Sunday, December 6, 2009

Just Thinking

While were were in Cincy my mom and I took Brady to Louisville to visit my grandmother. She is old and has recently had a few strokes. The last one left her in the hospital and a rehabilitation center for a couple months. She is now living with my aunt, and sadly will never be able to return to her own home to live by herself again. However, she's not aware of this and desperately wants to go home. She asked multiple times while we were visiting if she could go home. When we left she even tried to stand up out of her wheelchair to get her coat. She wanted to come with us. To be honest I'm not even sure if she knew who I was. My mom has told me that on nearly every visit she asks why her husband has not come to visit her and is starting to think he doesn't care about her. He passed away over 30 years ago.

I spoke to my mom tonight. Yesterday she drove to my aunts house to take care of her for the night while my aunt and uncle went to see their grandson play a basketball game. Before she arrived though my grandma fell out of her wheelchair and hit her head. So they spent much of the evening in the hospital. My grandmother again had talked about how much she missed my grandaddy and said how much she wanted to be with him again. She couldn't believe that he wasn't alive anymore and neither were any of her other family members. She was so saddened that she was the only one left. Hearing my mom tell me these stories just brought tears to my eyes. I never knew my grandfather because he passed away before my parents ever met, but I love listening to the stories my mom tells me about him.

The way my grandma longs for him hurts me. It is so incredibly sweet, yet so sad at the same time. I see it as a testament of what their love must have been. My mom has told me that when my grandmother was younger and my grandfather was still alive she was very active in different activities and always took care of herself and her home. This was also back in the 1940s - 1960's when most women did just that. To me she seemed like the quintessential housewife. I could write a whole new post on all the crafting and homemaking skills she has. She is by far one of the most talented women I've known. I so wish I could get some lessons from her in just a few of her skills. However, after my grandfather passed away she just sort of stopped caring. Her personal appearance and homemaking slowed down and her attitude towards life saddened.

Her house is one of my favorite places to visit. My grandfather built it by hand and the details he incorporated into the design are amazing. I would love to have a home just like it. Although it hasn't been maintained recently is still so neat. NOTHING of his has been moved since he passed away. In the basement there is a bulletin board with some of his work papers still tacked on it along with a picture of my mom from middle school. Everything is just the way he left it the day he passed away. The garage and attic are amazing too. All of his old tools and work material (he built houses for a living) haven't been touched since he was alive. It's like a museum, only a lot dustier!

Two years ago my family was visiting for Christmas and we called my grandmother to wish her a Merry Christmas. When I got on the phone with her, almost immediately she started telling me about how that day 30 some years ago she was sitting in the funeral parlor. I can't imagine spending the last 30+ years of your life with your heart aching for the one you love and feeling so lonely. That must have been some love. And even though my grandma and I weren't very close and I never really felt comfortable enough to ask her all the questions I have swirling about my head, I am so grateful to have gotten a glimpse into her life. She has so inspired me and she doesn't even know it.

Brady and his great-grandma.
Isn't her flowered hat cute?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

2009 Family Pictures

Here they all are! I couldn't be happier with how they turned out. I consolidated some of them into collages so they would be easier to upload, but if you click on them you should be able to enlarge them. Our photographer, Krysia Photography, absolutely rocked. If you are near Cincinnati you should definitely book a session with her. Not only is she incredibly talented but her rates are VERY reasonable AND she allows you to purchase the digital images/copyrights (which is what we did) so you can make as many prints as you want. This will save you a ton of money! Can you guess what our family will be receiving for Christmas??? Mom - please tell me which ones you like best!

Our Fantabulous Christmas Card!

Sorry I didn't get many pics uploaded last night. Our internet connection at our house is being extremely slow. And either my computer or Yahoo is having issues and not allowing me to read my emails. I will try and get some uploaded later this evening. But I wanted to show you our awesome Christmas Card. I am so impressed with these. Not only is the design great, but the print quality is excellent. I'm not sure where our photog got them printed from, but the cardstock is very good quality and the finish is "pearl" which I've never seen before. It has a slight shimmer to it and is very pretty.

