Wednesday, December 26, 2012

To My Friend Nicole

You know how sometimes you meet someone and it just automatically clicks? It's like you just see something in that other person's eyes and think, "I like her. We could really get into some trouble together."

That happened to me about 10 years ago. It was during my freshman year of college at what was then Troy State University. I had just pledged a sorority and was trying my best to make friends with people that I hadn't grown up with. It was raining, or at least had been raining, and we bonded over a mudhole in a sister's driveway.

Her name was Nicole Baize, and I liked her instantly. Anyone who was willing to slip n'slide into a puddle of mud just because was someone I wanted to call "friend".

If memory serves, and sometimes it's a little blurry from that era of my life, we then decided to take an impromptu trip to the beach. And we've been rocking and rolling ever since!

From then on, we were inseparable and quickly moved in together. It was common knowledge around campus that you wouldn't find one of us without the other. We were a package deal, although there is some debate as to who was the leader and who was the sidekick.

Like good friends do, we were there for each other in all types of situations. We hosted a couple of mean keg parties together. We spent quite a bit of time at the "Creek Donk Lodge" in Elba, AL. We saw the sun come up on way too many occasions. There were too many nights to count that we spent lying in her bed talking about stupid boys and their stupid ways. And then there were the nights we talked about the good boys and their good ways.

I literally can't remember all the times we've laughed until we cried. To this day I can't even listen to "Welcome to the Jungle" or "I Wanna Kiss You All Over" without thinking of her. And no matter how fabulous they make fraternity row, no house can ever top our nights spent at the Pi Kappa Phi house off campus.

We have grown up and grown closer in lots of ways since those wild college days. We've been in each other's weddings. We've welcomed children into the world. We've called each other for decorating, shoe purchasing, and first birthday party advice. We've cried together again through a lost parent, fights with husbands, and scary job situations. And yet somehow, through it all, we still remain the constants in each other's lives.

I'm so glad we rolled in that mud puddle all those years ago. And I'm so glad you decided to be my roommate! Those years spend living down the hall from you were some of the best of my life. Our friendship has changed, deepened, grown, and strengthened over all these years, and I realize today more than ever how truly blessed I am to have you in my life!

I pray that one day when Charlotte goes over to college she finds a friend like you. Someone to take care of her, laugh with her, cry with her, and most of all...someone who isn't afraid to jump in that mud puddle just because.

Monday, December 10, 2012

All Partied Out

I absolutely love this time of year. People are nicer, homes and businesses are prettier, and things just smell better in general. They don't call it "the most wonderful time of the year" for nothing!

One of the best things about the holiday season is the parties. I must admit, I love any excuse to dress up and be festive, but holiday parties are just the best. Everyone, even adults, just seem more excited and happy. I'm not sure if it's because of the impending surprises under the tree, the promise of the new year ahead, or the wonderous celebration of Jesus's birth. For me, it's a combination of all those things as well as the time to spend with family and friends I seldom see.

Pardon all this cheese.....It's just a joyous time of the year!

Friday night we had our annual Progressive Dinner on our street. It's definitely one of the best nights to live in Midtown, more specifically on N. Reed. We start with the cocktail course, then move along to a different house for each course (cocktails, appetizers, dinner, and dessert). I love the Progressive Dinner because it's a lot more intimate than the street party so everyone gets a chance to know each other a little better.

The food ain't too shabby, either.

And I consider this year a HUGE success for two reasons: A) I did not have to host anything at my house and 2.) I did not end the evening in the middle of the street in my bathrobe trying to help clean up the last course.

Saturday night we had H's work party at The Battlehouse. I LOVE this hotel! I always feel a little extra fancy going to a party here, even if it is only 5 minutes from my house. The party was really nice with great food and nice coworkers. I really enjoyed meeting all of the folks my husband talks about so much. They all seemed to think pretty highly of him, too, so that's always a nice little bonus.

My parents were in town to watch Charlotte while we maintained our social calendars, and I think they all had a great time, too! I feel like I say this a lot, but it just can't be said enough that I am THE LUCKIEST gal in the world to have such wonderful parents who have in turn become such wonderful grandparents. I never expected any different, but it's such a blessing in our lives.

They took her to the Bass Pro Shop, where she learned to drive an ATV and apparently discovered a deep love for waterfalls. Totally my child. Charlotte is absolutely smitten with her PawPaw now so everyone else basically just disappears as background noise when he's around.

Sorry Mom - you know you'll come back in style as she starts wanting you to buy her things! I have a feeling she will be like me so her love can be bought. Haha!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Party Food!

Today's topic over at Kelly's Corner is... Appetizers! In my little circle of friends, we have quite the selection of appetizer dishes.

What can I say? We are nothing if not good partiers. Whether it's a football party, baby shower, Bunco, or just a random Saturday night-we can throw down when it comes to the appetizer course. Here are a couple of my go-to favorites:

Ice Bucket Chicken
1 can of white chicken
1 ranch packet
1 block of cream cheese

Directions: Mix all ingredients together. Chill or not - it's delish either way! We typically eat with Wheat Thins or Ritz Crackers.

***Some people call this by another name, but we call it Ice Bucket Chicken because one night we were having a Girl's Night Out (can't remember if it was the Battlehouse or somewhere in New Orleans) and we were back in the hotel room after a fun night on the town. We had brought every snack option available, as usual, but no one remembered to bring any sort of mixing bowl. So...being the classy, inventive types that we are, someone decided the hotel ice bucket would work just fine. Hence--Ice Bucket Chicken.

Asparagus Spears
1 Asparagus Bundle
1 Block of Cream Cheese
Bacon Bits
a handful of chives
1 loaf of white bread
Parmesan cheese

Directions: Wash and break the rough ends off the asparagus. Make a mixture using the bacon bits, cream cheese, and chives. Cut the crust off each piece of bread and flatten it out with a rolling pin. Or a glass if you're ghetto fabulous like me. Spread the cream cheese mixture on each piece of bread, then add 2-3 pieces of asparagus, and roll it into a little bundle. Sprinkle the top of each bundle with some parmesan cheese and a little dirzzle of olive oil. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 20 minutes. OMG-slap yo mama AND kick the dog good!

Disclaimer-These are more than a little tedious to make. And it usually makes quite a mess. But the results are delish, and even a little fancy so it will impress your guests!

Here are some other favorites that always seem to make an appearance at one of our parties:
7 Layer Mexican Dip
Hot Bacon & Swiss Dip
Artichoke Dip - One cup mayo, one cup parmesan cheese, one can of diced up artichokes. Mix it all up, top with paprika and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. H loves this one!

Hope you enjoy! There is nothing better than good food and good friends!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving has once again come and gone, and I'm still sitting here asking myself "what happened to 2012?!?!" The Christmas Season is officially upon us, although I've been pretending not to notice the red and green aisles at WalMart for about a month  now.

Geez, Santa! Give me a chance to take down my spiderwebs and jack o'lanterns before making me put up my Christmas tree!

So anywhoo....I'm sure you're on pins and needles waiting to hear about what we did over the Thanksgiving break! (Total sarcasm, by the way, in case you didn't catch it)

H had to work Wednesday and Thursday night, so he wasn't around for the celebrations. Charlotte and I got up early to pick up H's Nana and head to Dauphin Island for our Turkey Day Festivities. My mom asked me if I was bringin anything and I said, "Yep! The grandbaby and the granddaughter-that's enough!"

And I was only half kidding. Anyone who has ever been in a car with a 1 1/2 year old for over an hour knows what I'm talking about. It's about as much fun as a fart in a phone booth.

We went to my in-law's house on the island and had a nice afternoon. The weather was just as beautiful as the scenery, and the food was delish. We had fried turkey and some ham and a plethora of casseroles. I'm serious, we had nothing but casseroles-spinach, corn, sweet potato, pineapple, and dressing. It was all very good, but can't a girl get some fresh peas or just plain veggies!?!?!

As a matter of fact, she can, but only if she drives her entire family (Lab included) 3 hours to the east and eats at her Granny's! Don't get me wrong, Dauphin Island is nice, but NO PLACE holds a candle to my Granny and PawPaw's house. And there is nothing like her cooking, either. Dumplings, peas, creamed corn, sweet potatoes, homemade is nothing short of miracle. Every. Single. Time.

