Sunday, March 31, 2013


Today I walked into my girls room and saw her playing with a toy she hasn't ever really played with before. You know one of those toys you put away high up on a shelf because it is such a nice toy. You look at it, but don't ever play with it because it would be a shame to mess it up. It just so happened to be a special Raggedy Ann given to her for Christmas by my friend Cathy. I am not sure how she got it down and I guess I will never know, but I think a little angel with a soft voice might have wanted her to play with it instead of just sitting on a shelf all alone.  It made me smile and I needed a smile today.

It is funny how you don't realize how much someone was intertwined in your life until they are gone. Everywhere I look just at home I can see and feel my friend. From the stuffed dolphin she brought back from the Bahamas for my girl to the Minnie Mouse bowl she eats her cereal out of every day. It makes me feel so loved knowing my friend loved my girl so much. I am not going to lie I may have napped with a soft blue dolphin yesterday.

I wandered down to our classroom Thursday night during church and I almost fell over when I walked in and saw your sweater still hanging on your chair. It made me realize how strong I am going to have to be for our babies when we return to school and how much I need those little people to keep me going. I guess I really have to organize my cabinets now since that was one of the last things you  asked me to do.

   Tomorrow I will celebrate my friend and why we all loved her so much. I will be sad, but I will be thankful for the time God allowed me to have her in my life. I will remember our first year working together and working out all of the kinks, sniffing lotion during nap time (baby farts are nasty),  nap time talks about stuff we shouldn't ever talk about at school, summer time lunch dates,  pajama parties, singing the nah nah song over and over and over and over and over and over again, Tootie Tah dance parties, head thumps that brought us closer,  cancer talks, glitter everywhere, flower experiments that never worked, giant roaches everywhere, laughing until we cry over absolutely nothing because we are so delirious from saying the same damn thing over and over and over again, praying you or I didn't trip over a cott and break our necks, knowing exactly what you had done when I heard you yell in the hallway, and just being there folossr each other through all of the ups and the downs. No one else will ever know why we never ate lunch in the lunch room. There was a reason we never wanted to leave the crazy place we called 4K-D

My friend I will miss you more than you will ever know and I wish we could have had longer together, but God had greater plans for you. Do you know how I know that you are up there with Him? Because you have been one of my greatest teachers in my journey with God. You taught me how to teach our babies about His word. You always knew how to take my jumbled mess of words and put them together in just the right way so our babies would truly understand. Thank you for always keeping the mess that is me together and for being the queen of lamination and pretty toes.

I love you Mrs. Cathy and I will never let our babies forget you and how truly wonderful you were. You had so many great things you wanted to do and I know you would have been amazing in your next journey. I know you will help me find the words to help our babies through this and you will always be by my side laughing at me as I trip over beds and spill beans and sequins every where. Thank you for always keeping me together and not getting mad at me when I forgot to call you about jeans day. You always looked cute with or without jeans.

My friend if I don't see you tomorrow I hope you have a Happy Eternal Life with God our Father.

If you are reading this please forgive the random thoughts that are flowing out of my brain today. I am sad.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Heart Broken

I am writing because I don't know what else to do with myself. 
I have cried so much I don't think I have any tears left in my body. 
I don't even know what to say. 
People keep asking me if I am alright and I don't know how to answer that.

No I am not alright. 
This isn't fair. 
I don't understand. 
I  don't know what to do. 
I don't know what to say.

My heart hurts. 

I feel numb and then I think about something and I cry and then I am numb again and then I think about something else and then the tears come again. 

What am I going to say to my babies when they ask?
How am I going to make it through the day when my friend isn't there?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring Break

We have been crazy busy around here with spring break, trips to the lake, and back and forth trips to Nashville ending abruptly with a sick baby. 