Front of Card

Back of Card

Today has been a really great day. Nothing special. Just one of those days spent at the house getting stuff done and enjoying your family type days. This morning we ran some errands and stopped by Goodwill so I could find an old picture frame. I'm wanting to make a magnetic chalkboard to use as a message board in the kitchen. We came home and while Brady was napping I was able to do a little cleaning and get started on some Christmas crafts. Rob cleaned the garage and cleaned up my old frame for me. He even offered to prime and paint the glass for me. I still need to go to Hobby Lobby to pick out some paint for the frame. I'd like to do a funky color - something different than plain brown or black. Now, we're spending the evening watching football and are cooking a boxed Uno's pizza - not quite the same as a real one, but it will do. Rob's been getting on me to order some LaRosa's from home (they'll put it on dry ice and overnight it to you), so maybe I will surprise him sometime soon :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

So excited!

HORRAY! Our pictures/cards arrived today! I am so excited and happy with them. I will upload them later this evening. I posted one of them as a new header, but it is a little larger than I wanted - I will play with it tonight! Yipee!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Master Bath Reveal!

So here is the other home improvement project that we have been working on over the past month. One thing that I am finally accepting and coming to terms with is the fact that when you have a child things get done at a much slower pace. Tasks that used to only take me a few hours to complete now take days and tasks that used to take days now take weeks. This bathroom is a perfect example of that. Rob and I have had to work on it a little at a time. Some days we didn't touch it at all. The main changes we made are upgrading the nasty linoleum floors to ceramic tile, replacing the baseboards, and adding beadboard and a chair rail to the walls. Then we painted the top half of the room a pretty milk chocolate color and replaced the towel bar/toilet paper roll. We'd like to replace the shower head and light fixture, but that stuff can wait.

I will say that beadboard is a total PITA to work with. Rob and I both agree that we never want to work with it again. Rhoda at Southern Hospitality posted about some great beadboard wallpaper that I would like to give a try in our breakfast room. Tiling the kitchen floors is next on our list, so we will see if I can talk Rob into letting me put that on the walls at the same time.

Here are 2 before shots.....

And now the afters.....

(please ignore the filthy toilet brush - it's on my list to replace this month)

Now I need to brag on my awesome husband for a little bit....He did such a great job on the floors and on the beadboard. He hadn't tiled anything in over a decade before he started on the bathrooms and he had never installed beadboard before. I really admire him for not being scared to try something new. He just jumps right in and figures it out as he goes along (although this part really stresses me out sometimes!). I love that when I ask him to do something (home improvement wise) he actually gets excited about doing it and doesn't complain.

I am excited that these projects are finally done and we can concentrate on the upcoming holidays! I am determined to have all my decorating and shopping done by Dec. 1st this year, so that I can actually ENJOY the festivities. Last year I was stressed to the max. Let's just say that a new baby + Christmas = insanity!

I still need to get around to uploading more pics of our Ohio visit. Hopefully I will be able to get to that by this weekend. Also the photographer that took our family pics while we were on our trip just mailed us our Christmas cards & CD with our pics on it. I should receive it by this weekend or early next week so I will be posting those as well.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

We OWN it!!!

We paid off our car today!!! I am sooooo excited about this. We bought our Acadia last summer when we were needing a larger vehicle for our growing family. In addition to obtaining the vehicle we also obtained an annoying little thing called a loan. Rob and I were both raised in very sensible families who always drove paid-for cars. This usually meant buying used vehicles or in my mom's case driving the same car for almost 20 years!!! So this was our very first time having a car payment. And lets just say we despised it. And *technically* this was a used car when we bought it. But it only had 3,500 miles on it and it still had that new car smell. So to us it was brand new. Anyway, back to that annoying car payment....I am a huge Dave Ramsey fan and while we don't follow all of his principles precisely we do keep a very close eye on our budget and we made it a priority to put as much extra money towards the principle on the loan every month so we could get it paid off early. We failed miserably some months and others we did very well. I also have to thank Rob for his great work ethic and working overtime anytime it was available to him. So we got that sucker paid off in 17 short months! Now, we have an extra $440 every month, which I wish I could say I was going to spend on something really fun. HOWEVER, Rob has an astounding amount of student loan debt (those pharmacy degrees are expensive!) which we are going to start chipping away at with the extra money. Otherwise it will take us another 27 years to pay them off (I'm not joking - our mortgage will be paid off before his student loan would be!).