On Friday evening, H and I borrowed my grandparent's Gator and rode dirt roads. I may love me some expensive purses and a nice hotel, but my heart is in the woods. To be more specific, on a dirt road in the woods. I love being able to see a million stars and hear a whipporwill in a pine. There are no sounds that don't come from nature, and it's a glorious thing. I just don't understand how a person can see all of the beauty in nature and question God's existence. I feel closer to God outside than I probably ever will in a church. (No offense to churches)

We also went to see my Me-Mama in the nursing home, where I happily avoided the Auburn-AL game. There's no need to talk about that here. On Saturday night H and I went to a little get-together at one of my dear friend's and ex-roommate's house. It's fun to catch up on the latest gossip while eating raw oysters and laughing my arse off around a bonfire. I've got some mighty good friends, let me tell ya.

Sunday we made the long trip back to Mobile and got stuff ready for the week ahead. Which for me meant laundry and cleaning, and for H meant watching the Saints and the baby. No matter how nice it is to get away, it's always nice to get back home, too.

Overall, it was a wonderful little holiday! I'm so very thankful for all the blessings in my life.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Side Dishes

There have been quite a few random posts from me lately! I've ranged from talking about Halloween, to election coverage, and now to recipes. I will blame today's topic on Kelly over this site.  It's another issue of "Show Us Your Life" and this is one where I can definitely bring something to the table.

Pun intended.

I like to cook, but I always feel like we have the same things over and over again. I know we aren't the only household that goes through this, and I'm always looking for something a little different to throw in the mix. Although I must admit the appetizer course is my real forte, my side dishes ain't too shabby either. My goal is to stay somewhat healthy, but keep it simple and quick with fresh ingredients. Of course we do have canned veggies and the occasional box of mac'n cheese, but I try my best to keep it fresh. Here are a couple of my go-to faves that are quick, easy, and delicious.

Steamed Artichokes

Whole Artichokes
Drawn Butter for dipping

This is the easiest recipe of all time. Put about 3 inches of lightly salted water in a pot. Get one whole artichoke per person and slice off the bottom stem so it will sit flat. Put the artichokes in the pot of  water, cover, and boil/steam for about 30 minutes. Once they are done, you simply pull the leaves off one-by-one and eat them kind of like a crab claw (bite, drag, and pull method). I like to dip each leaf in the drawn butter, which I spice up with a little seasoning. Yummy and very pretty-youre friends will be impressed cause they look so fancy! These go really well with grilled meats-especially steaks!

Sauteed Green Beans
Whole, fresh green beans
Olive Oil & Butter
Garlic Cloves

I buy the whole, fresh green beans instead of canned ones. (Farmers Plug - Buy fresh and local!) Rinse and then snap the ends off each bean. I get some chopped garlic cloves going in some olive oil and little bit of butter, then I throw in my green beans. I let them cook on low for probably 20-30 minutes or until they are al dente. You can of course cook them until they are soft, but I like mine with a little bit of crunch. Right at the end I like to sprinkle some parmesan cheese lightly over the top of the beans. They are still warm and when the parmesan mixes with the garlice and oil....well let's just say angels have been heard singing the Heavenly chorus.

(Although that might also be the whir from the flourescent light I still have in my kitchen. I drink wine while I cook sometimes and it's hard to tell the difference.)

Last but not least on my list of side dishes....Cajun Taters!

There is no picture because these look different every time I cook them. And the recipe also changes, too, if that helps you at all. Basically this is one of those go-to side dishes that can be as fancy or as plain as you want it to be. Which is part of the beauty of the dish!

Cajun Taters
Diced raw potatoes (I prefer Russet because they hold up well and don't mush up)
Salt & pepper
Olive Oil
Slap Yo Momma or Tony Chachere's (cajun-esque spices for ya'll Yankees)

Drizzle some olive oil on a flat baking sheet. In a bowl, drizzle some olive oil on the diced potatoes and then season with salt, pepper, and SYM. You can also add any other type of seasonings you have on hand. Trust me, it only makes them better. I have added sauteed onions, garlic and bell peppers to the mix as well. Spread the taters on the baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 400 for approximately 20-30 minutes. I like to stir them around a few times during the cooking process so they bake evenly. Sometimes I add more spices or small bits of butter. These potatoes go really well with hamburgers, and it's a nice, somewhat healthier option than the typical deep-fried french fry.

Hope ya'll enjoy!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Politics As Usual

I have somehow managed to keep my political rants and tirades off The Facebooks. I'm somewhat amazed at that little fact. I guess seeing everyone else's rants and tirades makes me want to slit my wrists with a rusty butterknife, so I've spared everyone the chore of having to scroll past my opinions.

But, this is MY blog, and I feel like most of you (hopefully) check in here occasionally to see if I have some sort of funny revelation, story, or happenings pertaining to absolutely nothing of much importance. And since most of you are here by choice, I don't feel quite so badly about ranting and tirading.

No, I'm not happy with the main outcome of the election. But, at the same time, I don't believe ONE LITTLE BIT that the country is now going to hell in a handbasket. This country is what we make it, and as long as there are people out there willing to work hard and help a neighbor, I think we're gonna be alright. And honestly, I don't really know if my candidate could have done any better. These are difficult, complicated times we are in and everybody can play Monday Morning Quarterback all they want, but the bottom line is that there is no way to know what will and won't work until we try it.

In the end, I think Obama has done some good things. But I also think he should be doing more. Instead of bashing our leader and joining the arguments that are dividing our nation, I'm choosing to be positive and trusting in my own strengths to carry me through the next four years. And the next fifty, for that matter. I refuse to give up on the greatest country in the world. I refuse to believe life as we know it is over. I refuse to let go of my pride and get in line.

I will say this, and it would no doubt anger quite a few folks:

Since when did EVERYONE I know become so damn interested in politics?!?! I bet the majority of the people I see spewing left- and right-wing agenda crap don't know diddly squat about the political scene in this country. I want to call each of them up and ask the following questions:

1.) Can you name more than two of the articles in the Bill of Rights?
2.) Do you know the names of our VP and Secretary of State?
3.) Can you explain Romney's 5 Point Plan?
4.) Can you explain the electoral college vote?

I don't have to ask. I know the answer. And please don't misunderstand me because I'm not claiming everyone should know everything there is to know about politicals. I sure as heck don't. It's too murky and twisted and devious for any half-way decent person to fully grasp.

I guess I'm just saying please, please, please don't base your thoughts and opinions on what a friend on Facebook says or posts. Go out, do your own research (from multiple sources, I might add) and discover your OWN opinion. Newsflash: Everyone has their own agenda. And not everything you read and see on the internet is real.

Onward and upward (hopefully), free cell phone and all,

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thankful Version 2.0

Change of plans! I've learned it's physically impossible for me to blog every single day of the month. As much as I wish I could, it just ain't happening.

So I changed up the plan, and I think my NEW plan is even better!

H and I are making a list at home. Every day we are each writing something we are thankful for. I promised him it didn't have to be sappy or corny; he could be totally honest, even if he was only thankful for Bud Light or high-definition TV.

My goal is that at the end of the month we can sit down together and look back at all of the things we are thankful for. You see, sometimes we get angry and say mean things to each other in the heat of an argument. Sometimes I wish he would take out the trash without being reminded. I know he wishes I would never cook spaghetti again. But I'm hoping that when we get frustrated with each other, we can look back at this list and remind ourselves of all the good in our life and in each other.

'Cause sometimes we both need to be reminded.

And in the end, as long as there isn't anything x-rated on H's list, I will post them on my blog. :)  I'm not making any promises, but I'm pretty sure it will be more funny than sappy!

And on another note:

Please vote! Cell phones, healthcare, and name-brand groceries are not a right, but voting is! Whether you are a Democrat, Republican, Liberal, Conservative, or Purple People Eater--exercise your right to vote because a LOT of people before us have sacrificed their lives to ensure we have this freedom. And as one of my besties, Lindsey, said, "You're not allowed to bitch about the outcome if you don't vote!"

Friday, November 2, 2012

Thankful Day 2

This is Day 2 of my vow to blog every single day in November and say one thing I'm thankful for. I really try to be thankful at all times, not just in the month of the November. But, I feel like this is a good time to actually write it down and remind myself of all the blessings in life.

