Wednesday, December 16, 2009

We are alive (barely)!

I say barely because since Thanksgiving, it has truly been one thing after another. Sara has been sick off and on, Michael was sick, and although I haven't officially announced it, we found out on November 8th that we are expecting another baby -- and morning sickness has attached itself to me and will NOT let me go. Some of you may or may not know, but this is our third try this year for another little one. We had a miscarriage in February and one on September 1, and true to past history, this one hasn't been easy, either. We've had several trips to the ER/OB clinic due to some problems I was having, but twice now we have seen a healthy little baby on ultrasound with a steadily beating heart! I am just 9 weeks, so still very early on.

So THAT is why I have been absent! It is all I can do most days to take care of myself and Sara, not to mention housework and all that good stuff. Hopefully it will fade soon, because I have a few new projects I really want to tackle and share! We will be doing a LOT of redecorating in the new year -- painting almost the whole house, laying wood floors, and even redoing some furniture. I can't wait to share!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Please say a prayer for Sara.

She is so sick. :( After praying hard and giving her Motrin and trying to wait it out, we finally got her fever down to 101.7 from 103+. She has ate 3 bites of chicken noodle soup and only had a couple cups of OJ all day long. I hate when she's sick -- I feel so bad for her. If her fever goes back up we'll be taking her into the ER. I'll likely be absent for a few days -- but please say a prayer for her!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thursday's Ten

I haven't participated in the Thursday's Ten for a while, but I'd like to get back to it. This week, Lora put up Thursday's Ten on Wednesday so we could say what we were thankful for. Head on over there and link up to what you're thankful for!

Here's ten things I am thankful for:

1. Morning sickness (because it's a sign of a healthy baby)
2. No room in our bed at night (because it means my "baby" girl is snuggled up next to me and pushing me of the side, since she likes to take up as much room as possible)
3. Fried chicken
4. Yo Gabba Gabba (because sometimes it's the ONLY way I can shower!)
5. A church family who loves us and supports us and prays for us
6. My mama, because she raised me well, taught me the value of a dollar, and how to be graceful, even when it seems like the whole world is against you
7. Good in-laws, because I hear horror stories of people having awful ones, and that would be terrible
8. Living in Alabama (because there is NO place like it on earth!)
9. A husband who will clean up nasty messes when I don't have the stomach for it
10. High heeled shoes...because they are soo pretty!

Of course, there are many, many more (and more important) things to be thankful for, but these are just 10!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The germs have taken up official residence!

I'll spare you all the long and boring details, but in a nutshell -- Sara fell and hit her head pretty badly Saturday afternoon. She immediately started acting very lethargic and not really crying, but kind of whimpering. We comforted her for about 30 minutes, then I put her in the bath since she needed one and I thought that might help her feel better (it always makes ME feel better!). No sooner than I took her out and she started vomiting EVERYWHERE. So I'm thinking the worst (my baby just hit her head and she's acting weird and vomiting!) and we decide to take her to the ER. I was busy keeping her awake the whole time Mike was driving...and he must have been driving crazy, because we got pulled over on the way. Mike jumped out of the car and told the police officer what was going on, and he actually escorted us to the entrance to post! Of course, no sooner than we turned onto the side road, we realized there was a HUGE protest going on. Ok, seriously? Why would you close down a WHOLE GATE (one of the most main entrances -- actually, THE main entrance for those who live where we live!) for a protest? I get that they are important to the ones who put them on. But what if my baby had been dying?

Anyway, long story made not-so-short, two trips to the ER, getting thrown up on A LOT, and getting to bed at 5 am later, Sara is feeling much better and we all have a virus. All of us. Thanksgiving week. Isn't that awesome?!

On a happier note, I went to two different Goodwills last week and scored a LOT of pretty cool stuff to make over! I will be working on that this week and showing it to ya'll!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Germ, germ, go away!

The germs have finally found our house. I just commented Tuesday night to my friends that Sara had only been really sick a couple times in her little life. And wouldn't you know they decided to visit the day we had a big Thanksgiving potluck planned with our playgroup? :( We took Mike to work this morning (yay for being up and out of the house at 6 am...NOT!) and as I was buckling her in her car seat, she started coughing and sneezing. I didn't think much about it, but after we got back home it got worse and I noticed she was warm. Yep, you guessed it -- she has a low-grade fever! My poor little girl. :( She's still coughing and sneezing and now she has an upset tummy. Fortunately she's not ACTING sick, and hopefully it stays that way!

Make sure ya'll wash your hands and keep those nasty germs away!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Winter is well on its way!

I love summer. It's hands down my favorite time of the year, although I enjoy spring and fall, as well. But there is just something about summer -- hot weather, suntans, shorts and t-shirts, being able to go to the lake and beach, sunglasses -- it just lifts my spirits. Well...summer is officially over here in Alabama. The high for the next week or so will be tomorrow at around 69 degrees, and the low will be around 61 degrees. Time to break out the long sleeves! I am happy with the "colder" air until January 1...then I want it to be hot again.

I forgot to post the meal plan this week (Ok, I didn't FORGET...I just have had too much on my plate to actually DO it...) so here goes:

Monday: we ate out at Cracker Barrell
Tuesday: fried pork chops and black eyed peas
Wednesday: chile rellenos and spanish rice
Thursday: general tso's chicken, chicken fried rice
Friday: spaghetti, salad
Saturday: honey grilled pork chops, mashed potatoes and lima beans
Sunday: hamburger helper (blech...but it's one of Michael's favorites)

The chile rellenos and the honey grilled pork chops are new recipes, so I will do my best to take pictures and share the recipe -- even if it turns out awful!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veteran's Day!

Please remember to thank a veteran if you see one day, and spend a few moments in prayer for our veterans -- past, present, and future -- and don't forget their loved ones! It may be just one person going off to fight for our country, but there are often many more left behind, supporting them, missing them, playing single parent, crying when no one sees them because they are scared. Pray that not only will our Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guard and Navy stay safe while answering the call of duty, but their spouses cars stay running, everybody stays healthy, nothing breaks, etc. Because we all know that good old Murphy has it that when you are left alone, THAT'S when everything goes wrong!

I am proud to be a USAF wife. It is truly all I have ever known, as Michael and I were married when I was 20. I am proud to have a brother-in-law in the USAF, and I am proud to have a younger sister joining up. We are TRULY an Air Force family here! God bless ya'll!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 11/9-11/15

It's that time again! I am determined to keep on top of posting with my blog. I have about 3 jillion post topics I am ready to tell you about! But, here is todays: the weekly meal plan.

Monday: sloppy joe's with corn
Tuesday: crockpot garlic chicken, black eyed peas and rice
Wednesday: meatloaf, mashed potatoes and collard greens
Thursday: homemade waffles
Friday: grilled chicken, homemade scalloped potatoes, green beans, and stuffed jalapenos (we're having friends over)
Saturday: eating at my moms
Sunday: it's the Thanksgiving dinner at church, so we'll still likely be stuffed from it. :)

What are you having for supper this week?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Happy Fall, Ya'll!

