Friday, April 29, 2011

all dressed up

Excited to be linking up for this week's Momma In Focus since I have not had the time or energy to even think about trying to stage a picture of Lila and I for the last few weeks. This week's prompt from Casey's blog is Easter moments with your little one.
One Day At A Time
Lila and I both tried to step it up last Sunday. This was one of FOUR Easter dresses that Lila had in her closet, waiting to decide based on her mood and the weather that day. Can anyone say loved by her Auntie a little much? I was so hoping she would be walking by Easter as I could just see that adorable big skirt swirling around her legs. But instead it swirled under her knees as she tried to crawl and not trip over it. Why would you walk when you could be carried instead??
I am at the beach this weekend with some lovely ladies from my church home group. We will laugh, maybe cry, talk too much, snack a lot and take long walks on the beach. Basically, it will be a Seasonale birth control commercial. Be jealous. Be very, very jealous.

Brian and Lila will be having some Daddy/Baby bonding time this weekend. I am imagining lots of snuggling in bed while switching between Miss Spider's Sunnypatch and Sports Center. Lots of non-nutritious meals...for everyone. And hopefully some sweet memory making moments. Let's pray for Brian's sake they do not involve diaper disasters.

Ladies with an attitude, fellows that were in the mood
Don't just stand there, let's get to it, strike a pose, there's nothing to it
Come on, vogue, let your body move to the music
Hey, hey, hey
Come on, vogue, let your body go with the flow
You know you can do it
~"Vogue" by Madonna

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Packing my bags on Friday full of swimsuits, comfy pants and flip flops
Feet propped on the deck, staring at the ocean
Closing my eyes and hearing the waves crash
Smelling warm coffee rising from my mug
Laughing with some fabulous ladies
Talking about God moments in our lives
Walking on the sand and feeling shells under my feet
Curling up on the couch with a glass of wine
Snacking on yummy chips and salsa and forgetting about the calories
Sitting by the water doing my devotions in the early (err, late morning) hours
Not worrying about silly things like makeup and blow dryers
Missing my hubby and little one but knowing they will be waiting for me at the door on Sunday
Finding to time to be ME again
People, even more than things,
have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed;
never throw out anyone.
~Audrey Hepburn

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

easter surprises

Well heeeeeeeeyyyyy there! This week has been insane. Friday night we spent time at an amazing Good Friday service, focusing on Jesus' stand against sin and his stand to bring his saving grace to our lives. It set a great tone to Easter weekend, really getting my head in the right place.
Then Saturday was momma's birthday! Isn't she super cute? Sadly, I had to work that day (as did Brian) so Lila hung out with her Mimi all day. Saturday night was spent at dinner for Mom, although the only picture I got was of Lila and her G (my dad).
Then Sunday was Easter! Ya'll, this little one was adorable. Like a bad momma, I waited till Lila was exhausted and hungry after church before I took pictures. However, we did get some cute ones of her and her basket full of wind up cars, bunny ears, Easter cartoons and pink sparkly sandles. NO candy. She can cry about it in therapy years from now about how I deprived her of sugary goodness.
Easter Sunday was blazing hot in NC. Like 90 degrees. So when we came home and turned on the AC for the first time this year, I was expecting the house to get nice and chilly for bedtime. I remember telling Brian that it was still hot upstairs when I went to sleep. After leaving the AC on in the morning while I ran to a work meeting, I expected it to be fabulous when Lila and I got home. Seriously, who wants to come home to a house that is 81 degrees??? AC totally not working. No joke. One sweaty afternoon later with a whiny, no nap baby and me trying to get work done, we gave up.

The last two nights have been spent at my parents new condo while we waited for our the first opening we could get with the repair man on Wednesday. Oh the joys of home ownership... At least I still have bunny muffins left over from Easter to nosh on while I sweat.
Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with him again
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave
~"Christ Is Risen" by Matt Maher

Thursday, April 21, 2011

orange stains

I knew the day would come. I have had four surgeries in my life, fractured all of my wrists and ankles, and broken countless numbers of fingers and toes. My mom was in the hospital last month for pneumonia. My sister was in the ER two weeks ago for an ovarian cyst. Basically, my family is medically challenged. We are the people who have to keep a list of hospitalizations and diagnosed conditions in their phone since there are too many to remember when filling out forms.