I officially have a grade A clinger living in my house and her name is Mckinley. My girl has always been a mama's girl, but having so much one on one time alone with me all day long for such a long period of time has exacerbated the issue. Now I am not complaining because my no cuddler has suddenly become a super cuddler and I am going to soak up every second that she rests her head on my shoulder and tucks her little hands up under her resting on my chest. It does break my heart and wear me out when she will not go to anyone else or let anyone else hold her and or touch her especially when it is her sweet sweet daddy. Thankfully tonight since her fever seems to be making it's way out I was able to hide in the bedroom for a minute of alone time while she played with daddy and her precious bubbles. Shout out to Car Car and Nonni for saving the day with the new much cooler light up bubble blower gun.

Spring Break flew by because we kept so busy. I was determined to not be home unless the Little Lady was napping and except for the first day when it rained all day we spent all of our time outside or visiting friends. 

We started off our break with 1 lazy rainy day where we never got out of our pajamas and read every book in our house 3 times.

The next day we visited Ya Ya at the cake shop to try on pieces of the Easter dress she is making for Kinley. We of course had to ask Ya Ya for a giant cookie and Lu was a bad influence and let us touch all of the display cakes.

Later we met up with Car Car and Nonni for a trip to the park and then a cook out that evening. 

Sliding with Car Car

This girl LOVES to swing and doesn't like having to get out of her swing.

Nature girl


The next day we had a play date with some of our favorite buddies Ann, Preston, and Murphy. Besides putting her teeth through her lip we had so much fun as we usually do. 

Nothing like coffee and busted lips!

The next day we had grand plans to check out the big park at The Farms, but everyone else in the entire city decided it was a perfect day to visit too. We had a blast going down the slides and we only had 1 incident when a kid came down the slide in the sand pit and clipped Mckinley taking her out causing a few tears.

Breakfast picnics and what happens when you ask your 1 1/2 year old if they want to go to the park. They want to go NOW!

Park picnics and naps.

This face gets me everyt ime.

What did you expect we would do at the park on a super windy day. BUBBLES!!

After heading home for a proper nap we couldn't waste such a beautiful day and headed back out to one of the parks right by our house where we blew more BUBBLES!

Once again, This Face!

My Girl.

Last, but not least we decide to celebrate our break by spending some time at our happy place aka my parents lake house. We tried to go out on the lake, but the boat was being finicky so we spent most of our time eating, doing puzzles and watching Elmo. Lots and Lots of Elmo. Elmo's voice makes me want to stab myself in the eye with a dull spoon. 

I never thought a small red monster would make me want to break my husbands beautiful  tv.

Obsessed with Ya Ya's crickets. She kept saying "Yook!" (Look)

Fascinated by the water and flowers.


God bless you portable dvd player and Elmo dvd's


What she did most of the time. Eat and confiscate Jen Jen's I phone
Ya Ya's Pish

Watching Elmo

I have no words

I can honestly say I 100% enjoyed every moment of our break. I am so glad we took full advantage of the beautiful weather and I can't wait for Summer Break!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


I am really digging this weeks Toddle Along Tuesday theme of Blooper/Outtake pictures because I have a TON of  those. You know those photos you don't post on Facebook because you look awful at that angle or your kid is making a really strange face those are what we are talking about.
I definitely edit out pictures where I don't feel like I look as put together as I could be or the Little Lady has boogers hanging out, but life isn't perfect, but that's life and life is messy so we may as well show it off.
 Someone forgot to zoom out before taking a self portrait. I love home Mckinley is looking at me like I am nuts. She looks at me like this a lot.

 Fun times at Jen Jen Graduation (I accidentally wrote wedding earlier and had to come back and change it when my sister who is engaged and getting married next March commented saying she didn't remember getting married yet I am just a little excited about her getting married.) Real ladies roll around on the dirty hospital floor in their nice dresses.

The giraffe diaper hanging out cracks me up the most. She was not too happy about going back inside.

Whoa Car Car
I really need to start posting more of these pictures because they are hilarious!

