Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summer Reading

I know, it's been a while since I've written.

I've been involved in another world--the world of books. Also, I did spend a weekend at cheer camp but that doesn't have anything to do with this.

I've been reading a lot lately. Random things. Things I think my students might like. Things I might like. Mindless fiction that makes you not have to think.

I thought I'd share what I've been reading with you and if you have any recommendations, please share. favorite:
Dear John--Absolutely incredible. Very romantic, very easy to read. The best thing is, it isn't super sappy mush. It's about a soldier who has an autistic dad.

After--totally intense. It's about a 16-year-old girl who has a baby and wakes up and doesn't remember any of it. It is also on this year's teen read list.

Fever 1973--a young adult novel about the Yellow Fever. This is a very quick read but it is a great historical fiction novel for students (or grown ups for that matter)

Spirit Bound--this is newest part in the Vampire Academy series. These books are essentially a cross between Twilight and Harry Potter. EXTREMELY good books! All of them and this newest one did not disappoint.

The Rescue--this book is a page turner! It has a single mom with a speech-delayed son, a good lookin' fireman, and a really sweet love story. I could hardly put it down.

The Choice--for this one, Publisher's Weekly says it best, "In his 13th book, bestselling Sparks (At First Sight, etc.) limns the far-reaching implications of several seemingly ordinary choices made by Beaufort, N.C. veterinarian Travis Parker and his next-door neighbor Gabrielle Holland, a physician's assistant and recent arrival. After an inauspicious first meeting where Gabby accuses Travis's boxer of impregnating her purebred collie, the two fall hard for each other. Already dating someone else seriously, Gabby is faced with a dilemma: whether to stick with longtime boyfriend Kevin, or get involved with Travis. The first part of the tale paints a vivid picture of her decision-making process and its effects on Travis and Gabby's lives. That sets up Part II, which takes place 11 years later when Travis faces a life and death decision following a car accident. A tender and moving love story and a quick read, Sparks's latest does not disappoint."

I REALLY enjoyed this book.

The Last Song--a teenage girl, Ronnie, is spending the summer with her dad in North Carolina. Her parents are divorced and she's angry about leaving NYC to spend the summer with her dad. My opinion--not his best book but it is a fairly good read.

The Lucky One--this one is another favorite! It was a great book and extremely hard to put down. U.S. Marine Logan Thibault carries a picture of a woman he'snever met because it brings him good luck. But when he sets out to find the woman, he is met with unexpected circumstances surrounding his new love and his shrouded past.

The Blind Side--alright, so I still haven't seen the movie (we even have it at our house to watch!) but the basic story was GREAT. There were a few too many deep delves into football world that were not necessary for me, but overall, a great book. And you know, I'm a sucker for anything about the south.

The Time Traveler's Wife--there is a movie that goes with this but I have not seen it. This book is my most recent read and frankly, is the one of the weirdest books I have ever read. It jumps back and forth between time but not in any kind of predictable pattern. It ends up being a great story but it has some filthy language and some very detailed sex scenes. If you can overlook the language and the sex, it really is a good book and a sweet and different romance.

What's next on my list?
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner--the newest Twilight book. "Fans of The Twilight Saga will be enthralled by this riveting story of Bree Tanner, a character first introduced in Eclipse, and the darker side of the newborn vampire world she inhabits. In another irresistible combination of danger, mystery, and romance, Stephenie Meyer tells the devastating story of Bree and the newborn army as they prepare to close in on Bella Swan and the Cullens, following their encounter to its unforgettable conclusion."

Shiver--"Grace, 17, loves the peace and tranquility of the woods behind her home. It is here during the cold winter months that she gets to see her wolf—the one with the yellow eyes. Grace is sure that he saved her from an attack by other wolves when she was nine. Over the ensuing years he has returned each season, watching her with those haunting eyes as if longing for something to happen. When a teen is killed by wolves, a hunting party decides to retaliate. Grace races through the woods and discovers a wounded boy shivering on her back porch. One look at his yellow eyes and she knows that this is her wolf in human form. Fate has finally brought Sam and Grace together, and as their love grows and intensifies, so does the reality of what awaits them. It is only a matter of time before the winter cold changes him back into a wolf, and this time he might stay that way forever. Told from alternating points of view, the narrative takes a classic Romeo & Juliet plot and transforms it into a paranormal romance that is beautiful and moving. Readers will easily identify with the strong, dynamic characters. The mythology surrounding the wolf pack is clever and so well written that it seems perfectly normal for the creatures to exist in today's world. A must-have that will give Bella and Edward a run for their money."—Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY END

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Truth Hurts

Some of you may know that my sister's husband is in the Army. In fact, right now he's over in Afghanistan.

A guy I grew up with (my mom's boss's son) is in the Army. He is such a funny guy. We never went to school with each other but always knew each other growing up and would say hi to each other.

My brother-in-law, Jon, went through ROTC at JSU with him (Kyle). They got to be very close. Kyle was in my sister's wedding and I'm fairly certain Jon was in Kyle's.

My sister and her husband moved to Ft. Campbell several months ago and were super excited because Kyle, his wife, and their brand new baby girl were stationed there too.

Yesterday, we found out that Kyle (over in Afghanistan and 30 miles away from Jon) stepped on the plate of an IED (?) and it killed him.

He's maybe a year older than me, with a 6 month old daughter who will never know her daddy. My heart is breaking for his wife and that sweet baby girl.

