Monday, December 21, 2009

New Baby Time!!!

Well, we all know the saying, "Saving the best for last", right? And in this case, it is very true... December is the last month of the year and by far my favorite. Not only is it my own birthday (and let's be honest, who DOESN'T love a day about yourself?) but also it is the month of CHRISTMAS! This year, not only did December have these two wonderful events, but God just put the sprinkles on top (I know the saying is really the cherry on top, but I never really cared for any cherries, blah)! Best gift of the year: a new baby girl! My brother and sister-in-law just had their third precious bundle of joy and rightly named her Gloria. She is perfect. And beautiful. And pretty much the best thing since the last niece was born! And I am not biased. At all. Just look at the picture and try to argue.
Not many things are sweeter than a new little baby. I think God actually planned that pretty well, huh?
So this joyous occasion was followed by my birthday celebration a couple weeks later. I have wonderful friends, and thankfully they love to eat pizza too! My birthday just happened to fall on the night of the Ten out of TENN concert at the EXIT IN, so my party was planned for me. We started at Mellow Mushroom where we devoured some pizzas and made a lot of commotion, followed by inhaling some DELICIOUS cupcakes made (homemade, no less) by my amazing roommate, Betsy. It was fabulous. I also received some far-from-disappointing cards that never fail to make me laugh (I have funny friends).
The concert, needless to say, left me speechless! Best concert I can remember going to in a long time, maybe ever! Had some to do with the music and some to do with the fun people that went with me..
Next week after that, we began the Christmas marathon with my mom's side of the family. My mom hosts the annual party now, and while it is a huge feat to prepare and organize that many people, she always does it flawlessly (and I would be saying this, even if I didn't know that she would be reading it... but it never hurts to suck up a little around Christmas time). It was great to see everyone, even if my dad did say I looked like Robin Hood and my belt got made fun of by three out of five uncles. It is to be expected, it is how we show love. Special moment of the night, the big surprise for my Papaw. My Granny had given my mom some old records to get rid of, and being the nosey woman she is (thankfully in this story) she sorted through them before disposing of some... and in the stack she found an old recording of my Papaw playing when he was 17! They played it for everyone, and his response was adorable. Such the humble, quiet Papaw that he is, he just sat smiling that crooked grin that is so "Chester". Love it, such a keepsake that my sweet, impulsive Granny tried to throw away! And since all my mom's siblings were present, we were able to get some great pictures... here is one picture of the whole group... hard to get almost everyone opened-eyed and NOT talking (and if you know my family, you know what I mean)
So, thank you to Gloria Avonlea for starting off the Christmas season right!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Gobble, gobble, chop, chop, punch,punch!

This has been one fun-filled holiday week! I love Thanksgiving holiday break and getting to be with my family and enjoy the end of the fall weather... It has been one of the most restful, relaxing breaks in a while.
I was blessed enough to be off work for three days and decided to spend them at home with the parents. Wednesday night, I got to go to church with them at our
"home church" which has been a looong time coming. However, there weren't many people there, so we joined the kids and watched A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Quite the change of plans.
Thanksgiving morning, woke up early, rushed to the TV with my Dunkin' Doughnuts coffee to
watch the Macy's parade, only to find that I can't turn the TV on. I don't know how. Who needs three remotes anyways? Bummer. But never fear, I asked for help, got it on, and alas... the cable's out. Rats. But it was fixed eventually, and the day was off!
Went to Grandma's and Granddaddy's for lunch. Yummy fried turkey, delicious!!! Had TONS of food, played dress-up with Grace and Gweneth while the boys laid on their bellies and shot at targets in the cold. One visit down, one to go. Off to Granny and Papaw's Thanksgiving celebration! Actually, off to Joe and Becky's in their new house. We had MORE good food and more great visiting. I got to spend some time with my cousins, too!
We entertain ourselves well. And although we did still cause somewhat of a ruckus, it was only contagious laughter.
Then, no Thanksgiving is complete without some Black Friday shopping, right? So mom and I put on our game faces and brave the crowds... at about 11:00ish. Never said we were THAT crazy. We did get some lovely purchases and sufficiently wore ourselves out. Hurried home to catch the last bit of daylight because it was time to go find and cut down a real Christmas tree! Dad and I zipped over to the family property and searched out the perfect tree. Finally, we found it, a true beauty. Drug it out, trimmed it down, got sticky with some sap. And most importantly, began the Christmas season!
And topped off a fun day with possibly the best part of all... I might have gotten a wii for my birthday and I might have asked to have it early, and my mom might have agreed. Amazing! So, the day was wrapped up nicely with pointing and laughing at my family. As any day should be ended, ha!
Very thankful for all of these memories made this Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Crunchy leaves are a must for this season.

