Tuesday, November 9, 2010

And I said Lord I'm happy 'cause I'm just a walkin' my dog, Singin' my song, Strollin' along - It's just me and my dog

Lord Horatio Nelson Williams
April 28, 1996 - November 8, 2010

Can you tell it was my mom's turn to name our pet?? She was a history major in school, and an avid history buff most of her life, so Nelson got one mouthful of a name. But he handled it quite well really :)

Nelson was the best dog ever. He lived for 14 1/2 years, and brought so much joy and love into our lives and our homes. Monday was really hard, and so have the last few months leading up to his passing. His health has been rough, and he was losing a lot of weight and his hips would give out...I won't go into any more of his issues, but the time came where a decision had to be made, and to do what is best for him, we put him down. That was not an easy decision to come to, but he was really suffering and that isn't fair to keep him alive because of selfish reasons. Especially with the cold weather coming in - it made his arthritis so much more painful.

I don't want to be all mushy and sappy and emotional, but I since he lived for 14 wonderful years, I was to share 14 of my favorite memories/lessons that I learned from him. I know it's cheesy, but this dog saved me in many ways through some hard times and I can't ever repay him for all the love and compassion he showed me.

1) Going to get a dog - I was getting ready to go into high school, and we were going to get a dog! I was so excited. We went to visit this family that had a litter of boxer puppies and it wasn't for sure we would get one, but it was a possibility. When we got there, it didn't take long for Nelson to attach himself to us. We have always said he picked us out, not that we picked him out. He followed us everywhere! It was so cute. And if we stopped walking, he would sit on our feet and when he looked up at you with those sweet puppy eyes, you couldn't help but know he was meant to be with us. It was the cutest and sweetest thing I had ever seen up to that point. I remember picking him up for the first time and him just licking my face and I was sold. Thank goodness the rest of my family was too! He came home with us that day.

2) One of the most amazing things that Nelson did for me was to be there for me. It sounds cheesy, but Nelson got me through some really hard times. My parents got divorced a year after we got him, and it was really hard on me and my brother. I remember sitting on the floor of my room in the basement crying, and Nelson would come and curl up in my lap and lick my tears and stay with me until I calmed down. He didn't just do this once or twice - he did it all the time for me. When I would come home from college and visit and was sad or upset about something (something trival and silly I'm sure) he did the same thing. Even last November when I had a miscarriage, I went to my mom's house to visit him and I sat down with him and started crying. He was so old and his hips hurt him, but he came and sat in my lap and licked my tears and let me cry, showing me nothing but the purest and sweetest love. I know it hurt him to sit like that, but he didn't budge until I was ready. I treasure those memories and that love he showed. I know he did similar things for my brother - we were his top priority and he took care of us. He loved us, and we sure love him right back.

3) I was really lucky to have a basement bedroom in high school. It had a door that went straight out into the back yard, which is where Nelson spent most of his time. Well, I loved my dog a lot, so I used to sneak him into the basement to sleep in my room. I'm pretty sure my mom always knew, but as long as she didn't catch him on the furniture, she never said too much about it... I, of course, had to push the limits though. I loved having him jump up on the little twin bed with me and fall asleep. It wasn't super comfy for him, but he did it (He was a big dog and it was a small bed). He would jump up and sleep in the bed with me until I was asleep, then jump down and sleep right next to the bed on the floor. I could reach down and pet him at any time. Then in the mornings, when I would start to wake up, he would jump back up on the bed and snuggle with me. I remember a few times my mom would come down to make sure I was awake, and she caught him up on the bed. Boy did we get in trouble...but he never stopped doing that for me. I was selfish, letting him get in trouble because I wanted things my way, but he never disappointed me!

4) He hated getting baths. My favorite bath time incident happened about a month after we brought him home - I had on a poncho and was bathing him on the kitchen sink. He was not happy to be getting so fresh and so clean, and wiggled right out of my hands, jumped over my shoulder ripping the poncho, and ran off in the house covered in soap. HA! We finally caught him and got him washed off, and we no longer bathed him in the sink.

5) Cropping his ears. This is not something I will ever do with another dog, but we did it to poor Nelson. The surgery isn't fun for them, and he had to have it twice, because one of his ears fell after the first surgery. Now, having this done to him isn't what I loved - but seeing his ears all wrapped up with a little bowl.cone around his neck - it's pathetically adorable! See for yourself - it's not the best picture, but you can see the general idea. Poor little guy!!! Isn't he the cutest thing??

6) Nelson hated his crate. We tried to crate train him, but I think since it was also used for punishment, it didn't really work for him. Trying to get him in there was the biggest ordeal ever - it involved blocking off all doors from the kitchen, trying to corner him and bribing him with meat! Even then, he still put up a fight. On the one hand, it was amusing to watch him do this to other people (my mom or brother) but then when he would do it to me it was so maddening! But he looked at you with that sweet puppy face, and all was forgiven. I'm pretty sure this is part of the reason he ended up being kept out in the yard instead of inside....