We were never BFF's but I knew him most of my life, I've met his wife who is a doll, and I just can't imagine the nightmare she is facing right now. Where do you go from here? How do you keep going? Do you start your life over? How do you make sure that your daughter REALLY knows that her daddy gave his life so she could be safe?

I guess the worst part for me is realizing JUST how much danger Jon really is in. Kyle died 30 miles from him! For the first time in a while, I'm really scared for him. So many troops get sent back and forth that it never really sinks in the kind of danger they are in on a daily basis. Jon may be an "in-law" but he's my brother now. He's family and as I was holding his sweet boy Tyler this morning, all I could think about was the fear that Jon might not get to see him again.

My heart is burdened for all these troops who are fighting right now and have babies at home. Please join me in praying for them and for their families who sacrifice having husbands and fathers so that we can be safe and protected.

Father God PLEASE keep them safe and bring them home to their kids and their wives who love and support them and most of all need them.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


When I was leaving school this afternoon, I started digging around in my purse to get my phone and turn it on silent when I realized it wasn't there.

I stopped what I was doing and dug some more. I took EVERYthing out of my purse hunting for precious, precious, iphone. I even dug around my classroom and couldn't find it.

So I did the next logical thing and starting thinking, "Ok, when was the last time I had it."

Finally, I walked up to the front office. I started looking for the lost and found knowing it wouldn't be there. My sweet friend Sharon told me to check my wallet so I did and what-do-ya-know? My cash was all gone. All $4.

SOME LITTLE TURD ROBBED ME!!!! I mean like straight up went into my classroom, found my purse, dug through it, and then stole my cash and my phone.

The astounding thing is that they didn't take my debit card, didn't take my check book, and didn't take the giant bottle of prescription drugs (antibiotics) that I had in there.

I had to use the school phone to call Hubs and tell him what had happened. Then I had to call the police and file a report.

Now, I'm phone-less.

I feel crippled. Naked. I keep catching myself trying to call the husband or my parents or whoever and realize I have no phone. No phone at all because you see...we got rid of our house phone. So I currently have no way to get in touch with anyone at all. It is almost enough to make me want to panic.

The crazy thing is, I'm really not even mad. I'm broken-hearted. My whole world was on that phone, including pictures of my sweet baby who is two states away right now. I've had to change all my passwords because the phone is linked to my facebook, email, itunes, etc.

I'm sitting here fighting back tears all over a piece of technology. It kind of amazes me that I've gotten so attached to a phone but it's mine and I want it back.

The worst part is that this kid riffled through my stuff just to see what they could find. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!?!?!?!?

I know the kind of kids I teach and I know the school I teach at and yes, I should have anticipated something like this to happen but I just didn't. I'm naive. I'm trusting. I love my kids.

But I still want my phone back. Can we send out a search party??? Any volunteers?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mommy of a Toddler?

You know you are a mommy to a toddler when...
  • You are cooking dinner and step on something sharp. You realize that it is the point of the letter "N" magnet that should be on the fridge. Instead it is now embedded in the ball of your foot.
  • You walk into YOUR bathroom (you know, the adult one) and see a princess kickball, a play fork, a play plate, and a plastic meatball all in your floor.
  • You bring a basket of laundry into the living room to fold and within a matter of seconds, the clothes are spread all over the house because she "heped."
  • Your spouse asks if you can grab them a drink out of the fridge and you automatically reply with, "What do you say to Mommy when you want something?"
  • You look under the furniture at any given time and you're likely to find a few cheerios, a crayon or two, and possibly a sippy cup that at one point and time had something that resembled milk in it.
  • When you dig through your purse to find your keys, you also find a set of midget forks and spoons, a disposable place mat, a plastic princess figurine, wipes, and a pair of tiny tot sunglasses.
  • In the backseat of your car you have various Disney DVD's, a McDonald's Happy Meal toy, and at least ten pieces of broken goldfish.
  • Your brain's default is set to ask someone if they need to "tee tee" every ten minutes--which means you often accidentally ask an adult if they need to go "tee tee."
  • All of your plans are based around nap time.
  • Everything that's breakable has been placed so high up that even you can't reach it without using a step ladder.
  • The default channel on your tv is Disney or Nick Jr.
  • Your main bathroom has been taken over by step stools, bath toys, and little potties or potty seats.

Report Card

Not that I've needed much affirmation that teaching is where God wants me, but last week, I was reminded in a big, big way.

When I first got my kids, most of them had D's and F's and not a single kid had an A. They didn't care about anything and just wanted to skate by. Last week, 3rd 9 weeks grades were due. I have four classes totaling around 100 kids; only two students had an F and it is because they never come to school. At least ten of my students had A's and at least another twenty had B's. I was so proud of THEM (not me, I didn't do anything) that I bragged to everyone I saw. My kids are working and trying and some of them even like to come to class. What a blessing!!!!

On Thursday, I had my first teacher evaluation. I was a little anxious about it but not terribly nervous. I warned the kids as they were coming in that the Vice Principal would be coming in to watch me teach and they kept saying, "Don't worry, Mrs. Friday. We got yo' back." Haha!

Friday afternoon I went down to go over my evaluation. I got all "effective" marks (the highest you can get) and this is what she wrote about me:

Mrs. Friday teaches English II and satisfies all teacher competencies. She took over another teacher's class during the third nine weeks and quickly earned the respect of her students. Mrs. Friday also serves as the head cheerleading coach.

Mrs. Friday begins class promptly, sets a tone that is conducive to learning, and utilizes classroom time effectively. She posts the objectives as well as the agenda on the board; she also posts the weekly schedule of extra-curricular activities. She presents information associated with the objective in a manner that engages the interests of the students. There is good student-teacher interaction.