Mama Style

So I did something and I didn't tell anyone not even my sweet hubby. You see, I follow a million few different types of blogs from Mommy blogs to Cooking Blogs to Style Blogs. My favorite style blogs are real women who show you how to put actual outfits together. For me as a fashion challenged Mama these ladies have changed the way I get dressed in the mornings and I feel so much more put together and better about myself.

I contacted Jamie at Stylin Mommies  to let her know how much I love reading her blog and how she has inspired me to step up my Mama style. My style has always been a lot of simple layered with lots of neutrals and an occasional pop of color or pattern, but I was feeling a bit frumpy after having my Little Lady and going from Mama to teacher and back again was throwing me for a loop. I had to be comfortable, but also able to lift heavy objects and roll around on the floor if need be and I feel like having 1 blog display so many different Mama styles really helped pull me back together.

The point of this story is I wanted in on inspiring other Mama's to get their style back and I felt like I offered another point of view for being not only a mommy, but a teacher who needed to make sure my outfits were not only toddler proof, but 19 4 year olds proof.

I am in no way a style blogger, but I think I might start posting an outfit picture every now and then and hopefully by doing so I will stop wearing the same outfits over and over again and start changing things up even more.

I will post the link as soon as it is up and please don't make fun of me for "posing" I am not fashionable, have no clue what I am doing, and I had to rig my camera up to take my own pictures because I was too embarrassed to ask anyone else to do it for me. Plese go check out Jamie's blog if you are stuck in a style rut like I was or even if you are a fashionista I highly recommend
Stylin Mommies for fashion inspiration.

Baby No More

I just have to brag on my girl once again because she not only slept without a paci last night, but she also woke up with a dry diaper for the second time. 

I am SO freaking excited about both of these things, but my Mama heart is breaking a little because this is just 2 more things that make my girl a big girl and not a baby anymore.

I love you more than double stuffed oreos (and that's a lot) my little kitten.

Monday, March 18, 2013

P-A-C-I You Ain't Got No Alibi!

Sorry that was lame, but it rhymed and I am in a jazzy mood because my child just went to sleep with 

NO PACI!!!!! 

We are finally getting back into our normal bed routine since the time change and too many late night Bubble Parties got us way off schedule. I decided that tonight we would start winding down at our normal time which is really an hour earlier to us because we haven't quite readjusted to springing forward. You better believe my girl ready and as soon as I asked her to come brush her teeth she was whining and crying to go night night. My child may be a weirdo because she absolutely loves taking a bath and brushing her teeth so this is a very normal thing to happen in our house. I layed her down on the floor in her room so I could stuff her night time pocket diaper and this was when she really started whining saying "night night! night night!" I got her changed and redressed we hugged, kissed, and I pushed the hair from her forehead and blessed her like I do every night and she just layed there looking at me while holding her puppy and lamb chop. I actually searched her bed and behind her crib for a second for the paci she went to bed with last night, but didn't wake up with and when I couldn't find it I just decided not to give her one so I just turned without saying a word and walked out of her room removing the half of a pool noodle from the door jamb as I went. I quickly swung into our bedroom to turn on the video monitor and there she was just laying there with her little chubby hands over her eyes.

I can not believe this is happening. I actually just read an article about giving up the paci and half the things it said I had already tried, but even with half of the tip cut off my girl still liked her paci at nap and night. I guess with everything it will happen when they are ready and the time is right. I swear tonight my girl has been on top of her game. She has actually wanted to go to the potty. We missed both times, but getting them to go is half the battle.

I still remember trying to get Mckinley to actually take a paci when she was little bitty. I literally forced it on her because I was so afraid that she would start sucking her thumb or fingers and I would rather break a paci habit then a thumb habit. I being a reformed thumb sucker myself I knew how difficult it was. You can't cut off a finger, but you cut off a paci!

