Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking Back: 12 months - 12 posts

It's the last day of 2010.  What a year this has been!  We have moved cities and states, changed jobs, moved into a house, changed blogs ... ok, so that's not the biggest thing ever, lol.

I first started blogging January 2010.  I jumped in head first, awed at what could happen in this wonderful community.  My first blog was Just Thinkin'.  I joined everything I could and got up to 330 followers, but I soon felt like that number was inflated.  I hardly got comments, and I also started really getting into photography ... so I started an offshot photography blog that got up to 60 followers.  Eventually, I felt the need to combine them and start a new place for myself, which was the birth of this blog.  Best decision ever!  I may not have the crazy numbers I had, but I have the loyalty that I wanted here.

I made a list of my favorite blog posts of 2010 and I'm linking up with Scary Mommy and you should too!
So, that being said; many of these posts are on Just Thinkin', but I still wrote them this year so they count.

My Favorite Posts of 2010:

"Turn it Down" -- a cute story of Leah reacting to Audrey screaming her head off in the car.
"Quotable Sunday" -- one of my favorite quotes (I believe in Pink by Audrey Hepburn) with my pictures.
"No one ever asked me..." -- this is my all-time favorite post.  It deals with the questions not asked when I became pregnant with Leah before I was married to Andrew.
"The Identity of a Wife and Mom" -- my thoughts on being a working mom and how my ideals changed when I had kids
"The Mysterious Shot Glass" -- a funny Mommy-brain moment
"My Mr. Wonderful" -- a tribute to my husband on Father's Day
"Talkin' To..." -- funny things Leah said and Andrew talking about peeing the pool
"The Orange Hat" -- Andrew has had the same Orange hat for like 5 years and this post is filled with old and new pictures of him wearing the Orange Hat.
"Where I'm From" -- this was a prompt from Red Writing Hood that I think came together so beautifully
"The ABC's of Me" -- a fun way of introducing myself
"Beauty in the Dirty" -- a 10 on 10 photo post of pictures I took at work; finding beauty in what I do everyday
"Scavenger Hunt: Can you see the Wind?" -- 5 photos that I just love!

Do you have a favorite post of the last year?

Happy last day of 2010 friends!  I am so blessed that y'all read my little blog!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Time Keeps on Ticking


2011 is just around the corner!

Holy Smokes.  I know everyone says this every year, but seriously ... where did this year go?

Where did my babies go?

Look at this:

and this:
Audrey 2010

Facebook is great for coming up with apps that remind us of the past year.  I like this one ... my year is statuses:

In here among the silly, funny, random stuff I remember:

-learning to drive in wintry conditions
-Leah growing up to a 'big girl'
-Diapers ... lots of diapers
-a wonderful Easter spent with my little family
-good times with good friends
-the Nashville flood, and helping out where I could afterwards
-my sister graduating from Auburn
-stressful times
-getting the job and moving to Birmingham
-Cam Newton being better than anyone thought
-Auburn football!!!!

I love this time to sit back and reflect about the past and the future.  About lessons learned.  About improvements hoped for in the future.

So, my next few posts are going to be about New Year's Resolutions and then on the 1st; I'll be joining in with Ashely for Memories, Dreams and Reflections.  It's like looking over a year in 20 pictures.

Well at least something stayed the same over this past year:

Linked up with:

Live and Love...Out Loud

Monday, December 27, 2010

Our Christmas Runaround Wrap Post

yep ... something like that ...

Christmas Eve
Drove up to Tuscaloosa to attend Christmas eve at my in-law's church.  My father-in-law is the pastor of a small church there, but I wish I could actually listen to the sermon instead of trying to entertain a three and a one year old.  After church we went to my bil and sil's house for a quick round of presents, some cookies and family fun.

Christmas Eve 1
My little poof ball baby! She totally tore a huge hole in one of the ruffles at church and of course I didn't have any scissors so I literally ripped her dress so she wouldn't trip on it.  See the extra layer of ruffles around her butt, but not in her front?

Christmas Eve 3
I'm not drunk, I swear ... tired; probably, but not drink induced. Christmas time travel induced.
the long road

Christmas Eve 4
Leah and Audrey with their two cousins. If only all kids would look at the camera at the same time, and by all the kids; I mean mine.
The Paper Mama

We got home around midnight and I woke Leah up so she could put out milk and cookies.  She only wanted to give Santa one cookie!  I persuaded her into at least giving him two.  He's gotta be fat and happy, you know.

Christmas Day
I woke up before the kids!  I can imagine this trend will not continue much longer.  Santa totally scored with a blowup bouncy ball thingie (that had a small hole in it, so another way is coming down from the North Pole), a ball croquet set, and a huge outdoor playhouse!

