Tuesday, October 28, 2008

7 Random Facts

Beth tagged me...so here are 7 random facts in the life of me!

1. I love coffee shops and book stores. I used to work at a coffee shop when I was in college, and I loved it. One of my favorites is Rembrants downtown. But, I don't like regular coffee. I like the fancy drinks....lattes and mochas. I would rather go on a date for coffee and dessert than go out to eat dinner.

2. I do not watch much television, and the movie selection that I have seen is quite limited. The only show I faithfully watch is The Office on Thursdays. We only have basic cable, and I am not sure we will extend our cable package again. We don't miss it at all.

3. I am stubborn enough, that I actually consider it perseverance. If I think I can't accomplish something or if someone else thinks I can't do something, it just makes me try even harder. Because of this, I taught inner city school for 3 years, got my masters degree, and have so far nursed Jackson for 8 months (they are all equally difficult tasks).

4. I love when my house is clean and organized. I thought this task would be easier when I wasn't working full time. Ha! When everything is clean, I want to leave and go somewhere so nothing gets messed up.

5. Blake and I met each other when we were 13, in middle school. He was very outgoing and I was extremely shy. We started dating seriously when we were 20. In our premarital counseling, we scored polar opposite scores on the personality profile. Opposites do attract.

6. I enjoy Christmas Eve more than Christmas Day. I always get up early and go to the mall, even if I have all of my gifts purchased. I usually wait and wrap presents on the 24th. We go to a Candle Light Christmas Eve service at my parents' church. My parents host a party afterwards. Then we go to Blake's parents and open up one Christmas gift, pajamas. Blake's dad reads the Christmas story, and we pray. I can't wait to introduce all of the traditions to my son.

7. I love my baby boy, and I am thankful that God picked me to be his mommy. He has changed my life, and I never knew I could love someone who is so little, so much.

I tag Christy, Amy, and Blake!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Some Pig

This morning, I stumbled out of the car. I unclicked the car seat. I walked towards the building where I work with Jackson. I walked in front of my car. I thought I saw a large dog. I attempted to detour. It turned to me and SNORTED! There was a pig on the loose this morning! This was not something I anticipated a greeting from this morning. Strangely enough, the pig evidently lives near the church, chained to a tree. I guess ya never know what the day is going to bring! I have giggled like a school girl all day, thanks to my morning encounter with livestock! Oink Oink!

Fall Festival at Church

Jackson dressed up in a Halloween costume for the very first time last night for the fall festival at our church. We decided to let him be a "Jack" o' lantern. I snapped just a few pics, and then my camera started acting a bit crazy. Darla let me borrow her camera when she left, and I was able to get some more pics. We had a great time. All the babies and kiddos at church looked so cute in their costumes!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Roots and Wings

Our lovely baby boy turned 8 months old today. Alisha and I cannot believe how quickly the time has flown. It is amazing to me the exponential growth Jackson has experienced from 0-8 months. Just yesterday Jackson began to make his first crawl forward. I cannot believe that my little boy who has been solely reliant on Alisha and me for all forms of transportation is now to the point of moving around on his own. Sometimes I wish that we could just live in this time for the rest of our lives. But the words of my mother speak to me telling me that it would be selfish to wish he stayed in this baby state for the rest of his life. "A parent has to give their child two things," she has always said, "roots and wings." Hopefully, with the Lord's help, Alisha and I can give Jackson roots that reach far and deep, even in these early times, so that when these small crawls transform in long flights, both he and we will be prepared.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Making the Grade

When I was a little girl, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. I taught elementary school for 6 years, and am now working hard at my new job...mommy. While I was teaching, I met so many great people and formed many great friendships. When you spend 40 or more hours per week with cohorts in the same place and share in similar, yet quirky experiences, you are bound to make some great memories. Right, Amy? (Think tattle box and Ebony). My friend Robin and I taught together for 3 years at my first job, and this past year she moved to the school that I am currently taking a leave of absence from. We have kept in touch, and made some memories at our favorite meeting spot, Starbucks. Robin is one of those God sent friendships. She is absolutely precious and a strong woman of faith. She is in the process of adopting a sweet baby boy right now, and we can't wait to meet him. We have seen pics of this little guy, and he is beautiful. I know she is going to be the best mommy to him. She has been really busy with all of her adoption paperwork lately, and I offered to help her out with her class report cards Thursday night. She felt she was going to have to pull an "allnighter" otherwise. My job was to average her grades. The teacher in me felt so empowered calculating numbers with my ink pen for that final average! She showed up around 7:00 with pizza in hand, as well as a pink Hello Kitty calculator for me to compute with. She is a woman after my own heart! I averaged the grades, and we talked and laughed and had as much fun you can have averaging grades. Our night was complete when Blake arrived home from work around 10 with 2 pumpkin spice lattes in hand.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bye Bye Baby Weight!!!