Mrs. Friday has established an excellent rapport with her colleagues, students, and parents. She meets all deadlines and responsibilities promptly and professionally; she supports administration and has assisted us whenever asked.

Mrs. Friday maintains a positive and encouraging atmosphere; she uses specific praise. She employs a variety of strategies and assessments to meet her students' needs and measure achievement.

Mrs. Friday is a team player. She is an asset to Heritage High School.

Needless to say, I was thrilled and brought it home and put it on the fridge. I guess I got an A on my report card too :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Run Like the Winn---Or At Least Like a Princess

This past weekend I ran (mostly) my first 5K.

Several of my girlfriends and I participated in the Disney Fit for a Princess Royal Family 5K. It was incredibly fun! And...they shot off fireworks at the start. Disney characters lined the race path cheering us on.

Oh, and we turned out to be a smidge famous for our outfits. :)

Speaking of famous, Joey Fatone was in the race (you know...from N'sync) and I finished before him.

I finished in just under 37 minutes which is not incredibly fast, but never-the-less, I was not last and did not, I repeat, did not get picked up by the golf cart.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Week One Report

So I've officially been back teaching for a week now.

I LOVE IT!!!! Seriously.

Most of my kids are coming to me with D's and F's. Lots of them come from broken families. A handful of them are the "troubled" kids. I don't have any Honors kids, in fact, most of them don't even try to pass. These kids are already drinking, smoking, and doing drugs (not all of them, but some of them are). They've been passed over and ignored.

These kids need to be loved on and I'm so blessed to be the one to do it. They're respecting my rules, trying their best to refrain from potty mouth syndrome, and they are turning in their work--which means they are DOING their work. They even volunteer in class and participate.

I have learned that I have to keep them busy and give them a logical reason for why they are doing something. If I give them any down time, they get crazy. Some of them are still testing me a little but most of them just do what I ask.

The hardest part of all of it is rushing out of school to go pick up Ansleigh, coming home, starting dinner, cleaning up, doing laundry and taking some time to "play cook" and "play color." We eat, she gets a bath, she goes to bed. Then I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to wear the next day and does it need to be ironed? Gotta get in the shower and then dry my hair. There isn't quite as much time for facebook and tv shows anymore. Quite frankly, the time I do have, I don't want to be on facebook or watching tv; mostly I want to just go to bed.

I didn't realize what a mess our closet was until I started using it. If you'll recall, I've been wearing pajamas and jeans and tshirts for 3 years now. The only time I really used the closet was for Sundays or to put away hubs' clothes. I've already determined that during Spring Break, I will battle it out with that closet and get rid of a lot of junk. Mark my words.

My buggy-boo has been doing great with this! She begs to go play with Carrie friend's little girl all the way to their house. Half the time, she doesn't want to leave when I go pick her up. One thing I've noticed is that the little things that used to annoy me (excessive whining, bossing around, repetitive tv shows) don't bother me as much anymore. I cherish the time I have with her.

I do have some pretty good student stories but it is already past my bedtime. I know some of you have been worried and thinking about us and praying for us (and we appreciate it!!!) and I just wanted to let you know how we're doing in this big change.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Confessions: Teacher Edition

  • 6:45 AM is way early. Way earlier than I'm used to seeing.
  • I forgot how much I miss being around kids all day.
  • I have the very best, most up-to-date technology in my classroom, which kind of makes me want to pee my pants.
  • I've been asked 456 times, "Are you nice?"
  • I respond with, "I can be, but not usually." which is a complete and total lie....most of the time.
  • I need new shoes. Comfortable ones.
  • I also need some brown earrings for the days when I wear brown.
  • The past two days I've been wearing my pearls because that's what a southern girl does.
  • Some of these kids think I'm from a foreign county because of the way I talk.
  • Speaking of foreign countries, I have two kids that don't speak English. Awesome.
  • My kids (and almost all the kids there) have FILTHY mouths.
  • For example, I said "nice" and they thought I said a-double-dollar-signs.
  • I had to make one of my class rules "NO PROFANITY" which is slightly ridiculous.
  • Despite that fact, I'm completely excited.
  • The dramatic change in lifestyle has left me exhausted. And my house is a hot mess. And the sink is full of dishes. And we aren't even going to talk about the laundry.
  • Did I mention that Monday I did a full house super clean?
  • Also, I need a nap. In a real bad way.
  • I need to see a chiropractor and have a full-body massage too.
  • Yesterday, the kids were reading a Black History month newspaper insert when a black girl said out loud, "I didn't know black people even went into space."

Ok. I must go fix my hair and put on my face now so I don't scare the children. Peace out, Yo.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Back in the Saddle Again

In a previous life...before the child, I was a an English teacher. I taught 7th grade English in rural Alabama.

I loved it and hated it all at the same time. I loved my kids, but I hated how some of them behaved. I loved seeing them learn, but I hated the stress of coming up with all my own stuff.

Teaching was perfect for someone like overachieving, compulsive, people-pleaser. Before the school year even started, I had the entire year outlined and planned out. I made up all my own vocabulary and tests based off of what we were reading or learning. I did all my own handouts, chose all my own books.

I also spent hours working at school and at home. Hours grading tests and projects and writing.

I loved coming home everyday and telling Hubs all the stupid things kids said or did. It was hilarious because they were hilarious. They also never thought before they spoke.

