating to some people who do exercise or diet or do whatever it takes to lose weight or keep a great figure.

I feel like I have apologized or made up excuses for my weight for a year now.  And a year later I will tell you, I'm a little tired of the comments.  I don't mind the people who I have not seen in some time telling me how great I look. Who doesn't like to hear that?!  What I do mind are the backhanded compliments with resentment in your voice or people mentioning that other people are talking about my weight or the real sweet people that tell me I need to eat. 

I do not feel like I look unhealthy, just thinner.  If someone genuinely thought I was sick or had an eating disorder I would not mind them kindly asking me about it.  I would be more than happy to invite them to buy me lunch and let me prove them wrong. I see nothing wrong with confronting someone you love when you think they have a problem.  I also see nothing wrong with giving someone a heartfelt compliment.  But everything else needs to go. I would never go up to someone at a party and say "Girl, if I you I would stay away from those calories in the sausage balls!" So why is it okay for someone to tell a skinny person that they should eat 2 or 3 of the donuts that were brought in?  Someone may be rolling their eyes at this moment thinking the difference is obvious, but it's not as clear as you think.  The fact of the matter is that being hateful, is being hateful regardless.  And for those of you who think you are being funny, you are not. 

I'm not sure why skinny is so much more accepted than a little over-weight in our society.  I was just talking to a dear friend the other day who is training for a 5k.  (I am very, very proud of her by the way!)  It is a fact that at this time her pant size is larger than mine, but I would bet anything she is in better shape than I am.  Your outward appearance has little to do with your inner health, so why does the world put such an emphasis on it? I will also mention that my friend is beautiful.  Way more beautiful than a number of size 2 models and celebrities I've seen.

I know about the Marie Claire article that was written recently and I think it is horrible.  Who in their right mind would say such terrible things?  I think it is hateful, awful things like this that continue to draw the line in the sand between big and small. But here is the thing in my situation anyway, when you make enough comments that it makes someone ashamed of the way they look then it is time to stop.  Yes, I am skinny and no I did not do anything worth while to get this way and guess what?  I am still proud of the way I look and am grateful I can wear skinny jeans and there is nothing wrong with me feeling this way.

Perhaps this is just me on a soapbox, but it is an honest feeling in my heart.  Just remember that none of us like to talk about our weight regardless of what the scale says.  And why should we anyway?  It's not a sign of who we are as a person.. except I could see that it could be the sign of a terrible cook.  Maybe I would weigh a little more if I were better in the kitchen :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Molly Ringwald, Steel Magnolias & Madonna

Great title, huh?  There have been some awesome women that have come into my week (not literally, but close enough).  Keep reading...

It's official, Amelia has a case of the crummies.  There is nothing seriously wrong with her to consider her sick, but she feels absolutely 100% crummy... for at least 10 mins an hour... and she is a drama queen. Seriously, she has some drainage and a little bit of a runny nose.  I'm sure it is that feeling that you have when you feel bad and just don't feel like getting up and going on with the day, but you know deep down inside that you don't feel quite bad enough to do it so you just walk around sulking and grunting all day.
This morning she belly ached from the time she got up until we went to school.  I kept walking around feeling her head, wiping her nose, wondering if her stomach hurts.  Then all of a sudden, Ben walks into the kitchen with Amelia in his arms and says, "I know what's wrong with her.  She is mad that you have her dressed like Molly Ringwald!"
Do you think so?  I'll be honest, I was not really feeling the outfit either.  I like all of the pieces she has on, but I'm not quite sure they worked together.  Did I send her to school this way anyhow?  Sure did!  That is one of the great things about being the cutest person on the planet, you can pull anything off.

This week the Society for Performing Arts is putting on Steel Magnolias.  The wonderful insurance people I spend half my day with are the main sponsors of the play.  So, last night we attended a reception and a sneak peek of the play.  It was a really nice date night for me and my main man.  We mingled with friends and clients over wine and food.  The main table was decorated with flowers in the shades of blush and bashful and the centerpiece... you guessed it!  A bleeding Armadillo cake!  After the reception we settled in for the play.  I can not speak enough of the talent we have in our little town.  These women did a fantastic job bringing the movie to life on a small stage.  The best part was when Ben leaned over while Annette was speaking and said, "Isn't that the part that is played by Daryl Hannah in the movie?"  In case you are keeping score, that is 2 points for Ben.  Apparently he knows his 80's women! 
If you are nearby I would HIGHLY recommend you getting tickets this play.  You will love it!