I'm a little (okay, a LOT) late with hopping on the fall bandwagon. It seems like we have so busy that when I finally do have a little down time, the last thing I want to do is use my brain to write something! But, I promise to get better. But, better late than never!

This is my front door. I know I should replace the flowers in the yellow pail with something more fall appropriate, like mums, but I don't know what else to do with them since they're not dead. I figured the yellow pail was slightly fall appropriate, right? And the wreath -- I made it myself! Late one night I was whining about how I hated the old wreath and it was falling apart, etc. -- and it WAS, 3 years and an international move later!) so I took it all apart and the only part that still resembles the old one are the little bead things. I used my trusty hot glue gun to glue leaves and flowers, used some twine stuff I had bought for another project, and some old ribbon I had been saving for the perfect thing. You can't tell, but the ribbon it's hanging from is orange with little yellow polka dots. So cute!

Funny story about the pumpkins. We had several of my younger cousins (and one not-so-younger cousin, Britni -- love ya!) up a few weekends ago for a fall/Halloween themed weekend. We had planned to go to this big pumpkin patch and spent nearly TWO hours searching for it, all to no avail. So while Britni, Baylee, Sara and I met our mothers for a little fall shopping, Michael took the boys (Blake and Bo) to a pumpkin patch we've never before visited (ahem...Wal-Mart...) and picked out four gorgeous pumpkins. They even carved them while we were away! It was a nice surprise to drive up and see the three jack-o-lanterns lit up by the front door. :)

Have you done any fall decorating? I don't have a lot to use since we've only been married 3.5 years, but I'm slowly building my stock. I've been buying things when they go on clearance the day after Thanksgiving, and I can't WAIT to select a few more things this year!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Wow...three weeks!

It has been about three weeks since I last posted. Life has been crazy. We took a week-long vacation to Tennessee and have spent a lot of time in my hometown. Nevertheless...I am back! I have tons of pictures to share and lots of good post subjects running through my head, so be on the lookout!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Slacker (and the Meal Plan Monday)

So...I have been slacking lately. This is pretty obvious, since my last blog was 10/7. I've got to figure out how to work blogging into life -- we just seem so busy lately! We have been having a great time so far this fall. The weather has cooled down and it actually feels like FALL, which is rare here in Alabama! Last night I had to make a late-night run outside to the car, and when I came back in I said, "BRR, it's really cold out there! I'm not used to that anymore!" and Michael was like...."Yep, it's good to not be used to the cold, it's when that's normal that it's miserable." Which is totally true. After living in England for 2 years (and he for 4) cold was the norm and it was NOT good! It did teach me a few things, though. No longer do I mind going out in wind or rain -- because if you had minded that in England, you never would have gotten outside! No matter how cold it is, though, I still miss it.

So onward! Menu Plan Monday. This one is a little crazy because I'm trying to eat all of our perishables up before we leave on vacation this weekend. We are going to Tennessee for 5 days with my in-laws. I am looking forward to it, it will be the first time Michael has seen his aunt in 2 years and the FIRST time she has EVER met Sara!

Monday: fresh vegetables (salad, carrots, cucumber, celery, broccoli, etc.) and grapes
Tuesday: WW grilled drumsticks, steamed broccoli, mac & cheese
Wednesday: bean & cheese quesadillas, tortilla chips & salsa
Thursday: chili rubbed pork chops, broccoli slaw, corn
Friday: leftovers/clean out the fridge

Mike has (gasp) asked me to go meatless a few nights a week, so this is my (feeble) attempt at doing so. It's a hard week to start this, as we're leaving Saturday morning and I don't want to leave anything behind that's going to go bad in the next week or so. I just have to say that these grilled drumsticks are the BEST, and so easy to cook! Also, I don't know about your Publix, but ours has had these little bags of "Eat Smart" veggies on sale every week for $1/bag, saving $1.50/bag. I've picked up 4 or 5 every time I go in there and just freeze them.

I'm still on the hunt for more good WW recipes, so please share if you have any!

I'm pretty sure I hear a certain little girl waking up, so I have to close this for now. I hope ya'll have an awesome Monday!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Weight Watchers

Has anyone ever done WW before? I just signed up online and will be doing the classes soon...just wondering if anyone had any tips to share!

Our meal plan has pretty much gone out the window this week. Monday we ate out, Tuesday we had chicken pot pie, and tonight we ate out. Oops. Then I realized we'll be gone Saturday and Sunday to my moms...I NEVER eat well there. I will have to keep myself in check! I just made a new meal plan with mostly WW's not much different than the last one.

My first "official" weigh in will be Monday...I'll let you guys know how it goes!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

If you want to get to the rainbow, you've got to endure the rain.

That's a pretty true statement, isn't it? For the past few weeks I have been in the worst place in my life. Spiritually, physically, emotionally, you name it. I always feel like I'm trying to get out of it but I wonder if I am truly putting forth enough effort. I have been so down and out about our situation with trying for another baby that I just have sank deeper and deeper into this self-pityness that I have created. I think what's hardest for me is that I always pictured myself having a big family -- like 6 or 7 kids -- and now that might not be a reality and I'm having a hard time changing my "wants" to fit with what could be God's plan. I have really been praying about it this weekend and there are a few phrases/Scripture verses that I have come across (with the one above being one of the best) that have really been working on me.

Then last night I was reading the Kelly's Korner blog (for those of you who don't follow her blog -- she and her husband endured infertility, miscarriage, etc. before finally being blessed with their beautiful baby girl) and she has a separate blog for prayer requests. I read through those prayer request and I didn't even make it past the VERY FIRST ONE before I broke down. The first prayer request was for a family who had been praying for a baby for 18 YEARS. And here I am, with one healthy child and with only a year of trying and four miscarriages to account for. I am reminded of my mama telling me growing up, "Never feel sorry for yourself, because there is ALWAYS someone out there who has it worse than you."

I feel much better today than I have in the past six months, so hopefully (prayerfully) I am coming out of it. I am spending a lot of time in prayer and reading the Scripture for encouragement. Because I know God promised a rainbow at the end of the rainstorm.

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

Monday, October 5, 2009

It has been a while...

I am hoping to get back into the swing of things shortly! Life has been busy, and I have been fighting personal battles as well. But, I know my Father has a hand in it all, and soon I will come out of the valley and rejoice on the mountain top.

We just celebrated Sara's SECOND birthday last week. I don't know where the time has gone. This has certainly been the fastest two years of my life! She is such a joy and we are so blessed to be her parents. She is the sweetest thing, but there are definitely times where her temper (that she inherited from her mama, I'm afraid) shines through! I will be posting pictures tomorrow. :)

Here is our menu plan for the week! Last week we got a bit lax, but we're back on the bandwagon again.