7) I will warn you - this is a gross one! But Nelson had, well, awful gas. Like, he could clear a room in 10 seconds flat (I say 10 seconds because there was always a delay between him passing the gas and then the deathly stench.) He even did this at the vet's on his last day. I have some funny stories about this, but I will spare you :)

8) Nelson loved to chase animals - especially squirrels. And he was a fast little guy - he caught them too! I remember the first time he brought his prize up on the porch to show us through the kitchen door windows - we were eating breakfast. EW! However, he was really proud of himself. He was a great runner though, and looked great chasing animals around!

9) Nelson didn't get to go on a ton of walks as he got older. I remember taking him on a walk when he was about 7 or so, when my mom lived off Holly Springs Road. I used to walk from her house to the intersection of Post Oak Tritt and Holly Springs. It was about a 3 mile walk, and it was a nice little stretch. Well, one day I decided it would be nice for Nelson to get to take a walk with me! He loved to run spurts around the yard and stuff, so I thought he was in great shape. Well, it turns out I was wrong. We got to the Post Oak Tritt and Holly Springs, and he was spent. We still had a mile and half to go! It took over and hour just to get home because he kept stopping and laying down every few feet. Poor kid - I felt bad for him!! But it was also hilarious to see this big old dog so tuckered out and me dragging him along (at one point I tried to carry him...but he was over 70 pounds at that point...so that didn't work out as well as I had hoped.)

10) This one is sort of embarrassing for my brother....but my brother would get him to chase him around the kitchen/den areas and they would go in laps. Nelson was fast so he would catch my brother and then he would end up pantsing my brother. HA! Nelson always beat him, too.

11) One of my favorite things about the boxer breed is the personality that boxers have! Nelson had a ton of personality - including letting you know when he was mad and having a special relationship with you and winking at you (I'm totally serious too!) My mom got the brunt of his attitude, especially his angry attitude. He would do things that would make her mad, because he was mad. Like if he didn't want to be left alone, but my mom had brought him down to the basement because of the weather, he would leave her little "presents" (aka poop) on the floor (it wasn't a cement floor, so it wasn't the worst scenario....but it still had to be cleaned up). When Gordon and I would come to see him, he would give us the cold shoulder for a while when we first got there. He would of course let us pet him, but his boxer kisses weren't around for a good while! He sure told us :)

12) My mom and step-dad's house has a great backyard and Nelson loved it. There is a nice big hill that he would love to walk to the top of and sit and look out over his territory. He would sit up there in the sun and just be. Even as he got older and his arthritis was really tough on him, he would take at least a few walks a day up to the top of that hill and sit there. It was sweet to see him up there looking over everything, including my mom and step-dad.

13) The hill also served as an amazing burial ground for ham bones!! At holidays, we always save the ham bone for him and we would take them to him outside and he would get so excited and run up on the hill and bury his bone. Then dig it up and bury it again. The process was limitless! He couldn't handle leaving it just one spot, and it is so cute to see him digging and then filling the hole by moving the dirt back in the hole by pushing it with his nose. We always loved watching him bury and move his ham bones around :)

14) Lastly, I love Nelson because he was truly a best friend to me. I love dogs and the compassion and companionship they give. Nelson was the most loyal dog I have ever had and he loved us so much. I hope he knows how much we love him. It was hard since both my brother and I moved away from home, and he stayed, but we made sure to visit him and spoil him when we did see him. I can never thank him enough for all the joy he brought into my and my brothers life. There are so many other stories I could tell, but I will stop now. The most important thing I can say is that I love Nelson and he came into our lives at the perfect time! I'm so grateful he picked us, because life without him would not have been as happy, as loving or as special. We are all better off for having him in our lives!

That's enough of my ramblings. Here are a few more pics from the last few years...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Oh, Mexico, It sounds so sweet with the sun sinking low. Moon's so bright like to light up the night, and make everything all right..

Things have been pretty busy around here lately...The biggest change that has happened was that I ended my job. It's been a big adjustment for me, but it's also been really nice too. I'm able to get a lot more done around the house and getting ready for the baby's arrival, as well as able to rest when I need to. It's been really helpful. It's weird to not be working, since I have worked for so long, and I miss my co-workers a lot. Overall, I worked with some amazing people and made some wonderful friends and it's been weird not seeing them every day! But it's for the best and I'm grateful that I have the opportunity to be home for a little bit before the baby comes. Bowser has loved it too - he's my little shadow and is just so sweet. I can tell he's happier too.

We also got around to knocking a big task off our to do list - we finally had our fireplace knocked out and had some french doors put in instead. I loved having a fireplace, but it did not work. It was going to cost a lot to fix it and we did not have any access to our back yard from within the house. Knocking it out and putting in doors was a perfect option. I will upload some before and after pictures later, once we get Jacobs computer set back up, because it looks awesome! The den looks better too - so much more light and it feels more comfortable. Bower loves it too because now he can run around the backyard and come back in when he wants. Before we would have to wait outside with him and that was a pain. This will make life much easier once the baby comes too, to let Bowser out and such. I love sitting in the den with all the light and looking at the fall colors start to come out. AWESOME!