Friday, November 6, 2009

Guest Bath Reveal....

So. One of the many projects we've been working on is the guest/Brady's bathroom. This was one ugly room to begin with. The only upgrade that was ever done in here was crown molding. But you couldn't even see it because it blended in with the white walls. I've wanted to paint the room for forever, but never felt like doing it (I really don't enjoy painting). Here are 2 before pictures:


And now for the afters. The largest part of this project was installing ceramic tile floors. We had yucky linoleum before. We also installed faux board and batten on the walls using this tutorial. Then I painted and Rob put up a new towel bar. I must say I'm not that happy with the paint color - it turned out much more "apple green" than the "sage" color I was going for. But I'm not about to paint it again.


I must say Rob did an excellent job with the tile considering he hasn't tiled anything in over a decade. I was really nervous about letting him do it, but I do love the results! And please ignore the toilet paper roll that is just sitting on the holder. We normally have to keep it up on the counter top since Brady enjoys unrolling the whole thing and eating a few squares! I still need to find some accessories and something to hang on the wall, but it will probably take me another year before I find something I really like.


My new flowers & window boxes!

confession: these are the ugly $6 plastic window boxes sold at Lowes that I spray painted black.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

They're Done!!!

Go here, click on "Client Proofing" at the top, and type in Brady for the password.


I couldn't be happier!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

It's coming, I promise.
One of these days I WILL get around to uploading all my photos from our trip and Brady's party.......after I finish the other 1,245,988 items on my to do list.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Chef Audrey

Confession: I DO NOT EAT VEGETABLES. period. Unless you consider a white potato, mixed with a bunch of fillers, deep fried, and served in a cardboard box next to a "mystery meat" hamburger and a high fructose corn syrup filled soda a vegetable, I just don't eat them. One of my biggest goals as a mother is to raise Brady to eat a healthier diet than I do. As I was browsing my favorite "baby meal" website ( I came across a recipe for broccoli cheese nuggets. Brady seems to like broccoli, so I gave it a try. Only I turned them into "pancakes" instead because I knew I would still have to cut them up into small bites. As they were baking in the oven Rob commented that they didn't smell too bad. I thought they smelled pretty good too. So we tried a few nibbles and, lo and behold, they were good! I think we may have found a new side dish! I can now say I'm a veggie eater (kinda).

But wait there's more! One of my favorite blogs to read is Lindsay's blog, Passionate Homemaking. She writes on a lot of topics, but mostly on healthy living/lifestyle type stuff. She's always talking about cooking with whole grains and "soaking" and about something called phytates. Anyway, I've always been lost. I didn't have a clue what she was talking about, but she recommended Sue Gregg's website. Let me just tell you...the website is a mess. Typos and broken links are all over the place. And don't you dare look at the picture of the old lady. I'm sure she's really sweet and all, but someone needs to update that picture. She looks like my 2nd grade teacher from 1988.... But I did find a lot of information! One of the "free" recipes she gives away is for blender batter pancakes. I really expected them to taste like cardboard. Really. But we had them this morning and they were so good! And easy to make too. I don't normally cook pancakes, but when I do I reach for the closet box of Bisquick or Hungry Jack I can find. This recipe has NO flour in it. Amazing I tell ya. I even did the 2-step process by starting the batter the night before. That crazy phytate word kept coming up again. I still don't know what the heck they are, but starting it the night before really simplified the process and made it so fast to finish in the morning. I used a combo of 1/2 oats & 1/2 brown rice like suggested. Sounds gross, I know. But it was yummy. I will definitely be making these again. Now I want to try some of her other recipes too.