I did it!! And I am proud of myself. Before I got pregnant, I walked 3 or 4 miles most days, and Blake and I worked out at the the YMCA a couple of nights per week. But during my pregnancy, I was unable to exercise, and of course gained a normal amount of "baby weight." At first, the pounds were shedding quickly, but then, I hit a plateau, and became a bit frustrated. I was trying to eat healthy, but was having to make sure I was eating enough calories since I was nursing Jackson. So, I joined Weight Watchers at the end of the summer. They have a special program for nursing moms and explained to me that I really shouldn't lose more than 1 or 2 pounds per week if I were eating enough for Jackson and me. So, I slowly changed my diet and started exercising again, 4-5 times per week. Today, I went to weigh in, and I have lost 15.4 pounds. I weigh exactly the same as I did when I got pregnant. I am going to keep going...I still have more to lose, but I have met my first goal. I am really enjoying eating healthy, and walking is kind of addictive. I try to go a little further everyday in a shorter amount of time...it's kind of like a little competition with myself. Bye bye baby weight! See ya next time.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Last week, while Blake was off for Fall Break, Jackson perfected "dada." He said it over and over again. We were not too sure that he had made the connection as to who dada was, but today, he proved us wrong. Jackson woke up a little after 4, and after I fed him, I layed him down in our bed since Blake's alarm goes off at 5. I knew Blake wouldn't mind a little morning attention from Jackson, since normally he doesn't see him until 5 or 6 at night. Blake was snoozing, and Jackson started touching Blake's face, rubbing his eyes, and pulling his hair. Blake still had his eyes closed, and Jackson continued to attempt to get a little attention from dada. Then he started gently patting his hand on Blake's face, and said dada....dada. Blake's eyes opened wide, he had a huge grin on his face. So sweet. I love my boys!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Learning by Example

Jackson has been working on developing his crawling skills. He can scoot all over the place, and is becoming a little frustrated at times when he can't transport himself as quickly as he would like, or when he can't explore something that is not within reach. Last weekend, his relatives were trying to help Jackson along with perfecting his transportation skills. Any good teacher knows that modeling is the best way to teach, right?

Pumpkin Patch

On Saturday afternoon, Blake and I took Jackson to the Pumpkin Patch/Fall Festival at my parents' church. The pumpkin patch is actually open each night until Halloween, and they have some gorgeous pumpkins and gourds. At the festival, there were craft and food booths set up, and a hay ride. There were also inflatables, and Blake challenged me to race him through the obstacle course, and I accepted. He won, but I admit, it was very fun. He just barely beat this postpartum momma! Jackson also went on his first hay ride, with his Papa chauffeuring. Jackson got his own baby pumpkin, and a sticker certifying that he was an official visitor at the patch.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Oh my!

In my original post, I was going to show off my newest endeavor, making Jackson's baby food. I felt very domesticated on Tuesday when I pureed my son's green beans and banana. I was (and still am) planning to start doing this on a regular basis. I am planning to buy little ice cube trays that I have read about and prepare his meals myself. All the while, I have been very excited about doing this for him. It seemed to be a bit more economical and wholesome, right? I looked down at him today, and noticed he was chewing on something. Dog food. Disgusting, golden retriever, Bi Lo brand dog food. So much for wholesome and homeade. Boys will be boys, right?

Fun in the Park

Tuesday night, Blake and I took Jackson to Coolidge Park and to ride the carousel for the very first time. The weather was perfect, and we had such a fun time. We parked on High Street, and walked across the Walnut Street Bridge. Then we rode the carousel, and walked around the park. We walked back across the bridge, around the Riverfront, and then back to High Street. Blake and I then treated ourselves to coffee and dessert at Rembrant's. I had an decaf iced mocha and chocolate chip cookie, and Blake had a strawberry Italian soda and cheesecake. We had such a fun time.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Another Tale on Blake

Jackson was crying about 3 a.m. a couple of nights ago.....Blake hit the snooze button on the alarm clock to soothe the crying child. I guess that was my cue. I guess Jackson is indirectly our alarm clock.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Silly Boy

Jackson is scooting around all over the place. I have retrieved him out from under a rocker, his bed, and changing table. Last night, I walked into the kitchen, and heard him whimpering. He was not too happy that his head wouldn't fit under the couch in the living room. It was prohibiting movement! He cracks me up!