It looks like we will be going to Mrs. Julie's house sans paci tomorrow. Please pray for Mrs. Julie and Mr. John and hope for their sake that tomorrow goes as smooth as tonight has gone.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Life Changing

I haven't done any menu or clean eating posts in a while and I figured the day after eating a giant blueberry muffin and an entire plate of veal parm would be a great time to talk about why I love eating clean and the changes my body have gone through in a short amount of time. I have now been eating clean for about a month and a half and I feel better than I ever have in my life. Yesterday made me appreciate my new lifestyle and reaffirmed why I initially wanted to change. My day started off with my typical morning breakfast of eggs, turkey bacon, and coffee with coconut milk creamer and agave. I knew it would be difficult to be completely clean this day because we would soon be heading to a play date including coffee and muffins. Mckinley ate most of the muffin and I enjoyed a few bites along with my coffee and vanilla creamer. I fee like If I make good choices 99% of my life then a few bites and sips won't ruin all of my hard work plus like I always say what's life without cake and I will NEVER live without cake! Later that night was when I actually regretted something that I ate. 

My sister graduated from her ultrasound program last night after 15 long months of hard work and usually all big events like this include a special dinner out afterwards. My sister chose one of our family favorites a little Italian restaurant with the best veal parm you have ever eaten. Their gravy is as close to our family gravy as you are going to get plus their ravioli are amazing! I had spent 2 hours chasing my precious child around the graduation ceremonies and by the time we got to the restaurant I was STARVING and this was after eating a peanut butter sandwich (made for my child to eat knowing she probably wouldn't eat it because she would rather have real food than a sandwich and eaten because I was starving) which led to me over eating and eating foods I typically wouldn't have eaten. The dinner comes with 2 pieces of veal parm covered in spaghetti gravy and cheese with 6-8 ravioli. Now I could lie and say I had a few bites of everything, but the honest truth is I ate every single bite on my plate plus close to 1 1/2 pieces of extremely overly saturated buttery garlic bread. Needless to say I was very very very sick last night and woke up feeling quite yucky and completely rededicated to eating clean.

I decided to take a progress picture today because despite feeling yucky about what I had previously consumed I was feeling pretty good about myself today. I have definitely noticed a downward move on the ole scale, but I am having a hard time seeing changes in my body. I know my face is much thinner and my arms are firming up from my usage of heavy weights and push ups, but the mama belly is still an eye sore that  is the hardest to notice any change. I was pleasantly surprised when I did a side by side of my 2 progress pictures how different parts of my body have already changed in such a short time. I don't believe this picture is the best example of the difference because my before picture seems a tad closer making it look exaggeratedly bigger than my second picture so I don't think my results are as drastic as they seem, but regardless there is definitely a change. 

I am going to really kick up my ab routine these next few months because I have a feeling bridesmaids dess trials will be in my somewhat near future and I really don't feel like purchasing or having to squeeze my behind into any spanx, but I am not ruling it out. I am also hoping to ramp up my running schedule these next few months and I am hoping to be up to at least 6 miles by May when sign ups for the St. Jude Marathon and Half Marathon opens up. I am pretty confidant I will be there by then which will give me a pretty good head start to 13.1 by December

So here it is in all of its ungloriousness. The second picture seems much closer to camera making it look like my changes are even more drastic than they truly are, but I think you can still see the areas that have changed the most. 

I am now going to set msyelf some goals from now until March 1 2014. I don't really care about losing any weight, but I am really concentrating on toning my entire body. I not only have a wedding with a lot of pictures coming up in a year, but this summer in only a few short months I am planning on taking Mckinley to swimming lessons. This means I have to get my butt into a bathing suit and I don't want this butt hanging out or scaring any children. That means the lunges, squats, and wall sits are getting kicked into high gear along with my abs and my mileage. I have done it before and I will do it all again with a toddler sitting on my stomach as I crunch and a stroller packed with sippy cups and veggie chips. 