I spent hours upon hours during the summer up at the school getting my classroom ready. It was the bomb, yo. Ok, least it was cutesy. And bright. See?

This morning I got confirmation and got everything started to go back to work.


10th grade.

Guess when I start?

Tomorrow. Yep. I'm slightly baffled too.

I'm excited that I get another go at it and nervous about the kids. You know, I sound funny to all these people down here. :) I cannot tell you how excited I am to get a paycheck again. I'm sad about leaving my Bug, but I think this is the best thing for her. She needs some time with people other than Mommy.

[Just FYI: she's going to be staying with Carrie Friend during the day]

Hopefully, if I get 10 spare seconds to get my classroom fixed up, I'll share some pics.

And I definitely plan on sharing any stupid things the kids say, changing the names, of course.

Say some prayers for me and stay posted.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Some Days Are Better

Some days are better than other days.

Some days I wake up and and want to go back to sleep and sleep for the rest of eternity.Some days I'm bored out of my mind and totally lazy. And then, there are days like today.

I woke up to quietness, not, "WAH! WAH! Mommy!!! Mommy!!!" I even laid there and enjoyed it for a few minutes before the "WAH! WAH! Mommy!!! Mommy!!!" even started. I was happy to be awake (which, might I add, is rare).

I was so chipper I even let the Bug have chocolate milk [insert GASP here] with her pop tart. I had my usual 100 calorie granola bar and tiny-sized Minute Maid mixed berry juice.

We watched a little Playhouse Disney and then got dressed and went somewhere. Not because we had to, but because I wanted to.

We met Nessa friend, and Ansleigh's friend at the Mall and had lunch. Now usually when we're out some where and I pay for food for Ansleigh, it is almost always a guarantee she won't eat any of it, but today, she did! She ate almost all of it and I got a super delicious smoothie out of the deal.

We had some play time, I returned some shorts, Ansleigh went down the slide by herself and pushed a little boy who was taking too long (atta girl). We strolled around the mall and then came home.

She napped, I accidentally napped. We watched 101 Dalmatians and I giggled as Ansleigh kept referring to Cruela as "keen, keen" (aka: Evil Queen).

Then the most amazing, monumental thing happened:

I cooked.

Now don't get me wrong, I cook most days, but not like this. Usually it is something frozen, pre-prepared, or totally microwaveable, and almost NEVER chicken.

I used some boneless skinless chicken and dipped it in egg then a combo of bread crumbs, crushed up corn flakes, Parmesan, and some mozzarella. I used some EVOO (look at me, going all Rachael Ray on you) and cooked the chicken in the skillet. Then I made some "Easy Rissoto." Except, I wouldn't say it was so easy.

The recipe was a Pampered Chef recipe but I tweaked it. Everything was fat free, and low sodium, whole wheat (bread crumbs and rice), and totally good for you. I made it into a low calorie dinner. I even used fat free soy milk instead of the regular two percent organic I usually cook with. Hubs didn't know that part....and now I've blown my secret.

Now this may not sound like such a big deal to most people, but for me, it is. I have never cooked chicken before. No. Seriously. Never. It totally grosses me out. I even had to 911 Mom a few times but everything turned out good.

Now since I'm known for my honesty, I will say that I did learn a few things along the way.

  1. Don't buy giant hunks of chicken. Go for the smaller pieces. They cook faster.
  2. Don't cook something that needs to have it's temperature checked when you have no means of doing so.
  3. Double check to make sure the rice is actually done before you serve up dinner.
  4. Be sure to thoroughly mix the cream cheese.
In my defense, I didn't really know about meat thermometers and therefore CLEARLY did not have one, but I have ordered one and it shall be here in two days, thank you Amazon Prime. Part of Anthony's chicken was still pink but he just ate around it and only ate the white part. But he had a HUGE piece. Also, Mom said it was probably done, so I blame her. :)

Only a little bit of the rice was still crunchy and we really enjoy cream cheese so neither of us was upset that there was still big hunks in it.

Anyway, today was one of the better days. It was a day where I enjoyed being at home and having a clean house and appreciated that I'm blessed enough to be able to be home and keep my house clean (when I try), and that I can take my Bug to the mall for a lunch date/play date. I was glad to have the time to try to cook something delicious and healthy for my family.

Most of my days aren't like that, but today was, and it was great. :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


As a former (and likely future) English teacher, I have very strong opinions on censorship. Especially when it comes to parents who come in or call saying, "I don't want my child to read this book because I heard..." I understand wanting to protect your child, but at the same time, you should come in armed with information, not hear-say. Also, don't tell say your child can't read something until you've read it yourself and have firm reasons why your child shouldn't be exposed to it. Be wise about why you are choosing to keep your child from reading something. If you don't want them to read a classic book because it has the h-e-double-hockey-sticks word in it, get real. Your kids hear a LOT worse at school. Promise.

On the other hand, as a parent (especially a Christian parent) I completely understand wanting to protect your child from ideas you find ludicrous or language you don't want them exposed to yet. I constantly find myself telling kids at school to watch their mouths because there is a 2-year-old around.

Some censorship is done for good reason, other censorship is done for stupid reasons, and then some censorship is done with good intentions but maybe not so necessary.

That's what I want to write about today. I censor my blog--not because I worry about what other people are going to think about me, because frankly, if you don't like what I'm saying, don't read it. I censor it because certain people (MY HUSBAND) reads it and sometimes...he gets embarrassed by things I post. You when I write about poop.