Other than that, I'm sure I'm forgetting to mention lots of exciting things that have gone on, but for now I think that will work. I will do a more detailed doors, pumpkin patch, amazing baby shower post soon. But for now, I will wrap up with where I'm at in the pregnancy...just for kicks.

How far along:
32.5 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: + 7 lbs
Gender: Our little girl is continuing to grow and kick more and more every day.
Maternity clothes?: Maternity clothes, especially pants, have been the best thing ever. I am glad that I finally gave in and got some! Thanks to oldnavy.com, I have gotten some for some great prices!
Sleep: Sleep continues to be difficult. If I make myself stay up late, and get REALLY tired, I sleep through the night fairly well, only getting up to pee lots of times. But I'm not getting enough sleep, because I still am constantly tired, but at least I'm sleeping through the night. I know it will only get worse, and once she gets here it will be even more crazy, so I'm trying to appreciate it what I do get as much as I can.
Best moment this week: This weeks best moment would have to be finally getting stuff int he baby's room set up, as well as my amazing friends throwing me a sweet baby shower!! It was so cute and thoughtful!! I love it. I will put pictures up later.
Movement: She kicks a lot these days. She definitely has her favorite times of day to be active, including in the middle of the night, but it's reassuring to feel her moving around, and it's impressive she's such a hard kicker! I think her favorite target is my bladder....
Food cravings: French fries (or potatoes in any form!), ice cream and milk, and red meat. Those are the strongest and most consistent cravings I have.
What I'll miss: Umm, that's kinda of tough! I'm not sure what I will miss at this point. I'm just looking forward to her arrival.
Milestones: We've been taking childbirth classes at Northside, and that's been super helpful. I am glad we decided to do that. I'm also calling to find a pediatrician for us. I'm pretty sure I'm just going to go to the same one I went to when I was a kid - the 2 doctors who where there when my brother and I were born back in the day are still there! I loved going there, so I think I will stick with what I know to be good. It's weird to think I will be taking my kids there now...
Theme: I don't know what the theme of the last week would be...probably just getting stuff together and in order. It's a relief and exciting and slightly overwhelming all at the same time.
Extra: There have been lots of changes going on in our house and lives....since I just talked about it all, I will leave it at that for now :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I wanna hear you laugh like you really mean it; Collapse into me, tired with joy...

So, I thought I would post some ultrasound pics on here. I went to the doctor Monday, and since it was at Northside instead of my regular OB, they ultrasound is much clearer! They got some great shots and said she's growing really well and looks very healthy! WAHOO! They also said they won't need to see me back there unless my regular doc sends me back because of problems, but I think we should be fine. The reason that they are concerned and have done so many ultrasounds on me is because of my vasculitis. Since they don't know what causes it, and I have had 2 outbreaks of it (the first one which stuck around for like a year and then I had all the prednisone issues.... and then in February when I got super sick and had a viral infection, I broke out again. This time I went to the doctor the day it broke out and he started me on a 2 week round of prednisone and it went away. Have I ever mentioned how I hate that stuff?) So to make sure that everything is going well and that the baby is healthy, they have done more ultrasounds. She's a rock star and they said she looks great! Wahoo! I'm so relieved.

Here is her blog debut :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Rainbow's are visions, they're only illusions and rainbows have nothing to hide...

I haven't really talked to much about my pregnancy so far, and I thought it would be interesting to see where I am at and track it a little more. The first half of the journey has been good, and I'm glad to be over the halfway point. Lots of changes are ahead, and I'm trying to get ready for them the best I can. It's exciting, fun and scary to me all at once. Jacob has been great in keeping me calm, being excited too and just being a great husband. I'm pretty lucky to have him!!