Monday: chicken pot pie
Tuesday: grilled drumsticks (Weight Watchers recipe), steamed broccoli and cauliflower, and rice
Wednesday: hamburger helper
Thursday: made from scratch waffles
Friday: chili rubbed pork chops (another WW recipe), broccoli slaw, and corn
Saturday: birthday party
Sunday: at my mom's

I'm trying to incorporate more Weight Watchers recipes into our meal plans, yet still keep some of Michael's favorites -- ie, the Hamburger Helper.

So, what's for dinner at your house?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Goodwill Treasures #1

Since we're a one car family (which we pretty much love), I only have the car two days a week. I try to plan playgroups on those days, but this week we just had story time on Wednesday. It has become our "thing" to go to CVS (for the weekly ECB deals) before story time, the splash pad directly after story time (because it's across the street) and then to Goodwill on the way home. Since I've discovered all of these frugal decorating blogs, I look at thrift stores and yard sales with brand new eyes. What before was just a reeeallllyyy ugly pillowcase from the 70's is now super cute vintage material to fashion into a pillowcase dress. Throw some brightly colored ribbon on there, and you're set!

I found several things at our local Goodwill today. For $10 (including tax), I got:

This purse:

I've been looking for a fall purse for a few weeks now, but couldn't justify spending a decent chunk of money because we are trying to get out of debt. This was the first thing I saw when I walked in the door! Isn't she cute?! It's apple green with choclate brown leather accents. It's made by Buckhead Betties, and by my best estimate (aka looking online) I think she probably cost about $30 new. So...for $3...I'd say I got a steal!

Then I meandered on over to the childrens section, where I found this beautiful little handmade dress for $1.99. I apologize for the bad pics -- my camera is currently lost and I am making do with my cell phone. It's perfect for fall, and will even do for winter. I think, however, that I'm going to mail this little beauty off to my sister in Mississippi so she can embroider three small pumpkins across the top. I've been eyeing a few Halloween themed bishop dresses on Etsy, but really don't feel like shelling out $40 plus shipping. I'm glad I waited!

I don't know about ya'll, but I loooove Carter's. And OshKosh. But especially Carter's. In fact, I had just received a 20% off coupon in the mail yesterday and was so excited! Then I went into Goodwill this morning, and found this cute little Carter's shirt -- and at $1.99, I can't complain!

A close-up of the embroidery:

Thankfully 90% of Sara's clothes from last winter still fit, so I bought her two pairs of shoes (cute polka dotted ones at Wal-Mart for $4 and even cuter brown ones made by Health-Tex at Ross for $9) and called it a day. But, she is having a growth spurt right now and I know those clothes will only fit the first half of winter, at best. This is a 2t, which is a bit big right NOW, but will fit perfectly in 3-4 months.

Remember what I said about the really ugly pillowcases? Well, I found one today. I wasn't too sure about the print, but I think it will be really cute with some orange silk ribbon and maybe a strip of matching orange at the bottom. Anyway, for a 10 minute project and $1.31, it's worth trying!

And lastly, there's this. I love milk glass. It is my secret passion. I have often eyed it in antique stores and at yard sales, but never bought any, for some reason. Well, today I found this little milk glass candlestick holder. It was milk glass in the middle and bronze everywhere else. The bronze was just AWFUL, but it became my first DIY project, and I have to say it looks pretty good. :)

Which I promptly used my blue painters tape and taped up (it's blurry, I apologize):

Then I primed it:

And this is what it looks like now! I don't think it's my FAVORITE, but it certainly looks better than what it did before...and will go great in my slowly-transitioning master bedroom.

Stay tuned tomorrow to see two dresses I sewed for Sara!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

It's Monday again! I really have to work on becoming more regular with these posts. Sorry! ;)

Here's our meal plan for September 21-27. I only include suppers, because breakfast and lunches are just whatever we have on hand.

Monday: leftovers (grilled chicken, potato salad, green beans)
Tuesday: gyros (recipe found at!)
Wednesday: homemade waffles
Thursday: jambalaya
Friday: homemade manwich, rice
Saturday: going to a park picnic with our playgroup and we are taking green beans
Sunday: spaghetti, salad, and garlic bread

Don't forget to share yours if you'd like! Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursday's Ten

This is my first time doing Thursdays Ten, hosted by Lora over at Take Me The Way I Am. She asked what top ten places in the area we live would we take a brand new visitor?

I had to think about it. We've only lived here two years, and while I grew up an hour away, the first time we had a "brand new visitor" we were still brand new ourselves. We kind of just explored everything together. I had to expand my area just a little to include places about an hour away -- because, our town just isn't THAT big. So, after some thought, here's where I would take my visitor:

1. Auburn University game....BUT, only if they were playing Alabama, and we would have to sit on the Tide's side!
2. Pine Mountain, GA. Absolutely beautiful, quaint little town. We would eat at the Purple Cow cafe, where they serve handmade sandwiches and homemade soups -- and they even make their own muscadine wine. Then we would go visiting the little antique shops on the one street...I have scored some great things there!
3. Warm Springs, GA. Just over the hill from Pine Mountain, but it's a little bigger and has more to do. This is where President Roosevelt came to access the springs he thought helped his polio. The springs are still there, and every so often they allow you to go in them. This town is FILLED with tiny little antique stores, homemade crafts stores, lemonade stands, etc. We would have to eat at The Bulloch, oh my. It's a buffet-style Southern restaurant set in an old plantation home. Beautiful, and the food is sooo good!
4. Depending on the age of my visitor, I might take them out to Fort Benning to see the guys jump. If you live in the right area, or even if you happen to be driving along on any given Thursday (I believe it's Thursday) you will see the Jump School guys practicing. It's pretty cool!
5. This one is maybe a bit selfish, but if my visit were to come next month we would definitely go to Pope's Haunted House and do the festivities there! I have been wanting to go for a long time, and I think we're finally going to go this year. They say it's NOT for the faint of heart!
6. Market Days on Broadway Street. This place is so cool to me. There are small-time farmers selling locally grown fruits, veggies, eggs, etc. and lots of artist selling their creations. Happens every Saturday morning in the summer.
7. Riverwalk along "The Hooch", better known as the Chattahoochee River (yes, like in Alan Jacksons song!) This is the river that separates Alabama and Georgia, and they have built a gorgeous Riverwalk down a few miles of it. Really nice, very peaceful, and beautiful. We love to go in cooler weather and take a picnic, or ride bikes.
8. I can't remember what national park this is, but last fall we visited the "Little Grand Canyon" and it was absolutely breathtaking. You can walk 3 miles down to the bottom of the canyon (which we didn't do, but plan on doing this fall!) and see all of God's glory above you. Just from the top of the canyon I could tell it was so beautiful because of all the leaves changing color. I love the russet red, pumpkin orange, and rich gold hues that fall brings. Perhaps that's why I painted my kitchen pumpkin spice orange?
9. The Wild Animal Safari park over in Pine Mountain. Now...some might giggle at this, but it's a really fun adventure for the whole family. Last year we went with our friends, and I have video proof that grown men WILL squeal like a baby if a huge animal tries to lick them.
10. Callaway Gardens. The gardens are just beautiful, and during the summer they have a beach area that's nice to relax on. Christmas time is my favorite, though, with all the lights and decorations. :)

So there you first Thursdays Ten! Hope you enjoyed! I'd love to read about YOUR Thursdays Ten -- just link back to Lora's blog and get to typing!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

$100 Cambria Cove giveaway

Another giveaway!