It is completely fall outside, and I am thoroughly enjoying it! Perfect weather to go for a walk, take pictures of beautiful trees and eat outside. I love this season. And likewise, I love fall clothes that go along with it. Cardigans and hoodies, corduroys and "fashion scarves", nothing better!
And not only is the out-of-doors in a beautiful stage right now, but so is life in general. God is so good and faithful! I have definitely felt the lulls of a spiritual journey these past few months, but lately I have had people placed in my life that have shown me God is still involved and actively working. He is teaching me some lessons, too. Not always fun, but I am beginning to see a point to it all.
I seem to have the uncanny ability to over-commit myself in every area. When I get extra time, I agree to do more things thinking I have loads of time. Reality tells me I may never completely break this habit. That said, God is using all of these things I am involved in to stretch me and open my eyes to others who I have chosen to overlook in the past. And conversations with some wonderful people have also reminded me that I have a bigger purpose here on Earth other than myself. I encounter so many people every day who are carrying around all of their troubles, but I rarely stop to listen. So, here are the fall resolutions;
I will make a concentrated effort to reach out to others before my own desires.
I will quit filling up my time with meaningless business.
I will make time for God, most importantly.
So, here's to a wonderful season and another day to love others.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Is Peter Pan really a boy, and if so, why is he always played by a girl???

This year, our school calendar included a fall break which we celebrated last week. A full WEEK off in the middle of the long stretch. It was amazing, it was fabulous, it was spent in Disney World!
Now some people think that Disney is just aimed at the younger audiences, but I beg to differ. We screamed more than any 6 year-old, and were more giddy as well. I think we made the others around us feel our joy... or maybe we just annoyed them. Either way, we LOVED every moment.
Then, back to the real world: report cards and parent-teacher conferences. Possibly the busiest week of the year thus far! And in the middle of all that, I was lucky enough to attend TPAC with my family and see "Little House on the Prairie". It was awesome, much singing and creative dancing. A fun night in all.
And then tonight we celebrated my Dad's 52nd birth year. Pretty big deal! While dinner was nice, I must admit I get the most enjoyment out of simply playing with the girls and talking with the adults at home. Something about being around children makes me think I can still BE one too.
Grace had her little bike still inside and since Brandon had been riding Liz's bike in the house before, I took the liberty to ride Grace's tricycle. Problem is I am a little bit bigger than her. Knees out, elbows pointy, I trucked around the living/ dining room area. Just long enough for my brother to begin chasing me with his Iphone, threatening to put me on You Tube. So I quit. The girls were encouraging me, what's an aunt to do?!?
And of course, before any family gathering is complete, the big brother decides to throw me over his shoulder and spin as fast as he can... good idea after three cheese biscuits?
He had it coming.
Good times and good memories. Now if I can make it through parent conferences tomorrow, this week will be in the bag. The Halloween bag...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Cheesecake, anyone?

One of my favorite things to do when I was six, and still remains in the top 5 favorites now, is celebrate birthdays. And this past weekend, we were able to celebrate Sarah's twenty-(cough) birthday. 
First great part of the whole birthday shin-dig is getting a good gift that will provide the appropriate squeals and excitement. Which Betsy and I did, scouring the mall and sifting through the teeny-bopper jewelry to find just the right Sarah-gift. 
Next... surprise! Mindy is coming to Nashville to celebrate. So, the agenda holds dinner and a movie and then of course more food (dessert! duh). Luckily the four of us don't mind and, in fact, enjoy the cheesy, predictable chick flick. After crying our way through the movie (tears from laughter instead of sadness though... except for Mindy who did get a little wet-eye from sappiness, but no shame) After the movie and a trip to the bathroom to fix the runny mascara, I spotted a photo booth. Ohhhh, we have to check and see if this something we NEED to do. And for only three dollars, we decide we DO need to try this. The challenge, fitting four people into a very small photo booth made for two.
So, here we go, money inserted and trying to get all four heads into the picture when FLASH, picture one taken! Ahhh, so not ready for that one, but we'll be ready for the next one... FLASH! Dang it, caught us again. Move faster and stop screaming girls. FLASH! 
One more chance, smile, stay still, chin up, move your head... FLASH! It's over. Laughter ensues as we roll out of the booth and anticipate our pictures. 
Cheesecake and presents, nothing to compare to the pictures that will memorialize this night. Ahhh, I love birthdays.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Addicted to braids and nail polish