After the play I came home to watch the CMA's.  I love country music.  Even the new stuff that is not country according to the resident cowboy.  Did you watch them?  I have to admit, I am not a huge fan of the country music awards.  Country is supposed to be big fabulous dresses and suits or tuxs.  If you mute the tv nowadays you might think you are watching the VMA's or something.  Scandalous and a little trashy.  This does exclude the always beautiful Carrie Underwood.  Her dress was the prettiest thing I have seen all year. With the exception of Molly in the above photo. 
If you did watch you must have seen Gwyneth Paltrow singing.  I was glad to know that she is promoting a movie because cross-over careers get on my nerves a little bit.  Plus, there are certain talents under one roof that are assigned to certain people.  I am not even allowed to think about looking at the checkbook in our house.  If Gwyneth did not live with cutie pie Chris Martin then it may have not bothered me as bad.  I just think he is yummy and I'd rather hear him sing the soundtrack of a movie she is acting in.  That is the talent rule in my opinion.  BUT I do give her props!  Can you imagine the guts it took to stand up there in front of all those country music singers, sing AND play the guitar?  Way to go Gwyneth!  Nobody can say you are a fraidy cat!  Do you think she called Madonna Wednesday afternoon while having cold sweats freaking out?  Do you think stars do that?  Like, just pick up the phone and call Madonna's cell blabbering and hyperventilating at the same time?  I'm sure they do.
Madonna was on Ellen this week.  I know she is a little out there, but I still love her.  I also know she and Gwyneth are besties. I think I should be in their Friday afternoon play group.  I bet they have play group and I bet they would like me and Amelia (As long as Amelia doesn't pick her nose.  It is a new trick and really embarrassing.  But I bet even trendy Hollywood babies need somewhere to stick their fingers on cold days).  HOLD THE PHONES... I was just googling to find a super cute picture I have seen of them strolling together and apparently they have broken up.  Some big fight.  Sad!  I bet when Gwyneth was about to pee her pants she thought about Madonna and wished she could call her because she misses her so much.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Baby It's Cold Outside

But we are all toasty in the inside! 

Today Amelia had her first sippy cup of hot chocolate.  I only gave her a little bit of mine and she cried when it was gone.  I do that too sometimes! :)  I am guessing she liked it.


Our frontier man just left to go to the farm, or perhaps a roadside pick-up truck if he passed one of those first, to get a load of firewood.  Tonight will be our first fire of the year  It's a day full of firsts on this 7th day of November!

I also have peanut butter cookies to put in the oven a little later.  It will be a snugly, toasty Sunday night at the Comerford house.

Do you have Sunday traditions?  Sunday seems to be our only consistently traditional day.  We eat breakfast, run late to Sunday school, Big church, then we pick up Cracker Barrel to eat at home (avoids the wait of Sunday lunch-ers).  The man of the house watches football while 2 or all 3 of us nap.  At some point in the afternoon he leaves because he just absolutely can not sit still in one place all day, then he is back.  We either grill out or make grilled cheese and soup or some sort of gourmet cereal (like Lucky Charms or Peanut Butter Crunch or Fruity Pebbles).  The little girl goes to bed at 7:30.  At this time we pull out the dessert and wine, hot chocolate or hot tea and we catch up on our DVR recordings of How I met your Mother and SNL followed by Desperate Housewives.  

Sundays also seem to be our night to talk. It is usually a pretty peaceful day (with the exception of everyone being snippy with each other in the morning because we are always late).  It's our time to be on neutral ground, when emotions are not running high, to talk about our frustrations and hurt feelings etc from the week.  We seem to get a lot vocalized and accomplished this way.  We definitely do not have the perfect marriage and Lord knows we do not have it figured out.  However, one of the big things we have going for us is our ability to communicate. I think your willingness to listen is one of the greatest ways to show love for someone.  I just have to practice keeping my big mouth closed to do so! ha! 

I LOVE Sundays!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I Voted... For What It's Worth

The Ritz Carlton motto is "Ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen." Wish we could say the same for political candidates and the electorate. Vote anyway!

This is the status a friend of mine chose today for Facebook.  I totally agree!  I was standing there at my little machine today and all I could think of was the ugliness that has been on televison.  That and Roy Barnes sounding like a redneck saying "I just hope they don't shoot my cows.."  Roy, I know you were trying to capture a specific audience, but you sounded like a goon. 

I will say that I voted Republican with the exception of Governor which I voted for Libertarian John Monds.  I am sure he will not win so perhaps it was a wasted vote, but I really like what the guy had to say.  I also really like what he stands for.  And honestly he was the only one on tv that did not spend thousand and thousands of dollars bashing another person. I'm sure Deal and Barnes are perfectly fine people but I am sick and tired of listening to them be so hateful about one another.  Do you really want someone to run our state who spends hard earned money slandering another person at every commercial break?  I don't think that is a very good use of money at all.

I also looked and the definition of 'For what it's worth' in the Idiom Dictionary is 'whether or not this is of value'.  So, I suppose this post is not titled correctly.  Yes!  My vote is of value.  It might not make a hill of beans up against the big-wig candidates, but it is very valuable. 

