Monday, January 25, 2010

The Day I Became "Old" (or My Baby Brother Turned 30)

I thought it would hit when I turned 30 almost two years ago. 
You know, that 'old' feeling. 
I was wrong.

It happened this year, the year in which I will turn 32. 
The year my baby brother turned 30. 
Now that's weird. 

Granted, he's only 20 months younger, but still....

{me, Magdalen, Josh - wearing his new/old scary 80s vest}

In honor of Josh's birthday, my mother and I cooked up a birthday celebration that only he would truly appreciate. You see, as a child (and scarily into adulthood), all he cared about was anything regarding cars. So naturally, his favorite show was The Dukes of Hazzard.  We went with that and I think we did a great job considering we pulled it all together within 3-4 days. It was a surprise party and amazingly, that worked too! 

Josh and Becky flew in from their home in Naples, FL, a few days before and Becky (his wife) did a great job at making sure the surprise part happened. 

This post is quite picture heavy, but it's the best way to really embrace our Day of Dukes. :) Here we go. 

{front door and his surprised, happy look as he walked in to a house full of guests and his older wacky sister (me) blaring Just The Good Ole Boys by Waylon Jennings on the iPod. }

Dukes of Hazzard Intro/Theme {aka: Josh's Favorite Song EVER}

{Becky & Josh}

{mason jars for drinks & bandanas for napkins}

{my obviously homemade cupcakes, very hurriedly made. :)}

{Dukes chase scene with Josh's original 1980s Dukes of Hazzard Matchbox cars.}

{Paraphernalia that I picked up at Cooter's Museum in Nashville. Yes, it exists.}

{Enjoying our "Uncle Jessie's Apple Cider" that I picked up at Cooter's. Also Josh's special 01 mason jar that I found there also. Details, people. Haha!}

The People

{Xander & Mimi (Sandra)}

{Cousin Todd}

{Cousins Lisa & Ryan}

{Long time friends - Alisa & Amie}


{Maddox & myself}

{Long time friend: Shawn}

{Maddox's best Chattanooga friends: Kaden & Lucas}

{Wild and crazy together every single time.}

{Mom and Steve shared their home that night with 30+ people for the celebration.}

{People who knew about us before we were born: Gary & Debi}

{Mom & Magdalen; Friends since we were 8 years old: Rocky & son, River}

I had such a fun time and I hope everyone else did, too. I do believe that it was a very special night for Josh, especially since he has moved away in the last year. I was also thankful that all these friends & family were able to make it on such short notice.

Thank you all & Happy 30th Birthday, Joshy!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tweet from Taylor Swift

I promise, I'm really not trying to go overboard on the excitement surrounding what's coming up in the next 2 weeks. (L.A.)

But I saw this today and I just laughed out loud.
And then immediately copied the link to share here. Ha!

Taylor Swift obviously has a Myspace page. She is also on Twitter. Yes, I follow her on Twitter just for fun. Sometimes she posts about randomness and then sometimes it actually pertains to things and people I "get". For example, today's post. Here's what she wrote - just click on the link and scroll down to the last 2 pictures. I'm sure you will laugh, also, when you see it. Totally shocked me. :)

Taylor's tweet:

 These were taken this week and just made me laugh. The pics of Chad, Nathan, Tim, and Nick were priceless. :) 

2010 Book List

So, as promised yesterday, I have looked at my books and made a decision on which new ones I should read. It was a hard choice because there are sooooo many that I haven't read yet. (Chad, pretend that you didn't just read that, please.)

This list I am sharing mainly consists of novels. Fiction! I love fiction! I should be reading child-rearing books or cookbooks or how-to-clean-your-house books. And I do. Those are the in-between books that I read....just not listing. This list contains books that I need to make myself START reading. Once I start, I won't be able to put it down. At all. It's the starting them that I have difficulty with lately.

Here's a photo of all the books by our bed (and no, I won't leave them there, I promise). Actually, Chad's side of the bed. Because mine is too crammed with books/magazines/lotion/candles/etc. His has a clock and a lamp. :)

You can click on the picture to see the books up close. Or you can read my list here, going from top to bottom from the photo. 13 books for this year. Should be a piece of cake. (Or maybe I should just make a cake to eat while I start reading.......)

1. To Hell with All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife (Caitlin Flanagan)
2. The Last Summer (of You and Me) (Ann Brashares)
3. Do They Hear You When You Cry (Fauziya Kassindja)
4. Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys (Dan Kindlon/Michael Thompson) *
5. The Sweet Life In Paris (David Lebovitz)
6. Ahab's Wife or, The Star-Gazer (Sena Jeter Naslund)
7. Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy)
8. Change of Heart (Jodi Picoult) **
9. The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir (Katrina Kenison)
10. The Tenth Circle (Jodi Picoult) **
11. Censoring an Iranian Love Story (Shahriar Mandanipour)
12. The Hour I First Believed (Wally Lamb)***
13. The Way the Crow Flies (Ann-Marie MacDonald)

*Already read a library copy; but want/need to read again. Amazing read!
**Jodi Picoult is one of my all time favorite authors.
***Wally Lamb is a genius writer as well. Love his previous work.