Head on over to Her Southern Charm and sign on up for the Cambria Cove $100 giveaway! I believe you can earn up to 5 entries. Ya'll, there are some beautiful things over there. I am dying for the sunflower etched wine glasses, myself. I believe a few things from here will be making my Christmas list!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Design Girl is having a birthday! Head on over to her blog to check out her fabulous templates, and while you're at it, sign up for her free giveaway! She is so talented and you're sure to be pleased!

$10 off Junior fashions at Sears!

As far as I know, you can print off as many of these as you like, and you don't have to purchase a minimum amount before using it!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Free Geo-Trax DVD!

You don't even have to pay for shipping!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Loving my new layout!

I found a new layout over at Head on over and check them out...there are plenty of awesome ones! I am a lover of all things pink and green, so this one caught my eye immediately. It's ironically called "southern girl". How fitting! :)

Figs, figs, and more figs!

I don't know if I already mentioned this or not, but I had my first experience at canning this summer! Unfortunatley, we were not able to have a garden (though I tried my hand at container gardening), but we did have access to fruit trees at my mama's. These trees were planted when I was about 3 years old by my Grandaddy, who passed away a week after I turned 5. That makes them 21 years old! They haven't been fertilized or groomed EVER, but Michael and I are going to make sure that happens when the weather cools down a bit and they quit producing. From the pear tree (with the help of a few pears given to us by a friend who had an over-abundance) we were able to make about 9 pint jars and 12 jelly jars of pear honey (Deeelicious! Thanks to Tammy for the recipe!), and from the two fig trees we were able to make about 15 or so pints of fig preserves. Some are flavored strawberry, some are flavored blackberry. Both taste wonderful. I think there will be one more crop of figs, and I am going to make up peach preserves with them. That should give us another 6+ pints. We have given away so many jars, and still have more than enough to get us through to next season! I owe a big, huge thank you to my Aunt Laura who showed me how to do them. I would have never got it right if she hadn't been there to walk me through it. Thanks, Aunt Laura!

I love knowing that I picked this fruit (with the help of a few loved family members), that we grew it, and that I made it into something really good that will help to sustain us. It makes me feel so awesome! Our plan for this fall is to fertilize the two fig trees (which have really pretty much grown into one HUGE tree -- probably taller than the house!), trim the pear tree down and fertilize it (we're trimming because it's so tall now that you can't pick the fruit, even with a ladder...and it's stopped producing as much, which we were told was probably of a result of it being so big), and fertilize the two plum trees. My Aunt Laura says the plums from the plum tree makes the best wild plum jelly you've ever tasted. Hopefully we'll get to enjoy that next year, as well. ;) There are also several pecan trees that my Grandaddy planted 21 years ago, and they are beautiful and big now. We are going to fertilize them, and hopefully enjoy some fresh pecans from the backyard next year!

Does anyone have any tips on fertilizing or pruning? This will be our first time doing either and we can really use all of the information we can get.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Well, today we had a huge prayer answered. This past month has been really tight financially -- we've had almost two thousand dollars in car repairs, a few other large bills come due, and it has absolutely drained us. We've been working hard to pay off our credit card debt and unfortunately (absolutely our fault, and a hard lesson learned) our emergency fund was not where it should have been. Today, a dear family member, most likely unbeknownst to our situation, gave us SIX bags full of food...boxed things, canned goods, dried beans and rice, bottled juice...such a blessing! It will more than help us through the tight spot, and I was raised well enough to know that you pass on kindness. So, I will be bagging half of it up and sending it on to another family who could use it. I just had to share -- this really meant a lot to us and just proves God does answer prayer!!

Here's our meal plan for the next week. I don't list breakfast and lunches -- breakfast is typically oatmeal, grits, waffles (homemade), cereal (though not often), yogurt, or eggs and toast. Oh, and fruit. For lunches, I usually get a ham and slice it up and freeze individual bags for lunchmeat; or like this week, I made a big bowl of tuna salad and a big bowl of egg salad to use for sandwiches. We either have sandwiches, quesadillas, or leftovers.

Monday: ate leftovers at my mom's
Tuesday: grilled BBQ chicken, green bean wraps, and corn on the cob
Wednesday: BLT's with summer pasta salad
Thursday: sweet & hot drumsticks with veggie sticks
Friday: homemade waffles
Saturday: grilled mock steak with baked potato
Sunday: we'll have a big lunch at my mama's after church, so just sandwiches for dinner

I set my new bi-monthly grocery and household budget (including diapers, wipes, and any cleaning supplies -- which are not many, because I make my own laundry soap, dishwasher soap, and use vinegar and water for most cleaning) to $100, but I still spent $130 this time. Granted, just diapers, wipes, milk and juice for the two weeks is $30, but still. I don't waste anything and am generally very frugal with everything, but I still went over by $30. Anyone have any tips to share? I would really like to stay at $200 for the month.

Hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Today is the first Crimson Tide game! They are playing Virginia Tech...I've got my fingers crossed! Love me some ROLL TIDE!

On another note -- next week I will be painting our living room, dining room, and hallway. It's an open floor plan, so it pretty much all flows together. I. Hate. Painting. But we painted our kitchen a pumpkiny orange color (actually called Pumpkin Spice by Behr) and the wheat colored walls don't flow so well now. We will be painting them a light brown, and though I've forgotten what the color name is, I will definitely share pictures with you come next week. :)

We enjoyed a really nice day with my family today. This morning we went to my mom's company family day, which was really cool (she makes Blackhawk helicopters, for the record, and it was interesting to see how they are all put together!), and right afterwards we came back to her home for a crazy, HUGE fish fry. We had such a good time. I am so thankful to be blessed with an awesome family. So many times growing up I thought, "MAN! These people are getting on my NERVES!" and I just couldn't wait to get out from this insanely small town. However...I now realize just how blessed I am. We even played kickball in the rain. I haven't done that since I was a kid!

However...playing kickball has totally worn me out. It's not even 9:30 and I am headed to bed! See ya'll in the new week!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I'm not dead. The internet was gone for a few weeks while we were waiting for our new hook-up, and shortly after it was activated, life just hit us hard. I found out I was pregnant on 8/23 and miscarried (my second of the year) on 8/30. I was 7 weeks. Tomorrow is the due date from my third lost pregnancy (the one earlier this year), the 22nd is my due date from my second lost pregnancy (that happened in 2004), but there is a beautiful light at the end of the sweet Sara's second birthday is the 29th. She makes it all worth going through.

