Monday, March 31, 2008

S Behind the Camera

First of all, S should get the credit for the picture of L asleep in the car on Friday night. He had quite fun taking those pictures.

Now on to my regularly scheduled post. Yesterday, before church, I thought it would be nice to get a few pictures of the kids all dressed up, before they got a bunch of stuff on them. Since it was nice and sunny our back yard would make a nice backdrop for the pictures. Or so I thought. See, I let S take the kids outside to take the pictures while I finished getting ready. I told him I wanted a few pictures of all three kids together. This is just one example of the many pictures he took.
I guess I should be thankful all of them are in the picture in the first place.


Since we had the whole "raining in my room" episode and the ensuing mess, we were forced to take down the blinds in the girls' room. I thought this was a good time to attempt to make curtains for their room. I'm not a master seamstress, in fact I've never made curtains before but I figured it couldn't be too hard if I were to keep it simple.

I found some adorable pink/green/white striped fabric, though the fabric I really wanted had about 1/4 of a yard left on the roll. Not quite enough for my project. I was even able to line them with pink gingham.

Remember any project that sounds simple will be quite the opposite. The sewing of the curtains wasn't the rough part. The rough part was the cutting of the fabric. Not exactly easy when you don't have a big table on which to cut. As I pieced the fabrics together, I noticed that my lining wasn't exactly even with the stripe. I persevered on and made due.

I think they turned out quite cute, including the tiebacks. While the stitching isn't perfect, I think my first foray into the curtain world was a rousing success.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Visit with Friends

Yesterday evening we were able to visit with some friends who were in town for the week. They moved several years ago when I was pregnant with L and our friend, L, was pregnant with her youngest. All of our girls (they have two) had such a fun time playing together. They even got to do sparklers at the end of the evening. That was a hoot as L stood in the doorway and watched from a safe distance rather than participating. It was quite humorous.

We didn't get on the road until past bed time and the ride home wasn't short. The kids were all asleep by the time we pulled into the driveway. Usually I wouldn't take pictures but the position L was in was just too cute to ignore...

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Boy is Like His Mama

When I was little, my mother caught me feeding our dog, Max, Nilla Wafers in our pantry. I was around the age of 3 and I would take a bite of a wafer and feed the rest to Max.
Since H has been crawling, he's learned he can get into pretty much what he wants within his reach.

Case in point: Today I was in my room getting a recipe off of my old computer (more on that disaster later). As I was searching for the file I so desperately needed, I heard H rummaging around on the floor at the end of my bed (I couldn't see him). However I could hear him swallowing. That's never a good sign unless I know what he's eating. The boy does like to eat.

I gingerly placed the laptop on the bed and quickly got up to see what he was eating. This is the picture that greeted me...

I will not go into details as to how the cookies got in my room (I believe it involved a child wanting a snack) but when I started picking up the cookies, I found several "slightly used" ones amongst the "good" ones.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Book Review

This week it's The Appeal by John Grisham. I will tell you right off the bat that if you like John Grisham books, you'll like this one. It's his same formula for legal drama.

The Appeal starts off with a lawsuit filed by a woman whose son and husband both died of cancer as a direct result of toxic waste being dumped into their water supply. The chemical company is clearly at fault and the jury concurs, giving her a huge amount of money for her loss. Of course, the company appeals (hence the title of the book).

This is where it gets interesting. The main focus of the book is how the company goes about trying to buy its way out of this lawsuit. I guess this falls under the category of spending money to make money. It's a really good look at the way appeals, big business and their highly-paid attorneys, and small-town lawyers operate. There's the typical Grisham twist which is always expected but this one really caught me by surprise.

What to say about the ending? Well, I wasn't surprised but was disappointed. I don't want to ruin in so I'll just leave it at that.

I have found, in doing these reviews, that what I like about all of the books I read is that they are an escape from my life. I tend to read things that have nothing to do with my everyday life. I guess I get enough of that so I want to be taken away into a land where I am a fly on the wall, so to speak.