(Did anyone notice that #10 was The Tenth Circle? Random huh? Or just random for me to notice? Probably.)

I will start from the top and go down and I will keep you posted on my review and thoughts on each book. I not-so-secretly wish that I was in a book club of some sort. Maybe someday when the kids are older and I can escape.

On that note (about escaping), I found a babysitter today. Finally! I went to my first women's Bible study this morning. Maddox was at school, so I let my baby girl go play with all the other kids. She never even noticed I was gone - for TWO HOURS! Yippee! I've never even tried that before except with my parents. Anyway, this sweet young girl lives in our town, goes to our church, knows the other moms, and says that she LOVES TO BABYSIT!!! What a glorious day.

(The Bible study was great too. :) Believing God by Beth Moore.)

Something New

I have a mission this year.
Okay, well, actually I have a few.

I won't list them all here, but one major one is to perfect my sewing. And by perfect, I mean, become  amazing at it. :)

I have the fabric.
I have the thread.
I have my awesome new Singer sewing machine.
(And my vintage one that is as old as me, until Chad makes me toss it.)
I have the tutorials online and all those other helpful things. BUT...
I *needed* these.

(I know that Chad and Mom are laughing right about now, because they know how I am when I get on a so-called mission. Ha!)

I actually have 2 others, but they weren't new. I bought these with Christmas gift cards last night (except for the bottom two which were gifts). I love these books. You know what's so great about them? They have all the patterns INSIDE THE BOOK to make the items inside. :) I'm new at this, so that seems quite amazing to me.

So, that's my new venture for this year. I want to make a million things and sell them all. Or gift them. I have such a passion for pattern & fabric that I finally realized that this was what I should be doing.

Just for fun, here are the other books I received as Christmas gifts this year.

I have already read 2 of these, but I wanted my own copy. (I'm a book addict - more on that later.) I borrowed The Time Traveler's Wife from a friend and absolutely loved it. Such an emotional read, it had me laughing and crying and feeling the strongest feelings of love and heartache. I will definitely read it again. (Kajsa, I still have your copy, don't worry.)

I have also read Mitten Strings For God already. That was a fabulous read for anyone who wants to remember to slow down the pace of life - but it's especially great for mothers. It made me think long and hard about aspects of raising our children and I *need* to read it again. :)

Back to my book addiction. I don't really know how to stop it. Is there Book Buyers Anonymous out there? My heart skips a beat whenever I buy a new book or see one that I want (I'm also this way with fabric) and I just can not help myself. It's not a horrible problem, I just don't go shopping anymore, unless I have gift cards. :) My problem lately is that I just don't have time to read them all. I probably have 30 books sitting around waiting for me to read them. I want to read them. I L-O-V-E to read.

And then I start one, but then I see another one lying there and I open it up and so on and so on, until I'm really just playing Musical Books. At any time, you could walk into our bedroom and I will have stacks and stacks of books sitting by our bed. On my side only. They are ones that I have read and newer ones. (I like to look at the covers of the books I've read to remind myself of the amazing story inside. Crazy, yes, I'm well aware.) I would share a picture, but Chad just made me clean it all up and he would probably be horrified if I shared something like that. Neat freak.

My point is this: I'm going to assign myself a book for every month this year. Not counting this month because I'm too busy and it's already halfway over. I will post a list later in the week after I've had a chance to decide which ones I will focus on this year.

Something else new.
I have started a 6 week class called Style School. You can see what it's all about on Leigh Ann's blog: Freckled Nest. She is one of the teachers along with Elsie at A Beautiful Mess. And to be honest...I haven't done one bit of my homework yet. This flu that hit our home last week was harsh and we are still recovering from it. Not sick wise, but just home wise. The house was neglected and I'm catching up. I hope to work on some of these fun and adorable projects this weekend. I will post anything I get done.

My last something new for this post is my *other* blog. Ha!
I challenged myself at the beginning of the year to see if I can take at least 1 photo a day for the entire year of 2010. So far, I've done it. It can be any photo. And it can be from any source, even my phone. It will be fun to look back at all of it at the end of the year and see a glimpse of my life from every single day. If you're interested, join me at Mimi Leigh {Project 365} and see if I can keep it going. :) You can subscribe by email or follow on Google reader, like on this one. If you (family) like to see day-to-day activities of the kids, you may want to watch that one too.

