Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sending her back

… to 1983, that is.

I’m getting ready to post pictures of how we’re falling it up around here, but as sneak peek:

erin porch edit 
I was playing around with my editing software, and aged this one a bit.  It seems that all of my baby pictures have this orangey tint to them…it was kind of neat to “transport” Erin back to the past, too.

Stay tuned.  More fall cuteness of Erin and Seth, plus the great porch reveal coming later this week!

Monday, September 27, 2010


My inbox is overflowing with spammy blog comments.

I know your time, reader friend, is precious, which is why I HATE HATE HATE that you now have another step to complete to leave a post comment.  (Kasey, never fear; you’re now completely exempt from commenting – since I’ve made it even harder!)

But my time is precious, too, and so is my blog content, at least to me.  I hate logging into my email to see a dozen new “comments” in my Writer Chic folder, only to discover than eleven of them are spam that I have to unpublish and delete.

So….there you have it.

Faithful readers, I hope you don’t mind, and I hope you’ll still comment.

Robot spammers…..sayonara.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I found one!

Recent picture of Seth, that is.

But it makes my heart hurt.  Because he looks SO much older than two, I think.

mid sept 007 
I know the day is coming all too soon that he won’t be able to fit in my laundry baskets to watch Cars.  So, today, I gladly schlep the clean clothes to the couch sans tote, and cherish his littleness for just a bit longer.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hello, gorgeous girl

(Is anyone else getting the feeling like I have WAY more pictures of Erin than of Seth recently?  Yeah, me, too.  I’m working on that.  But the little bugger won’t hold still or look at the camera anymore….)

Anyway, until Seth starts cooperating, here’s what you get:


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Send in the…

teaser pictures of Miss E’s Halloween get-up.  I can’t WAIT to put some big red circles on her already-rosy cheeks!

mid sept 024 
I had so many suggestions of adorable things she could be for trick-or-treating….but I figure I have YEARS to dress her up, and, well, I’m CHEAP!  So this adorable felt one-piece (plus the jesters hat) for only $4 at my beloved Once Upon A Child was right up my alley.

Seth is going to be a fireman (another score at OUAC -- $6 for a two piece Gymboree costume!), and he is already enjoying the heck out of his costume for daily dress up fun.

I didn’t trick or treat for the majority of my growing up years, and I have every intention of keeping Halloween very non-goblins and ghouls for my littles as they grown, but I have to admit – taking part in the whole dress-up-and-go-searching-the-subdivision-for-chocolate ritual is pretty fun for this mommy.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Never, ever forgotten

Monday morning started way too early for me.

Seth decided that he needed company – mainly, mine – in bed at 1:45 AM.  Erin decided that 3:30 AM was prime party time in her room (Daddy’s been a bad influence the last few weekends, methinks).  I had just gotten back into my own bed after settling her for an hour and a half, when Seth was tugging at me:  “Mommy, wake up.  It’s morning.”  (Well, technically, yes, but, oh, how I was enjoying my pillow.

So, I’m up, I’m tired, I’m shamelessly using OnDemand Sprout TV to babysit so I can pry my eyes open, and I’m not a little dubious about how the day would unfold around me, seeing as how I couldn’t seem to lift my head.

But after a banana and a bowl of Cheerios and half-gallon of ice water, I was starting to perk up.

And then.

And then I got an email from the children’s ministry director at our church.  I’ve mentioned before how much the people at our church have just welcomed us and pulled us in and made us family.  They’ve watched our kiddos and fed out family and just done a fantastic job of living life with us since the day we got to this little Tennessee town.

By far one of the greatest displays of love we’ve seen from our church family was the planting of a sunset maple in Duncan’s honor last August.  You can read all about that day and view the slideshow of pictures here.


I have wanted to have some family pictures taken at Duncan’s tree, but timing and weather have worked against us.  But the great thing is – the tree isn’t going anywhere! =)

But I digress.  I was talking about my bad Monday morning, and the redeeming email from Lisa:

I have to tell you what happened last night at Praise Kids!

We had taken the Kindergarten - 5th graders outside on the playground for a few minutes after rehearsal (they were wound UP!) and kids being kids, they were running all over the place. A group of boys discovered Duncan's little tree and started to shake it.  After being told to stop a couple of times with no results, I marched over and gathered the kids around the tree.  I showed them the ornament hanging in it's branches and explained to them why it was there and what it represented.

I told them that "before he was born, Baby Duncan went to Heaven to be with Jesus.  But this tree helps us remember him."

Kaylen, with her eyes full of tears said, "Oh, I bet his Mom was really sad..."

I told them, "Yes, his Mom & Dad both were very sad, and so were a lot of other people.  Even though Duncan is very happy and in Heaven with Jesus, they're still sad sometimes because Duncan never experienced life here on earth with their family.  They're not seeing him grow up, go to school, play baseball...."

Jack, one of our 3rd graders, then interrupted with..."Well, now that just SUCKS!"