I am extremely thankful for two things today (plus many others) 1. that I have the ability to vote as I choose and 2. that all of the political hatred will be off my television and radio.  Now if we could just do away with the rest of the ugliness on tv...  one hill of beans at a time...

Happy Birthday Ben!

On this day 33 years ago in Dothan, AL a boy was born.  Who would have known that this boy would grow up to be my most favorite person on this earth?  He makes me laugh, calms me, encourages me and helps me take this crazy life a little less seriously.  He loves me, takes care of me and helps me raise our baby.  

And he is a fabulous dancer!

Happy Birthday Ben.  I love you

Sunday, October 31, 2010

That's My Boo!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Since my child will not keep anything on her head, we did not have a huge selection of baby Halloween costumes.  I was browsing the internet and saw this cute little ghost tutu ensemble and thought, "I can totally make that!"  And I did...

 She is supposed to have a big orange polka dot bow on her head, but she hates all things on her head.
Usually we can sneak a little bow in.



 Mom's friend from high school made these bloomers.  Same person who has made all of the others ones (Christmas, Easter, birthday, etc)  Couldn't you just eat those legs up?

Saturday we went to Downtown Trick or Treat and Chili Cook-off.  The best part was running into Scarecrow Davis


 Amelia was also in the costume contest.  We did not win.  I know you are shocked! I can't believe it!  I'm sure we were taken out because of her Daddy's job downtown. Otherwise we would have won first prize!  That was the story we told her anyway... ;)

Trophy or not we still had fun!

After the downtown festivities, we strolled over to a friend's house for a Halloween lawn party.  Great time and great friends!  We trick or treated a few houses making our way back home, but Amelia really didn't get it.  She does love Smarties though!  I bet next year she will be a ton of fun.

At first I thought it was weird that our town does Trick or Treat on Saturday when Halloween falls on Sunday.  I still think it is pretty weird, but today was really nice.  We had a great service at church, good lunch and a 2 hour nap.  This evening we played in the backyard and grilled Comerford Farms hamburgers. It was a wonderful relaxing family day.

I also thought a few times today about making Amelia's Halloween costume next year... probably not.  Good thought though!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Yesterday's Lazy Cures Tomorrow's Crazy

Ummm... not in my world.  Do you watch Modern Family?  I felt like we were the only ones on the planet that do not  watch it so this week we tuned in.  What a funny show!  I'm not sure if it was super-funny just for Halloween or what, but it is now set on the DVR.

If you do watch you understand the title of this post.  I called... well that is not true... Side Story... Jamie called me this afternoon to inform me that I do definitely look like the meanest person on creation when I drive.  The first time she called I informed her that she must have caught me on a bad day.  So, today she confirmed that, no I am definitely a mean-face driver.  Who knows?  I apparently need to hook the Ipod up and start driving to Dolly Parton more often.  Maybe it is my big fabulous sunglasses?  I don't know.  I promise I do not intend to look that way.  Just honk and wave at me next time and I will smile big.

Back to the point... while trying to justify my driving face I went into a rant of why I could look mean.  It's been a week.   Nothing bad, I have just been a grump.  Just one of those funks I suppose.  This morning I was running around like a mad woman and was told to leave the house and Daddy would get the little girl to school.  Then I couldn't find my keys, yesterday it was a check, Wednesday it was the church fall festival that Amelia was not excited about.  Just one of those poo-poo, nothing is really wrong but I am in a foul mood weeks.  And I have decided that I need a chauffeur (along with a Nanny and a maid and a gay male best friend who will dress me).

I was explaining to Jamie the humor in Modern Family and said "Why can't lazy cure my crazy?  Whenever I am lazy to take a break from the crazy, the next 2 days are even crazier than the day before the lazy.  What the heck?"  And we decided it is either because a. I am not a gay male or b. because I don't live inside a tv show.  So, basically what you are saying is that I am SOL?  Basically.  Well, that is just great.  Anyone want to put me on tv?  I promise I am awfully entertaining.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Growing Up Before Our Eyes

This weekend we went to Mobile to visit our family's farm and corn maze.  We took Amelia's picture in the same cow photo frame as last year.  Look at the difference a year makes...

2010

 2009

It is unbelievable how fast it happens. They just grow up before you know it!

Below is a picture from this past Sunday.  These babies will graduate high school together.  Some 2028 and some 2027.  Next thing you know these babies and their daddies will be posing for prom pictures.  Sad!

 Look at all these babies!  All of our married friends were obviously getting along really well last year! ha!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Obsessed with Owls

By the way... Owls are my new fall mascot. I admit they are kinda creepy, but I've become obsessed with them this fall. I'm sure it is someones awesome marketing skills that did it to me. I generally don't even like retro stuff, but for this fall we are going for some throwback owls.