You see, he knows me. He knows I talk about poop. He knows sometimes I can be a bit too graphic or inappropriate when it comes to things that might make some people (other men) uncomfortable such as child birth stories, female issues, etc.

I could care less if people are uncomfortable about things that are the truth. Poop happens. Childbirth is GROSS. But...I do publish my blog (obviously) and I post it to facebook where people we are friends with see it. You know...guys he's friends with.

So out of love and respect for my hunny, I try to be a little cautious about what I say...sometimes. I had to giggle when he mentioned my poop post. I wish I had a picture of his face. It was priceless. But still, I feel a little guilty seeing him that embarrassed. You see, his job, as my better half, is to keep me from verbal vomit in front of people we don't know well, or people who won't care what I'm rambling about. I LOVE that he does this for me. It makes life easier. I think that's why he gets so "concerned" about what I post on here. He's just trying to protect me and the people who read this.

Do you want to be protected? Or do you want more "inappropriate" things? Just wondering as I aim to please. :)

Also, he's probably going to fuss at me about posting this. :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

It Happens to the Best of Us

You've been there before....

You're out running errands, or at a theme park (cough, cough, Disney), or maybe even at church and you feel the sudden cramps and then you hear the gurgle, gurgle noise of your stomach. You squeeze your butt cheeks together and start praying, "Dear Lord, PUH-LEASE, not here." Before you know it, your only option is to run (as subtly as possible) to the nearest bathroom and hope no other person is in there.

Don't even play! You know it has happened to you before.

It happens to me a lot more than I'd like to admit. Or tell people. Or mention in this blog.

I've been at....
  • Target
  • church
  • dinner (out-to-eat)
  • Lowe's
  • Disney
  • a mall
  • school
  • football games
  • in the car driving
  • the doctor's office
  • Walmart
  • Mom's group
  • A friend's house
  • the Grocery store
when it hit. Every once in a while I make it out before I reach the point of internal explosion. Most of the time, I don't.

Yep, it is likely I was that person that "ruined" the bathroom. I'm sorry. I couldn't help it. My digestive system HATES me. Seriously.

I decided to write this to help you out when you find yourself in that situation. In order to do that, I've compiled a list of things you should always keep in your purse:
  1. a small box of matches (light one, throw it in the toilet, it immediately removes the smell)
  2. body spray (you know...for the smell--in case you forgot your matches)
  3. something to read to take your mind off it (I have books on my precious, precious iPhone)
  4. Immodium AD (at least two should take care of the problem)
Other tips:
  • flush as often as possible to eliminate as much smell as possible
  • go in the largest bathroom if possible
  • if you get in the handicap bathroom, run the water in the covers the sound.
  • wipe a lot. each time you flush in fact
  • never let on that it was YOU who made the disturbance

The end.


I won an award....

which means someone reads my blog. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you, thank you, to Much More Than Mommy (aka: Nessa Friend) for this award! To claim this award, I'm supposed to tell you seven things about myself that you may not know. I'm relatively positive that that might be impossible but here goes:

  1. I have severe poop issues. Not with other people's poop...with my own. Don't ask.
  2. I use the most AWESOME shampoo ever. Biolage. It's awesome.
  3. I've been known to pull out stray leg hairs with tweezers. And once I start, I can't stop.
  4. I was obsessed with Mickey Mouse when I was in 6th & 7th grade. Like...MM wallpaper, boarder, sheets, comforter, phone, light switch, you get the picture...
  5. I have panic attacks
  6. I kind of, sort of, maybe just a little bit have a case of THE FEVER....maybe just a smidge. Shhhh....don't tell.
  7. I LOVE online shopping. So much so, that I get on Amazon and shop for things and put them in a wish list and pretend I'm buying them, but I'm really not. Our bank account thanks me.
Ok. Now to nominate....

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Variety of People

So I'm officially a Disney addict. Let's not pretend to be shocked. We've had our passes all of a week now.

We've also been to Magic Kingdom twice in the past 8 days. I've learned a thing or two about people in those two trips.

You see...there are ALL kinds of people that visit Disney World on any given day.

There's this lady who is leading her tour group/school field trip and feels the need to block all areas where one my go past so she can round up her cattle.

Then there's this family, who seems to take procreating to the extreme. They have to stop every ten seconds to do a head check and pick up any and all thrown objects. Periodically they will stop to scream at each other or argue over where they will go next.

Then there's this family. They're sweet. All loving and caring. Taking in the sights. They average about negative 10 mph. They are slower than Christmas and you can't get around them.

And then, there's me:

The picture, I'm sure, says enough. I am a woman on a mission. A woman on a mission with a stroller. If you stop in front of me, I will run over you. I will go around you. You will have to run to keep up with me. If you are my husband and stop to take pictures, you will likely get left. More than once. I have a plan and a schedule. I also (now) know exactly where I'm going while you do not. I turn into crazy woman.

I mean, you do what you have to to get ahead of all the slow people who are going to same ride as you. Right??? I do that too? Right? Right????

Also, I'm thinking of teaching Ansleigh to yell, "MOVE IT OR LOSE IT."

The end.

Winn suggested I add another type of family on here:

"I'm the lady that's by herself with kids. the lady who's yelling at the people who are cutting in front of her. the lady who's rolling her eyes at people when they're asking questions about the fast pass, or any questions at all. I'm the lady who knows buzz lightyear will be back at 4pm for more pictures.

I'm the know-it-all who will cut you if you are in my way. "

A New Look...

In an attempt to go all upscale bloggity blogger and look all totally professional (even though I'm not), I called in some reinforcements and have given the old blog a new look.