I'm not going to be one of those gals who claim life is rainbows and unicorns all the time. That ain't my style, and despite the status updates I see on Facebook, I'm convinced nobody else's life is perfect 100% of the time. Sometimes my job sucks. Sometimes I can't stand my husband/mother/boss/friend/child for one more second. Sometimes I dream about running away to an island where no one knows my name, no one expects me to do laundry, and everyone knows my favorite drink should be served in a coconut.

Everybody has bad days, and everybody gets a little frustrated sometimes. The point is this: Even in those times, I strive to be thankful. You have to have the bad days to really appreciate those good ones. And the good ones always outnumber the bad ones.

So with that being said, today I am thankful for a healthy family. H, Charlotte, and my parents are the most important people in my life, and they are all chugging along just fine. Except for the occasional runny nose or runny butt, we are in fine form. I don't think I'm a strong enough person to handle a major illness or health crisis, and Lord knows my household couldn't function without me so I HAVE to stay healthy!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween 2012

After close to $100 worth of candy, a good 8 1/2 minutes of decorating, and at least one bottle of cheap wine...we survived another Halloween in Midtown Mobile! Yippee!

Halloween is awesome. I've always loved Halloween, even during my pitiful childhood Halloweens, which can be read about here. Halloween in Midtown is really special because there are literally hundreds of kids trick-or-treating up and down the streets. We even put up barricades on either end of our street so no traffic can come through, complete with police officers to keep an eye on things. It's great!

In case you were wondering, Charlotte was a bumble bee. And she was the cutest bee on the block!

And because everyone needs to see the wings...

Since we have so many kids trick-or-treating in our neighborhood, I have a few rules for candy distribution:

1.) No costume, no candy! - If you can't put forth the effot to wear a costume, why should I fork over my candy (that required quite a bit of effort to buy) to you? I realize that some people might not have a lot of extra money to spend on Halloween, which is totally understandable. It's not like I'm checking labels for Pottery Barn costumes! But anyone with a bit of creativity can make a costume out of things just lying around the house so don't come at me with those excuses.

2.) One stop per house! - Don't be a greedy gut, kids (or parents, for that matter)! One stop per house is going to result in plenty of candy to fill that Walmart sack. If I recognize the same kid from earlier in the night, I will straight up deny the goods.

3.) Teens are allowed, but only with a costume! - I turned away quite a few teenagers last night with no costumes. I don't have a problem with teens going trick-or-treating, but only if they suffer through the humiliation of wearing a costume. And I don't buy those "I'm a student!" excuses, either.

4.) Better costumes deserve better candy. - It's never too early for a child to learn that hard work pays off. A better-executed or more creative costume deserves a mini Snickers or Twix. Simply throwing your Winn-Dixie apron on over your jeans and T-shirt and calling yourself a cashier does not warrant the good stuff in my book. Thankfully I had plenty of Smarties and Dum-Dums to go around.

5.) Good manners = Extra Candy! - If a child is super polite and waits their turn, I ALWAYS give them more. Again, it's never too early to learn that good manners and a smile will get you much more in life!

I hope you had a wonderful and safe Halloween in your neighborhood, too! It appears that November is now here, so it's time to give thanks for all the blessings in our lives. My goal is to post every day for the month of November and say something I'm thankful for. It's a good reminder to myself, and maybe to someone else, to stay positive and look for the good things in life rather than focus on what we don't have.

Today, I am thankful for Greekfest and Lamar Advertising, without which I would not be eating free Greek food for lunch. Opa!

Friday, October 12, 2012


I feel as if I should say something about what happened two weeks ago, but for once I don't really have much to say.

If you read this little 'ol blog, then you might have read my post where I talked about us welcoming a new baby next May. Charlotte was going to be a big sis, scared but we were excited....

Notice the past tense?

Sadly, I had a miscarriage and we lost the baby. I hate it when people say they "lost a baby" because 1) I did not misplace a baby and 2) It makes it sound as if it's someone's fault-and the doctors assure me that's not the case. Either way, it just wasn't meant to be right now.

When I found out I was preggers again, I freaked out. We're just now starting to feel like we are getting the hang of this whole parenting thing. Charlotte is almost 16 months old and getting easier by the day. I didn't want to start over with another newborn! I was frightened that I couldn't handle it, or that I would totally fail at work AND motherhood because I was overstressed, overtired, and just plain over it all.

So I prayed. I prayed that God wouldn't give me more than I could handle. Because I know he doesn't. I prayed that His will would be done, and our little growing family would adjust both financially and physically to the upcoming changes. It took a while, but I finally started to trust that God knew we needed this addition and that He would be making our family complete.

And when that's all taken away, it stings. Okay, it more than stings. It sucks. Just when we had gotten accustomed to the fact that a new baby was on the way---and we were actually really excited!-- it is taken away.

I am really and truly okay, because everyone asks. No one quite knows what to say or how to say it. And that's okay, too. Death, even in this situation when no one else has a connection to it, is hard and complicated and sad. I just count my blessings, for which I have many. Really too many to count, but I should try because looking at them makes me realize how lucky I have been thus far in life.

But it has taught me a lesson, as all hard things should. God did know what I could and could not handle, and he did not give me more than I could bear. But in the beginning, when I looked at the pregnancy as a hinderance and an unwanted strain on the life I thought we were so happily conquering, I realized how foolish I was. It's funny how you don't even realize you wanted something until all of a sudden it is taken from you, quickly and coldly.

So next time, and hopefully there will be a next time, I will be grateful and happy from the get-go. Not disappointed in our timing, stressed, or full of questions to God. I don't want to ask the "whys" and I don't want to know the "hows". And if there isn't a next time, if Charlotte is destined to be the only child, then that's okay, too. I'm still going to trust that God knows the ultimate plan for us. I just want to be content in the blessings.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Take That, Big Bird!

I'm gonna get a little political on ya'll today. If you haven't been watching the presidential debates, you may be a little lost. Basically Romney stated some things needed to be cut from the budget, for example PBS (even though he likes Big Bird, so no offense!), and then panties began to bunch in liberal minds across the country. But First of all, let me give you my disclaimer:

I like Mitt Romney. I think he's a good guy, with good moral fiber and I think he has the brains and economic savviness to run our country. With that being said, I am not an Obama Hater either. I am, however, a HUGE PBS SUPPORTER!!!!!!

I don't really think Romney wants to cut funding for PBS; I think it was of an example he just pulled out of his rear. At least that's what I'm telling myself because I refuse to believe that THIS is what needs to go as long as the woman using her EBT card at my local Winn Dixie drives off in a new Escalade. But I digress.

I did my internship at WSRE, PBS for the Gulf Coast, in beautiful Pensacola, Florida. I loved it, my coworkers, my job, and the whole ideology behind public broadcasting. I learned so much regarding nonprofit business, marketing, public relations, and what educational television brings to a community.

But even before that, many, many, many years ago...PBS was in my heart. Living in very rural South Alabame, we didn't have cable because there were no cable lines that went out that far. Satellite was an option if you wanted to pay about $200 a month. Which basically meant it was not an option for my tight-wad dad who thought all kids needed to play outside. (I totally agree, by the way!) We got four channels, and one of them was PBS. That meant if I wanted to watch cartoons, there was no Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network. It was Shining Times Station, Barney, Mr. Rodger's Neighborhood, Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?, Wishbone, Sesame Street, and my utmost favorite--Reading Rainbow.

I loved Reading Rainbow. It was all about books, which I also loved. I remember thinking it was so cool when Levar Burton read a book that I had already read and liked. The whole show was educational and it made books just come alive. I truly believe that show played a huge part in my love of reading, and possibly even my love of writing as well.

As I got older, I would sometimes get lucky on a rainy Saturday and catch Anne of Green Gables on Masterpiece Theater Classics. This was one of my absolute favorite books as a young girl, and once again PBS brought it to life for me. And now, Masterpiece Theater and PBS have lured me back in with the phenomenal, critically-acclaimed Downtown Abbey series. This is must-see TV for me, and I'm already on pins and needles waiting to see what happens to Lady Mary and the family estate.