I hoped Lila would avoid the clumsiness and general love of plastic gloves and scratchy cotton gowns that so haunts my family. But sadly, she only made it 13 months.
Last night, Lila was sitting in the middle of my bed (yes, I was standing right next to her) while I was changing out of work clothes. She thinks throwing herself backward onto the bed from sitting up is hilarious and she was playing that game. The last throw, she misjudged her distance and landed too close to the edge of the bed. Right in front of me, I watched her summersault backward off the bed, landing on her head on the ground. I couldn't move fast enough to catch her, just to grab her up the moment the screaming filled the air.

She seemed fine after we calmed her down and checked for injury. However, later that night she vomited up her dinner and started acting very fussy. After a call to the pediatrian's after-hours line, we wrapped our baby up and headed to the ER.

I felt horrible. What kind of mom lets her kid fall off the bed right in front of her?? What if she had brain damage or a neck injury? To the ER's credit, they had her back in a room with a doctor 20 minutes after we arrived. Apparently babies with head injuries gets you a a Fast Pass. They checked her out and thought her neck and head movement looked good, there was no obvious skull injury and she was responding well to their exam.

After an orange popsicle and an hour of observation, they decided to send her home with a follow up visit at the pediatrician's office this week. As I laid in my bed late last night (err, early this morning) with my little girl snuggled between us, her orange stained pajamas stuck to her little body, I was so thankful. Thankful for good doctors. Thankful for a healthy baby. Thankful that I would be able to forgive myself for letting it happen.

You may have a fresh start any moment you choose,
for this thing we call "failure" is not the falling down, but the staying down.
~Mary Pickford

Monday, April 18, 2011

summer eats

All this warm weather has me ready for summer! Isn't it funny how during winter we want stews and baked potatoes and casseroles and the moment the weather turns warm, the whole menu is different? I have been trying to eat more protein and fiber lately and decided to make up a new dish tonight. Not only did I work at home today, I found time to do the sink full of dishes, two loads of laundry and make up a new recipe. And I swear I didn't take any adderall. Not even a little bit. But not really sure how much caffeine I had today.

In the interest of full disclosure, I based this recipe on my one of my favorite dishes, Arizona Chicken at Top Of The Hill. You could add black beans, chopped green onions and tortilla strips to make it exactly like the real dish. I like to go crazy and mix it up. I'm cool like that. And I just didn't buy any at the store yesterday. Hope you enjoy some new summer-y dishes with your family this week. Feel free to post your favorites in the comments!

Arizona Chicken
Rotini pasta (we used whole wheat)
Chicken breasts
Can of Mexican Rotel
Shredded Mexican cheese
Sour cream
Sliced avocado

Boil pasta with no salt. Cook chicken breasts in olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper. When chicken is barely cooked through, add a can of Rotel to the pan and let simmer for a few more minutes. After draining the pasta, add the chicken and Rotel to the top of the pasta. Melt cheese over the pasta, add sour cream and avocado and enjoy!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

frosty treats

After two days of helping my parents move from their house into their condo, from their house to the big storage unit with all the overflow furniture and from the smaller storage unit they have been using this past year to the big storage unit. That is a lot of lifting that my legs are not trained to do. Did I mention their condo is on the third floor? Man, that karma from when I lived on a third floor apartment in college is coming back to me. Moving karma sucks.

I was so glad to see them settled into their new place and ready for their new life after leaving the home we grew up in. For one, they are now 15 minutes away instead of 40 minutes. And they will be looking for a new house soon that better fits their life with lots more living space and lots less bedrooms.

But after all those flights of stairs, I was exhausted. Brian had to leave straight from moving this morning to his part time job serving tables. That means he has been at work or helping move boxes for two straight days from sun-up to well after sun-down. And what did I see when he dragged himself in the door tonight? His smiling face and a Wendy's frosty.
"Hi sweetie! I thought you could probably use a treat after your long day."
I love this man so much.