Christmas 1

Christmas 2

Next we loaded the kids into the car to head towards my parents house for lunch and more presents.  We were blessed with a small Christmas miracle.

SNOW!!!!!!!  in Alabama!!!!!!  on Christmas!!!!!!
my first ever White Christmas!
Christmas 3

Now would you believe that I didn't get any pictures of the girls opening presents at my parents house?  I was enjoying the moment when I said, I should be taking pictures of this ... but then I decided not to go get my camera.  Instead I took mental pictures and enjoyed just being there.  Don't worry, other family members got pictures which I'm sure they will send to me ... in like six months or so.

Christmas 4

I'm glad the snow followed us to my parent's house, but it became too wet for us non-snow outfit owning Southerners to play in.  Instead while the girls napped, I persuaded Andrew to take a walk in the snow with me.  We acted like dating teenagers, chasing each other with snow balls and tackling each other onto the snowy ground.  It was amazing, wet, but a wonderful Christmas time!

oh, I did pull out my camera to take a picture of Audrey in the cutest hat evah!  love it!
Christmas 6

Day after Christmas
The day after Christmas needs a cool name too ... just saying ...  It snowed more!  (sorry my Yankee snowed-in friends, but we loved the snow down here!)  I won't bore you with words; so here's some pictures.  Can you guess which child liked the snow better than the other?

Snow Day bundle

Snow Day Leah

Picnik collage

Snow Day Audrey

Hope your Holidays were Merry ... from my Snow Angels to Yours!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

{Centus} Still a Child of God

Saturday Centus is a super fun writing prompt from Jenny.  The story is 100 words not including the prompt which is in bold.  Follow the link to visit more amazing stories.  Happy day after Christmas to everyone ... the story of my first White Christmas will be coming soon!

Jenny Matlock

Still a Child of God

As the lights dimmed in the small church I felt relief wash over me realizing that I survived my first Christmas Eve service.

Then the white-bearded fat man rolled through the church doors. From afar he reminded me of Santa, but the alcohol seeping through his clothes contradicted that image.

“Can I help you sir?”

He stumbled towards me, “I have seen the light.  I want to meet this Jesus.”

Even though his clothes were ragged, his hair unwashed, and I didn’t quite think he was sober; I couldn’t turn down a child of God.

“I would love to share my beliefs.  We also have some great coffee.”

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Epic Santa Fail

Sunday was our day to go see Santa.  Never in my 3+ years of being a mom have we seen Santa, between Leah being really young and Audrey being a newborn we opted out of Santa the last few years.  But this year, I really wanted to bring some magic into the season with visiting Santa!

We walked up to the line in the mall and at the first glimpse of the man in red, Leah grabbed on to the back of my shirt and would not budge.  "I'm so scared Mommy!"  I tried talking her into it describing the magic of sitting on Santa's lap and telling him what you want for Christmas, but she wasn't having it.  So, we said, ok no picture with Santa this year.  There are some things that I force my child to do (like eating her veggies, taking a bath and going to bed), but seeing Santa is not one of them.

About 30 minutes later, my mom showed up with keys to the car ... did I mention Andrew locked the keys in the car?  yeah...

Well, Grandma mentioned something about Santa, and all of a sudden; Leah wanted to go sit on Santa's lap.  We went back to the line for Santa try #2.

The line wasn't long, but during the short wait Leah remembered why we walked away the first time, but decided that she would at least approach Santa ... as long as Daddy was holding her hand.

It's our turn.  We walk up to Santa, Leah's slowly checking him out, and not really sure what to do next; I put Audrey on Santa's lap.

It must have replayed in slow motion in her mind, the second she left the safety of Mommy's arms into the unknown lap of this fat guy in a red suit.  About a second after her bottom hit his leg, she freaked out.  First came the horrible face; you know the one, the crying with out any noise coming out, the warning face as for what is to come.  And then the screams came.

Santa is just holding Audrey and smiling, waiting for the picture to be taken.  I'm trying to pry my baby outta this crazy guy's arms, telling the laughing picture takers we will try again next year, and running away as fast as I can trying to calm down my screaming baby who is crying those huge alligator tears.

Grandma scrambles behind us with the stroller.  Then she says, 'you should have taken the picture!'  Crazy lady, I don't want a picture of my screaming baby and my scared toddler next to an apparently delirous (or deaf) Santa.  I do wish though that she had a camera to snap at that time.  It may have looked something like this:

While running through the food court sushing Audrey, the ever perceptive Leah looks up and says, "I think Santa scared Audrey."

2010 = Epic Santa Fail ... who knows what 2011 will bring!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

PYHO: a story

Ever have something that you can't blog about, but it's so heavy on your mind that you can't not blog about it?