I couldn't help but laugh...it was such an honest and accurate statement!  I told him, "Yeah, it does, Jack.  But we have this tree to remind us that even if Duncan's life was short, he was still part of our family.  And as his little tree grows tall, it points straight to Heaven to remind us everyday of Duncan's life and where he is."

Jack reached out gently, wrapped his hands around the tree, looked straight up the branches and said, "Hey, Duncan, miss you, buddy! Say hi to Jesus for me!"  Then ran off to go play.

So now I've created a bunch of tree huggers.  LOL  The rest of the time on the playground, as the kids raced past the tree, they would stop, give it a hug, look up into its branches and say, "Hey, Duncan!," then wave good-bye as they darted off to play.

Later on, one of the younger kids ran over and started to shake the tree again, but this time a couple dozen other children pounced on him like vultures, screaming, "Stop shaking Duncan's tree! Leave it alone!!!"

Duncan made a ton of new friends last night...friends who are gonna do a great job looking out for his tree, making sure it grows straight & tall, so they can always remember him. : )

Do I even need to say anything in closing?  Talk about making my day.  Not only was my son remembered, but I get the pleasure and blessing of knowing this wonderful woman will be influencing my children for as long as we are blessed to worship together here in Tennessee.

I just had to share this with my readers; I hope it brought a smile to your day, too.

Monday, September 20, 2010

30 x 30 Week 11

Short and sweet.

  • Weight lost: 3 lbs.
  • Total lost since July 6th: 4 lbs.
  • Pounds to go in Phase Two: 12 lbs.

On track with the realistic goal I posted last week, I think, which would have me down 4 more lbs. in the next 10 days.  We’ll see.  If it happens, whoo-hoo!  If not, I can smile at the fact that I still am adding to the donation pile of “these are too big” clothes.  The scale is only a number, after all.  I need to stay focused on how I look and most importantly, how I feel.

The only roadblock in my (known) future this week is a birthday party on Friday afternoon, but I’m telling my friends right now (that’s you, Kasey and Andrea) – don’t let me eat cake.  I’d rather enjoy my naked burrito at Qdoba.  So, hold me to it! =)  Other than that…I think it’ll be a good week.

Hope y’all have one, too.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The post where I prove her wrong

My sweet friend Kristin recently awarded me with a blogging “award,” which I think is hilarious (though appreciated) because, hello?  Really?  When was the last time you read anything of substance on The Writer Chic?

Seriously, the only thing I could think of when I opened this post draft was the following:

Do y’all know what I learned this week?  (And this is embarrassing to admit because you guys probably already knew this.)  When you’re cooking or baking, and the recipe calls for an egg, you should (a) crack and beat the egg in a separate bowl or (b) put the egg in the bowl before adding the other ingredients (like water, oil, etc.).

Because if you, say, measure and pour your water, oil, seasoning, and the like into a mixing bowl, and then crack your egg into the bowl, you just might end up wasting a LOT of ingredients when you realize that your egg was, um, more chicken than egg.


See?  THAT is the post I had in mind for today.  Hardly substantial….though I do feel it was a valuable lesson to learn.

But regardless, thank you, Kristin, for the award, and in the spirit of sending my readers to a blog where they may actually read something of substance, I’ll leave y’all with a list of some of the blogs that I read daily.  These have all been slotted to have their own “Meet My Peeps” post, but let’s face it….my time: precious, and blogging is taking a back seat.

So, here ya go:

Hope y’all have a great weekend!

Monday, September 13, 2010

30 x 30 Weeks 9 & 10

I didn’t mean to take Labor Day off from McFatty Monday.  But, somehow, it happened.  Oops.

Week 9 was better than Week 8, for sure.  See?

  • Weight lost: 3 lbs.
  • Total lost since July 6th: 5 lbs.
  • Pounds to go in Phase Two: 11 lbs.

Yea, me!  I was focused again, after the weeks of yo-yoing and disappointment.  I rocked Week 9.

And then.

Week 10.  Which can be summed up in a phrase that I think epitomizes my struggles:

“And because it was there, …”

I read a book over the course of Week 10 – a just-for-fun book, not a diet and nutrition book – but I did pick up on something the author was using, and it was that phrase.  She was using it as non-dialogue filler, just to help develop a scene, but three times that I can recall off the top of my head, she used the phrase:

  • “Because it was there, Jack reached for a beer…”
  • “Laurel mulled over what Mac had said, and because it was there, reached for another chip.”
  • “Del stopped to think about Parker’s argument, and just because it was there, picked out a slice of the sausage and pepper pie.”

Oh, my goodness.

Where do I sign up for a cameo appearance in that novel, because I’d fit right in!

Seriously, that is me.  Mindless snacking, just because it’s there.  One more trip to the pantry, just because I know something yummy is in there.  It’s horrible, and I want it to STOP!

So, seeing as how I’m not going to get even remotely close to my 30 x0 30 goal (heck, I’m not even going to see the flip side of Phase Two), I’m just recommitting, again, to be more mindful, and to nix the snacking in the bud.  Because I’m finding that just because the snack is under 100 calories, or even if it’s healthy, if it’s CONSTANT, I’m still not going to lose.