How far along: 24 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: + 3 lbs
Gender: It's a GIRL! I don't think I've said anything on here about it, so there ya go. She will be here on December 10th, and we are so excited. So is our family! I may have already bought some adorable clothes...I couldn't help myself! Now to start planning everything... We decided to not mess with anything until we knew the gender, and now that we do, a whole new reality has set in - yikes! But a good yikes. There is a lot to do before she gets here! Bowser will be so excited to have a little girl to play with :)
Maternity clothes?: I finally bought some and it was the best decision ever. I'm so much more comfy now, and I don't look like I'm just trying to fit in my normal clothes.
Sleep: Sleep is awful these days. I consistently wake up between 3 and 5 in the morning and can't fall back asleep until about 20 minutes before the alarm goes off. I look exhausted and I feel exhausted! Plus, I get either really hot or really cold and my nose is so stuffy that I can't breathe well. So, between all of that...sleep and I are apparently taking a break. I hope we get back together soon...I really miss it.
Best moment this week: Hmm...this week's best moment would probably be the realization that I will be parting ways with my job at the end of September. I've known and talked to them about it back in July, but the reality is finally starting to sink it. While it's sad and weird to think about not working, I'm grateful for the 2 months before the little one comes that I will have to "myself" to get things done that really need it. Plus, then I can reunite with sleep, because if my body will let me sleep - I don't care what time it is, I'm gonna do it!
Movement: I am feeling her move around a lot more these days - it's crazy! I didn't really know what to expect when you read about feeling the baby, but it's kinda cool. She isn't doing any ninja kicks yet, but I can feel light little kicks and lots of flutters. I can't wait for Jacob to be able to feel it too.
Food cravings: My cravings have been kind of weird. Nothing has been consistent, but when something hits, I really want it! One of my favorite ones is the Philly cheese-steak sandwich from Philly Connection....oh man, so good. Crap, now I want one!!
What I'll miss: As of right now, I can't really think of anything I will miss about being pregnant. Maybe feeling her moving around...
Milestones: I don't really feel like this is a milestone exactly, but I've started with the heartburn. It makes me feel officially pregnant and it's not my favorite. Luckily, I'm enjoying tropical flavored Tums, so that makes it a little better...but I'd rather not deal with it at all. I guess I need to make sure to stay away from tomato sauce and onions...at least those are a few of the triggers I have noticed so far.
Theme: The theme of the week would have to be lack of sleep and heartburn. I won't repeat what I've already said...but gosh, I miss my sleep.
Extra: One of my favorite things that has been happening over the last few months has to do with Bowser. I'm not really sure how he knows, but it has become a normal thing for me to sit on the floor with him and for him to rub his head on my tummy. I feel like he knows something is going on, but he doesn't know what. It might sound super silly, but I love that he does that! He is also super protective too. We had a friend come over last week to see us for a bit, and he laid at my feet the whole time, wouldn't go near the guy and when he came over to shake my hand before he left - Bowser stood up and watched his every move. It was adorable! I feel bad for the guy though...he just wanted to pet Bowser, but that wasn't gonna happen. I like the non aggressive approach Bowser uses. Typically, he warms right up to people after he hesitates for a minute, so this was interesting to see. Bowser is already taking care of the little one!

Friday, July 23, 2010

When you're the president of the Breakfast Club, and you're not hesitant to fall in love, To fall in love with the eighties...

* Warning: This post contains a random assortment of childhood books/authors/memories. It may or may not be coherent :) *

With the opening of Ramona and Beezus in theaters today, People.com had an interview of sorts with Beverly Cleary. I have to admit, I was more than a little excited to click on the article. I grew up reading books, and one of my top 5 favorite authors was Beverly Cleary. I read every book she wrote - more than once. Henry Huggins and his dog Ribsy, Ralph S. Mouse, Beezus, Ellen Tebbits, Socks, and my all time favorite - Ramona Quimby. I fell in love with the all of Cleary's stories, because on some levels you could relate to them, but they were also outlandish enough to make you laugh and cringe all at the same time. Ramona had this incredible imagination - one that I wish I had.

Anyways! I started this post because I read the article with Cleary, and I felt like she is exactly the person who I would have expected to write such wonderful books. She's 94 now, and seems like a wonderful woman who has done so much in her life! (I ended up reading a Wikipedia article on her as well, so not all of my thoughts stem from the People.com article.) She has a love for books and children, and both are evident in the way she has lived her life and the way she talks about her books. My favorite quote from the People article:

She doesn't analyze her characters.
During one meeting with Ramona and Beezus director Elizabeth Allen, "[Beverly] asked, 'What are the themes in Ramona?' " recalls Allen. "I said, 'It's about this iconoclast who's learning how to navigate in society.' And she looked at me cross-eyed and said, 'No. It's about growing up.'

I love the simplicity that she keeps to her charters and her stories. They are timeless, as she says, and she wants children of any generation to be able to pick up the books and be able to relate to them, or feel a sense of normalcy when they read them. I know it worked for me. Growing up, we moved around a lot and I was constantly changing schools. While I would eventually make new friends in the neighborhoods we lived in or at school, I never felt like I had a place. One thing I did have was books! The characters never changed no matter where I lived, and I would read books over and over again and it gave me a sense of security in new places. As I've grown up, every now and then I will pick up one of my childhood favorites and those feelings and love of the characters are still there. I look forward to sharing those books with my own kids one day! (In fact, I just cleaned out about 3 or 4 boxes of those books from my mom's basement and now they are in my basement! It was fun to go through them all.)

Since this is sort of a hodgepodge of ramblings, I think I will leave you with my some of my favorite childhood authors.

Beverly Cleary, of course.

Ann M. Martin - Babysitters Club Series

Louise Fitzhugh - Harriett The Spy and The Long Secret

Norton Juster - The Phantom Tollbooth

Francine Pascal - The Sweet Valley Twins and Sweet Valley High Series

Judy Blume (there are so many that I loved!!)