The goal was to make it all "Southern Girl moved to Florida." explains it.

Also, thanks Winn and Hubbs.

Also, also, please comment and tell me how beautiful it is. :)

Triple also, put my new button on your page.

Quadruple also, if you are reading this via RSS Feed, go look at the real deal you cheater. :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Honestly Me

As teenage girls, young women, moms, mother-in-laws, etc. we try to be the person we think we should be. Not all of us struggle with it, but I'd be willing to bet that most of us do.

For me, it has always been that I find people around me and try to do what they do to make myself more likable. I join a group, shop at a certain store, cut my hair a certain way, STARVE myself to be as thin as them, etc. For what? Why do we do things that like? Why does it matter if people like us for things that aren't even real?

I certainly don't think it is wrong to try and improve yourself by doing things like updating your wardrobe, eating healthier, reading a new book, but why do we let it get out of hand? It goes from updating to copying to wishing we were as cool as or as cute as or as _________ as someone else.

BE WHO YOU ARE. God made us to be the people we are. He gave us our personalities, our likes and dislikes, our curves, and even our extra skin (ok MAYBE all the pasta helped with that last one).

In an effort to stop trying to be as funny as Winn, as skinny and trendy as my sis-in-law, and as good a writer as Nessa Friend, I'm going to lay it all out on the table. Honesty at its finest.

  • I used to be super skinny and was proud of it. Now I'm not as skinny as I once was and occasionally, that upsets me.
  • I wear my hair in a ponytail all the time because it keeps it out of my face and takes less work, which leads to the next one...
  • I'm lazy.
  • I'm compulsive. I'm compulsive about several things (picking up toys, things being exactly how they should be, schedules, plans, etc.). I physically cannot handle those things not being the way I think they should be. Which causes...
  • Panic. I panic all the time. Over stupid stuff but it happens.
  • I watch the Disney channel and I like it!
  • I like to sit around in my pajamas all day.
  • I currently weigh 130 pounds. When I started counting calories in November, I weighed 140 pounds. You can't tell that I've lost weight but I know it. I'm down a pants size and I'm a little more confident. I still have some work to do (another 5 pounds and some serious toning) but I'm working on it, so stop looking at me like I'm chubby.
  • I like cutesy stuff. I like things that match. I like cutesy matchy things. Bite me.
  • I'm terrible at keeping my eyebrows "maintained" because they are a lighter shade of brown and I can't see them in my mirror.
  • I have dreams about my teeth literally falling out of my mouth and into my hands. Weird, I know.
  • I want a lot of things, but that doesn't mean it is going to happen. I want my house to look like you've walked into a page of Southern Living Magazine. I want a front loader washer and dryer that don't live in my garage. I want a Honda Oddessy minivan. I want another bedroom in my house and to have less useless junk. I want a new couch.
  • I'm slightly obsessive about my child's clothes, not because I want her to be the best dressed kid or because other people expect it but because it matters to me. It matters to me what I dress her in. It matters to me what people think when they look at my daughter. It is a priority. It isn't one to everyone else and shouldn't have to be, but don't hate on me because I know how to dress my kid.
  • I want another baby. No seriously, I do. But, I don't want to have just gotten my body back to how it should be to get all fat and pukish again.
  • Most of our dinners are microwaved or come frozen in a bag with everything in it.
  • I'm not the world's greatest anything, and I'm ok with that.
  • Home baked cookies are my weakness. Keep them AWAY.
  • I think my husband is extremely HOT. Always have.
  • I am a people pleaser. I do whatever it takes to make other people happy. I also have a need to want everyone to like me. I'm beginning to get over that last one.
  • People take advantage of me. I'm not stupid and I know they do it/are doing it. I'm just a nice person so I go along with it.
I'm weird, compulsive, and still a smidge chubby. I still get acne and like to take naps. I'm a homebody. I like to watch stupid tv. I hate American Idol. I'm just me--a good ol southern girl that lives in the middle of Florida.

Who are you really?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Soup and Sale....

I know I haven't mentioned much about couponing and how much I've saved in quite some time....that might be because I haven't done it.


One of my favorite things to cook when it is winter is Taco Soup. I got the recipe from Anthony's Aunt Debbie and from his mom.

Yesterday, as I was looking through the sales ads, I noticed that several of the ingredients are on sale at Publix. Since people are ALWAYS asking me for the recipe, I thought this would be the perfect time to share!

  • Ground Beef --coupon in the Publix Ad to save $1 on Publix Ground Beef
  • Chopped Onion or Onion Powder/Flakes
  • Rotel--coupon in the Publix Ad to save $.75 on two cans of Rotel
  • 1 can Pinto Beans--Bush's on Advantage Buy, 4 for $3 (16 oz)
  • 1 can Kidney Beans--Bush's on Advantage Buy, 4 for $3 (16 oz)
  • 1 can Black Beans
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes--Del Monte on Advantage Buy, 2 for $3 (28 oz)
  • 1 pack Taco Seasoning--McCormick Taco Mix 3 for $2
  • 1 pack Ranch Dressing Mix (dry)
  • Tortilla Chips--Mission chips 2 for $5
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Sour Cream--coupon (Red Plum or Smart Source, don't remember) for Smart Balance
  1. Brown beef with onion or onion powder/flakes
  2. Drain meat
  3. Put into large pot and add all other ingredients except cheese, chips, and sour cream
  4. Simmer for 45 minutes
Serve with chips, cheese, and sour cream.