And we have one that camps out somewhere near our house. Sometimes he is so loud that he wakes me up. This is super-duper cool because we are in the city and have owls at our house. Small things make me love my little world. Again, getting woken up by an owl is a little creepy (they are just spooky little things) but really cool

Happy Fall Y'all

This saying has become way over used but that is because it is adorable! I love it and will use it as much as possible.

I have not been in hiding these past few weeks. Instead I have been in H-E-double hockey sticks. I am sure most of you do not remember your molars coming through but apparently it is quite painful. That or my child has inherited my fantastic drama skills when it comes to pain. Amelia has had on and off fevers jumping up as high as 104.7. For a week solid she whined and tugged at my pants. My back has been sore from carrying her around. And we are not even going to speak of the diaper situation. BUT, the tooth broke through! Praise the Lord! Are they all going to be this bad?? Do you realize teeth have been coming through those sweet little gums since Feb 12th? Ugh! I'd whine all the time too. That stinks!

So, that's the rotten life I have led these past few weeks. But, let's not dwell! Let me tell you some of my favorites so far from this fall...

* My tea olive bushes surrounding the porch making my backyard smell amazing

* My weekly girls night in with Jamie

* Attic Sale! A success and so much fun. It cracks me up when women pull their spending money out of their bras.

* Pumpkin Parties

* My back porch full of friends eating Comerford Farm hamburgers

* Our CSA and all of it's members

* Crisp, cool wonderful air

* Afternoon strolls with friends and our babies

* Making Amelia's Halloween costume

* Book club on a sweet friend's screened in back porch

* The arrival of Sophie Newsome

* Amelia's pink converse ALL*STARs

* A weekend at Reynolds Plantation with my husband

* Amelia learning to talk which includes:
Pointing out "Elmo"; saying "Thank you" when you give her something or to ask for something; saying "down" when she wants up or down; "Love You" in the sweetest voice you've ever heard; the dreaded "No"; cookies; "chich-chin" aka Chicken; pointing to pictures saying "Who's dat?" ; "Moooo Cows"; barking at puppies; chasing Molly around the house saying "HEY! kitty-kitty"; plus all of the other chatterbox babbles including "reading" to herself

* A baby who has finally decided to cuddle

* A day at the GA National Fair in Perry

* Sharing a table with 3 girls I have loved for years to celebrate Heather's birthday

* Uggs and Rainbows in the same week

* Having Grandma in town for the DownTown Hoedown

* Skinny Jeans

* Amelia's Wranger jeans

* All my TV shows are new again

* Amelia using her "Prayer hands" while we ask the blessing

* Making my Santa at Phipps appointment


We have had a rocky fall with a few stumbles, but needless to say we are blessed . So "y'all" I hope your fall is as happy as ours!

Monday, September 27, 2010

What an Honor!

On September 21st Ben traveled with his Grandfather to Washington DC on the West GA Honor Flight.

A few times a year they take WWII veterans on a one day trip to the WWII memorial. This time our church was helping sponsor the trip so there was a lot of talk around church and town about it. Ben asked Grandpa if he would like to go and jumped right on the opportunity. Every veteran has to have a "guardian" travel with them to Ben went along to "guard" Grandpa. For weeks he has been reminding us of the trip and talking about it. It was fun to see the excitement and anticipation building.


On Tuesday they left here at 5:30am and rode to the airport on church buses. They were escorted by all sorts of police and firetrucks. Grandpa said he had "no idea how they could even see to drive with all those lights flashing"! They had a catered Waffle House breakfast then landed in Baltimore around 10:30am.


They traveled all over DC. Everywhere they stopped to visit, there was someone there waiting to thank them for their service. Many political figures and even an Army General took time out of their day to come out and speak with the group.


After a busy day in Washington they all boarded a flight to head home. While eating a steak dinner on the plane, there was a mail-call. We were all secretly asked to write letters to our soldiers. We were told there would be a surprise mail-call on the plane like when they were in war. Grandpa said reading all the letters from the family and seeing his great-grand children's artwork was icing on the cake. They also received letters from the boyscouts and state officials. In the words of Ben this entire day "was a first rate operation!"


They arrived back at the airport about 10:15pm. Little did they know there would be a few hundred people plus soldiers waiting to give them a proper welcome home. Flags and balloons were flying and banners were waving. The looks on the faces of these men were priceless! I think I teared up 3 or 4 times. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for all.


Here are some pictures of Grandpa Comerford's Homecoming


Amelia waiting patiently for Grandpa

All the soldiers lined up to welcome home the Veterans

Maybe Grandma is a little excited?!

Here they come!

Welcome Home!