My DVR is full of trash TV. I can't say I've ever learned anything from an episode of Real Housewives of Orange County aside from the pitfalls of plastic surgery and the occasional cocktail recipe. And while those are good lessons to learn, I don't think they've enriched my life in any way. And while Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is entertaining, it's definitely not a show that can be discussed with illectuals over a dinner party.

Likewise, although Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is one of Charlotte's personal faves, it's not really that educational. Let's be honest, when she gets a little older, I doubt she is going to yell "Oh Toodles!" to bring her the appropriate tool for the task at hand. At least I hope not. And unlike Dora, she won't have a magical backpack that makes enchiladas and helps her find her way out of the woods.

But she might have a book. And in Kindergarten she might just remember that her name begins with a "C", and it brought Sesame Street to her the day before.  Or she might even know how to count to twelve because of The Count.

Either way, I pray she doesn't grow up in a world without PBS. I hope I don't grow old in a world without PBS! And like I said, as long as there is money in the system for stupid crap like free cell phones, I refuse to believe the cuts should start with Big Bird.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Weekend Recap

My parents came to visit this past weekend, and we had such a nice time! H had to work the night shift this weekend, so it was nice to have some company and some help as we "got out of the house".

Friday night Charlotte and I met them at Olive Garden for some tasty Italian. I know the OG has a lot of haters, but I'm not one of them. Sure, I've had better Italian food, but for the price and the selection (and who can forget that glorious salad!) you just can't beat it!

Charlotte was SO excited to see them-especially her Meme. She just grins and squeals when she sees my mom! Dad and I can't figure out what all the fuss is about, but Charlotte is definitely a fan! :)

Saturday we had breakfast at the local Waffle House and took an early-morning stroll around the neighborhood, which is always a favorite of my parents. They don't really relax very well, and sitting on the couch watching reruns of Beverly Hills 90210 is NOT their idea of a great Saturday. We had accomplished all of this before 9 am, which is pretty impressive for me considering our typical Saturday morning involves microwave pancakses, Beverly Hills 90210 and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

I will be accepting my "Mom of the Year" Award any day now, thanks.

After my mom woke Charlotte up from her morning nap, we headed to the lovely town of Fairhope to enjoy the beautiful day. We took the Scenic Route, which my dad and I always prefer, then we settled in for lunch at Panini Pete's. The food was delish and it gave Charlotte a chance to run around outside in the courtyard as we ate. She had a great time and ate her weight in hand-cut french fries.

This is Charlotte just taking a little break

Dad, Charlotte, and I after a yummy lunch

After a good hour in the locally-owned and operated toy store-and only one small purchase-we did a bit more shopping for the adults. I've been on a search for the perfect boot for about three years now, and I'm sad to admit it still eludes me. It actually doesn't elude me, it just costs $328 and I'm too cheap to buy them. But I think I'm just gonna bite the bullet and DO IT. I've rationalized it in my mind that since I haven't bought any new boots in the past three years, if I add up all that money I would have spent on them over the seasons, then it justifies the expense. Right? Right! (Plus my mommy MIGHT have given me a little bit of money toward the purchase! But shhh...don't tell my dad. Or my husband, cause I still have to come up with the rest!)

When we got back home, I cooked a nice, well-balanced dinner of BBQ chicken quesadillas for us and we watched the Auburn game. I was proud of my Tigers, but I sure wish it would have gone our way. We could have used that boost of confidence!

Sunday morning we rose early. Again. And went for another stroll before my parents headed back home. Every time they leave it makes me a little homesick and wish that they lived closer. Not too much closer, but maybe just a little bit closer! Haha!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Loss and Gain

Welcome back! Sorry it's been a while since I've written anything, but it sure felt nice to hear from a few friends that I was missed. As usual, we've been busy. Life is just full of well, life these days--work, housework, errands, traveling, etc.

There have been some new "happenings" in our little family. Some are good, some not-so-good. First of all, my first-born fur baby, Lois, passed away VERY unexpectedly. I can't even type the words without tearing up. I loved her so I can't even hardly put it into words. When I first moved to Mobile I knew no one but H and his family. All of my wonderful friends and family were almost three hours away. So I did what lots of homesick girls do--I got a dog.

And she was the best dog in the whole wide world. Full of spunk and love. She was truly a Lab trapped in the body of a dachsund/terrier/mutt body. There hasn't been a day that has gone by that I haven't thought about her and missed her warm cuddles. Trust me when I tell you that baby is missed terribly by quite a few people.

On a good, yet equally unexpected, note--Baby #2 is on the way! Yikes! I'm not sure if fear or excitement is the predominant feeling at this point. It's been fluctuating back and forth between the two on an hourly basis.

I'm glad Charlotte is going to have a sibling that will be close to her in age. I hope they are best friends. I hope they learn from each other and fight with each other and take up for each other. I'm excited for Christmas mornings and family vacations.

But I'm really scared. How will I be able to handle my high-stress job and two babies under two? How will I keep my sanity and not end up talking to myself while curled up in the fetal position in a corner? How can we afford private school for two kids? How can I go through LABOR again!?!?! I keep telling myself that God doesn't give you things you can't handle. And I tell myself that this is a wonderful blessing and I should be giving thanks. I know. I am. But I can still be a little afraid of what's ahead, too. That's just normal, right?

I can't even fathom what it's like to have that type of bond with someone. I've never shared that feeling with anyone. Sure, I've got best friends that have been there since I can remember, but I still know it isn't quite the same thing as a sibling. How will I handle the rivalry and jealously? How will I spread my love and attention fairly between the two? What if I really do have a favorite?

These are just a few of the thoughts (terrors!) that fly through my mind a million times a day. Yet amazingly enough, the main feeling is just excitement. Now that the initial shock has worn off!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

What I'm Reading

I finally broke down and started to read 50 Shades of Grey. I'm about half-way through and all I have to say it...whoa! It's Scandalous, with a capital "S". I know a lot of people have their panties in a bunch about this book because it's being considered "mommy porn" and it takes focus off your husband or something. I don't know--it's just not a big deal to me (or H) so I don't really understand what all the fuss is about.

It's a book. It's fiction. And it's okay as far as books go, but I will admit it is a little too focused on the sex part and not as much on the story-telling part.

But that's not the point of this blog. The point is I have quite a few friends who have already read it so we all got to talking about how ridiculous it sounds to the gals who live in the real world. The real world of husbands, and some kids,  jobs, laundry, grocery shopping, etc--basically the everyday life most of us are travelling through to some degree or another.

If you haven't caught on yet, this post is gonna be about S-E-X. So, if you are easily offended or don't like to subject yourself to such filth and trash, now is the time to press the tiny "X" in the top right corner of the screen. And I would like to add my personal disclaimer: These aren't all notes from personal experience! I took some examples from my friends as we shared stories over cocktails, and this is just my satirical, sarcastic opinion. My point is certainly not to make you feel bad if you don't want to read it, because I totally understand that viewpoint, too. 

First of all, who in their right mind has a sex-slave room!?!? No one I know, thank the Lord! Can you imagine your grandma's face when she came over for Thanksgiving and walked through that door thinking it was the bathroom? "No Granny, that's just our home gym! I guess someone must have left their saddle here by mistake...". Or what about if your toddler picks up your riding crop and starts whipping the dog? Everyone I know who is lucky enough to have a spare room automatically thinks "play room" or "man cave", maybe even a "movie theater" if they're really keeping up with the Joneses. But a room full of harnesses, whips, and swings? No thanks.

In the book, Anastasia (which, by the way, who the hell is named Anastasia? I think E.L. James has her romantic period names confused) is down for It anytime. Morning, noon, night, bathtub, dinnertime, going out to get the newspaper, in the elevator, in the car. Really, Anastasia? Do you not watch "The Real Housewives"? Or "Dance Moms"? Do you not relish the few minutes of alone time you get in the shower? H is more apt to lose a body part than have it pleasured if he interrupts the few blessed moments of peace and silence I get each day.

Can I get an amen, ladies? 

And the whole contract thing is just hilarious to me! It is basically a confidentiality agreement between the two of them regarding their sex-scapades. After talking to my girlfriends, I discovered that normal married folks have sex contracts, too. It is more along the lines of "Okay, if you clean the kitchen, we can do it tonight" or "I will rub your feet/take out the trash/give the baby a bath if you _____________ (fill in the blank here, I'm not getting that dirty on my blog!)