I am getting back into my groove of things, so be expecting a big update post coming soon! I have lots of craft ideas for Christmas, and am about to pull out the decorating for fall. Speaking of I type this, I have my A/C off, my windows thrown open, and a lovely cool breeze is blowing through the house. Ahhh...I love summer, but I love fall. I have deep respect for each season. But fall is one of the best...I can smell Alabama football fun (ROLL TIDE ROLL!).

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Big 5-0

So...I thought we were on our way back home when I made that last post. Our car has broken down again and is currently in the local dealership shop, so we are here for a few days. I'm not sad...I love my hometown!

Anyway, we have been super busy the last few weeks. Our most recent event was Saturday night, when my sisters and I (with the help of our Aunt Pam, my daddy's youngest sister) threw a surprise 50th birthday party for my daddy! It turned out so awesome. We held it at Aw Shucks down by the river bridge (for those of you local-ites) and let me just say -- the food is awesome, the atmosphere is better, and the service is the best! Our three waitresses (I can NOT for the life of me remember their names, unfortunately) ROCKED. If you don't know my dad, you know he is the quiet type and does not like a lot of attention. When you ask him what he wants for his birthday/Father's Day/Christmas/etc. he just smiles and says, "You girls and the babies are all I need." Well, he might not have NEEDED this birthday party...but we threw it anyway -- and had a blast! The two pictures are from the party. You'll have to excuse his look in the first one -- he had just cried because he had opened our scrapbook my sisters & I had made for him. The first picture is my sisters & I (I'm the really blonde one...and no, my natural color is still not as dark as my sisters! Elizabeth, the oldest at 28, is next to me in the black dress, Kayla, the third at 18, is in the red dress, and Allie, the youngest at 16, is in his lap in the yellow) and the second picture is all of his "should-have-been daughters" aka...the ones we've grown up with. Honorable mention especially goes to Tiffani, the lovely dark-haired sweetheart standing next to me. She has been my older sisters best friend since they were knee-high to a grasshoppers ankle, even when they were a whole country away, and still continues to support her unconditionally to this day. What can I say...we love that girl!

Anyway, we had a live band, raw oysters, and good friends and you can't really get any better than that! Thanks to Aw Shucks for handling all of our needs so well!

Disclaimer: I'm not so sure why I look so orange in the face. I'm not normally like that. And I'm totally re-thinking the zebra print dress after seeing these pictures! And, they are totally stolen from Kayla, who stole them from Tiffani. Mwah!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Out of Comission

We're switching internets and our new modem won't arrive until the end of next week, so look for a big catch-up post next Friday or Saturday! I have exciting things to share. :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Time for a new 'do!

This is my hair currently (please excuse the mega-fake smile!). I have a hair appointment this Saturday morning, bright and early at 9 am. If any of ya'll are in the Montgomery should definitely check out Brittany with the Cuts By Us on Atlanta Highway. Now, if you know me, you know I usually steer way clear of the "Cuts By Us/Master Cuts/etc." chains...but this girl has been cutting my cousins hair AND my friends hair for a good little bit now, and it looks fantastic. This past month while Michael was away, I decided to give her a try. Well, she definitely rocked my hair! I was extremely pleased, to say the very least. The problem is....I have no clue what I want! I was trying to grow it out longer, but I'm really liking the shorter style now. I'm probably going to go for the bob...I'm really liking that cut lately. Any suggestions??

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Yes, we're still alive!!

Sorry I have been MIA! It has been a loooong month, but we are happy to say that Daddy has returned from the desert! He left on the 4th of July and returned last week. We have just been hanging out and enjoying life since then. But now we're back to your regularly scheduled programming!

A recap of our past month:

We headed down to Hometown, Alabama on the 5th to spend some time with Mimi (aka my mother) and the rest of our family. On July 11th, we went to our beloved Lake Martin ( there anything better than your favorite lake, a cold Coca-Cola, warm (read: HOT) sunshine & loved ones? If so, I haven't found it yet!) for sweet Aubrey's very first birthday party. She didn't actually turn a year old until the 22nd, but her party was held just a bit early. We swam, played in the sand, got some sunshine, grilled hot dogs, played some more, went canoeing, and finally opened presents & cut the yummy cake. Mmm, I love birthday cakes! Sara turned into quite the little fish -- she has discovered water, and she likes to stick as close to it as she can! She's fearless.

The rest of the month quickly filled up with visits to and from family & friends, revival, and lots of playtime at the local pool. Daddy came home last Wednesday and Sara has been having a blast ever since! She was so happy to see him when we picked him up that she could not say a word. She just grinned from ear to ear! About halfway home the floodgates opened and she talked from that moment until AFTER we had put her in bed for the night...THREE HOURS past her normal bed time! After we had read her story, said our prayers and shut the door, you could still hear her saying softly, "My daddy. My daddy. Daddy. Ohhh, my daddy" over and over. So cute!

I have tons of pictures to share, but for some reason my Internet connection is ridiculously slow and they are not loading. Stay tuned!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Checking in.

I'm just doing a little checking in. We're still in my hometown, staying with my mama for a while. Michael is still away on training. Sara misses him like crazy, but I am keeping her busy. She has turned into quite the fish! She is such a water baby. Just like her mama -- she loves water & sunshine!

Our lives are quite jumbled up right now, but I have faith that they will calm down in a couple of weeks. There are some serious decisions to be made quite soon, so if you have any spare thoughts or prayers to send our way, we would appreciate it.

The past few weeks we have been going to the pool, lake, and just playing with our family. This next week I will be spending a lot of time in the garden, and from Wednesday to Sunday we will be in Mississippi visiting my oldest sister and my next younger sister. That is always nice!

Until next time!

A few great giveaways!

I believe this is the first time I have ever posted about giveaways! There are some really great ones going on right now, ya'll. So without further ado, here you go!

Over at All Things Southern & Preppy, she's hosting a great giveaway! Basement Bags Girl has donated a Wet Bikini Bag. This really looks cool -- especially for those of us who constantly live at the pool, lake or beach. It is so cute, and it looks like you can even get your name embroidered on it! Head on over to to sign up for the giveaway! She has all the details on her page, but you can earn up to 3 entries. Sign-ups end at midnight July 20th and a winner will be chosen shortly thereafter!

Design Girl Blog is hosting FIVE giveaways for EIGHT prizes! And it's REALLY cute stuff, too! Ya'll know you can't beat that with a stick. I only discovered her blog today, but even so I already know I will be a dedicated reader. Head on over there to check out all the details -- you won't be sorry!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth of July, ya'll! No matter what your stance on this war is, please take a moment today to remember our military members as they continue in their fight for our country. I often say, "I may not support this war, but I support my husband and all of our other men and women out there fighting!" Don't forget veterans -- should you thank one, you will surely make their day.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

7 years ago -- June 2002

I can't let June pass on without acknowledging something amazing that happened to me in this month, 7 years ago. (Wow...did I really just say SEVEN YEARS?!) Growing up, for reasons that are not even important anymore, I did not know my father. I knew who he was, I knew where he lived, I knew about my three sisters, I knew where my older sister worked, and I even called his house a few times (though I could never figure out what to say, so I would hang up!). Well, one happening lead to another, and I ended up meeting my two younger sisters. Kayla was 11 and Allie was 9 at the time. I was 17. Not long after that, I met my father. About two days after that, we got together with my oldest sister at a local restaurant. The funny thing about this part is, I knew who Elizabeth was. I knew where she worked during high school (at Wal-Mart), and I would always go in there and check out at her. We had the exact same glasses, exact same style and color, and one time I said, "Hey, look! Our glasses are exactly the same!" but what I really wanted to do was tell her who I was. She knew about me, but I was worried. We would have conversations and giggle with each other for the two minutes it took me to check out at her register.