Brady's Costume...

This is a repost of a picture I took last month for Kelly's Show Us Your Life tour. Brady hasn't worn his costume since this day and I'm praying it will still fit him. It is a size 18month and he is currently wearing 2T. Hopefully we can squeeze him in it for a few pictures!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

An Award!!!


I am honored to accept this award from my sweet bloggy friend, Ginger. Thank you so much for your kindness!!!

Here are the rules:
-use only 1 word
-pass along to 6 favorite bloggers
-tell them you did so!

1. Where is your cell phone? Purse

2. Your Hair?

3. Your Mother?

4. Your Father?

5. Your favorite food?

6. Your dream last night?

7. Your favorite drink?

8. Your dream/goal?

9. What room are you in?

10. Your hobby?

11. Your fear?

12. Where do you want to be in six years?

13. Where were you lastnight?

14. Something you aren't?

15. Favorite Muffin?

16. Wish List Item?

17. Where did you grow up?

18. Last thing you did?

19. What are you wearing?

20. Your TV?

21. Your Pets?

22. Friends?

23. Your Life?

24. Your Mood?

25. Missing Someone?

26. Vehicle?

27. Something your not wearing? Shoes

28. Your favorite store?

29. Your favorite color?

30. When was the last time you laughed? Today

31. Last time you cried?

32. Your best friend(s)?

33. One place I could go over and over?

34. Favorite place to eat?

6 bloggers that I am tagging:

*Britni - yes, I know her blog is private, but she LOVES new readers - so send her an email and ask for the login info!
*Sarah - hopefully this will bring her back from her blogging hiatus!

hmmm.....4 will have to do!

I still have TONS of photos to upload from our trip. Please don't give up on me. It will take me a while. I am currently suffocating under piles of Laundry & new toys that need to be organized. Also, we are still working on our home improvement projects, so I will post pictures of those as soon as they are finished and everything gets put back in it's place!

Thank you Justin & Britni!!!

Brady is the proud new owner of a Radio Flyer All-Terrain Wagon! Our sweet friends Justin & Britni generously gave this to him for his birthday. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I can see Brady (and any future babies) having fun with this for years to come. They brought it over this evening and Justin took Brady & Frank for a test drive around the house. They were both super excited. Brady had the cutest look on his face when Justin first started pulling the wagon. I can tell he really liked it. I think we'll be taking him on a walk in it tomorrow when the sun is shining.

Just last night I told Rob that we really needed to buy a wagon for Brady now that he is a toddler. Then this morning I was looking on Radio Flyer's website when Britni sent me a text message asking if Brady had a wagon. I couldn't believe it! She must be telepathic. Thank you again - ya'll really outdid yourself and we are so appreciative!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Back Home!

We we survived our trip. We decided to drive the whole way (12 hours) yesterday so we could get Brady back on a normal schedule today. It went pretty well. Brady had a screaming melt down while we were stuck in standstill rush hour traffic in Nashville, but we expected it to happen at some point. We got home around 12:30 am last night and have been busy unpacking this morning. Brady is entertaining himself with all of his new birthday presents. Thank you everyone for your generosity.

I will post more about our trip later, but right now I wanted to post this. We had family pictures taken while we were in Cincy and I couldn't be happier with how our "sneak peak" turned out. I can't wait to see the rest of them. Please check them out!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Having fun with Family!

We made it! The trip actually went very well. Brady did so good. He barely cried at all and he slept almost the entire way. Brady is napping so I just wanted to do a quick update. Otherwise I'll be so tired and overwhelmed when I get home that these will never make it on the blog. These were taken within the first 20 minutes after we arrived yesterday. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's Coming!

He hasn't taken any steps on his own without assistance yet, but I have a feeling it won't be very long till he does!