I guess my point here is that 50 Shades of Grey is just a book. Or at least that's all it is to me. Not "Mommy Porn" or a replacement for my husband, or even some man I am lusting over in a book. Real life is full of cuddling and "Seinfeld" references, laughing when the dog farts, watching your baby learn something new, even arguing over bills. And in my opinion, real life is way better than some silly book.

Even if we don't have a sex swing.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

This time last year...

I can't believe it has been a year since Charlotte came into our lives. What a sweet, funny, spirited little thing she is!

The night before she was born I remember exactly how I felt. I was SO nervous about the entire ordeal. Neither H or myself had ever even changed a diaper, never given a kid a bath, never rocked a baby to sleep. All I could think about was the fact that she was on the inside (my insides!) and somehow, someway...she was gonna be on the outside the next day. I'm the kind of person that likes to be prepared. I like to know what to expect when going into a situation. But childbirth is something that is a different experience for every single woman who goes through it, so there was no way to prepare myself for what was about to happen the next day.

H drove me to the hospital on the morning of June 27, 2011, and I don't even think I said two words the whole way there. When I'm nervous or anxious or scared I get pretty quite. I learned pretty quickly that childbirth is much like getting a haircut--once it starts, you're officially ALL IN.

I can barely fathom the thought that H and I have been parents for a full year as of today. We've stumbled a couple of times, but for the most part I think we're doing pretty darn good. It's hard work, sometimes aggravating and frustrating and seemingly impossible. Did I mention exhausting? But it's also wonderful and sweet and fulfilling, all of the things people promised me it would be.

Even at only a year old, I can see the personality traits and temperament already coming through. She is stubborn and determined, yet sweet and lovable. She loves to "love" her pink bear--giving him a big hug with every request. She is inquisitive, independent, funny and lively. She enjoys eating fruit (especially watermelon) and green beans, and she enjoys giving her leftovers to the two mangy mutts that have learned to hang out underneath her high chair. Her bright blue eyes take in so much around her you can almost see the thought processes on her little face. Take her outside to do anything-even if it's just a walk-and she is in heaven. Her favorite toys are cell phones, remotes, her pink bear, books, and my makeup bag. And although it hasn't been here long, her new pink car is quickly moving to the top of the list!

I'm so thankful God trusted us with this little girl. I hope I can instill in her all the things she will need to be successful in life. In the past year, which might be the shortest year in history, she has brought so much joy into our lives. It is still amazing how Charlotte has completed our family when we didn't even realize we were missing something.

Happy Birthday Boopsy!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Charlotte's 1st Birthday Party

We celebrated Sweet Charlotte's 1st Birthday on Saturday, and I still haven't quite recovered! We just had a little backyard, friends and family-type soiree. The weather was not ideal, unless you consider sweating out of your clothes "ideal". I do not. It was the kind of hot and muggy that might kill a lesser man. Thankfully us Southerners are used to air so thick you need to chew it before you can breath it in.

Here are pics of the party-in no particular order, of course! 

We did cupcakes for guests, but we had to have a special "Smash Cake" just for Charlotte. This was made by my friend Victoria, who owns a great little company called Chubbycakes. She does some really awesome stuff, and if you're in this area you should totally check her out! She's on Facebook if you would like to see some more of her work (or you could just take my word for it!).

Check out her new wheels! This was her gift from H and me, and it was money well spent! She LOVES it! We have already made many trips down the street and around the dining room table. And if we got a dollar for every time she climbed in and out of it, the Cozy Coupe would have already paid for itself!

This is the gift and favor table I set up. Once I realized the temp wasn't going to get below 115 degrees, I decided to leave the favors inside. The favors were little monogrammed sand buckets that contained a scoop, a sand sculpting starfish, ocean-themed stickers, and chocolate-dipped rice krispie treat. Nothing too fancy, but hopefully the little guests will enjoy some or all of it this summer!

This is Charlotte contemplating her smash cake. By this time she was completely exhausted from all the partying and a little confused about being the center of attention. She didn't get into it as much as I had hoped, but we're gonna give it another go.

This is part of the table. Don't worry, we didn't let the kids have much wine! Kidding, kidding! They all preferred the beer.

Here is the main table that held the food. Everyone was super impressed by the topiaries, but I can't take credit for them. One of my besties, Nicole Davis, made these a few years ago for her daughter's birthday party. The pink and green color scheme was perfect for Charlotte's party so she graciously let us borrow them. I painted the clay pots hot pink and voila--instant centerpieces!

And here is a shot of the backyard, just so you can get a better idea of the set up.

Honestly, it wasn't as perfect as I had hoped. It was SO FLIPPIN HOT, and it would sprinkle on and off. I think we ended up moving the food and the tables about 3 times before I finally made an executive decision and moved all of the food indoors. The kiddie pool and sprinkler helped cool things off for the kids, but the adults just suffered through. We eventually set up a homemade slip n'slide and the kids really enjoyed that! (And it has been requested that we make it a neighborhood adult slip n' slide pretty soon)

I love any reason to throw a party, but what better reason that Charlotte's first birthday!?! My parents always made my birthday such a big event, and I want her birthdays to always be that way, too. In my opinion, a birthday is the one day out of the year that is totally about YOU. Why not make it a special occasion? Whether it's the first one, the sixth one, or the twenty-ninth one--a birthday should always be your special day. I pray she celebrates each year knowing just how precious she is to us.

Happy 1st Birthday Charly-Bug!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Where We Eat (sometimes)

Today is another "Show Us Your Life" over at Kelly's Korner! Over the past few weeks she has been a tour of homes with a different room featured each week. This week is....Dining Rooms! Wah wah wah. Not the most exciting room in the house, or at least not at my house.

I've missed the past few weeks because I don't really have any updated pictures of my house. I wish I had that magic touch that some people are naturally born with. You know what I'm talking about--some people can take what I would consider a piece of junk and turn it into something ready for the center spread of next month's Southern Living.

I ain't that girl.

My problem (among other things) is that my taste always exceeds my budget. I will inevitably be drawn to the MOST expensive vase/bowl/rug/etc in the store, and then I will think "I bet I can recreate this look in a second!"  Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. Most of the time I have to call in reinforcements.

Her name is Holly and she is my mother-in-law/decorator/artist. She has that left-brain touch to turn the mundane into the FABULOUS!

This is my dining room and living room all decorated for Christmas. My dining room furniture was the first real furniture we bought once we got married. I was selling ads for the newspaper, and one of my clients was J & J Furniture. It's locally owned and operated and they have great prices and a great selection. I remember being SO proud that we finally had furniture that didn't previously belong to a relative.

And here is the table, all dressed up for our annual Joe Cain Brunch! Joe Cain Sunday is the Sunday before Fat Tuesday so it's right in the heart of Mardi Gras weekend. We host a brunch for friends and family before heading downtown to watch parades all day. Joe Cain Sunday is considered the "People's Parade" day. If you would like a little background on Joe Cain and how Mardi Gras got started in Mobile, AL (not New Orleans, folks!!!!) check out this story.

And here she is with no makeup. There have been a few changes since this photo was taken, but it's still pretty much the same.

Unlike a lot of people, we use our dining room table a good bit. It's got a good flow for parties and crowds, but it's also small enough for an intimate dinner. It has six chairs and we have the option to add the center leaf if we need a little more elbow room. Overall, I'd say we have been very happy with our purchase!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Shop Local, Buy Local

I read a blog post today from one of my all-time favorite writers. She is a young female living in small-town Alabama and I think she is fabulous. Fabulous mom. Fabulous wife. Fabulous seamstress. I have a small girl crush on her. Her website is and you should check her out! Especially this post.

I will admit it--I am guilty of shopping at bix box stores more than I should. The convenient hours, online orders, good return policies, and low prices make it difficult to look elsewhere. But I try to buy from local mom-and-pop stores as much as I can (or my budget allows) because I realize just what these guys add to a community.

Growing up in a small town, I know first-hand what the benefits can be from buying local. The family-owned and operated IGA in Opp, AL employed my grandfather for God only knows how long. He was everything from the butcher to the bag boy, and his favorite thing about his job was that his boss let him take a late lunch so he could scoot home to watch Days of Our Lives.