When I met my family, I was 17, getting ready to graduate high school. Elizabeth was 21, had been married to Kyle for 2 years, and their little girl, Raven, was just 3 months old. Kayla was 11 and Allie was 9. Now here we are...I'm 24, have been married to Michael for almost 4 years now, and we have an almost-two-year-old little girl, Sara Faith. Elizabeth and Kyle have been married for almost 9 years. My smart, fun-loving, quiet niece Raven is 7 and there has been a beautiful, headstrong, ball of fire addition since then -- William is 5 now. Kayla is 18, has graduated high school, moved off to Mississippi and will be starting college in the fall. She is aspiring to be a Pediatric Oncologist. She has grown into a beautiful young Southern woman, with intelligence that takes my breath at times. She is likely the most responsible of us girls, and has her head on straight as an arrow. Allie is 16, going into her Sophomore year of high school. She is smart as well, with a particular insight to things that makes me proud. She is a star softball player, and the Varsity team is lucky to have her. She also is proud of her Southern roots, and for that I am thankful. My Daddy continues to be the strong beam of support that we always look to when life gets tough. He is Papaw to his three beautiful grandchildren, and likes to say that before it's all over with, he will have the best football team out there. I'm okay with long as they bleed Crimson! We have been through a lot of heartache, but the smiles, laughter, and fun have far outweighed the bad times, and they are forever imprinted in my memory.

I love ya'll!

Friday, June 26, 2009

I'm still alive!

We have just been SO busy lately! I'm still here, though. Sara Faith is running around, taking life by its horns, and she keeps me busy! Last weekend we spent in Ocean Springs, Mississippi with my dad, his sister and brother-in-law, my two younger sisters, and my oldest sisters family. We had a big Father's Day dinner. We each wrote a letter to our daddy's and put them in a scrapbook so that they could always remember. Each one of us girls cried at some point during our letters, and I do believe that is the only time I have ever seen my dad tear up. It was pretty special. Then Sara & I came home Sunday and spent a good afternoon with Michael. This past week I have just been cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, and preparing for us to spend a month in Tallassee when Michael goes to California in July. I have been brainstorming and have came up with 3,283 new ways to decorate my house, so all of July I will be hitting up antique stores, yard sales, and my beloved TJ Maxx/Ross/Marshalls for unique goodies. I will be making a week-long trip to Ocean Springs to see my older sister and her family, and I can not WAIT to drag her to all those beautiful little shops in downtown Ocean Springs! I will also be visiting my cousins in Wiggins, so I'll have to talk April into tagging along with me to some there, as well.

Honestly, ya'll, you probably won't see much of me until the 6th of July. Michael is on vacation next week, and we will just be enjoying time as a family before he heads out next weekend. Did I really just say next weekend? I think I might need a box of tissues. BUT! So goes the life of a military wife, and I don't regret it one bit! This life has afforded us a lot of pleasures we otherwise would never have been able to experience. Plus, seeing him in his uniform each day ain't too shabby, either!

Ya'll take care now!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

At 5 am this morning...

...I woke up to the most beautiful site. Sara Faith had scooted up next to her daddy and was snuggling so close she was nearly on top of him. She was so close she had her head on top of his head. And they were both lying there, snoring away in a deep sleep. If it hadn't been still dark outside, I probably would have gotten up and gotten my camera. But, it was 5 am and I rolled over to catch another hour of precious sleep.  She is currently lying next to our beloved pup on the doggie bed, with her legs propped up on the wall, in her white and red summer nightgown with strawberries printed on it, playing my red DS and giggling when she makes it jump. Ahhh. Bliss. I love my life!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Scared myself silly!

Around 2:00 PM today, my mother-in-law called to say they were 3 hours from Montgomery, and did we want to meet them for supper? I was very confused at first, but we shortly figured out Michael had confused the dates they were coming through our part of the country. He thought they were coming through on July 7, not June 7. Silly boy! Well, we were headed down this way to spend the weekend with my mama, so we just threw ourselves together and came on down. We haven't seen them since February, so it was nice to be able to spend a few moments with them. I know Michael really, really, enjoyed it. And hopefully they have a wonderful cruise to Cozumel!

We stopped by my cousins this evening on the way back to my mama's. My husband, Michael*cough*TimTheToolManTaylor*cough* wanted to help my cousins build a front porch. Well, 6 hours later, the house had a front porch (by the way -- Steve, David, and Michael -- you guys did a beautiful job!) and us girls had scared ourselves silly by watching Ghost Adventures and pulling up scary YouTube videos. BTW...if you haven't already watched Ghost Hitchiker in Portugal, you must go YouTube it now. NOW. Are you at your computer yet?!

It's almost 3 AM my time, yet here I sit. In 6 hours, I have to be at my dad's house for a full day of cleaning/ripping out/remodeling. I have a feeling I will be dragging...

On a happier (less tired) note, I need help! I need any advice or tips that you might have on dying my hair. I have naturally dirty blonde hair, but I like it to be a lighter blonde. I'm sick of paying $100+ at the salon (do you KNOW all the purses and clothes I could buy at TJ Maxx/Ross/Marshalls for $100?!) and I am going to bite the bullet and do it myself. Just in time for our vacation to Destin. Am I crazy or what?!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I discovered a new blog a few weeks ago, over at Her Southern Charm. Every Thursday, she posts a "Smallest Blessings Thursday" entry. This week, she has challenged her readers to do the same. So, for the very first time, here is my Smallest Blessings Thursday. I encourage you to think of one as well!

I have thought for about a week now about small blessings. I have been trying to have a more positive outlook on my life, and so each time I become frustrated with something, I challenge myself to turn it around into a blessing. Today, my smallest blessing is my grandma's kitchen. Growing up, we lived with my grandparents, and my grandmother always had a pot of coffee on, sweet tea in the fridge and her biscuit bowl out. My grandma made biscuits for each meal of the day (and at Grandma and Grandaddy's, there were three meals EVERY day!) and so her biscuit bowl was always out and ready for use. I vaguely remember her sitting me on the table or counter, next to where she was preparing the biscuit dough, and letting me help her with my own portion. Every so often another child would run through the house, giggling, laughing, and running on to their next adventure, and they would sneak by Grandma's bowl to get a piece of the raw biscuit dough. Yuck? Probably. But that was "our" thing with Grandma. My grandfather passed away a week after I turned 5, and after he went on to be with Jesus, I don't remember Grandma making biscuits anymore. My mama took her place in the kitchen, keeping coffee in case my aunts came in for a quick chat. I eventually grew up and moved out of my mama's house, and there was a while when I hardly ever saw my mama. You know teenagers -- they're too busy doing their own thing to be settled down! Time took us apart and I moved to England, where I met and married my husband. I got pregnant and when I was 31 weeks pregnant the military moved us back to the South, an hour away from where I grew up. I distinctly remember stepping foot in my mama's kitchen after 19 months of being away, and I felt such a peace come over me. I poured a cup of coffee and sat down to chat with my mama and my aunts. I remember feeling so, was I really supposed to be there? Even at 22, it felt so strange to me! 