Wish me luck and if you see me sitting around you are allowed to yell at me and throw things.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Hold Up

I have only been back in the running saddle for a short while now and I can't even describe how much I have missed it. If you are a runner you know how it can kind of become an addiction. You can't wait to hit the streets, trails, or wherever you go and push for just one more mile. And when you increase your pace it feels like you could run with the Kenyan's! I had one of those mythical runs the other day. You know the one where you just seem to fly, your breathing never changes, and you are shocked when you look at your time. I couldn't believe I made it over 3 miles in 30 minutes without stopping on the scary hill behind my house. 

Nicole and I after one of the Winter Cross Country Races
Then I woke up the next morning, swung my feet over the side of the bed, and planted my feet on the ground. I expected to be sore, but I wasn't expecting the pain radiating from my achilles. I spent most of that day limping around my classroom and I even taped the sucker up for stability which helped along with some anti inflammatory meds (ibuprofen). I have been icing and stretching, but that sucker is still pretty tight and when I sit for long periods and try to get up it is sore. 

The while point of my story is I was supposed to meet my running buddy for a morning run this a.m. (She has been out due to other medical reasons), but the ole foot has put the kibash on my running career for the moment. This friend just so happens to be very accident prone knowledgeable in the leg and foot injury area and she suggested I keep icing and stretching and we try again in a few days. I know she is right, but I may or may not have stalked around my house like a teenager who was told they couldn't have the keys to the car. I was so excited to get out with my running buddy and see if my last run was a fluke or if I should try out for the Olympics next year. 

I have decide that I will be running the St. Jude Half Marathon again this year and i know my husband is super excited! He loves it when I really get into running mode. he loves talking about how far I ran that day, and what expensive shoes I need to get, and how excited I am about the nasty calluses I have developed on my feet and haven't lost any toe nails just yet. I will probably be posting a lot more about running because writing down what I have done always makes me feel like the internet is holding me accountable for getting up and doing it again. 

So here is to another year of race training and more bodily injuries!

Friday, March 8, 2013

What If

Have you ever had one of those what if moments? You know one of those moments where after it happened you thought what if I had left a minute earlier. What if I hadn't decided to fill my tires with air because I have needed to do it for a month or two. What if I hadn't been there. What if. What if. What if. 

Would things have happened differently? Could that accident that you drove past involved you? What would have happened?

What if I hadn't been there?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Weekly Menu

I have moved away from my monthly meal plans and moved into a biweekly planning period. I felt like I was wasting food more than I would like and other people in our home weren't always eating what I was pulling out of the freezer. I am still spending less money on groceries and I love knowing what I need to pre plan ahead of time at the beginning of the week to be ready and not run around like a chicken with my head cut off come Wednesday evening. Now that we are eating more clean and cutting out processed foods I am not really struggling for dinner ideas because this is pretty much how we ate anyways. I am still working on breakfast and lunches, but thankfully I am a creature of habit and eat the same things everyday anyways, but I would like to branch out from my eggs and bacon morning routine once in a while. I think I see more grapefruits, Chex rice cereal with almond milk (My 1 weakness!) , and Honey Cloud Pancakes (with a few ingredient exchanges) in my near future!

For this week we are looking at 
Monday- Turkey burgers with roasted veggies and homemade sweet potato fries
Tuesday-Shrimp Stir fry with quonia for me
Wednesday-Roast with sweet potates
Thursday- Grilled Chicken with veggies (I want to tryn something new)
Friday-Cheese Pizza (Lent)

Nothing fancy, but all super healthy and clean except for the pizza, but what is life without pizza. I make my own a lot of times, but Friday starts my Spring Break so there will be only celebrating and eating that night and no slaving in the kitchen!

Next week I think I am going to try my hand at some home made whole what pasta! And Maybe some home made bread. I just love knowing exactly what is going into my families food and I am really enjoying cooking. I actually haven't screwed up a meal in quite some time and I now have my husband obsessed with roasted broccoli and he has requested it for every meal this week even if it doesn't go with what we are eating. We (I)  also have quite the obsession with home made sweet potato home fries. 