Finally home from family vacation and attempting to get back into the swing of normal life. The week's weather ended up being really great. Hot, but beautiful. We had a very relaxing trip, even got to ride some bikes around the island. As I rode (with my dad, brother, and sister-in-law) I was reminded that brothers never out grow some things. We were riding on some paths, and Brandon, not content to just ride, is standing on his bicycle seat with one foot. Still not quite enough, he proceeds to bump me on my bike with his bike or ride beside me and hold onto my handle bars, keeping me from going anywhere. Any one who knows me well can imagine the look of "I'm-gonna-get-a-mouth-full-of-pavement" on my face, and the wobbling that followed. He is still the 12-year old boy at times like this. 
I also spent a good amount of time just relaxing on the beach, and half the family 
joined me to play in the ocean one night at sunset. Fun times with boogie boards, frisbees and sand buckets. There is something so amazing about the consistency of the ocean waves. 
And another one of my favorite memories of this trip is how easily I addicted my nieces to nail polish, painting, and braids. One night of manicures turned into touch-ups an average of two times a day. Good stuff. And of course the pigtail braids that would make any little girl a princess. Unfortunately, the princess wasn't so keen on having her braids removed. We dealt with it. 
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I should be very flattered, I suppose. When I had my paints out working on a landscape for a friend, Grace wanted in on this action. So, when nails were dry, paintbrushes were wet. Great memories!
Summer is finally at an end, so goodbye to vacations and hello to school...  

Sunday, August 2, 2009

I think a rain cloud is following me...

Today is the first day of our big yearly family vacation to the beach! Going outside of the box this year, we avoided Destin (sigh) and headed for Hilton Head Island, SC. Can I just say, family vacations have definitely taken a turn since the birth of grandkids (or for me, my nieces). Everything is MUCH more exciting and gets met with cheers (literally, lots of "Whoo hoo!" and not just from the girls). We stopped in Atlanta to break up the trip and also to watch a quick Braves game. So just imagine taking a two-year old and a four-year old to a major league baseball game. This isn't actually that bad, they were really into the game and the music and clapping. But now imagine that it begins to rain. And rain and rain, a nice little mist. Not hitting the row behind us, just starting to hit our row and down (I have really great luck with this). Still didn't ruin the mood. Rain stopped, Braves lost, but fireworks were anticipated. Gweneth was especially excited. Unfortunately, two minutes before they began, she gave up the fight to dreamy sleep. (So sad, she had been talking about the fireworks since the first inning!) But alas, she woke up just as the first boom began... then burst into tears and had to be taken into the bathroom for the remainder of the show! Maybe being excited about something (such as fireworks) is better than the actual thing. Now the word fireworks is synonymous with a little whimper and a pouty lip. 
After Atlanta, we came the rest of the way to HH and made it just in time to see the rain roll in. (Once again, I have great luck). But no worries, cause tomorrow will probably be sunny, right? Yes! It was, and I could see the sun shining all through church and even through lunch... raced back to change and head out. 15 minutes in, I see a familiar sight, that's right, more rain. 
Such is life! Still a fun painting, pizza, movie day. I enjoy an occasional one of these, as long as it doesn't last 7 days, heh.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Easily persuaded...

I never would have thought (or admitted) this, but I am an easily persuaded person.  Someone raves about "Friends" and I am now making my way through the 9th season. Someone writes in a magazine that you really CAN cut your own bangs at home, and I have to walk with my head tilted to compensate for at least a week.  Someone says, "You should start a blog, there're fun!" and so what do I do, well, you can see. You get the idea, I should be careful of the company I keep, apparently. So thank you, Betsy, for using my weaknesses against me and encouraging me to blog-it-up!