I've also noticed that my list is getting shorter and shorter so I need some suggestions. As you can tell, I like a wide variety of books, almost any subject is good. Fiction, non-fiction matters not. I usually don't like romances or girly-type books. Give me Michael Crichton or John Grisham any day.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Pictures of My Babies

I thought I would share a few taken in the last couple of days...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The First of Two Bookshelf Posts

While on our relaxing, fun getaway, I was able to read two books. Normally, it would take me forever to finish two books but I managed to do this. Actually, I've been known to finish more than that on a vacation sans children but there were things to do on this vacation. Important things like shopping and finding new restaurants.

The first book finished during our getaway was Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. This is actually an older book, with an original publish date in 2000. If you've ever seen him on the Travel Channel, you know he likes food and will eat just about anything. He says his love for food began as a young boy visiting relatives in France. He was willing to try just about anything. He goes on to discuss his various early jobs in restaurants, his trip to culinary school, and the jobs he held after graduation.

It really is a well-written book. He is unapologetic about his attitude, he tells it like it is, and holds his employees to a high standard. His language is harsh at times so be prepared for that. My favorite part were his suggestions for our home kitchens, things we really need and how to make your home cooking look restaurant quality. Just a few small, simple things can help your plates like restaurant plates.

If you like cooking at all or have dreamed of opening a restaurant of your own some day, read this book first. It gives great insight into how a high-end restaurant is run.

Thanks to my sister-in-law, B, for sending me the book!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Our Weekend

Oh y'all, we had a fabulous weekend. Four whole nights where I didn't have to worry about being awakened by a child. Not that it's usually an issue but I didn't have to get up with them at 6:30 AM, either. It was a blessed weekend, including the post below.

We actually left Wednesday around lunch time and arrived back Sunday afternoon. The whole weekend was exactly what S and I needed: rest, relaxation, and some time together. We chose to treat ourselves to a massage in our hotel's spa which was just so wonderful. I almost fell asleep I was so relaxed! It was such a treat. I finished two books (those posts will come later), did some knitting, and found my way to some really great shops. I did let S stay at the hotel for one of my shopping adventures since it's not really his favorite thing. We had fabulous food as I made S promise that we wouldn't go anywhere that we could go in our home town. That wasn't so easy but we managed it.

Here are some pictures from the weekend...

This is the view from our balcony on Saturday morning. As much as I love playing around with photo-editing software, this one is unretouched. That's how dense the fog was.
This was the view from our hotel room on Sunday morning. It made it quite hard to pack up and leave!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A Great Story

This is one for the ages folks! Yes, we're back from our very relaxing trip and I'll post some pictures later. However, I must get this story told before I forget to write it down.

Last night, S and I went for a late dinner. We decided to go some place nice as the end to a wonderful weekend away. We went to a great little restaurant and enjoyed a fabulous meal, S's being better than mine (it always seems to be that way). In the course of our dinner conversation I mentioned that I wondered what famous people did on Saturday nights. I know that the real big celebrities go out and party and what have you but I was referring to smaller time celebrities. So I said to S, "What do you think Tommy Tuberville is doing right now? Is he home with his family, enjoying a wonderful Saturday night in? Or is he out doing something else?" (For those blissfully unaware, TT is the head football coach at my beloved Auburn.)

We walked around a bit after dinner and then headed to the valet stand to wait for our car. It was a very busy night and there were very few parking spots so we splurged on valet (it really wasn't too bad). S and I were chatting and laughing, basically enjoying ourselves, when who should walk up behind S than Tommy Tuberville. Y'all, I about wet myself because what are the odds that TT would be in the exact same place as me on the very night I had questioned his whereabouts? It was so hilarious that I had to tell TT about the whole story. I introduced myself, told him I was an alum, shook his hand when it was offered to me, and proceeded to tell him the conversation S and I had had that very night at dinner. He was so kind, very happy to listen to my story even if he now thinks I'm some crazy woman.

(As a brief aside, I did not accost the poor man. He was standing, literally, less than two feet away from me as we were standing right by the valet stand and he had to walk next to us to hand his ticket to the valet man.)