***I can't handle spice so I do everything as mild as possible but you can make this as hot as you'd like, even adding hot sauce to it.

***As far as the beans go, you can mix it up all you want, you can do 2 of Pinto, 1 of Kidney or whatever. I just like to make them all different. The main thing is that you need 3 cans.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Being a SAHM….

First of all, let me tell you that I never even considered being a SAHM while I was growing up. In fact, I didn’t know people really did that. My mom worked, cooked, cleaned, came to all our games, got us to dance and gymnastics, and never seemed to bat an eyelash at doing it.

Anthony and I started dating my freshman year of college. When we were getting to know each other, I found out his mom had stayed at home with him and his brother. Then, I found out she STILL stayed at home, even though her kids were grown and in college. To be honest, I didn’t really understand why she still did it.

Then Anthony’s brother and his wife moved to Auburn with their sweet baby. It worked out that I only had classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I kept Turner (my nephew, although he wasn’t at the time) for them while they were in class. I thought it was sort of boring but kind of fun. Then, T started talking and trying to say my name. Then he started trying to take steps and walk across the room to me. When Rachel would come home, I would tell her what he’d done that day and you could see the heartbreak all over her face that I witnessed it and she didn’t.

That was when it hit me that I never wanted to miss any of that stuff. I talked to Anthony about it and he seemed like he just sort of expected I’d be a SAHM because his mom did. We decided we’d worry about it when the time came, but I finally understood the importance of being at home with your babies.

We got married. I taught for a year while he was finishing up grad school. When we moved to Florida I was two months pregnant with Ansleigh. I had planned on subbing but didn’t because I was so sick with her. I grew accustomed to being at home with her but I hated most of it. I felt like my life was nothing but diapers, bottles, laundry, and pajama pants. When I was taking care of her or cleaning up, I didn’t know what to do with myself. As she got older, I got really bored. When she hit the 8 month-ish mark, I was super bored. She didn’t “do” anything, she didn’t require a lot of work, and I can clean my whole house in just a few hours and be done for the week. My friends (also SAHM’s) suggested that I take her to the library for story time, or to a park, or make play dates. I did all that (except for the library, which I thought she was too young for). It still wasn’t quite right. I’d lost myself in mommy-hood and didn’t know who I was anymore.

I got a part-time job coaching a middle school cheer squad. They practiced at night (from 6-8) so Anthony could be home with Ansleigh while I got away. I noticed myself turning back into a real person again.

I still stay at home with Ansleigh. I coach Varsity cheerleaders and get paid the stipend that a teacher would get for coaching, just no teacher salary. We don’t have credit card debt. We don’t have car payments (although hubs is going to need a new one soon). We have student loans and our house. We get by each month on his salary with a little left over. We don’t buy things we can’t pay for right then and there. We only use Christmas/Birthday money to buy ourselves things we want. I do a lot of things to cut corners and save money. We manage for me to be able to stay-at-home, but often I wonder if we can continue like this. Money isn’t the most important thing in the world, but you have to have it to survive.

Staying at home can be amazing. I have NEVER missed a single first of my baby girl. She is momma’s girl. But on the other hand, I get bored sometimes. Being at home makes me lazier than I would normally be. I often stay in my pajamas all day (which sounds nice but really just makes you feel gross). I miss out on adult interaction. I hate not contributing financially. I constantly worry about how we’re going to buy something BIG if we need it. We have cheap-o furniture. And pretty much everything else cheap-o (except Ansleigh’s stuff, of course).I feel like people look down on me because I don’t “work” when I really want to scream that I have a college degree from a major university as I walk down the aisle at Publix. People think I have all the free time in the world and sit on my butt all day (occasionally, I do, but most days, I don’t). I hate feeling like I need to explain what all I’ve done that day when Hubs gets home to justify the fact that I’m at home while he’s working.

Part of me is DYING to go back to work. Back to the world of grown ups and pay checks. Will I have as much time as I do now? No. Will I keep my house clean? Probably not, although that implies that it stays clean now. I worry about how we’ll pay for a new (ish) car when his dies soon. How will we pay for preschool? Ballet? Gymnastics? Tball? If I’m working, none of that will be an issue.

People ask me all the time when I’m going to have another baby. I’d like to wait until Ansleigh’s four, but would that mean working for a year just to go back to staying at home? Or would I put the next one in child care and miss those firsts? If I don’t go back to work, the Father only knows how we could manage it. I can hear you now, some of you saying, “If we can do it, you can.” We are not you. I’m not saying we won’t be able to, I’m just saying that everything in our world is not the same as it is in your world.

Anytime I bring up the idea of going back to work or continuing to stay at home, people want to push their ideas on me. “IT’S A MOTHER’S PLACE TO BE IN THE HOME!” or “Money is not more important than your child.” or “You’d really let someone else raise your kid?” Well, yeah, maybe. My mom did and I’m not screwed up…much.

I know it is a blessing to be able to stay at home and there are women who truly do not have the option, but most people can usually find a way to do it if they REALLY want to, be it work from home, do stuff on the side, etc. I’m convinced God gives us gifts and talents to use. Some of us are truly homemakers and are meant to be at home. Some of us God has blessed with incredible business talents or other abilities that need to be utilized outside of the home.

God made me to be a teacher and more importantly, to work with secondary level kids. I know it. But did He really put all that in me to teach for just one year? Can I really afford (professionally) to sit out teaching several more years and expect someone to want to hire me? If I’m not working, how can we afford for me to maintain my certificate by taking classes or getting my masters (which, for the record, I want).