My family used the same pharmacist for as long as I can remember. Greg Vaughn at T & C Pharmacy would stay late or open early to help out someone in need. Try getting CVS or RiteAid to do that. Mr. Sumblin at the gas station would even let me put my gas on credit so my dad could come pay the bill. And thank God Mrs. Stephanie at Body Conscious still lets me charge it to mom! There are countless other times I can remember a free bag of boiled peanuts at the bait shop or some other little private "thank you" that can only come from someone who considers you (or your family) more than a customer.

My mother-in-law is an artist. She makes all kinds of things from paintings to jewelry to gift tags. Her supplies are expensive, but her time and talent is worth even more. I see her struggle through long days at the gallery dealing with people who think their landscape canvas from Kirkland's truly is a showstopper.

And then they realize their best friend has the same one in her bedroom. And her sister-in-law has a smaller version in the hallway. It becomes not quite so cool when everyone on the block has the same decor.

As someone who sells advertising in a rough economy, I hear stories all the time from these local storeowners who are literally being driven out of business because Walmart or Hobby Lobby can beat their prices. It's sad because those big stores aren't the ones with kids in the local schools or sitting next to you in church on Sunday morning. They are also not making the advertising decisions, but there's no need for you to have to listen to my sob story. :)  Those CEOS are traveling on corporate jets and using an AmEx Black card. They could give two hoots and damn about whether or not 'lil Johnny sells enough popcorn to go to summer camp.

It's unrealistic to say never shop at Walmart again. Sometimes there's more month at the end of the money, and we ALL need to get a deal on some bacon. But shop local when you can, whether it's a produce stand or a father's day gift. Give a handmade, one-of-a-kind pretty that might turn into a family heirloom.

Of course I didn't tell my tale as well as E does, but her post really got me thinking. This is something that means a lot to me, and now I hope maybe it inspired you to drive on past Home Depot and try out your local hardware store.  I think if we all make a conscious decision to support local businesses as much as possible we could all benefit.  It means more than you think.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hangout Festival 2012

I feel like I start every single post with the same sentence, but geez it's been a busy past few weeks! There has been a LOT going on around these parts, but today I'm going to focus on my weekend at The Hangout Fest. I'll be honest...a recap of that weekend will be much more entertaining than my typical schedule of feeding Charlotte, playing with Charlotte, selling billboards, cleaning, laundry, changing diapers. You know how it goes.

Back to the fun stuff...

The weekend of May 18th, 19th, and 20th, I ventured down to the local beach (shoutout to Gulf Shores, AL!) for a weekend of fun in the sun. Two of my best friends from college were in town and let me tell you--excitement was abound.

My friend Lindsey flew in from Brunswick, GA by the way of Charlotte, NC after lifting off in Jacksonville, FL. Now I'm not sure who decided you need to go north before heading due west, but let's just assume someone at Delta headquarters was pissed off about our weekend of sisterhood. Nicole, my former roommate and partner-in-crime bestie, also made the not-quite-so-long trip from Prattville, AL and we all met up at our beachfront condo.

I've been to a few music festivals in my day and there is a checklist of things you should and should NOT do. Apparently it is vital that every concert goer wear a pair of Wayfarers, preferably of the Rayban variety. I admit it, I'm guilty, too, but my saving grace is that I've had mine for over two years now so I beat the bandwagon. Take that young hippie wannabes!

Secondly, if you are able to or someone in your party is able to---girls MUST sport a braid. Sorry, Linds, don't wanna call you out because the braid was super cute, but you know it's true. :) I probably would have had one too if I hadn't been the one doing the braiding.

Don't wear inappropriate clothing. I saw one chick with furry white boots on her obviously sweaty feet. It was 100 degrees with lots of walking and lots of people. See the flip flop rule for future reference. At one point Lindsey said, "It looks like everyone is 20 years old and just stepped out of an Aeropostale catelog." True dat, sista. True dat.

This was a couple of hours before some Yankee shuttle-bus passenger called us old and decrepid.

We saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers (on my personal concert bucket list), Dispatch (one of my faves-google "Flying Horses" or "Bang Bang" for some good tunes). Michael Franti sang a fabulous version of "Ganga Baby" before we settled in to hear Dave Mathews Band on Sunday night.

Ahhh..Dave. It had been a while, but I wasn't disappointed. Listening to "Big Eyed Fish" and 'Song 41' with two of my best friends almost made me feel like I was 20 again-riding around Troy, AL looking for something to get into. Nicole and I speant a LOT of time in my old Pathfinder, listening to DMB and talking about our man situations. We went to Bonnaroo together back in 2003 for my 21st birthday so it was only fitting that we did Hangout Fest together, too. It makes me realize just how much a song can take you back to a certain time or place. Makes you suddenly remember a funny story you haven't thought about in years.

THAT was the highlight of my weekend. The festival was good and the music was wonderful, but it was spending time with my gals and reminiscing that brought me the most happiness.

Or was it Lindsey asking my cousin if she could buy a roll of toilet paper for $1?

Let me tell you a little bit about us three gals back in college. We were fun! We were the party! We were the girls dancing in front of the stage, singing at the top of our lungs, and loving life. We are still those girls...just a bit more subdued. I'm not sure if any of us have seen 3 am (other than feeding a baby) in quite some time.

Yet somehow one of us can still lose an article of clothing before the end of an evening.

Friday, May 4, 2012

About Us

Today I'm linking up with Kelly's Korner to do a little "About Us" post. I have a lot of really fantastic girlfriends in my life, even though I don't get to see them quite as much as I would like now that Miss Priss has arrived. But that's okay-it just makes our time together even more special! When I first graduated college and moved to Mobile, I was MISERABLE. I had no girlfriends and I was almost three hours away from my family. However, H and I learned to rely on each other and in the long runit really brought us closer together. As we get older it just gets harder and harder to meet new people. Maybe we are too comfortable with our current situation, or maybe we are a little shy or afraid of rejection. Finding friends is a lot like dating-sometimes you have to go through a few crazies to get to the good ones!

If you are just visiting from Kelly's Korner, here is a little background info on life in the Hysterical District.

Our little family consists of Me (Tiffany), H, and Charlotte, our 10-month-old little gal. We also consider our two dogs family as well. We have Charlie, aka Chuck, our chocolate lab and Lois, the mutt. H and I got married on St. Patrick's Day 2007 on Dauphin Island, AL.

We live in one of the historical districts of Mobile, AL. Our house is actually 100 years old this year. I'm currently planning a birthday party for her. We like to jokingly call it the "Hysterical District" because, ya'll....these folks be crazy up in here. I'm not sure if it's the heat and humidity or  all the drunken Catholics, but this town has some stories to tell. Personally, I love it! I fully believe that life is way more fun if you just embrace the crazies. Put your Boo Radleys on the front porch and be proud!

My husband enjoys golf, fishing, and watching football. Or basketball. Or baseball, bowling, tennis, lacrosse, competitive basket weaving....he just likes sports. I enjoy reading, writing, drinking wine on my porch, boating, floating, parties, brunches, and just having a good time. Most of the time you will find me, H, and Charlotte either hanging outside or grabbing dinner at one of our favorite restaurants around town.

I am an Advertising Account Executive. It's a fun job, and I work with some of the best people around. Our office is a zoo and you have to be somewhat insane to work there. Insanity is a requirement-it's in the handbook. H works for a steel company. He works in the warehouse, but I'm not sure exactly what he does. All I know is he brings home a paycheck. Yay!

That is a little background history on our little family if you are just stopping in. If you're ever in the area and not a complete lunatic, look me up! Maybe we could get together for a drink and become "friends who met online"!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The DVR as a Metaphor

A few nights ago, as H and I settled in to watch a few of our favorite television shows, we both realized something that was pretty profound:

Our DVR is a good metaphor for our marriage.

I know that sounds completely silly, but hear me out before you judge! We both love the DVR. As two members of the "working class" neither of us have that much time to dedicate to our must-see TV. Or at least not when it is regularly scheduled! So, like millions of other people across the world, we rely on the DVR to make sure we don't miss out on the greats like "Gone With the Wind".

Or "Real Housewives of Orange County".