I am having so much fun with my new Canon camera. I'm averaging about 60 shots a day so far. I wonder if that will slow down as the newness wears off? Hmmmm. We'll see.

(Oh! I almost forgot. I found THE PERFECT dress for the Grammys today. It is my 4th dress purchase and it was worth the hassle to drag both kids around to get it. I can't wait to share it with you, but that probably won't happen until after the event. Only 2 more weeks!!!!!)


Thursday, January 07, 2010

Sweet Snowfall (and A Special Delivery)

The kids are sick with different illnesses today. That makes extra work for me. But I'm still thankful today. You know why? I'm still not sick. And I know my babies will heal with time. I got to snuggle both of them a little extra today....and I loved it. :) Plus, Miss Magdalen was sick enough that she took 2 amazingly long naps (for her) and I got a little break. She needed that rest.

In the meantime, we saw this...

What a beautiful add-on to an otherwise FREEZING, cooped-up, cabin fever day. We didn't go outside, but it was great to watch it from our sunroom through all the windows.

OH! I almost forgot to write about the special delivery from today.

Chad received a package in the mail and it was the shoes from DSW that he ordered!!! Yeah!!!! That UPS man doesn't let the snow stop him.

Okay, I'm just kidding. I mean, yes, the shoes arrived but with that package was another box with MY name on it. Here is one of the things in it...


WOOHOO!!!!!!!! I have been wanting one of these for a really, really long time. Since I mainly take pictures for my own personal use I had told myself that it wasn't necessary, my Canon Powershot G4 was still working quite nicely. But, I got an extra special belated Christmas present from my Chad. He said I could go ahead and get it if my heart desired. I think I got a great deal. Yes, I got it (Canon EOS XS) on eBay. Yes, it's brand new. Yes, I got the Tamron 28-80mm lens (and 2 others that I have barely had time to look at).  And folks, for the obsessive-about-photos-amateur-photographer like me: it's perfect.

Thank you, honey! You know I will use it. In fact, I have a feeling you might get tired of me using it. And that's okay, because I've got the kids to practice on. :)

Monday, January 04, 2010

Magdalen's 1st Birthday: The Details, The People, The Little Lady

Some might say that Magdalen was born on a day that will always be a fun birthday for her. 
And some, like me, beg to differ. But as long as she's living under our roof, I will make it as special as I possibly can.

She was born on New Year's Eve and even though there are parties everywhere on her birthday, they obviously aren't for her. We tried to plan her very first party on her actual birthday this year, but it just didn't work out. Everyone was busy. So I gave in and changed the party date. 

I'm glad I did. We had such a great time and will always have grand memories of so many good friends and family that joined us in celebrating Magdalen's first wonderful year. 

On her real birthday, just our little family of four celebrated this milestone with blueberry muffins and a candle and song. :) Brother is always nearby. 

Two days later, we celebrated her birthday at Sabbath School for the first time and Maddox joined us there as well. He was such a good sport in the baby class and rode in the "sled" with his sister during an activity. (He was really rocking that rainbow scarf, too.)

Magdalen must have known it was party time! Here she is doing her head stand while wearing her tutu that I made her and her monogrammed bloomers from Dad & Donna. Notice the legs that have slimmed down a LOT. 

Cake pops!!

Flower-shaped cheese and PB& J sandwiches. 

Mom (Nana) & Rebecca L.

Chad, Rebecca L, and Dustin W. Such fun friends that both have children close in age with both of ours. 

Sarah Burnside (who took most of these pics!) and Chad.

Details for the princess.

Maddox and I helping her blow out her candle. She thinks he's the greatest thing ever. :)

And he thinks she's the greatest thing ever, too. He was so excited for her to celebrate this day!

She finally gets it. It's good. It's for her. Dig in!

Maddox finally gets a cake pop. And loves it. :)

She dug in, but didn't really eat much. Too overwhelmed by all the guests. 

With so many gifts, she still just wanted to hold MY old Honey doll from when I was a baby girl. (Maddox has named it Alex.)

Gift from Mommy & Daddy. Felt box shaped like a little house for storing things in her room, a corduroy-patched lamb from Serena & Lily, and a new outfit. 

Gift bags for the kiddos. Matching place mats, plates, cups, and snack bags w/ goldfish.

Magdalen received her very own chair from PBK (just like brother) from Nana. She and some of the boys enjoyed it at the party (Magdalen, Kooper, Bennett, and Maddox).

And she owned it. This was after she pushed another little sister her age out of it. 

Happy 1st Birthday, sweet baby! 

Thanks to all the friends and family that attended that made this day so special. I have many more pictures that I wasn't able to post. I thought I was pushing my luck with this amount. I hope this gives a good idea of what our fun-filled celebration was like. :) 


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