Just the other day, Sara and I went to mama's for a visit. I had been outside, and walked in the front door without my mama and Sara noticing. I caught them in the kitchen. Sara was sitting on the counter next to my mama while she mixed up muffins for breakfast. My mama snuck Sara a bite of the muffin batter and let her have a sip of her coffee (before I get flagged: no, I do not like this in the least -- but my mama only gets to be a grandmother once and I'd rather choose my battles!). It seems history has a way of repeating itself with time...

Anyway, that's my smallest blessing. That is one of the best memories I have of my childhood. The original house has since burned down, but there's another one in its place and I have no doubt that it will be to Sara what my grandma's biscuit bowl and kitchen was to me: a place of warm, cozy refuge where you feel endless, unconditional love.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I've been MIA lately, and I do apologize. I haven't felt like myself in a few weeks and have taken some time to do some soul searching. As I was telling a dear friend this morning, it seems as if I have lost my joy in doing the little things that a wife and mother do. When I pick up my husbands shoes that he kicks off by the front door, I have grumbled and complained instead of thanking God that I have a husband who can walk. When I wash the dishes I feel trodden down instead of being thankful that there are dirty dishes, because that means we have food to eat. I have snapped at my husband for staying late at work when I should be thankful that he has a job and can provide for us. You see, if you take joy in the small things, it will run over into the big things. And lately, I can't find that joy. I am working hard, praying hard, and I am sure that with the help of wonderful friends, family, and God, I will come through this valley.

I am working hard today and this next week to get my household back on track. I have the yard, flowers and vegetables almost on track again. (And will tonight when I finally plant my potatoes in the trash can! Yes -- a trash can -- ask me how!) On Wednesday of next week I hope to get back to regular blogging, as we will be on a mini vacation until then. Happy Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Are you ready to be swarmed with pictures?

When our old (not so old, actually!) camera broke on us shortly after Sara came along, my mom lent us her HP camera to get us through until we had the money saved to buy a really nice one. It's an older model, but has been faithful to us thus far...even though it likes to eat the battery life. Thank God for rechargeable batteries! I was having to take it to Wal-Mart and put all of the pictures on a CD to upload onto the computer (which could get expensive at $2.50 per CD!), but she found her camera cord and software CD while spring cleaning today. Thank the Lord! Now I will be able to put pictures up more often AND more easily. Can't beat that with a stick. :)

As some of you might know, Michael is most likely deploying to Afghanistan in October. I am having a hard time with it. It is affecting my attitude and my soul a little more every day. I am very happy to say that tonight I finally turned it all over to the Lord and will trust Him to take us through! I don't know why I couldn't/didn't do that before. I wasn't even expecting it. I was saying goodnight prayers with Sara as I was putting her to bed and suddenly I was on my knees, crying, and pouring out my soul. It feels good to be "free" of such a worry! I'm sure my husband will rejoice in the change in my manner, as well. 

Life seems to be so busy lately. My goal for this week is to slow down and enjoy the little moments. I'll let you know next Sunday how that went!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Menu Plan Monday!

I'm a little late, but don't shoot me. I had half of this post made yesterday and Mike closed the computer down. I didn't have time to make it again, so I'm here today!

For those of you who don't know what Menu Plan Monday is, it's really simple. I just post my menu plan each Monday so you can see what we're eating for the week. I was telling my friend Erica this morning that the last time I went grocery shopping was on March 15, and I spent $200. I have bought about $60 since then in fresh fruit, milk, cheese, etc.... we are on Week 6 of eating from the pantry/freezer, and this puts us at an average of $43/week for groceries. Now, we have been on a couple of weekends away since then, but that's still pretty good in my opinion. Without further ado, here is our menu plan!

Breakfast: leftover apple cake
Lunch: half of a cheese quesadilla for Sara, ramen noodles for me (hey, I know -- I'm trying to clean out my freezer and pantry here!)
Supper: italian sausage brats with onion, stuffed jalapenos

Breakfast: muffins, lemon raspberry cake (had friends over for coffee)
Lunch: fried egg sandwiches
Supper: eating at a family birthday party

Breakfast: oatmeal with honey butter toast
Lunch: will be at a book club meeting so we'll have whatever is there
Supper: tuna noodle casserole (made with farfalle pasta I had in the cabinet and peas that we had left over from supper one night that I threw in the freezer), strawberry shortcake

Breakfast: grits and lemon raspberry bread
Lunch: cheese quesadillas with chips and salsa
Supper: split pea soup and cornbread

Breakfast: muffins
Lunch: leftover split pea soup
Supper: baked cajun flavored catfish with vegetable casserole

Breakfast: scrambled eggs and toast with pumpkin butter
Lunch: spinach, cheese, and bean quesadillas with chips and salsa
Supper: roast with onion and carrots, purple hull peas and green beans

Breakfast: toast with grape jelly and yogurt
Lunch: leftover roast with fresh corn
Supper: clean out the fridge/leftovers

I'll have to let you know how it goes!

In other news, we just got back from a wonderful weekend getaway to Orange Beach. We went with my father's side of the family. My youngest sister Allie had a softball tournament there, and it was the first ball game I've been able to see her play in since I got married so it was nice. All the fun in the sun led to little miss Sara sleeping all day yesterday, which was a-ok with me!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Something always comes through.

Michael and I have been praying for a long time about a certain situation we're in. I was beginning to get discouraged, and we had decided to take the easy way out and just get rid of the problem, instead of fixing it. We were about to make the final phone call, when out of the blue, someone kindly offered their services and advice last night! I am thrilled and honestly felt a bit guilty that I was moving on as soon as God hadn't answered our prayer. I'm constantly reminded that He answers prayer in His time, not in ours. This is a struggle for me as I like to be in control of everything. That's something I am working hard on, but I can't do it alone. 

Are any of you struggling with your time and commitments lately? I feel very overwhelmed these days. I can't remember what I've done with anything, it seems, and I often find myself at 3:30 wondering, "What will I have for dinner? Why haven't I finished the laundry? Why didn't I sew today? Why didn't I do this, or do that?" I have got to learn to use my day more wisely. Having only one vehicle certainly helps, as the days that Michael uses it for work I have a lot more time. But then I run into, "I'll be home tomorrow, so I'll just do it then." It is a never-ending, viscious cycle. Hopefully today will be the day I get a grip on things. After I finish today's blog, I am turning off the computer (probably my biggest problem) and working constantly, non-stop, throughout the day. Maybe after this day I will be caught up and can just maintain. Do you busy mamas have any tips for me? I could sure use them.