Roald Dahl (also, so many favorites!)

Carolyn Keene
- I loved anything and everything Nancy Drew

Anyways, those are just a few. I read so much that I can't remember them all now! It was fun to take a trip down memory lane though...I really want to go home and read the Phantom Tollbooth now :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Did you notice I was afraid? I thought I'd run out of things to say. Two more hours until today burns this away, and it starts all over again.

Some days are rough and tedious. Like today. I thought that yesterday was Wednesday, and it turns out - nope! It was only Tuesday. Now this is becoming the LONGEST Wednesday of my life. I need to laugh, so I found some entertaining Liz Lemon clips that did the trick. I love Tina Fey.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Stars shining bright above you, night breezes seem to whisper "i love you", birds singin’ in the sycamore trees, dream a little dream of me.

Well, to say that nothing has really been going on with us would be one big fat lie! Where to begin??

Well, for starters, for those of you who don't know yet - I'm pregnant! We are expecting the little one to arrive on or around December 10th - just in time for the holidays, poor thing! What a time to have a birthday. Jacob and I are really excited about it (and I'm mildly terrified!) I'm almost 14 weeks now...so I look forward to that 2nd trimester being better than the first thing to start happening. I have been blessed for sure, as I know plenty of people have it way worse than I do, but I'm ready to stop feeling so icky all the time. I've had lots of doctors appointments and a few ultrasounds, and we know that things are going well and that the little one is doing great. I'm right at 14 weeks, so hopefully I will start feeling better soon!

I survived the annual board meeting at work. It was a bit harder this time around since I was in my first trimester and all, but I did it and I didn't complain (well, I didn't complain at work. Jacob would probably say I complained a lot!) We had an even on Thursday night that was quite impressive. I have to admit, that my boss really knows how to put together an event. I have learned a lot from working with her on these things, and this one really took the cake. All the hard work we put in to making it happen really paid off because the Trustees loved it. It was nice to see people appreciate your efforts.

Jacob has planted our garden again, and it's doing really well so far! And I actually have pictures - good pictures to show!! Let me post some pics of the garden then I will explain my new picture taking circumstances. I wish I could remember all that he planted, but I know some of the things are tomatoes, cucumbers, jalapenos, cayenne peppers, bell peppers, strawberries...and a few others. Hes so good!

As far as having these beautiful pictures is concerned, I got a new camera! Well, I didn't get it persay, but my amazing husband and friends and brother all chipped in to get me this amazing camera that I have been wanting for my b-day! I turned 28 on the 28th, and I couldn't have been more grateful and humbled by what awesome people I have in my life! Heather took some pics and made a cute collage for her blog, so I stole it to put on mine! Yay for my Canon Rebel XS! It's such a stud :) Now I can take real pictures of things we do, people we love, and of our growing family! Bowser has proven to be a great subject so far!

Speaking of Bowser, what post would be complete without a few shots of the cute pup! He's about 50 pounds now and 8.5 months old. We totally got lucky when I picked him out - he's the best dog we could have asked for. Since I've been pregnant, he's gotten a lot more protective of me and the house. He barks when he hears or sees cars/strangers coming up the drive way or when he hears random noises that he knows aren't common. I love it! I feel safe and loved, especially when he comes and sits in front of me on guard and barking. Too cute! He also seems to be getting more well behaved (though if he steals my bottle of prenatal vitamins one more time....) Anyways! Enough about him! Here are some cute shots of him taken with my new camera!! Check out that tongue!

Oh, and so I know I have admitted that I have a deep love of the TV show Bones, but I also have that same love for Glee!! I'm a Gleek, and proud of it! I don't want to write about the finale in case some of you haven't watched it yet, but holy heck was I LOVING it! Not only do I love Journey, but I love the McKinley High Glee Club - great finale!! Here is them preforming at regionals - sigh. I just can't get enough :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars; I could really use a wish right now...

Life has been a bit crazy and hectic lately! I will save those reasons for another post, but I'm grateful for little weekend getaways to see amazing and wonderful friends who make everything better :)

This past weekend I hopped in my car and drove down to Destin to see Mary!! I really needed a little break from work and such, and even thought I was sad to leave Jacob for the weekend, I needed me some Mary time. I love that they live closer now - even though I know they miss being near family. We had a lot of fun just hanging out, shopping, going to the beach, and hanging out some more. Mary and Cam seriously are the sweetest people and have some of the cutest kids! I had so much fun being with all of them. I miss her already and can't wait to go back and see her again!! Sadly, I don't have any pictures...but check out her blog to see just how cute their family is. I'm grateful for their hospitality and friendship. Mary has been such an amazing friend for so long, I just don't know what I'd do without her. I love you!!