Chains do not hold a marriage together.
It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years.
~Simone Signoret

Friday, April 15, 2011

adventures in cabinet land

Something about her outfit makes her look so grown up. Wearing her play clothes from day care, just digging in my messy (don't judge me) kitchen cabinets like she owns the place.
Which obviously she does.
Lila has been so much fun in the last few weeks. She likes to play hide n' seek, fake laugh which then cracks her up into real giggles, turning herself upside down to see you through her legs and crawling over to show us each new thing she discovers as if it's the coolest toy ever. She is a silly girl and I love hearing her baby voice sing high pitched nonsense garbled words along to Do Your Ears Hang Low.

Do your ears hang low?
Do they wobble to and fro?
Can you tie them in a knot?
Can you tie them in a bow?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

vlogging it up

Be kind. It took me like 4 tries to make this video. Nevermind that I wasn't really sure where to go with the ultra-general prompt of "Music." The first time I recorded it, I said a bad word and had to start over. The second time I blanked out and started looking at the dust on my ceiling fan. The third time I ran out of battery and the video cut off in the middle of an awkward sentence. And then we ended up with this six minute doosy. Vlogging tips please? Other than obviously my beginners mistake of not shooting a video in a dark bedroom.

How do you not ramble on forever? Does anyone have any questions for my next vlog? That is, unless you have been completely turned off by my ramblings and decided to never read/watch my blog again.

I apologize in advance for the fist pumping to Enrique Iglesias...

Update: After 3 tries to upload my video to Blogger (several hours each time) and 4 hours to upload my video to YouTube, I believe this might be my one and only vlog. What the heck??
Vloggin' Vednesdays

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
~Berthold Auerbach

Friday, April 8, 2011

right on target

I feel that I am a relatively cautious person when it comes to financial security and credit. Since my husband works for a bank, he knows all the ways that identities can be stolen, accounts can be hacked and people can be duped. We shred all papers with our names on it, have a completely unique online banking username and password (different than any other login) and check our credit reports regularly.

So it is kind of funny to me that I am the girl that ended up with my debit card number stolen and used in California three times this week. I very rarely carry cash because I do not think it is safe to walk around with, I like to track my purchases online and I am just too lazy to go to the ATM all the time. On Tuesday, I had a meeting on Duke University's campus near my work to meet with a student group. Their normal parking garage was closed off due to an event, so I parked in one of the metered lots. Duke has these big parking meters where you can use your card to purchase time ahead and place the receipt on your dashboard.

I scanned my card, went to my meeting and went about my day. Wednesday, I had a missed call from my bank on my cell phone. Being the cautious person I am, I was concerned about scams and did not want to give the automated system the last 4 digits of my card to verify my account. So I waited and got another call. This time, after speaking with a real person, I found out that my debit card number had been used three times in California within a few hours of parking at the meter. Hilariously, one of the charges was at Target and since I shop there so much, they didn't flag the first purchase until the second and third one popped up at other places in CA.

Apparently illegal credit card scanners are now becoming very common at parking meters and vending machines. They are small pieces of plastic attached to the outside of the slot where you put your credit card. They look like a normal part of the machine, but have a small magnetic strip inside that reads your card as you slide it in the actual machine and then transmits it wirelessly to hackers nearby. They then sell your card number on the internet to other people, who program a different card to be charged back to your account. Seriously, Duke needs to give these students more work to do if this is what they do all day.

Actually, I have no idea if it was a Duke student. But regardless, my bank caught it, shut down my card, returned the money to my account and sent me a new one in the mail. It is amazing that something as huge as credit card fraud could be simplified to a blip of a couple phone calls, a signed and faxed police report and being forced to carry around cash and checks until my card arrives. Just goes to show you that no matter how safe you think you are, some people are super smart and will find ways to trick you. So beware of outside meters and vending machines. And apparently, illegal credit card charges from Target's in California.

I don't need to worry about identity theft because no one wants to be me.
~Jay London

Thursday, April 7, 2011

i pity the fool

I could not stop singing this song if someone paid me ONE MILLION DOLLARS. In my head, all day long. I start humming it and Brian breaks into song with me. What dorks. Kills me every time.
Oh, she's a gold digger, yes she's a gold digger...