I'll tell you a true story instead:

Once upon a time there was a girl who writes a blog.  This girl dated a guy who cheated on her.  It was a stupid thing that happened; a drunken night where he was persuaded into the dirty by her.

This girl who writes a blog forgave the guy she dated.  Truely forgave him.

But she was still upset, confused, less trusting, and angry.

But she kept it all inside.  And life went on.

Until this girl who writes a blog made a stupid decision.  She let her emotional buildup persuade her to make many wrong desicions, 10 times worse than the act that started it all.  She let all these emotions take her down the wrong path.  Don't say she didn't realize it then ... she did, and she didn't care.  See; way too emotional for anything.

Eventually she stumbled back to the right path, and married the guy she used to date. 

They both have a past, and she has tried to change the past with little luck.  The guy she used to date forgave her too.

But the guy she used to date still talks to her.  They are old friends, like high school old, and apparently the incident above from being friends, and talking on facebook, and texting multiple times a week.

A couple of days ago, the girl who writes a blog, and the guy she used to date had a conversation after she accidentally saw a text from her.  He was upset that the girl who writes a blog still didn't like her.  He said she wants to meet his girls, hang out with them since they moved back closer.  They have a friendship that is halted all because the girl who writes a blog is being stupid and emotional.

So, the girl who writes a blog facebook friended her.  In this crazy digitial world she knows it is a small step, but at least its a step.

But the girl who writes a blog does not know if she can be in the same room with her.  Watch her play with the kids.  Laugh, smile, joke and enjoy hanging out with her as a friend.  But she loves the guy she used to date so much, and wants to make him happy.

But hell ... she doesn't know if she will ever forgive her.

How would you finish this story?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Just a fun picture

Yeah, yeah ... I'm double posting today, but they are both quick, so that counts for something ... right?

Touch Up Tuesday's at the Paper Mama
Sweet Shot Day

My sister-in-law came by Saturday, and since it's pretty much tortue for a 3 year old to stare at presents till Christmas which she doesn't get is a week away, because she doesn't quite get days of the week yet ... we let them open their presents.

Audrey kept sitting on her box (it's ok ... it was clothes).  It was so cute, so I thought I'd play a bit with this picture just because.



Here She goes

It all started with a little wobble.  You know the kind that makes grown adults drop down on their knees to cheer a child on.  'Come on Audrey.'  'You can do it.'  'Walk over here.'


She fought back a bit at first.  She would scream at me as she stumbled over in my direction.  But finally, two months later than her sister and after alot of coaxing ... she started walking.


Oh Lordy ... what have we gotten ourselves into?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Decorations Disaster

Back in the day (on my other blog), I used to write a little story with Jenny every Saturday.  I would wake up before the babies on Saturday morning and make-up a fun little 100 word story about a prompt found at Jenny's Saturday Centus.

And then we moved.  And then Saturdays got busy.  And then I stopped playing along. 

I miss it ... so, I'm back (new blog -- was Just Thinkin') but still same 'ole me.

The story can't be more than 100 words (not including the prompt), and the prompt is bolded.  Enjoy

Decorations Disaster

He watched as she backed his car out of the driveway, off to pick up her best friend.  It was time for their annual Christmas dinner with family and friends.  Recently having a teenage daughter had been tough on their relationship, but he had a surprise for her.

A little bit here; a little bit there the decorations were complete.

Bass pounding the car arrived full of teenage excitement.  He eagerly listened for the opening door and was rewarded with a shriek.

His face happy from the assumed excitement, he burst around the corner just in time to her his shocked daughter proclaim, "What was he thinking?  OMG!  Elves are sooo 2009…"

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Scavenger Hunt: Can you see the Wind?

This morning I woke up to two very emotional little girls.  I think we fast forwarded to the teenage years for a couple of hours this morning.  And now we are pouting in them ... or something like that.  So, I'm blogging pictures, lol!

If you still haven't checked out Ashley's site ... what are you waiting for?  Join her every Sunday to showcase your pictures in five selected themes, and then take five more for next week!

Welcome to snow in Alabama!  We had snow flurries for a few days last week, and the only place they would stick was my husband's car.  I kinda get sad when snow never sticks down here because it is so pretty, but then I remember how horrible it is to drive in.  Southerners turn into the worst drivers ever when they think of snow (and ice).  The day I took this picture, I passed three cars ditches on my way to work.

Black and White with Selective Coloring

Selective b/w
I love the 'pencil sketch' feature on Picnik, but you have to have the perfect picture to make it work.  Guess what, I found the perfect picture!

The Wind
I was really excited when I saw the prompt of the wind.  How can you capture something that can not be seen?  I stood in the cold waiting for the wind to pick up long enough for more to take this picture ... on the side of the road in front of my building.  People driving by probably thought I was a crazy person!