Basically all I do is slice my washed potatoes on my mandolin (my favorite kitchen gadget). Roll my potatoes in some olive oil then I place them on a well oiled cookie sheet covered in foil (I pour the foil on the foil) add some Tony's Chacheres (I just can't make my own so Tony's it is). Then I bake them on 350-375 until almost brown. I am not going to lie I like mine almost burnt, but I like all of my food super done (dry chicken and fish for this girl please). 

I am thinking about getting this shirt because I need some more motivation to hit the gym now that I am coming off of my 2 week sick hiatus. I am so glad to be feeling better and I am about to go pack my gym bag so I can hit the gym right after school tomorrow and get it done! If I am going to be in tip top shape for this wedding next year and to run the St, Jude again I better get my butt in gear!


I think I might be more excited about my sister getting married than I ever did for my own wedding. I was a nervous nelly through out the entire process and I had to do it all with PINTEREST! I know I heard a few gasps from you ladies planning your weddings now and yes I am quite perturbed that couldn't pre plan my wedding like y'all have been able too, but if wishes were fishes right. I actually didn't have to do much because my awesome mama was my planner and she kind of just gets me (she did birth me) and everything she had always dreamed of doing for a wedding was exactly what I wanted. There were a few glitches like wrong entrance doors, but if that was the 1 glitch on my wedding day then we made it out pretty unscathed.

Now I just get to sit back and be the moral support /tissue/carrier/ errand girl which I am super excited and can't wait to be at every beck and call!! I am already panicking about making a speech and yes I am already planning on drinking wine and or champagne before hand, but enough about me and on to the happy couple. 

I knew things were different this time around and it just felt right and no I am not saying this because I have to, but because it is true. From the beginning when my sister met Jeff I could just tell she was happy and like I always say relationships aren't supposed to be hard. Yes you have to work at the relationship, but to me life with your love, bff, husband, significant other, or whatever you call your "person" should just fit and Jeff and Jennifer just fit.

Like I told him the day the got back from their engagement weekend, "I hope you know what you are getting yourself into and you aren't just marrying Jennifer you are marrying all of us." To which he replied "well you guys are stuck with me now too." I knew I liked him and it's not just because he can match me for smart-assness (yes that is a hyphenated word).

The plans are already in the works and the date has been set and I am happy to say I will be sharing my wedding anniversary with my best friend and sister and I am thankful that I won't have to remember another important date because I already have a hard enough time remembering all the other ones floating around in my head. Yes I know none of this is about me, but I panic at public speaking and once almost flipped over a table in a room full of parents so I have every reason to panic.

I am just so excited to see my sister so happy and to know that someone will put up with her for the rest of her life. if you know us you know the women in our family can kind of be PITA's, but thankfully there is someone for everyone and she has met her match. Thankfully they both have an aversion to feet so they will be ok. I kid you guys and I am so so so happy for y'all!

I love you Jennifer and Jeff and I can't wait to go on the journey with y'all and see what the future holds for y'all.

Friday, March 1, 2013

5 Years

We may not be celebrating until tomorrow night, but today I get to celebrate 5 amazing years with the sweetest, most wonderful, hardest working, silliest, most amazing man I have ever met in my life. I have to say all of that just in case he ever reads this some day. I kid I kid! Brent Doyle you fit me like a glove and like I always say Thank God I found you because no one would ever put up with my personal brand of crazy the way that you do. 

I honestly never thought that fateful day that I walked into that juvenile delinquent cottage that the young man wearing a fanny pack slung over his shoulder typing on a computer in a stinky office I would be the man I would marry and the father of my children.

So we got married and then decided why not get down to business and have one of those babies. And that started the greatest adventure of our lives.

These have been some of the greatest and craziest 5 years of my life, but I wouldn't want to be awake at 2 a.m. with anyone else even if we are both grumpy.

I love you even on mornings when I spill an entire container of heath coffee creamer and throw my shoes, even when I run out of wine, through crazy honeymoons, and and especially when someone barfs on the floor.

Happy 5 Years my love and to many many more.