We shook hands again, I got another hearty War Eagle! from him and we got in our car. Of course, I had to call my best friend, Sporty Mama, and tell her the whole thing even though it was late. I will say that it was so nice to meet him and the meeting would have been cool in the first place but the whole conversation at dinner just made it unbelievable! It was a great ending to a perfect weekend!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Road Trip

Every year, my mother-in-law offers to keep our kids for a couple of days so that S and I can get away by ourselves. We have taken up that offer every time. This year we're not going too far from home but we are getting away for FIVE whole days and FOUR whole blissful, child-free nights. I do love my babies but I need to rest! I will post when I return...

Monday, March 10, 2008

A Mess

I believe I neglected to mention that K told me the other day it was raining in her room. As I checked this out, I discovered, to my horror, that she was not only correct but it was really bad. Since S was out of town, I called Granddad and he fixed it on a very temporary basis.
Saturday we found ourselves working on getting the problem solved. This resulted in removing siding, wood, parts of studs and, eventually, the window in the girls' room. Oh, the joys of home ownership! Needless to say, the girls could not sleep in that mess so we played fruit basket turnover with the bedrooms. K and L are sleeping in H's room (K in the big bed, L in the crib) and H is in a portable crib in our closet. This will continue until all is back to normal which could be as early as tomorrow or maybe later this week. Now when I say "back to normal" I mean that everyone is back in their own rooms. That doesn't include painting both interior and exterior walls that had to be demolished. What fun!

You can see the destruction for yourself...

This is a picture of the very fine dust that is covering most of the girls' room. It ain't pretty...

H's Bear

A dear friend of Gran's (S's mom) makes teddy bears. Now, this is no easy fete. Teddy bears are really hard to make by hand, especially if you don't have all the right tools. Just ask Gran!

Mrs. B, we'll call her, has been very generous with her bears, giving each of our children one of her handmade creations. They are all unique, look nothing alike, and are so special that we don't let our children play with them. They are true keepsakes.

Here is a picture of H's sweet bear, received a few weeks ago. You'll notice that his nose has a string hanging down from it. That's the "umbilical cord." Each bear has one and you cut it on your child's birthday (so that the bear and the baby have the same birthday).

Saturday, March 8, 2008


While it may seem that the books are just flying off of my bookshelf, the real truth is that I started a bunch of books at the same time and now I'm working on finishing them. Today's book is Austenland by Shannon Hale.

If you like Jane Austen in the slightest, then this book is for you. I'm actually not a huge fan of Jane's and have never once seen Pride and Prejudice but I really enjoyed this book. I started it just a few days ago and couldn't put it down. Except for those times when three little ones demanded silly things of me such as food, clean diapers, and goodnight kisses.

Our heroine, Jane (Hayes, not Austen), a contemporary kind of girl with a secret crush on Mr. Darcy, finds herself the lucky recipient of an all-expenses-paid vacation to an English resort. The women who find themselves at this resort all have a secret desire to live in 1800's England, just like most of Austen's work. What ensues is a combination of love, mystery, and the realization that the fiction world is just that: fiction.

I must say that when I was reading this, reading conversations that were supposed to be taking place in the 19th century, I couldn't help but think of Mod Girl. This book would be right up your alley, friend! This book was such a wonderful getaway for my mind. I say that about a lot of my books because that seems to be the only time I can turn my mind off: when I can focus on a make believe world and be a fly on the wall. I could honestly see this being turned into a fantastic romantic comedy as it has many great components of those films: love, humor, etc. What I liked most was that it just took me away, into a land that no longer exists but seems so perfectly real.

Thanks to PJ for recommending this book!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Rejoicing in the Quiet

When K and L were very small, I used to turn on the TV any chance I got: while K was at school and L was napping, while the girls played quietly and I folded laundry, sometimes when I was fixing dinner, and especially after they were in bed. It was a comfort to me, to hear adults talking, to hear their conversations rather than two babies rattling on. I just needed a few moments of adult-speak rather than babbling and fussing and complaining. My favorite was the Food Network where I could watch Ina prepare a fabulous meal for her Hamptons friends. Or I could see Paula fixing something with lots of butter and sour cream.

Now, though, I seem to be rejoicing in the quiet. I find that I don't want the TV on, I don't need the background noise. Yes, there are three little voices contributing to the noise level in this house but I don't know that I appreciate those sweet baby voices any more now than I did then (even though I should). Part of it is that I want to be a good role model for my kids by showing them that there's more to life than TV. Even when S is out of town and the kids are all asleep, I don't watch TV like I used to. I'm reading more, blogging (!), knitting, or, more likely, catching up on a chore that didn't get done during the day.