Grandpa shaking hands with everyone thanking him for his service

Fun day with new friends

All the Comerford's excited to see Grandpa.
You can't even tell it's 11:30 on a school night! :)

All the way home Grandpa told us stories of his day. The new friends he met, the people who kept shaking his hands and thanking him, the good food, the letters, he loved it all. When we dropped Grandpa and Grandma off he hugged Ben and thanked him for a great day. Then he said, "I've never been so appreciated before."
Think about that the next time you see a man in a WWII hat. He fought for you and your country. He shouldn't have to travel to Washington DC to be appreciated. Thank him where he is.

"You Are Missed!"

What a great weekend Amelia and I had. The Man of the House was out of town for a wedding and us girls stayed home. Congrats to Trey and Jaime! We hate we missed the big day, but have really enjoyed the pictures. SO PRETTY!

Anyway, it was a really relaxing weekend around the house. We had friends over Friday and Saturday. Not to mention the sweetest, prettiest little girl came for a visit Saturday night. There isn't much better than holding a baby. We also squeezed in time for a birthday party and some pink converse tennis shoes.

Sunday morning I had to teach Sunday School. I do not like teaching Sunday school one bit. I always feel like I struggle through it. If you ever heard our other teachers, you would be intimidated too! They are wonderful. I surprised myself with a really good lesson. We also prayed for rain in class and it has rained 2 days in a row! Something must have went right! :)

I think I have mentioned that in church we sit in the "old folks section". I don't mean this in a bad way. I love where we sit. It's just that most people our age either go to the contemporary service or sit in the back or balcony of the church. I have to be front and center to pay attention. So by default, we have our assigned seats surrounded by a group of some of our "more mature" friends. They seem to enjoy having us around and we definitely love all of them.

This Sunday I moved in close to one of my most favorite ladies so we could sit together. She is a widow and I was by myself so together we made a fun pair. I don't know her age and I suppose it would be rude to say anyway. She has a beautiful, bright smile and some fun quirky stories. At least once a month she comments on me not having on stockings or something on my shoulders. I think of her during the week, every week. You know there are just some people who stick with you. Together we snickered at the children's choir and giggled as the pastor explained the sweetness of candy corn to the children of the church.

I learned a lot teaching my lesson in Sunday school and we had a sermon that spoke directly to me. The hymns were spot on and it started raining during church. It was a wonderful Sunday! But the most incredible thing happened right when I found my seat on the pew. I sat down next to my friend (who was not there the previous Sunday) and said, "We missed you last week!" She looked at me and beamed for a split second then said, "Well, thank you. I appreciate that. It's nice to know I was missed."

While the lesson, sermon, hymns and joyful children made a perfect Sunday, my lesson came from my sweet ol'friend... "It's nice to know I was missed."

Isn't it amazing how one simple phrase or act of kindness can mean so much to someone?

When I got home from church there was a text on my phone from my traveling husband saying "I miss my girls". It IS nice to know you are missed!

There are many of you who read my blog that I don't get to see nearly as much as I would like. Know that you are all missed and loved daily. I truly miss every single one of you!

Who all do you know that needs to know you miss them?

Much Love!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Baby Steps

video

Amelia took her first 2 steps of Independence on July 21 but those were the only 2 for a while. The night of her 1st birthday she took about 6 or 7 steps without realizing it. We are now at 1 year and about 3 weeks and she is walking all over the place. Well, she has a little swagger, but it's cute. She gets where she needs to go.

Our Boys of Fall

I personally love Kenny Chesney. I know people say whatever about leaving country and singing too much about the beach or Islands, but I think he is fun! Besides would you rather hear "Rocky Top" Or Jamaican Me Crazy"??

This fall he brought us all back together. From small towns to college towns all of us have "Boys of Fall".

I have told you about the lack of football skills that were my high school. I am now in a world far, far away from those days. Our town rallies every weekend behind our boys. Whether you are on the field in pads, in the band, a cheerleader, a parent, a student or a fan you play an important roll on the weekends around here.

We are a town that has pre-game tailgates and season ticket holders for our high school team. Why? Because they are great! Tomorrow they will be playing on national television and our entire town will be bleeding blue.

I did not grow up here and I have not spent one day at the high school but there is something about this little town that kind of makes me wish I did. Therefore, tomorrow I will proudly wear Granger Blue as my family and I go to support the Boys of Fall.

Look out for Amelia and her cuteness on TV!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qp5il2WBIIk

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Definitely Not "All Purpose" At All

I tell you what, life in general is total learning experience. I no longer feel guilty about not taking home economics in school because I have friends to educate me.

I delivered my $5 Ingles dis-advantage dinner last Tuesday. It was really, really good with the exception of the rolls. This was a big bummer for me because I wanted them to be a hit. They are these melt in your mouth sour cream and butter rolls that my Mother-in-law makes. I have no idea what they are called because when I copied the recipe I titled them Super Yummy Rolls on my recipe card.