We have been so busy around here. We're leaving for Ohio on Tuesday when Rob gets home from work. I've been busy making lists, cleaning, doing laundry, making lists, organizing, packing, and did I mention making lists? Yeah, I'm kinda OCD like that. Otherwise I'll forget something really important. This trip is even harder to pack for since I've got all our birthday party supplies to pack. Also we are having our 1st "real" family pictures taken while we're on our trip, so I've been deciding on outfits and shopping for the finishing touches. I've been busy hemming all of Brady's pants too. He's a chunky monkey and wears a size 2T, but the problem is that they are too long for him, so I have to hem them up for him. I also made some adorable party hats for him & his friends to wear at his party next Saturday. Pray that the weather warms up some. Right now they are calling for a high of 51 degrees! Ouch. I don't know if we'll be having the party at the pumpkin patch if that really happens!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Feeling So Blessed

Did anyone watch Oprah this past Wednesday? Unfortunately I didn't get to see it. I rarely watch Oprah anymore (she really annoys me), but I really wish I had seen this episode. A while back I heard about a fellow blogger, Nie Nie (Stephanie Nielson), who had been in a terrible plane crash along with her husband. I try to stay away from sad stories because they make me cry, so I didn't visit her blog or bother learning more about her story. Well, Oprah's show was about her and everyone in the blogging world seems to have posted about it. Here is a link to an article about the episode. So, I have spent the last two days devouring her archives. And I have cried, and cried, and cried. Her spirit and love for her children & Mr. Nielson (her husband) is amazing and beautiful, and inspiring. Reading her words has definitely touched my life and had an impact on my attitude. Please check her blog out here.

We are still working on our projects. Pictures will come soon, I promise. Rob has been working so hard. I don't think he sat down once today and now he's at work till 10 tonight. Something tells me he's going to be grumpy when he gets home. I'm baking him chocolate chip cookies as we speak to sugar him up. OK, I lie - I'm baking MYSELF chocolate chip cookies. But I might let him have one:)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Still Here

Sorry about the lack of updating this week. We've been busy working on some home improvement projects. I will post pictures when they are all finished!

Can you believe Brady will be a year old in just 10 short days!?! It doesn't seem real. Only 14 days till his party and I still have a lot to do!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Wonderful Sunday

Yesterday was a really great day. It started off with a trip to the Spot of Tea, my favorite brunch place, for a baby shower/birthday party for Carrie, a sweet friend of mine that I met at Kindermusik. She is due with her 2nd in November. I just met her a few months ago and she has been so kind to me. She invited me to join a playgroup with some other moms that she knew and I have enjoyed getting to know those girls as well. It was so nice to get away without Brady for some talking and laughing. I really needed that!

This cheesecake was so delicious. Another girl, Kim, made it from scratch. She said she got the recipe off of Martha Stewart's website. I will definitely be making this in the near future.

We all chipped in and got Carrie a double stroller and a gift card to Posh Salon. She was so grateful. It was adorable.
Another lady gave her a pink cammo dress and embroidered bib for sweet Violet. She made them herself - I was so impressed. I wish I had the skills and proper sewing machine to make stuff like this!
Some of the guests
More of the guests.

Thank you so much BRITNI for babysitting Brady for me so I could attend!!! You are a wonderful babysitter and an even better friend!

Later that day Brady and I were playing in his room. Actually he was playing and I was reading in his glider. He kept pulling up on my knees and laying his head in my lap like he wanted to climb up there with me. So I scooped him up and started rocking him. Probably no one knows this but when I rock him to sleep or put him down for naps I like to sing church hymns to him. My voice is horrible, but the songs are usually nice and slow and it seems to calm him down. So I was singing and rocking away and he fell asleep with his head on my chest. There were a million and one things I needed to get done. But I just couldn't put him down. Tears started welling up in my eyes as I was thinking about how I'm not going to be able to rock him for much longer. So I sat there, with my arm falling asleep, and let him nap in my arms while I sang to him and prayed for him for over an hour. I love little moments like those.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Birth Stories & More