Making the drive by myself wasn't to bad. I like driving and just listening to music - it relaxes me most of the time. I did great on the way down there and I made great time! I even bonded with Google Maps on the iPhone. (For those of you who don't know how much I usually don't like that app, this bonding experience was a HUGE step for me!) Well, on the way home it failed me. Once you load the directions, it doesn't matter if you have service or not you can still navigate the directions just fine. That's how I made it to Destin in one piece. Plus, I had printed out directions for the way there, just in case. I went home a different route than I came (mistake)! So, I was driving through a no service area on the way back, and something happened and I lost my directions! I couldn't even get the map to load! I tried to remain calm and not panic...I kept thinking that I will hit service soon and my map will come back. I had no idea where I was and I was fairly certain I had missed my turn. I finally pulled over when I had service and tried everything I could do to get my map back! When I tried to restart my phone, it would just freeze up for a while. Finally I called Jacob. I tried to be calm, but I'm pretty sure I was mildly freaking out. I couldn't have him get me directions because I didn't even know where I was. He told me of another way I could force my phone to shut off (I'm pretty sure if I hadn't been so flustered I would have thought of it eventually....maybe..) and once I did that, everything reloaded. I wasn't to far off the beaten path, but boy do I never want to rely on Google Maps again! (just the app, I still think they give the best directions from point A to point B). It made me further my desire to own a GPS. I don't travel far distances that often, but when I do I want to know I can make it home, and not be stuck in the middle of nowhere Alabama :)

**Mary posted a picture of us before we went to church on Sunday! I thought I'd post it too - I'm such a copy cat!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Still like that old time rock'n' roll, that kind of music just soothes the soul; I reminisce about the days of old, with that old time rock 'n' roll..

I love my iPod. I love my iPhone. I love music. These three things all go hand in hand quite nicely, especially when I can load my iPod, that's on my iPhone, with lots of music and plug it in to listen to in the car! I have been doing that for a while now, and have always thought that it's great! I love the shuffle feature, and when I turn it on, I just let it go and let it surprise me with what it plays next. It's really a great system.

Sometime over the last 2 weeks or so, I started flipping through some CD books that I had in my backseat that I haven't touched in a LONG time. As I flipped through the pages, a flood of memories came back as I saw the albums or mix cds that were in there. I unplugged my iPhone and put in some albums that I used to listen to all the time, that get lost when my iPod is on shuffle. It's been so much fun to listen to complete albums again. I love flipping through CD book and seeing the graphics on the different albums, or finding CD's that you can't buy on iTunes! (I used to listen to a lot of not so famous bands, so I have quite a few albums like that.)

It might sound silly, because music is just music, right, no matter what form you listen to it in. Not for me. I love flipping through all the old records that I got from my dad a while back - can you even believe he was going to just get rid of them?! Sheesh! I'm glad I saved them! I love the sound of the music as it's played on a record player - it sounds so authentic and vintage to me and I love that. I love finding old mix tapes that I used to make - the choppy editing or the clips from the radio right before and after the song. Or the mix tapes that people made for me! I still listen to this Offspring mix that a friend made me in high school - we did a mix tape trade. He gave me awesome rock music, and I gave him awesome boy band music - HA! I love the nostalgia and the memories that go with those sounds. Like listening to the records when I was little with my dad and brother - my dad was a big air guitar player and I remember him jamming out while we played along with him or danced around. I remember driving around with friends listening to those mix tapes.

I love being able to buy music instantly on iTunes. But as I flipped through the CD books, I remember waiting in line at midnight to buy the new release with my friends, or the concerts I went to where I discovered a new band and had to have the CD right then - sometimes they would even sign it. I miss going to record stores and perusing the aisles and getting into conversations with random people or employees about what bands are good and why they like them. I discovered so much music that way. I also miss holding the CD case in my hands and reading through the CD books. The art, pictures, lyrics and bios always fascinated me. I feel like those things made music personal to me, and I have lost that spark now. Don't get me wrong, I still love listening to my music and am grateful for all the technology that goes along with making it accessible and enjoyable. I just miss the experience that used to go along with that. Maybe those feelings and ideas are part of being younger, and as you get older it just goes away.

Regardless, I'm grateful I kept some randoms CD's in my car and I think I will keep listening to them for a while before I jump back into the world of iPods and digital downloads.

Friday, April 23, 2010

When I saw him I felt the room divide into pieces, Oh the lights danced around us just like stars in the sky...

In my attempt to be a more consistent blogger, I decided I need to post. But what do I post about? How about the random thoughts that have been plaguing my mind lately.

1) I don't know how many of you know, but I love the TV show Bones. It's on its 5th season right now, and for a while I never watched it. But season 1 was on sale at Target for like $10 bucks one day, so I bought it. It looked interesting, so I thought why not. It took me forever to actually watch it, but once I did, I was hooked! Such a good show! I blew through all 4 seasons and was watching the new episodes on Thursday nights. I am a huge fan of Booth and Brennan, and I want them to get together. They recently had their 100th episode and things came to a head, but now we are in that limbo period waiting to see what happens. I know it's ridiculous, but I am a bit of a hopeless romantic in some ways, and I can't help feeling so defeated when another episodes goes by and it's still not happening. I haven't wanted two people to get together so badly since Pacy and Joey on Dawsons Creek!! (Have I said to much?!) Anyways, I just look forward to the season finale because I am thinking that a little closure will come my way. I hope.