When I got to the first stop I explained that the sausage and rice is perfect but the yummy rolls taste like balls of flour. They are doughy in the middle and just taste terrible. I explained about my Mother-in-Law and how they are always so good, blah blah blah and how there are only 3 ingredients then I say the joke of the night "so, the only thing I do different is that the recipe calls for self rising flour, but then that shouldn't matter because I use all purpose and it is good for everything."

I was walking towards the door thinking nothing of it until I realized my supposedly sweet friend was about doubled over laughing at me. She said I was "hysterical". At this point I'm still not on the same page she is on. I turn around to see what she is laughing at, wondering if I have toilet paper hanging out my pants or something and she says, "That is the funniest thing I have ever heard! You have to put that on your blog or one of those internet things you do."

She finally proceeds to tell me that self rising is fluffier and whatever and that they are not the same thing.

I have since found out you can add baking soda or powder and some other somethings to all purpose to make it self rising. But I think I will just go back to Publix and get the self rising to have on hand.

But here is the thing... why in the world would you call something "All Purpose" if it can not be used for all purposes?! I think that is false advertising.

Can I use self rising in place of the all purpose? I just really do not need 2 bags of flour in the pantry.

At least now I know why 3 batches of rolls have tasted like dough.

Tonight is Pesto Chicken Packets and no rolls.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Delicious Diapers

A friend called me frantic at 7:00 tonight. She committed to making a diaper cake and realized she had no idea how to make one and remembered she needed it done by tomorrow. I am SO glad I am not the only person who does things like this.

Luckily I have made one other one in my whole life so I am practically a pro. I gave her a list of the things she needed, sent her to Wally and she came over after the babies were in bed. The purchaser of the cake told her she wanted to put travel sized baby stuff on it (wash, lotions, powder, etc) so we decided to make it a bath time cake.


Isn't it precious?!


If I would have paid attention in my photography class you would be able to see how cute it really is.


We had the best time popping rubber bands and decorating this little guy. My friend is really cute and creative. Add that to my mad diaper cake making skills and we make a good team!


I really have no idea why you would pay someone to make these. They are super easy and really fun. That being said, if you are in the business of paying people to do things for you and need a diaper cake, I know 2 girls who would be glad to make you one!


Oh! We also have a friend who makes diaper wreaths.

I'm talking one stop shopping people!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Ingles Dis-Advantage

Mom calls me on a pretty regular basis to tell me where I need to buy my groceries. She reads the sales ads backwards and forwards and gets some amazing deals.

Many times she has told me to go to Ingles. Ingles is about 15 miles from my house which isn't far, but it's not right around the corner. When you move to a small town you get used to not making a commute. Plus I have to pass 3 other stores to get there. It just usually does not happen.

Last week they had multiple things I needed buy one get one so Amelia and I made a road trip.

I spent an hour and 15 mins bargain shopping. "Is the Crest with my coupon cheaper than the Colgate on sale?" kind of shopping. My little helper did really good, but then we ran out of Puffs. Some serious decisions had to be made in a hurry. By the time we got towards the register she was walking in her squeaky shoes holding on to the bottom rails of the buggy. There was nothing quick about that but it entertained her.

The cashier asked if I had an Ingles Advantage Card. I told her I did not but I had my phone number. (Mom told me I could use hers and to give their home number). The cashier started ringing up the groceries. I watched with pride as my bargains went across the scanner.

She was done and I reminded her that she needed to enter my phone number. She looked at me, pulled off some register tape and wrote down my number. Then left. I watched her go up to the customer service desk and do something. Turns out you have to enter it into the computer to get the card number. This did not make my cashier very happy at all. To back up, my sweet precious one had been sitting on the counter smiling and making faces at everyone and she did not acknowledge her once. I wrote it off as someone who does not like kids. Which I really think mine could change a mind, but I get it. I was a cashier, you can only oooohh and aaaahh so many times in one day before you are over it.

Back to the story... she entered in Mom's # and bang! $20 fell off the total, then I had $1.50 in coupons. A TON of groceries plus toiletries for $104.26! I was really excited. I purchased my Tuesday night dinner for 6 people for a little over $5.

I entered my debit card information and it says "Not Authorized" on the little machine. I think to myself, it's the 2nd this should work.

OH, important side note... our paychecks get deposited into one account without a debit card or anything with it. It is simply for writing checks for bills and savings. One the 2nd of each month money gets deposited into my debit card for groceries and spending. I typically do not let my account run completely dry but in August I hosted a baby shower, threw a birthday party and went to lunch with the girls. I was sitting pretty with $1.47 in my account on the first of the month. :) But who cares, pay day comes at midnight.