I also love how the wind is used for a metaphor for God.  One of my favorites quote from a dc Talk song is 'Can you see the wind?  I've never seen the wind, but I've seen the effects of the wind.  Can you see a breeze?  There's a mystery to it.'


I kinda feel like I'm taking the easy way here, but I really like this picture, and the power lines already created a kind of frame, so I added a border as another frame.

Remember When ...
Remember When

I didn't go as far back as some people, just a year.  This was our Christmas card picture last year, taken at Audrey's baptism.  hmmm ... Leah's hair looks really cute.  Maybe we should cut it that way again.

Join in next week:

  1. Family 
  2. Motion Blur
  3. Pretty Package 
  4. Glow 
  5. Sparkle

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Family needs to be on Facebook

About half of the people who read my title gasped in shock and horror that I would say that and the other half rolled their eyes, shook their heads and thought 'bless her heart ... she doesn't know what she's wishing.'

It's not like that people ...

I know that drama happens when family is all over the internet and somebody notices something about somebody else and they have to go tell another family member and before you know it half of the family isn't talking to the other and no one knows why ... they just know it has something to do with Facebook.

No, I don't wish my family was on facebook for that ...

I wish my whole family was on Facebook, so that I don't have to send out Christmas Cards.  Because I suck at it!!!

You know the saying something about a road being paved with good intentions?  Yeah, mine would be paved with unsent Christmas cards and thank you notes.

I don't know if it's the daunting task of figuring out a gazzilion people's addresses or actually ordering the cards / putting them in envelopes / putting on stamps / writing out the address and then somehow getting them into the mailbox at the end of the driveway.

I suck at sending out Christmas cards.

Today my Mom asked if I ordered our Christmas cards, and then urged me to do so because 'everyone would love to see you and your family'.

Well, my thought was 'if they were on Facebook, they would see plenty pictures of my family.'  I could even make a pretty Christmas card and tag all my family on it.

See how much easier that would be?  And I would be saving paper!  That's all cool and green and socially awesome ... right?

Can I convince my family to get onto to facebook just for Christmas card time?  Oh, and thank you notes (I suck at those even more than I do at sending out Christmas cards ...)

well ... I am sending out Christmas cards ... they may get to people around New Year's, but I'll just reply back with 'You wouldn't have to worry about that if you were on Facebook!"

p.s. want a card?  send my your addy:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I worked Saturday morning.  When I finished, Andrew (home for a day) and the girls were at the new outlet mall in Leeds, AL.  Did I want to come?  It was a long drive, but I made it.  I didn't have my camera, and that made me sad.  I never thought I'd be sad to not have my camera at a mall.

But Andrew had his new phone from work, and he let me use it as a camera.  A little editing and I had the perfect picture of my girls playing in the kids play area at the new outlet shops.


It took about 4 times pleading with Leah to come sit next to Audrey, 5 more pictures of blurry faces while they are moving around, countless cries of 'smile Leah ... keep smiling please' and 'Audrey, Audrey look up at mommy', cheering from the peanut gallery (Andrew and his mom), but finally ... finally I snapped a picture of the two of them mostly smiling and kinda looking in the same direction.

This picture makes me smile!

Linking up with:
the long roadWordish WednesdayPhotography love...

O Christmas Spirit

**sung to the tune of O Christmas Tree**

O Christmas Spirit,
O Christmas Spirit,
where are you hiding?

Are you in my
demanding work schedule?
Or with my husband
whose in Atlanta?

O Christmas Spirit,
O Christmas Spirit,
where are you hiding?

How 'bout the paycheck
that must go
to bills instead of
Christmas presents

O Christmas Spirit,
O Christmas Spirit,
where are you hiding?

What about inside my car
that hasn't started all week long?

O Christmas Spirit,
O Christmas Spirit,
where are you hiding?

rent and power,
groceries and gas;
my Christmas Spirit
never seems to last

O Christmas Spirit,
O Christmas Spirit,
when will you come find me?

I don't mean to be a Grinch .

or a Sad Santa.

I know the bright side of things, and I see it often; just sometimes I feel a bit like singing out "Where are you Christmas" ... in a little voice like Cindy Loo Who (The Grinch who Stole Christmas may be playing in the background).

I think the worst thing is not that I feel more upset or more stressed, but more that I don't really feel any different than I do the other 11 months of the year.  I want to feel all Christmas spirit-y ...

Except I'll imagine I'm singing like Faith Hill:  (this is an awesome music video!)

Red Berries

There's just something about red berries that reminds me of Christmas time.  Even when the green falls off the trees, there always seems to be some red berries around.  I took this photo the other day, and touched it up a bit.  I used Picnik and a variety of edits; mainly the cross process feature.



Touch Up Tuesday's at the Paper Mama