Picture Day

Monday was picture day at Mother's Day Out. It was about 85 outside, and I just could not bring myself to dress him in proper fall/winter attire for the occasion. So, he wore a fire truck outfit. What do you think Uncle Brad?

I am so sleepy....

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Road Trip!

Jackson and I met Blake at work Monday afternoon, and went to Nashville with him. He had a meeting with the State Dept. of Ed. on Tuesday, so Tiffany and her family invited us to come to their house in Murfreesboro, so Blake wouldn't have to drive into Nashville from Chattanooga on Tuesday. We had such a fun time! Monday, we went to a wonderful Mexican restaurant, Camino Royale. They serve the best taco salad I believe I have ever tasted. She also introduced us to a new flavor of ice cream, Mayfield's Blueberry Cream Pie. I was a bit skeptical of the flavor at first, but it was incredible! I highly recommend it!

While Blake was in meetings on Tuesday, Tiffany and I had a fun time with our baby boys. We walked around the mall, and she took me to a place called "The Avenue" that just opened a while back. It is an outdoor mall, with lots of the same stores at Hamilton Place, but they have courtyards and an outdoor playground in between some of the stores. It was really neat. We had lunch, and of course, made a Starbucks run, and she showed me the town square of Murfreesboro, and the old houses in downtown. It is a really neat place to live, but I still really miss her, and wish she lived closer! We did have a fun time with our boys, and talking new mommy talk. It has been the coolest experience to go through our pregnancies together, and now raising our babies together (they are just 3 weeks apart). She bought these matching outfits for the boys when we were pregnant....we had to have picture time today!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

My Favorite Things

How many of you have ever seen the movie The Sound of Music? I am going to confess to you that even though I am a 28, soon to be 29, year old man, The Sound of Music is one of my favorite movies. I am not sure why? Part of it has to do with the fact that my mom to this day can recount for you the almost pilgrimatic experience she had when she went to see the movie with her friends. Another reason is because I am a musical person which gives me a love for the way that music brings the Von Trapp family together.

However, one thing I have never understood for the longest time is the song titled My Favorite Things. In the scene, the children are scared because of a thunderstorm and all run into Maria's room. She begins to tell them how when she becomes scared, she simply remembers her favorite things, and then doesn't feel so bad. It has always been a concept I have understood. The part where my understanding goes astray is when Maria begins to describe her favorite things:

"Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens

Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens

Brown paper packages tied up with strings

These are a few of my favorite things"

Earlier in my life I would look at this song and think "HOW LAME!!!" How in the world could things like this be your favorite things. I never could understand this concept. I always thought that favorite things should be things that are on a grander scale, i.e. travelling around the world, working at an incredible job, becoming a VIP in your respected field. The list could go on. See, this is what is engrained in our minds as young, vulnerable adults. The things that matter are position, power and monetary objects.

Oh how wrong I was. Don't you wish that you could have the perspective in your younger years that you have now? The ability to sit back and see what is truly important in life?

As many of you know I recently changed jobs. Changed from a job that I had been in for six years into a position that even though it is what I wanted has been sort of a challenge. There have been times that I myself have felt like I am in my own thunderstorm, unsure of what the outcome will be, unsure of what this storm will bring. It has been through these times that I have begun to see what exactly Maria was talking about when she allowed extremely small things that were her favorite things to help her not feel so bad.

As I sit at work, it is not raindrops on roses or whispers on kittens that come to my mind; however, there are small, simple things that in my younger and more vulnerable years I might have overlooked. What do I think of? What are my favorite things? Jackson's laugh when I kiss him on his neck. Walking around the neighborhood with Alisha and Jackson in the evenings. Conversations with my Dad while we ride down the rode together. Sitting with Alisha on the sofa and watching her fall asleep with her head on my shoulder. My mom calling me in the mornings to tell me to have a good day. Watching UT games with my brother and talking to him more than paying attention to the game. Staying up with Jackson early in the morning when he can't sleep. Jackson's excitement when I come home from work. Holding Alisha's face in my hands, even if only for a few minutes, and telling her I love her.

These are a few of my favorite things.

Thanks Maria!