When it comes to my section of the DVR, you will find a plethora of different shows and movies. I might record "Teen Moms" on MTV, the critically acclaimed "Downton Abbey" on PBS, and a documentary about child soldiers in Botswana all in the same day. I am a Gemini-which is the sign of the twins, or multiple personalities. I like a mixture of so many different things at any given time it almost seems like there is a pageant-obsessed, 14 year-old girl working on a book report operating my remote.

H on the other hand, is different. His viewing habits are much easier to monitor and follow. He enjoys major sporting events, sports talk shows, documentaries about sports icons or historical sporting events, sports news....notice a trend here? These recording traits match up perfectly with the real-life H--a sports enthusiast who is stable, predictable, and completely uninterested in the drama.

As we began to watch our shows that night, I mentioned to him that I had deleted quite a few of his old recordings. There was no need to save the National Championship Game so he could watch it for the fifteenth time.

After I'm done watching a recorded show, I immediately delete it. I'm embarrassed enough to admit I watch "Dance Moms" in the first place, much less to add that I sit through marathons on a Saturday night once everyone is asleep. We need to free up space for future recordings!!!! Likewise, I also discard of things pretty haphazardly in real life. I'm not a sentimental person AT. ALL. Objects and things don't have much meaning for me, so I don't have much trouble tossing things after I'm done with them.

H, however, is the total opposite. For instance, he refuses to let me throw out a hockey puck from his elementary school days back when Mobile was the home of the Mystics. True story. Not sure why he needs that puck or why he wants to relive the glory days of Bama's win over ------- (because I can't even remember or care less), but both live on in our home. One just lives in the drawer next to the fridge and the other takes up valuable space that I will need for "Texas Women".

He tells me there is no need to delete shows to make room for future recordings because the DVR will just delete the oldest stuff to make sure the new stuff gets recorded. He flies by the seat of his pants, not worrying about the little things in life. I fret and worry that an episode of "Beverly Hills 90210" from 1992 will get deleted to record one of Arnold Palmer's classic golf rounds. I like to plan and know that what I want will be there when I want it. But in the end, is it really that important if something doesn't go exactly the way I planned?

Just as we do in real life, our DVR will meet in the middle on a select few shows that we not only enjoy, but bond over. "Mad Men" gets us talking about the generations before us. "Modern Family" will have us laughing over the mundane household issues that can sometimes drag us down. "Doomsday Preppers" leads us to those "what if...?" discussions about government, foreign threats, and mental illness.

And if we're really lucky, we'll stumble across a recording of "Super Troopers" to remind us why fell in love to begin with.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

5 Years

Saturday, March 17th, will be H's and my 5th wedding anniversary. Slightly amazing, if I do say so myself!

Overall it has been a really wonderful five years. I'm not gonna sit here and tell you that I have the perfect husband, and he certainly doesn't have a perfect wife. I've cooked terrible meals, washed his wallet on multiple occasions, and even left his truck unlocked the night his golf clubs were stolen. He makes me listen to basketball games on the radio, leaves his spit cups everywhere, and even if my life depended on it I can't get the guy to put his close inside the clothes hamper as opposed to on the floor next to it. Sometimes I want to kill him and hide the body. Sometimes he wants to be married to Beyonce.

But....he also lets me pick the restaurant every time we go to dinner. And he has been known to peel the heads off my shrimp or crawfish because it kind of grosses me out. (At least until I've had enough beers to forget there are little accusatory eyes looking at me) He buys me tampons if I need them. He makes me laugh like no other person in the world.

We get each other.

And I'm so lucky to be married to my best friend.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Photo Session (Finally!)

Charlotte, Charlie, Lois, and I made the long trek home to Kinston this past weekend. H had to work all weekend so we decided to get out of town for a little while and escape what would have been a very boring and LONG two days.

Instead we spent a wonderful weekend with my parents! (Aka "Mimi" and "Granddaddy")

Our main purpose for the trip was because Charlotte had a photo shoot on Saturday with Hannah Seay Photography. Let me be the first to admit it...I am a terrible mother. She is my first child and the light of my life, yet I have never had any professional portraits made of her. Epic fail. Professional photography is just so expensive these days! Plus it has been really difficult to find the time to have some made. I know, I excuses are terrible. I just couldn't bear the thought of having some cheesy/trailer-park photos made at Sears or Walmart where the lighting is godawful and the background is straight out of 1987. (Because that's really all we can afford) I would rather just have the regular ones I have taken with my camera.

But ya'll. Hannah Seay Photography was such a wonderful experience I'm wishing I would have done it 5 months ago! I haven't even seen the finished, edited project but the first shots just off her camera were enough to get me excited! First of all, she had live bunnies. You can't lose when you've got live bunnies. Add my adorable Boopsy in her pink smocked Easter dress with those live bunnies and you've got more cuteness than you can handle!

She obviously hasn't been to wardrobe yet, but you can see the excitement in her face. I was really worried for the bunny's welfare because I know she gets to be "Little Miss Grabby Hands" when it comes to the dogs, but she was (thankfully) a little hesitant. She loved them in the cage. She loved them from her viewpoint in my arms. But once it was just her and the bunny, she wasn't quite sure she was a fan.

Fortunately she did not let her fear ruin the shoot. Total professionalism, even from the smallest member of our family. Take note, Bravo! I'm still waiting on my reality series contract.

After the photo session, my mom, dad, and I took Charlotte to the park for a lovely afternoon walk. That kind of weather makes me thankful I live in South Alabama.

Please remind me of this statement about mid-July when my hair has been frizzy and curly for a month straight and I have boob sweat.

All in all, it was a great weekend that just went by way too quick! If you're in the market for photos, I highly recommend Hannah Seay Photography. She is a wonderful, sweet, reasonably-priced professional photographer located in Enterprise, Alabama. I just can't say enough nice things about her or her work! It truly takes an artist to take good photos, and Hannah is certainly that! If you need any kind of photographs-wedding, senior portraits, family, etc-please give her a call or check out her stuff on her website at 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mardi Gras Recap

I'm not exactly sure how Father Time manages to make it happen, but it seems that while the minutes tend to creep by the days can still simultaneously fly. I look back and think "Wait! What happened to February?"
In case you live under a rock, Mardi Gras ended last week. Instead of the typical bang it likes to end on, my Fat Tuesday went out with more of a sigh. I didn't fall into my bed fully clothed and exhausted from a day of walking the streets of downtowm Mobile, catching moonpies and drinking warm beers from my purse.

Instead I spent it with Charlotte buying a new television for the upstairs playroom/guest suite.

And that was just as wonderful. Plus I felt much better when I finally returned to work on Wednesday.

We did manage to squeeze in some adult fun that weekend thanks to my wonderful parents. They made the long trip to see all of us. (I'm totally delusional-they just came to see Charlotte and spoil her rotten!)

On the Friday night before Fat Tuesday we went to a Mardi Gras ball in Fairhope. It was the Maids of Jubilee soiree and it was F-U-N. We almost didn't make it because someonewhoshallremainnameless realized at 6:15 that night he had somehow managed to lose his tuxedo pants. I know what you're thinking and trust me--I don't know how you lose your pants either. Thankfully, after my breakdown and tears of anger and frustration, dear H went and rented some tuxedo pants for the evening.

Having a gay man feel you up is a small price to pay for making your wife incredibly happy.

While we had a wonderful time, I realized that the best part of a party is usually the morning after when you all get to sit around in your pajamas and giggle about the antics from the night before. I think our conversations went something like...

"And that's when Hannah decided to ride in Waylon's car seat the whole way home!"
"I can't believe I walked all over Fairhope barefooted and I don't have grocery-store feet!"
"So I just shoved a couple of taquitos in my pocket and walked away"

Or my personal favorite..."Tiffany, I think I lost my jacket and cumberbund last night."

To which I can only think at least he didn't lose those rented pants.

Saturday we went to Biloxi for the evening. I've only been away from the babe for one night, so not seeing her for two nights was really tough. I could hardly concentrate on my crab legs and vodka tonics at the casino. But don't worry...I managed. ;) We lost too much money, stayed in a cheap hotel, and had a wonderful time. H was even able to make a Waffle House run at 2 am, just like back in our college days.

It was wonderful to get away, but it was even better to get home. It's amazing how much you can miss the little gal when 8 1/2 months ago we didn't even know her. My how times have changed. And my how exhausted my parents were!