So, I slide my card again knowing a months worth of grocery money was just deposited. Again "Not Authorized". I looked at the cashier and said "It is the 2nd, right?" She just looked at me. I said " Yeah, I know it's the 2nd. Let me try again, I know money was just deposited". As I try to slide my card she finally speaks and speaks in a ghetto-fabulous voice (I'm not racist, just speaking the truth) loud enough for anyone in the 3 registers on either side of us to hear "It SAYS you have insufficient funds!" GASP!! Are you kidding me? 1. How is that possible, I know money went into the account and 2. Did you really just yell out to all of the customers that I have insufficient funds?

Like I said before, I worked as a cashier for 6 years. There were awkward times when you did have to tell people they were declined, but you did not do it in your outside voice. And since it is super embarrassing, you should be nice about it. If I had not made a 30 mile round trip and spent over an hour in the store and got a buggy full of great deals I would have told her to enjoy putting all the groceries back and walked out of the store. Instead I put it on my credit card and walked out. I had a lot of choice, ugly, crappy statements I wanted to make but I did not.

I called the best bank ever and they very nicely informed me that my money goes in at midnight on the 2nd. These are things you do not find out until you suck your account dry.

So it turns out that it was my fault and that card did have insufficient funds. BUT someone in customer service should never act that way. Maybe she was mad from the beginning that I made her exert energy and walk to customer service. Who knows. I would like to say that I will never shop at Ingles again, but they do have some great prices. I will just make sure I have money and a friendly cashier next time.

Just another story in the memory book

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Attic Sale Find:Part 2

I'm thinking is it not going to get much better than this. A Strawberry Shortcake television! Do you know how awesome Super Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt would have looked on this jewel?

I may by it for our room. I will just put it on my side of the bed. No football on this tv! I don't really think it would be great for our marriage to have 2 tvs in our bedroom, but it's not a bad thought.

Art - By Request

You know comments really are one of my most favorite things on earth. Well, not really on earth but definitely in cyberworld.

Besides, you really should respect the wishes of your fan club.

Ask and you shall receive! EA, here is the masterpiece.



Makes your Tuesday complete doesn't it?!

School Days

Amelia just completed her first full week of school. She is going to a preschool program at a church in town from 9-1. It is perfect for my schedule and we are excited about her being involved with other children.

The week started a little rough because she still has not given up that morning nap. We heard "she is so sweet, but she doesn't want to go to sleep when she is tired". Yes, we know. We have been there for a whole year. They finally figured out the baby girl still loves to swing. So if she gets cranky, they lock her in and turn it on. They still do this at our church on Sundays. Some days she naps and some days she does not. We have heard that she is the most expressive child, which we also knew. By the end of the week everyone was on the same system and things were smooth sailing.

It took 1 week and 1 day for me to get my first piece of refrigerator art but it is finally here! I open her sweet pink and green book bag everyday looking for something special and all I find is unused diapers. That was the story until today.... there is a picture of a tree with stickers of apples all over it hanging front and center of our refrigerator!

Here are some pictures from Amelia's first day of school - 08/23/2010

Notice there is only one picture with the bow. She has started taking them out and throwing them down. It makes me sad!

And we are off

"Bye-Bye Mama" So excited for school!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Kate Plus Nine

I am so mad at myself. In a moment of weakness I did it. I didn't mean to, it just happened. There were no other options at the time and I stopped. I spent 30 mins of my life watching Kate manage her fleet of children and those are 30 mins I can not get back.

I will admit, I was obsessed with those cute little babies for many years and I was always intrigued my their marriage. She was so mean to him and he just took it. But then she did have Bible verses on index cards everywhere. Maybe she tried but was just stressed out (and rightfully so. I have been stressed and snappy for 2 weeks straight and I only have 1 child). I was also amazed at the organizational skills she had. I was a fan of the fam until the separation. I lost a lot of respect for both of them, but especially her.

Let me say... I was introduced to a fantastic blog recently. This blog is written by a beautiful person who had some nasty things said about her because of her appearance. I think she is a really pretty girl so I do not get the comments in the first place. My guess is there was some jealousy or envy that turned into hate and meanness. Sometimes the people our world are just plain ugly. Anway, she wrote a blog reminding everyone that the people behind blogs are human and have feelings and they get hurt. I completely get that! Now, that being said, if you put yourself out there for the public via internet or tv or any other form of media you should expect criticism. That is just how it is. It's not right, but it's the world. I mean you can pick up any of my favorite gossip mags at any point and see them talking about how such and such beautiful person is gaining weight or getting wrinkles or whatever. We talk about people, it's what we do. If we weren't concerned with other peoples business the cash register lanes at Publix would be really boring and there probably wouldn't be Facebook! *GASP*

I should start this next paragraph out as "I'm not trying to be ugly but.." Ha! You know you've done that! Or perhaps you are reading my blog from somewhere above the Mason-Dixon line?