For the past year the doula that I used when I gave birth to Brady has been sending me emails and inviting me to different get togethers, meetings, etc. In the beginning I didn't go because Brady was either constantly nursing, sleeping, or screaming his lungs out because he wanted to be nursing or sleeping. As he got older I never went to any of the functions because I was kind of scared of the people that might attend them. I wholeheartedly believe that an unmedicated natural birth should be a primary goal of a mother and that breastfeeding is the absolute superior choice. Some of my friends also enjoy picking on me and calling me "crunchy" or a "hippie". But my beliefs pale in comparison to many others in the natural birthing/attachment parenting community. To be honest I was nervous about going to any of these meeting because I was scared I'd be surrounded by a bunch of Birkenstock wearing, granola eating, breastfeeding their 10 year old children, women and I wouldn't fit in with any of them. You know, the REAL hippies.

But I got a text message from my doula on Wednesday evening telling me about a meeting of the Birth Stories & More group that was meeting at the library the next morning. I didn't have any plans that day and I figured it would be nice to go and see Colleen (my doula). After all I better keep in touch with her if Rob & I do have another baby while we live down here. So I went, a little apprehensive. But let me tell you...I FREAKIN' LOVED IT! I met some really great women there and I was so excited that most of the other ladies there shared my view about natural birth and wanting to expand the options for this in our area. At the meeting there was a guest speaker who spoke about doulas, what they do, the need for more of them, and training to become a doula. And there may have been a few ladies there that "seemed" a little crunchier than myself, but everyone was so friendly and I enjoyed meeting so many new & like-minded people. And no one was breastfeeding their 10 year old. Score! I am definitely looking forward to going back next month.

Oh and in case your interested, Rob & I finally made it to Butch Cassidy's on Wednesday and they accepted the gift certificate! We got $10 worth of food for only $.80!!! What a deal! Our waitress did say that some local places had stopped accepting them though, so if you're thinking about ordering some (either in Mobile or where you live) you might want to call the restaurant before you buy the gift certificates to confirm that they accept them.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

No Butch Burgers For Us.....

instead we did this!

poor Rob got a Kidney stone last night as we were driving to Butch Cassidy's. Half way there he started complaining of his side hurting. Three minutes later he was nearly in tears and pulled the car over so I could drive. I turned the car around to take him to the Urgent Care clinic by our house, but it was rush hour and traffic was horrible. I was horrified watching him wretch in pain in the passenger seat. He then decided he wanted to go to the Emergency Room instead (I think halfway because it was closer and halfway because he was scared it was something more serious). Anyway we got there and they got him to a bed and with pain medicine relatively quickly (about a 1/2 hour). I left and took Brady over to Justin & Britni's so he wouldn't be there with all the nasty swine flu victims. THANK YOU SO MUCH BRITNI! Ya'll are wonderful friends and I don't know what we'd do without you!!!

They did a CT scan and saw that it really was a kidney stone like Rob had suspected and they also delivered the news that there are a few more in his kidney's just waiting for their turn! YAY - more fun to look forward to!!! Anyway they sent him home with some heavy duty pain meds and we were able to make it home & be in bed by 10:00. Thankfully we weren't there all night! He felt great this morning, like nothing had ever happened. He just left a couple hours ago to work a 14 hour shift - lucky him. I think we'll try again for Butch Cassidy's on Wed. or Thurs.

Now for my Walgreen's treasures that I promissed...................
I got all of this for $12.13!

It would have been a little less except that I had to split it into 3 transactions to get all the Register Rewards and on the second transaction Rob forgot to hit the employee discount button so I missed the 15% discount on those items.

Here's what I got:
3 Oral-B Advantage toothbrushes
4 bags of candy corn
1 Vaseline Sheer Fusion Lotion
3 (3 pack) Ivory Soap - yes, this is really the kind we use, it's great soap.
2 Morton Salts
1 Dental Floss
1 (100ct) coffee filters
1 (2pk) Emergen-C
3 Venus Razors
2 Fusion Razors (one is manual the other is powered)

The total cost of all this before coupons, register rewards & discounts would have been $80.43, that means I saved 85%!!!! Awesome! I know most of you probably think this is a bunch of junk, but it is all stuff that we use. It might not get used this week, but it WILL get used at some point.