Charlotte did a number on them and I'm still not quite sure they've recovered.

Happy Lenten Season to you and yours! Laissez le bon tempes roulez--at least until next year!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

11 Things!

Yay! My friend Hope did this on her blog and tagged me with the idea, so of course I had to jump on the opportunity. Like I mentioned previously, I thoroughly enjoy it when another blogger gives me a topic to write about. I love when someone else does half my work for me!

Here are the rules: 1.) Post 11 random facts about yourself. 2.) Ask 11 questions you wish to know about your friends and 3.) Tag 11 people (or as many as I know with blogs) to do this same project on their blog

Or something very similar to that as I can't copy and paste like a normal human being in the 21st century.

Here we go--hang on to your panties ladies!

1.) I go to fairs for one purpose only--fair food. I don't ride anything that drops so I'm content to wander around with my funnel cake, candy apple, giant corndog, grilled corn, and nachos.
2.) I can pinch the snot out of you with my toes.
3.) Sometimes I just sit on my couch and completely ignore the Jehovah's Witnesses when they come calling. I have pretended to be asleep and/or deaf because I feel like it would be rude if they saw me get up and run away.
4.) We have hardwood floors throughout our entire house. Sometimes when my feet get dirty or gritty, I wipe my them off on my Chocolate Lab, Charlie.
5.) I am deathly afraid of heights. I can barely breathe if I get over about 5 ft off the ground. And I have to take mood stabilizers before I can get on an airplane of any kind.
6.) I would love to run for city council, but I'm afraid I couldn't handle the bad-mouthing and mudslinging that comes along with political office. I know you can't please everyone all of the time, but I can't stand knowing someone is mad at me or doesn't like me. I have a complex.
7.) I have seen every single episode of Beverly Hills 90210. Dylan McKay was the greatest thing I had ever seen. I may or may not have a thing for bad boys.
8.) I used to lay in the pasture at my house and let the calves lick the bottom of my feet. I will always be a country girl at heart.
9.) I wrecked my dad's truck trying to roll up the window so the kitten I was bringing home wouldn't jump out. Oh yeah...I was 12.
10.) I can't stand belly buttons. They all gross me out, even my own. H likes to try and poke his finger in it and it drives me INSANE!
11.) My favorite meal of the day is brunch. Preferably eggs benedict with crabmeat hollandaise and an IV of mimosas. This must all be consumed while dining outside and listening to live music. Bliss. are my answers to Hope's questions!

Do I prefer the lake vs the ocean? Hmmm-I guess I will go with the ocean, or in my case, the Gulf because I just love the whole atmosphere of the coast.

What is my favorite season? Fall is my favorite season. It's the onset of (thankfully) cooler weather after our sweltering, humid summers, football begins, the air is crisp, leaves are falling, crops are being harvested....the list is endless.

Do I talk to strangers in restaurants, stores, etc? You betcha! I could talk to a brick wall, so of course I welcome discussions with strangers about almost any topic under the sun. You never know who could be standing behind you in line. I'm hoping whoever it is has a private plane and wants to be BFFs.

What is my favorite movie? It's like asking me to pick my favorite song!! I just can't choose one because it all depends on my mood, but I guess the movie I never get tired of watching is Gone With the Wind. LOVED Scarlett and Rhett, and I thought Melanie really was a mealy-mouthed twit.

Do I prefer silver or gold? I prefer platinum.

If I could drive any vehicle, what would I drive? This is probably such a typical answer, but I am in love with a Range Rover, white and chrome with tan leather interior, of course. Unfortunately I have too much sense and not enough cash to make this a reality.

What is one quirky thing I do? I don't think quirky is a word I would use to describe myself. I am completely, 100% normal. But I do have to "Eeny-Meeny-Miny-Moe" my fortune cookie and I MUST be the first one to pick from the selection. Even though I don't eat fortune cookies.

Do I arrive early or late? Sigh. My goal is to always be early. In reality, I am usually the last-second or a few minutes after type of gal. I rely on the fact that most normal people realize they need to wait for the stragglers before starting-whether it's a wedding, funeral, recital, meeting, etc.

Do I eat breakfast? Yep. Sometimes it's only a pack of crackers, but I always try to eat something.

Am I a tidy person? I wouldn't exactly say I was tidy, but I am very organized.

What am I thankful for? I'm so thankful for so many things it should be a separate post altogether. Most of all, I am thankful for a healthy, happy baby and family. We are beyond blessed to have experieced few troubles thus far in life, and for that I am eternally thankful.

Last but not least, here are my questions to you. (Lindsey Adkison, I expect you to do this on your blog if you and your computer are done with your little lover's spat)

Are you a dog or cat person?
If you could take any vacation and go anywhere, where would you go?
What is the one food you would need on a deserted island?
What is the best book you've ever read?
Would you consider yourself a romantic?
How would you describe the perfect date night?
Do you believe in love at first sight or does love have to grow and develop between two people?
Do you prefer shoes or handbags?
How many times have you been skinny dipping?
Have you ever tried a really crazy food, and if so, what was it?
If you could have picked your own name, what would it have been?

Friday, January 20, 2012

10 Tiffany Things

I've linked up to this blog for "10 Little ______ Things" Friday, and I must admit I am quite a fan. Maybe because I feel like we could really be friends in real life, due to the sarcasm and curse words just to be funny. She's a new mom, too, and thankfully one of the few that doesn't make me feel like I'm only two steps above Peggy Bundy in the Mother of the Year category.

But I digress. Here's my 10 little things from the past week.

1.) Work has become redamndiculous. I hardly have the time to post blogs anymore. Seriously, what do they think this or something!?!?!

2.) Mardi Gras is literally right around the corner. As in, first parade of the season starts tomorrow out on Dauphin Island. It will be Charlotte's first Mardi Gras parade, and I'm just praying she doesn't get hit in the eye/face/head with beads/cups/hard candy/toys. It's a jungle out there folks, and don't think those rednecks are going to let a cute, innocent baby bystander get in between them and a 'nanner moonpie. 

3.) We are on the hunt for new bedroom furniture. And by we, I mean I. One half of this blessed union is sticking his head in the sand and trying to pretend this purchase is not on the horizon. The better half (and you can decide for yourself which one that happens to be) knows it is coming sooner rather than later. I'm thinking something like this:

4.) Katy bar the door! Miss Charlotte is on the move these days and keeping mommy, daddy, and nanny busy. She will be 7 months on the 27th, and she already has two little teeth. So cute! She is crawling, pulling up on absolutely everything, and growing like a weed. At her 6 month checkup (which was Tuesday, oops!) she weighed 17 lbs 15 oz, and was 27.5 inches long. And 100% ADORABLE!

5.) H and I desperately need a vacation or a date night or something! We don't exactly have any babysitters that are beating down the door to watch Charlotte, and although my parents would watch her 24/7 if they could, they live too far away to just drop in on a random Thursday and let us escape for a few hours. So....I guess I can just dream of the date nights we can have again in approximately 18 years after we've dropped Boopsy off at college.

6.) The current weather situation in South Alabama makes my sinuses hurt. Which makes my face and head hurt, which in turn makes me ill and not suitable for public interaction.

7.) I've become obsessed with PBS's new series, Downton Abbey. My DVR said "What the hell is Masterpiece Theater!?!?" when I hit record. It was confused by a show with descriptions like "educational trust" and "glimpses of class and caste". Unfortunately it is more accustomed to Guidos and mothers that say things like "Sparkle, Baby!".

8.) My house needs a major Spring Fix Up. I am not emotionally, physically, or financially prepared for that undertaking.

9.) I've heard that having a dependent really helps when it comes tax season. H and I have already planned the things are going to do with our tax return this year, and all I have to say is we better get a significant amount of money or somebody at the state and federal level is gonna pay.

Not really, but I will be super pissed if I don't get to buy new furniture soon.

10.) I wonder if Bassett Furniture will give me a discount since I mentioned their bedroom suite on my blog? Obviously I'm no Pioneer Woman, but we can all hope, huh?

I love Fridays when I can mooch blog ideas off other people! It's amazing how a 6.5 month old baby can suck the creativity and will to do anything other than sleep out of a person.