On a side note, why is Gwyneth wearing such a short skirt? I mean I get that she's hot and has great legs, but where in America do teachers look like that? She should probably get the wardrobe department to keep her lady business a little more under wraps.

Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That or a kick-ass red lipstick.
~Gwyneth Paltrow

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

walking on sunshine

Some days it clicks. Some days I look in the mirror and see a good mom who is working as hard as she can. Some days I hear birds chirping outside my window while I am taking my shower, and in the background I hear the sound of Brian and Lila playing blocks in her room.
Some days were made for new turtle sand boxes. With fabulous new sand toys that scoop and shovel and throw sand into the air. Some days were made for tank tops and lounging in a chair on the deck with an ice cold glass of water while Lila's giggle float up from under her pink sun hat.
Some days were made for wet, sandy bottoms and the smell of sunscreen on our skin. Some days are perfect for mid-afternoon baths in the kitchen sink. For laughing at the dirty dishes while we splash in the bubbles. And for catching waterfalls in our open hand.
Some days we just need a ride in our awesome two-seater wagon down the street. While eating blueberry puffs. And feeling the wind in our hair as we sing silly Veggie Tales songs.
Some days are perfect.

I need to laugh, and when the sun is out, I've got something I can laugh about
I feel good, in a special way. I'm in love and it's a sunny day
Good day sunshine, Good day sunshine, Good day sunshine
We take a walk, the sun is shining down
Burns my feet as they touch the ground
Good day sunshine, Good day sunshine, Good day sunshine
~"Good Day Sunshine" by The Beatles

Monday, April 4, 2011


Tomorrow marks a nation wide day of awareness called One Day Without Shoes. Have you heard about it? It is a day to draw awareness to the millions of children around the world that will go shoeless every day. Not by choice, but because they have no access to shoes. It causes them to catch parasites and diseases. It allows them to be injured. It keeps them out of schools.

I am sure most of you have heard of TOMS shoes or at least seen them. I will admit, the first time I saw the plain black ones, I thought they were pretty weird. Crazy mummy shoes. But then I started to see the glitter ones. And the cool bright colored patterns. And then one day I went to their website and read about how with every pair of shoes purchased, they donate a pair of shoes to a child in need. And then I started lusting after my own TOMS, which I still have not received. Ehem, Brian, ehem.

And then one of my best friends from college, Mary Allen came in town this weekend. And guess what she bought Lila for her birthday?? That is one cool, socially conscience baby. Owning awesome shoes before her mama. And no, these adorable pink butterfly ones do not come in adult sizes.
So tomorrow, even though her pink TOMS are super fabulous, Lila and I will both go without shoes. To draw awareness to children across the world who do not have a basket full of high tops and Uggs and Crocs and ballet flats and fancy party shoes and TOMS. I am sure it will be awkward at my business meetings. I am sure I might get kicked out of restaurant or two. I am sure at some point I will be completely grossed out by the nastiness that my feet are touching. But I will say a prayer with every step. Will you join me?

Funny that a pair of really nice shoes make us feel good in our heads,
at the extreme opposite end of our bodies.
~Levende Waters

Friday, April 1, 2011

rocking away

I love my friend Casey's blog hop, forcing me to take more pictures with Lila. Today we were all fresh from our showers, dressed for the day and just enjoyed a yummy lunch of string cheese, carrots, pineapple and perogies. What momma doesn't love a lunch full of toddler snacks? I decided to hop out to the rocking chairs on our porch and enjoy a couple of minutes listening to the birds and looking at our beautiful yellow snapdragons. Make sure to take a picture of you and your little one and link up with Casey for Momma In Focus Friday!
I've traveled here and everywhere following my job
I've seen the paintings from the air brushed by the hand of God
The mountains and the canyons reach from sea to shining sea
But I can't wait to get back home to the one he made for me
It's anywhere I'll ever go and everywhere I've been
Nothing takes my breath away like my front porch looking in
~"My Front Porch Looking In" by Lonestar

One Day At A Time