I also find that I can be alone with my own thoughts much more easily if there are no distractions. Even though I'm not nursing H anymore, I still find that we need that cuddle time when he gets his bottle. And we do this in the quiet when the girls are at school and with their background noise when they are home. I love that my kids are learning to entertain themselves and finding new and inventive ways to play with the same toys. Their conversations with each other are priceless.

(A brief aside: I do watch one show religiously, although the season ended on Wednesday. My one guilty pleasure is Project Runway. I don't know what it is about that show but I started watching in season 2 and I was hooked. I'm not into fashion, I know nothing about it but it there is just something about that show that keeps me enthralled.)

Now when I'm folding laundry, I listen to H playing on the floor beside me, learning that different things make different noises. This post is not about hating the TV, as I do love to watch movies with S or with the girls. And sometimes those movies come in very handy when I need the girls to be quiet so that H can get a good nap in. This post is about learning to appreciate the quiet and putting aside something that I really idolized for so long.

Our house is much calmer but so much more alive.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Lest you think I've lost my mind, this is a picture of our family dog, Scooter. Scooter isn't real yet, and won't be for several years. You see, I've told my children that they may get a dog when K is 10, L is 8, and H is 5 as I have zero desire to have a baby and a puppy at the same time.

One of our Christmas gifts from Papa and PJ was this sweet stuffed Schnauzer, complete with a collar and name tag that reads "Scooter." I really want a miniature Schnauzer because they don't shed as much as other dogs and I've always really liked the breed.

Why the name Scooter, you ask? Well, last fall S took the girls to a volleyball practice to give me a break in the afternoon. While at said practice someone showed up with their brand new Daschund puppy who was, appropriately, named Scooter. L fell in love with Scooter and talked about him for months. In fact, if you ask her what we're going to name our dog she'll tell you Scooter.

The girls take turns sleeping with our Scooter and K brought him into my room this morning. This is the picture that greeted me as I got out of the shower.

K and L

What are we going to do with them when they are 15 and 13?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Another Off the Shelf

This time it's Mosaic: Pieces of My Life So Far by Amy Grant. I need to give just a little background on this book. I have loved Amy Grant since I was 5 years old. In fact, I had an entire routine worked out to her Amy Grant in Concert: Volume 2 album, back when we listened to records! Oh, it was special. I even had dreams of being her back up singer (lofty aspirations, I know!).

So when this book came along, I wanted to read it but didn't want to at the same time. I don't know what my hesitation was but I just didn't have the desire. I guess I'm just not big on autobiographies. Then a very sweet friend not only gave me a copy of it but had it signed for me (she has connections). That made me feel inclined to read it.

I will say this book isn't quite what I expected. You do get the story of her life and how she got into the music business and all but if you're looking for deep, revealing secrets of her life, this book doesn't have it. I'm really glad for that because I think celebrities nowadays feel the need to make every aspect of their lives public when their private lives really should be just that: private.

My favorite chapter is Dorothy Lee. It's just a really sweet story, one of those unexpected blessings that you don't set out to get. I won't go into details but let's just say that Vince gave an older woman a very special surprise birthday visit.

This book does give insight into Amy's life and how she handles the pressures of songwriting, the experiences she's been blessed to have and even some of her struggles. If you are a fan of Amy's my guess is that you'll enjoy the book.

Monday, March 3, 2008

H is 10 Months Old!

When I do these posts, I realize how fast H's first year is going by. While the beginning was slow and rough, these last few months have flown by. I find that after the post is done, it seems like forever before I get to do a new one. Then, all of sudden, the time has come again to update my sidebar to add yet another month.

H is growing and changing very rapidly. He's starting to pull up on things, he goes from a crawl position to sitting with little trouble. This caused us to lower his crib and oh, that was so hard for me. It signaled the end of his being a real baby and moving to being an infant who will so very soon be a toddler. He loves to talk and to play. He's just a lot of fun right now and weighs in at a whopping 22 pounds, 3 ounces!