2) I am really sad about all the education cuts going on in Cobb County right now. I really hate when education takes a huge hit, because I feel that it's one of the most important things we can do for children and our community! I have always wanted to one day be a teacher, and it seems like it gets harder and harder to be able to do that since they are constantly having to lay people off or have salary cuts. Working for a university, I have been able to see the effects of budget cuts more and I know its tough. It just makes me sad to know that kids could get a lesser quality education because of budget cuts. I was really involved in the arts in high school and I know that they can be the first ones to go, and I think it's a travesty. I don't know tons about government budgets and how they make the decisions they do, but this budget cut has inspired me to get more informed. I want to know that our kids are being taken care of and getting an education that will help them go far in life. Plus, there are so many friends I have in the education field, I hate to hear about the possibility of them getting laid off. I should probably be more informed about things before I rant about it, but it's on my mind so I thought I'd share.

3) I'm super excited and proud of Jacob and all the amazing work he's done at the house this week. Our yard is looking a million times better! I wish I could have taken some time off to help out, but he's doing such a great job. His parents have been very helpful to! I can't wait to see what it looks like when it's finished. I will save the details of what they are doing for a later post so we can post the pictures of it. It is definitely inspiring to make the inside of the house look as good as the outside though. I have some serious work to do!

4) I'm really happy it's Friday. I need some downtime from work. It's been a busy week! My boss has been stuck in France due to the volcano in Iceland. She was supposed to be gone for two weeks, returning to the office on Monday. They can't even catch a flight until next Tuesday. They had to drive down to Madrid from Paris to even catch that flight! I can't imagine having to deal with all of that mayhem, let alone the extra cost of spending an additional week and a half in Europe. I personally would have gone down to Italy and tried to catch a flight out of there, after some exploration of course!

5) Apparently I look as tired as I feel today. Multiple people have mentioned to me how tired I look. It's funny that some people can say that to me and it doesn't phase me at all - I know them well enough to know it's not a mean comment or I know them well enough to where they are allowed to say things like that to me (in a nice way of course.) Then there are the people who I don't know well enough, or at all really, and it comes across as a rude comment. Today has lacked the rudeness, thank goodness, but I went to the bathroom after the 4th comment and yeah...not only do I look super tired, my hair is a mess too. Oh well! Happy Friday!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Remember spring swaps snow for leaves, you'll be happy and wholesome again, when the city clears and sun ascends...

Today is my hodgepodge update. I've been told by a few different people that I need to get on the blogging ball...so this is me..on the ball!

It's been pretty quiet here at work, which I am so grateful for. I know this is just the calm before the storm, since my boss is out for two weeks, and I know once she gets back it will be high stress all the way. We have our Annual Board of Trustee Meeting in June, and that one is always more stressful than the Quarterly ones. It's a big song and dance of putting on events and meetings and it is seriously the most stressful thing I have ever done. This will be my third one. I worked through my first one while passing a kidney stone. I had been in the ER that weekend and I still hadn't passed it by Monday morning, but I had to come in because the meetings were that week. Can we say miserable? For the record...taking Vicoden while working isn't the best idea in the world. Anyways! I am really grateful for this time where I can get as much of my stuff done as possible, so when it's gets insane around here, hopefully I won't be as stressed.

Heather and I started up a recipe blog - Don't Forget to Lick the Spoon! We have been talking about doing one for a while, and we finally did. Check it out!! It will be lots of fun to start documenting the things we love to make and to be able to share those things with you!

Bon appetit y'all!

So, I don't have kids yet, but I do have an adorable puppy, so....I'm going to talk about him for a minute :)

Bowser is adorable as ever and getting bigger every day! He has eaten a random assortment of things no dog should ever eat. The list includes: a bottle of prenatal vitamins, earwax remover, shampoo, toilet paper, make up removing face wipes, and lots of cardboard. He really loves to play outside, but not if we aren't out there with him, which can be a pain. Jacob has started teaching him how to catch a Frisbee, and he's getting pretty dang good at that. He's started trying to catch bees and other bugs that fly around. Apparently the other day he caught one, and then he opened his mouth back up and the bee flew out! HA! He's also getting more protective. Usually when people come over he goes up to them and wants them to pet him and all, but when the AC guy came the other day, Bowser didn't go up to him. He hung back and stayed near me most of the time. He would go see where the guy went and when the guy would come back, Bowser would be near me again. I won't lie - I kinda love that. This first picture is my favorite!! That's the grumpiest face I have ever seen!

I know this is pretty behind the times, but it snowed in Atlanta a few times this winter, and I love the way our house looks covered in snow! Bowser also loved the snow, but got neutered the day before the big snow hit, so he didn't get to enjoy it as much as he would have liked..

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

...Crusin' and playin' the radio, with no particular place to go.