On a happier note, I found someone in our town who sells free-range eggs! Woohoo! I am going to call her today to pick up my first dozen. I much prefer buying locally/organic, so this is very exciting for me. I am also going to work on preparing a small garden this week. Hopefully it will be planted very soon, as I'm quickly running out of time! I think this year I will do tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, onions, and maybe some peas or beans if I have room. I want to do about 5-10 tomato plants, because I plan on putting them up for sauces in the winter. My uncle Sonny normally has a huge garden each year, and I'm going to be purchasing lots of veg from him to can and freeze. My goal is to not have to buy any (or at the very least, only a little) in the way of veg from the grocery store this winter. Last year I only grew bell peppers and onions, so if you have any tips, send them my way!

I'm off for now. My day is calling. :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Don't you love the look on her face? "Don't mess with me....I've got my cup!" She is a handful. This morning she put herself in the corner (for no apparent reason) and started crying. I knelt down beside her to say that she wasn't in trouble....then I noticed she was looking at me out of the corner of her eye. And then she giggled. She was putting on a show for mama. Is she mocking us? At only 18 months? I think I'm in for it!

As you may know, I am turning into quite the frugal housewife. I recently discovered the ECB (Extra Care Bucks) system at CVS. If you haven't taken advantage of this, you really should! I'm one visit in and well on my way to never paying for toiletries again! For your first visit, be prepared to dish out a bit of cash. This week they had Coke's (I know, I know...but I send them to work with Mike!) 3/$11. If you used your ECB card, you got $3 cash back on it. That's really like getting them 3/$8, or $2.67 each! I don't know if you've noticed, but they are upwards of $4 elsewhere these days. I also got Colgate toothpaste, which was $2.99, with $2.00 back on your ECB card. Already I have $5 to use next time! It's almost like a game now. I can't wait for the next circular to come around!

I wasn't planning on grocery shopping this week, but I had to go to Winn Dixie for a few things for the meal plan this week and I caved a bit. I ended up spending $63.47 (although $19.02 was at the hot bar...I'm still learning how to be frugal! I need to learn to plan my time and days better so that there is no eating out, I know) but I saved $16.74 with my rewards card and manufacturer coupons. Yay for saving money! I have set up a grocery and household budget of $200 per month, or $50 per week. Yes, I believe I can stick to it. :) We shall see!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A relaxing weekend away?

Mike went back home to Tampa this weekend to see Ben Folds in concert with his friend Jeff, so Sara, Delaney & I came to stay with my mama in Tallassee. We have been apart since Thursday night, and I must admit that while I love being in my hometown, I miss my husband and can't wait to get back to my own house.

Yesterday my mama, my Aunt Laura and her son Bo, Sara and I had a wonderful supper together. Have you ever had cornbread cake? You should try it. It's plum delicious! How funny that they call it "cornbread cake" because there's no cornbread in it. It's not anything like cornbread would taste, makes for a very good coffee cake.

Oh, by the way....thank you, God, for the rain -- but I'm ready for dry grounds and sunshine now. :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Happy Birthday to me!

I am 24 years old today. Well, I will be at 7:10 p.m. My phone is dead and I can't find the charger, so I'm sure I will have tons of missed calls to return. I feel sort of sad because my mama can't get a hold of me. If you're reading this, mama, I'll call you tonight!

By the way -- I finally figured out how to post pictures! I am incredibly thankful. It was right before my eyes the whole time! I told you I wasn't good in the technological department. :)

Sara loves to play outside. Our little girl would stay out there all day long if we let her. She loves to play while I put the clothes out on the line or when I'm taking them in. Sometimes I'm even able to fold them as I take them off the line because she's having such a good time playing. Unfortunately, we killed two snakes in our yard yesterday, so Sara's playing days are going to be scarce for the next little while...until my fear eases up a bit.

Sara & I have had a nice day. This morning we went to the gym, and Sara actually didn't cry when I left her in the child care room! That was a great birthday gift. After I finished working out, we went over to the Main Street Toy Shop and picked up a new cloth diaper and liners from our friend Rachel, who owns Two Little Whales ( We got a night time diaper from DryBees, and we can't wait to try it out tonight! We ran a few more errands and came home to pick up the house. We've been playing ever since.

Michael is coming home tonight and cooking Thai Chicken Fettuccine for my birthday supper. :) I have some apple bread to bake and we will watch American Idol tonight. We are such exciting people. :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I'm technologically illiterate.

But I'm learning.

And that's all that matters....right?

I can't figure out how to get the pictures resized, so until I do, there will just be text here. :) Our lives have been pretty hectic the past couple weeks. Sara and I have both been sick with colds, and mine is still lingering around -- though thankfully she has gotten rid of hers. Last week, our friend Ryan G. (for those of you who don't know -- we had friends that we were stationed with in England staying with us for a few months while the father attended OCS school at our post) graduated Officer Candidate School and they left us. They had been with us for three months, so my house feels very empty. I must say I miss the company! They will eventually be on their way to Germany, or so the Army says. I forsee an international vacation next year. :)

We are in Mississippi at the moment visitng my older sister, Elizabeth, her funny husband Kyle,and two beautiful kids Raven & Will. It has been a weekend of fun in the sun, and I don't want to leave! But I must get back to my own house, and most importantly, my husband. He can't make it with TV dinners much longer!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I think I'll try this again. I'm having a hard time getting the pictures just right, so you'll have to bear with me. I promise I'll do my best to get better!

Sara, with her hair in pigtails for the first time:

I think I might eventually get the hang of this. I know now that one or two photos per
post is the most for my unexperienced hands and computer to handle!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Nothing very excited has happened in the past week. I've lost 14 pounds, got a new hair color, done some sewing and played with Sara. Here's a peek at our adventures:

At the beginning of the week, I got Sara's hair in ponytails! (Pay no mind to the date on the picture -- I don't know how to change it.)

She's also decided she likes to walk around in Mama and Daddy's shoes. I managed to sneak this picture of her with my slippers. The
other day I caught her with one black stiletto heel and one pink slipper, but it's most cute when she tries to put Daddy's boots on. I
REALLY need to capture that!

Caught out back by the fence:

Last September, I purchased a Step 2 slide at the Fort Benning yard sale for $8. I'm pretty sure you can tell by this picture that it has
quickly become Sara's most treasured outdoor toy. That was the best $8 I've ever spent!


This weekend it snowed! I believe we got about 3 or 4 inches. I don't remember this much snow in a long time, even while we lived in England. I do have
pictures of it, but Sara's nap time is nearly over and I still need to fold a load of laundry and finish writing down some recipes. I promise to post at
tomorrow's nap time!