Anyway, I vowed during the separation that I would never under any circumstances turn on one split second of her show and and risk even one penny going in her pocketbook. I can't even remember some of the things she said now that made me so mad (Seriously, mad? I mean I don't even know this woman. The Hubby gets on to be for this silliness often. But he didn't know the stars in The Notebook and they still made him cry. Same thing.) Back on point... My main frustration was that I do not see how a Mother of 8 children going through a divorce could think it is a good idea to film this part of their lives.

Maybe I am so passionate about it because I am a child of divorced parents. It is tough being a kid in general, then add cameras, and then a separation and not just a separation but an ugly, ugly situation between parents and now to still film children getting adjusted to a broken home. I have only been a parent for like 372 days, but I think that was a poor parenting decision. You can make a fool of yourself acting like you can dance, as if you are even a star, all you want. Which honestly, I would rather you not because I really like that show. But in my 372 day seasoned option, I think you should go back to nursing and get the cameras out of those sweet children's faces.

I have not one single thing against reality tv. I already dearly miss some of my very best friends, Lauren, Lo, Whitney and yes even Spidei's shenanigans. I think reality tv (or as my way too mature husband likes to say "you like all tv for the 16 and under crowd") is fantabulous. I just have a problem with filming your babies while life as they know it is gone. That's a tough place. Disclosure: I was very small and do not even really remember the divorce. So thinking about it, perhaps I do not have the first hand experience to know. AND really I should technically never pass judgement. I just think it's a selfish way for her to make some moolah. Which, by the way, obviously does not go to that fancy new hair-don't! Now that was just plain mean, but that can be fixed. She is a pretty lady with terrible extensions.

I am off my soapbox now. On a more pleasant note, have you ever heard Sugarland cover Irreplaceable? It is playing on my computer right now. It makes me extremely happy!

Maybe I should have been reading my book for book club instead of watching crap-tv. But then I wouldn't have gotten to blog-vent. :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The BIG "Partay"!

First I have to say that I LOVE Urban Dictionary. Everytime I am about to use some spunky lingo or wording I do there to make sure I have the slang spelling correct.


This is how partay is defined... The other definition of party. In times of today, a party is usually associated with alcohol, drinks, drugs, sex, etc. A Partay is a party without drinks, drugs, or anything considered inappropriate for people of the age 17 and under. A partay can consist of hanging out with your friends, going mini-golfing, dancing at a dance, and much more as long as it involves having fun without doing drugs, drinking, having sex, etc.


Alrighty... so here is the scoop on Amelia's First Birthday Partay!



I did not sleep at all. I woke up about every 3 hours. The excitement of a child leaving for Disney in the morning! About 5:45 I finally got out of bed. About 6:15 Ben joined me. At 7:30 the birthday girl woke up. She and I put on the coffee while her Daddy went to Tylers, our most favorite biscuit place.

Amelia was so excited to see biscuits and gravy for her birthday breakfast

We practiced blowing out the candle

Yummy! Thanks Daddy!
Grandma putting on Amelia's birthday bloomers she had made for her.


At 3 o'clock we gathered at the best ice cream shop in town.

The Sugermeyer's are such wonderful people and they serve fantastic ice cream. Amelia has been strolling up to the ice cream shop since birth so it was only appropriate to celebrate her birthday with them. Thanks Sugermeyer's for making our day so, so special!!


Here are some of Amelia's best girl friends enjoying ice cream...






Julian enjoyed the balloons the best!



Jennifer made Amelia's cake, smash cake and cookies for party favors. Didn't she do a fantastic job?! The cake was so cute and so tasty. She also drove 2 hours to deliver the cake, be my personal party planner and celebrate with us. I could not have pulled this day off without her help. She is a baker, artist, decorator, photographer, bridesmaid and one of my very best friends! I think we'll keep her around for a few more years! :)


Our friend Heather @ http://www.annaandco.com/ made Amelia's birthday hat. It was a perfect match to her dress! I really do have some talented friends. Good thing because I am definitely not!


"Happy Birthday to you... Happy birthday dear Amelia..."


Miss Neat Thing would not "smash" her cake. We tried and tried. I suppose she didn't want to mess up her outfit!


She and her Great-Grandpa did enjoy eating one of the icing ice cream cones off the big cake.


She was a complete ham all afternoon!


If the cakes and cookies were not enough, Jennifer also made her this great picture frame to keep as a memory of her first ice cream birthday party!


Amelia with her Grands and Greats!

Did I mention Amelia was born on Ben's Grandparents 60th anniversary? They are the couple between Ben, Mom and Sonny. They love it! The gift that keeps on giving! :)


Amelia's Grandma and Grandpa gave her my rocking chair as one of her birthday gifts. It was given to me by my Gaga and Grandpa and now it is hers. She says "wock, wock"




Party is over, time to go home

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl! You have given your "Mama" and "Dada" an amazing year!