I have been struggling for things to blog about, mainly because I don't have pictures to go with any interesting things we do. But one thing that has been on my mind lately is cell phone usage while driving. I am the first to admit, I have texted while driving. I use my phone while driving. I also commute to Midtown Atlanta every day on 75 and I see tons of people swerving around and as I pass them I see that they are messing with their cell phones. 80 mph is not a safe speed to be multitasking at. It's dangerous, and I have heard way to many tragic stories that stem from cell phone usage while driving.

I have a story about cell phone usage while driving. It was my 23rd birthday and I was a nanny for two awesome girls, ages 14 and 10. (Let me interject here and say if I ever have daughters, I hope they are as awesome as those two girls.) I had just picked up the oldest one from a sleepover and we were going to pick up some lunch. I had the right of way, a green arrow, and there were about 4 cars in front of me. They all went through just fine. My car sort of hesitated before I went, which was weird, but it turned out to be a blessing! A guy who was talking on his cell phone totally blew through his red light. If my car hadn't hesitated, he would have smashed into me right where I was sitting! My car was totaled and his was in bad shape too. Overall, the girls were just fine and so was I. It was a terrifying experience being in an accident like that with other peoples children in my car. The family knew it wasn't my fault and they knew me very well and trusted me (I was their nanny for about 4 summers). I won't go into the details about the rest of the drama (and oh boy, what the guy who hit me FULL of drama!) but he hadn't seen the light because he was distracted by his phone call. I was really good about not using my phone while driving after that, but I got lax about it as the years passed. But now that texting while driving has become a big problem as well, I started to think about the issue more and more.

I decided that I needed to do something. I felt like complaining about it wasn't enough (shocking, huh?!) That's when I heard about Oprah's No Phone Zone Pledge. I thought it was kind of a silly thing to do at first, so I didn't think about it much. I didn't want to sign something just because Oprah said we should (I have never even seen an episode of her show!) But then I really started paying attention while I was driving and so many people are not paying attention to the roads. It is especially scary when you see teenagers doing it. I'm not saying they are bad drivers, but they have less experience on the road and don't need even more things to distract them. I don't want something to happen to me or my loved ones because someone was checking Facebook or sending a text instead of watching the traffic signal and missing the fact that it turned red.

I know that I thought this wasn't as important when I first read about it, and I also thought, I'm a safe driver this wouldn't happen to me (which is ridiculous because it already has!)....Then I remembered it just takes one moment of not paying attention to cause a wreck. So, I decided that I would pledge to make my car a little safer.

That being said...here is my pledge!

I pledge that I will not text while driving and will use only handsfree calling if I need to speak on the phone while I am driving.

I know I'm a cheeseball.....but at least I'm trying to be a safe cheeseball :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

If you ask me plainly, I would gladly say I'd like to have you round just for them rainy days...

Happy New Year!

I'm really excited for the new year, and the things that it may have in store for us! (I hope it involves a cruise!!) Looking ahead is great, but 2009 was a good year for us! Here are my 10 favorite moments of last year, complete with pictures. Most of these are stolen, as I am terrible at remembering to take pictures. Or else they are taken with my iPhone. Meh.

In no particular order:

1) We got married! Best. Day. Ever.

2) St. Johns. Twice. Most amazing place ever. I hope to live there one day. Seriously.

3) Painted our kitchen! I'm so in love with it now :)

4) Learning to sew. I made my first pair of pajama pants! I'm grateful I have so many talented ladies in my life who can teach me! (Not only did I learn to sew, I learned to sew on my mom's first sewing machine. I had Heather take some pics of it so I could frame them and give it to her, since she has given me the machine now. I love the shots Heather took!)

5) My Jizninifer came home! She was serving a mission for our church in Mongolia, and I know that she didn't really want to come home...but I sure missed her while she was gone! She did so much for the people there. I love hearing her stories about the people and the things she did there. Most of all, I love her and her testimony and the example she set by going to share it with others. I love her!

6) Labor Day Weekend beach trip. I love the weekend trips that we take. I do seriously have some of the best friends in the world, and I love that we go and do all kinds of things together. Beach trips are some of my favorite types of trips. (I stole this picture from Heather...)

7) Speaking of awesome friends, I took a trip to see Mary. It was long overdue and so much fun! I definitely don't get to see her enough, so here's to another trip in 2010! Hopefully more than one...

8) Bowser. I know I just posted on him...but he is a totally one of our highlights of 2009!

9) Trying a fried oreo. I have always wanted too, but I never have. It. Was. Amazing. So good! Also, I love going to the Apple Festival and Pumpkin Patch, but eating a friend oreo sounds cooler than going to see pumpkins... :)

10) Brittany bought us concert tickets for my birthday!! We went to see No Doubt and Paramore. Oh my goodness....Gwen Stefani is so amazing. I love her!!! They played tons of old songs and sounded awesome. What an awesome friend! I'm lucky she has put up with me for so long :)