I don’t know what God wants me to do. I don’t know if I’m supposed to keep coaching and stay at home or go back to teaching. I don’t know when I’ll have another baby (or if we can even afford one) and I don’t know if I’ll stay home with that baby. I will tell you that I will NEVER regret being there for my baby girl these first two years, but I’m unsure of what to do for the future. My blog is called “Mommy’s Heart” because it is about the things that are on my heart. Sometimes it is silly or stupid or just plain me, but this is what is on my heart right now.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Confessing Some New Things for the New Year

Just a few things to start the year out right....

  • I've lost 8 pounds and am down a pants size.
  • But it isn't enough that people notice, so I think I would like someone to make me a shirt that says, "I've lost 8 pounds. Tell me I look skinny."
  • My goal was only 15 so I'm 1/2 way there. But since you can't tell when you look at me, I should shoot for more.
  • I really hate the taste of diet. Diet ANYthing, but especially things that have Splenda in it. I swear I can still taste that aftertaste for 10 years.
  • Occasionally, I get into this mood where I want to throw everything not nailed down into the trash. I'm not talking about a gentle cleaning-out. I mean THROW EVERYTHING AWAY.
  • I may or may not have done that recently.
  • As in today. I found two kitchen trash bags full of just plain garbage in Ansleigh's closet. Yes, her closet.
  • Monday, I cleaned out our bathroom cabinets and got rid of an entire garbage bag of disgusting old crap.
  • That same night, I did the same thing with the kitchen.
  • Usually this mood only lasts about a day or two at the max. I'm going on day 3 now and contemplating hitting up the other bathroom, our bedroom, and Ansleigh's room.
  • Oh, and the guest room.
  • I FINALLY found the bedding I want for in there. And I'm getting itchy to go buy it. It's at Target. Check it out.
  • I'm thinking either these sheets or these. Thoughts?
  • Also, could someone donate all the money for these? That'd be great.

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Decade of Confessions

  • I was a Junior in high school for the first part of the year and a Senior the second part of the year.
  • I went to my second ever Auburn football game and my first ever Auburn basketball game.
  • I was driving my beloved red eclipse with my Auburn tag
  • Spring 2000 I went to three proms, two in one night.
  • Accomplished life goal number 2 (become editor-in-chief of my school newspaper)
  • cheered during the pregame show of the Citrus Bowl where Auburn played Michigan. War Eagle.
  • I graduated from high school May 24.
  • Accomplished life goal number 3 (graduated top 20 in my class with an "A" average)
  • Accomplished life goal number 4 (attended Auburn University)
  • moved into my first apartment
  • Had root canal #1
  • I met Anthony. :) :) :) :) :)
  • My great grandmother passed away. The one I blog about who was super awesome. My favorite. Totally bummed.
  • started dating my love March 9th, which accomplished life goal number 4 (meet man of my dreams).
  • got a job engraving jewelry
  • took two summer classes (Political Econ and PreCal).
  • almost broke up with my love over being tutored in PreCal. stupid math.
  • got the Jeep :)
  • best college friend moved in with me
  • my sweet, sweet Turner was born
  • I survived my Ethics class, which is a major accomplishment
  • root canal #2
  • root canal #3
  • declared my major
  • got a job working for the City of Auburn Parks & Rec...ran their little league cheerleader program and coached the team.
  • went on my first Friday Family ski trip
  • tried out for cheerleader at Auburn University. didn't make it. crushed life goal number 5.
  • got engaged to love of my life. checked off
  • moved out of my first apartment and into a duplex with two sweet friends.
  • got braces.
  • had two teeth pulled because of braces.
  • had 5 bridal showers. no, you read that correctly....five.
  • sister got married
  • braces removed
  • Hubs and I got married (3 months later)
  • had an AMAZING tan :)
  • went on my first cruise
  • finished last semester of classes as a married woman
  • last year of coaching little league cheerleaders
  • went on my second Friday Family ski trip....where I skied into a tree. Good times.
  • Hubs got pneumonia and skied with it. Yeah, he's intense.
  • interned as a 7th and 8th grade English teacher at Sanford Middle School.
  • had the world's most awful cooperating teacher. she never even came to school. wow.
  • Graduated from Auburn University--life goal #6 :)
  • Was hired for my first teaching job at Wachoochee. :)
  • Coached girls basketball
  • my basketball team won the county championship, with my parents there watching :)
  • got preggers with my buggy-boo
  • the day after I found out, the nausea began.
  • flew to Melbourne, FL for the first time. Found a house and made an offer (all in the same weekend)
  • turned in my resignation for teaching :(
  • Moved 10 hours from home.
  • Spent the remainder of the year vomiting.
  • Had my sweet buggy-boo a month early. Life goal #7 :)
  • spent my year being immersed in mommy-hood. all things bottles. diapers. poo. baby food.
  • began this blog
  • went camping for the first time in my life which would have been a blast had we not taken a 3 month old colicky baby.
  • got a job coaching middle school cheerleaders
  • celebrated my little one's first birthday pink ladybug style
  • went on my third Friday Family ski trip. avoided all trees.
  • got hired as a Varsity Cheerleader coach. Life goal #8.
  • got an iphone--it has ruined my life.
  • got a Wii.
  • went on camping trip #2....much more fun this time around.
  • started a cheerleading program from scratch in a month
  • went "real" trick-or-treating for the first time in my life

What kind of things will 2010 hold for me to confess??? bff Jill.