Week 10?

  • Weight lost: none, not even maintaining. I’m back up 4 lbs. in 1 week.  And as much as I’d like to blame two end-of-summer BBQs on the gain, I need to admit it was the parties PLUS some bad habits I let creep back in.
  • Total lost since July 6th: 1 lbs.
  • Pounds to go in Phase Two: 15 lbs.

New oh-how-happy-I’d-be goal is 12 lbs  by the 30th.  I know that is neither practical nor healthy, but hey, I’m being honest.  New realistic goal? 7 lbs. by the 30th. And, after that, we’ll reevaluate.

Jim and I will be heading to Las Vegas for a conference in a couple months, and I’m kind of using that as a new motivator.  That, and this picture:

greg bals hug 
I love these people, and I love the happiness in this shot.

But it’s fuzzy because it is so cropped, and it’s so cropped because I look AWFUL in it.  It makes me really, really sad to see my chubby face, and flabby arms (which, whew, is it least somewhat hidden thanks to Doug and Sara’s arms), and I hate that Sara and I have been trying ALL STINKIN’ SUMMER to get this picture of the four of us….and now that we have it, I’m ashamed of it.

Maybe that’s just my vanity speaking, but I need a good kick in the pants.  Because 6 weeks ago, I weighed 10 lbs less than I do right now.  So, no more “I just had a baby excuses.”  I did this to myself, and – this’ll make Jim laugh – in the words of Carrie Underwood….

I wanna UNDO IT.

Here we go.


Friday, September 10, 2010

A Day out with Thomas

thomas day 041

Overpriced event tickets?  Check!

thomas day 014

Scores of excited preschoolers and tolerant parents? Check!

thomas day 007

Beautiful weather, a happier-than-I’ve-ever-seen-him Seth, and wonderful family memories?  Check, check, and check!

thomas day 001

thomas day 018

thomas day 035

thomas day 010

thomas day 011

thomas day 015

thomas day 024

thomas day 028

thomas day 040

What I learned from my Day Out with Thomas:

  • I seriously underestimated the scale on which this event takes place.  Holy cow.  Parking alone was nuts, and seeing the line of parents, toddlers, and strollers headed from the lot to the train station gave me chills (and not the good kind).
  • Whomever puts on these events needs to rethink the concept of having three-year-olds wait for 1+ hours to have their picture taken solo with Thomas.  (Frankly, I’m glad we skipped the line and got our own candid shot with no fuss.)
  • If there is ever a shortage of blue and red plastic, I know exactly where it went.  Heavens, the gift shop!  Unbelievable amount of Thomas paraphernalia.  Jim and I each toured Seth through the shop, and both came to the conclusion that we really didn’t enjoy hearing “but I NEED him” repeated ad nauseum, so, yes, we left the railway with no new additions to our collection.
  • And lastly, despite my “criticisms,” I learned that there is nothing that makes a parent’s heart swell faster than being able to make a dream come true for his child.  I am so glad we took the time and expense to give Seth this memory.  It will last a lifetime.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What 365 days can do

In the words of Martina McBride, this one’s for the girls.

Namely, our girls.  Our being my and Beth’s girls.

In a mere 365 days, we have gone from this and this:

august 024


To this and this:

thomas day 047

thomas day 046

It’s a wonderful, miraculous thing to think that a year ago, on September 9th, we were at Vanderbilt sending Presley into open heart surgery, and Erin was just a mere suspicion.

And here we are now…enjoying Labor Day cookouts with two healthy daughters between us.

Beth, we are blessed mommas indeed.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The lip says it all

4 mo photo shoot fail

Three dozen shots of the bean in her sticker-coordinated sundress, and not a one is worthy to post with her four month blog report.

Stay tuned; we’ll attempt to capture Miss E in a better mood later this weekend!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

So few things in life are “ideal”

Where I blog is no exception.

Kate, aka the Centsational Girl, is hosting a “where do you blog?” link-up party, and of course, I wanted to get it on the fun.

Last summer, I did a lot of blogging from here:

proof of bedrest
Wow.  Post-Duncan bedrest, and before Brooke gave my blog layout her beautiful overhaul.  Seth was in the care of family and friends, and I did a TON of blogging from the comfort of my bed.

Now, however, with both Seth and Erin underfoot, this is most often the blogging set up:

random end of aug 012
It’s a miracle I haven’t sent the laptop careening over the edge of the stairwell ledge, but….it’s what works.  It’s high enough off the ground that Seth can’t reach it; it had good outlet access (since I have killed my battery, and my laptop stays plugged in at all times); and it provides a decent vantage point of both the family room and Erin’s nursery.
 random end of aug 013 
Now, “ideally,” I would have time to myself to blog at my desk:

random end of aug 016

But let’s face it.  I’m a mommy.  And right now, we just go with what works.  And what needs to work right now is hitting “publish,” and racing off to Erin’s room, where she has woken – for the FOURTH TIME THIS AFTERNOON – from her nap.

Where do you carve out a corner of space to blog?  We’d love to see you link up over at Kate’s.