Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

Yes, we are crazy. We got up at 5:00, and arrived at Target at 6:00 a.m. We have no idea why we do it, but we do every year. And we always begin at Target. There is nothing of great interest that we need to buy. We are not looking for that "awesome deal," or hot Christmas list item. But, it is we go. I did have my list, and did find a few unplanned good deals. I have three people on my list left to purchase gifts for, with the exception of Blake. After the madness at Target, we went to Panera for breakfast, and then headed to the mall. We picked up a few more gifts, and just enjoyed being out in the madness. Kind of puts me in the Christmas spirit. Wish it put that lady that rammed my foot with her cart in the Christmas spirit.

Thanksgiving Extravaganza!

Jackson definitely made the most of his first Thanksgiving! We had a very busy couple of days, but enjoyed every second of the fun with our family. We began our celebration on Wednesday, and continued with our adventure until last night around 10:30 P.M.

Thanksgiving, Part 1: Dinner with the Freeman's
On Wednesday night, we went to Donnie and Darla's home to have Thanksgiving with Blake's dad's family. We had turkey sandwiches. This is a tradition that has been going on in Blake's family quite some time. We also had lots of side dishes, and desserts. We played Apples to Apples after dinner, and decided to play "Greedy Santa" instead of drawing specific names for Christmas.

Thanksgiving Morning: Blake and I woke up and watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. We took the pumpkin bread that I made to our neighbor next door.

Thanksgiving, Part 2: Lunch with the Ricks'
We went to my parents house to eat with my brother, Nathan, and his fiance, Jill. My mom made a Thanksgiving dinner straight out of Paula Deen's cookbook. It was delicious. I hope all of those weeks of Weight Watchers were not in vain.

Thanksgiving, Part 3: Dinner with the Johnson's
Blake's grandmother's house was the next stop. We had a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, and of course, it was delicious. We drew names for Christmas, and had a great time visiting.

Next Stop: Visit Brad at the Firehall
Brad had to work on Thanksgiving, so we wanted to visit him. All of the firemen were finishing up their Thanksgiving dinner, and we participated in a tour of the fire hall where Brad works.

Last Stop: Back to my parents' house
We finished up the night playing Scrabble with my Dad, while my mom attempted to get Jackson so sleep. He did not want to participate in that activity....too much excitement.

We got back home around 10:30 or so, and Aunt Lydia came to spend the night to get ready for our big shopping trip on Black Friday.

We are so thankful for all the family and friends that we have to share this special time of the year with. We have so much to be thankful for.

9 Months Old and Wellness Visit

On Wednesday, my little Jack turned 9 months old! It's pretty hard to believe that his first birthday is just 3 months away. He is so much fun! His latest trick his waving hi and bye bye to everyone that he sees! He can say "Mama," "Dada," and "Huh"? I never realized how much I used the word "huh?" until Jackson started saying it all the time. For example, "Jackson are you sleepy, huh?," "Do you need your diaper changed, huh?," etc. Now, I will ask him something, and he looks at me, and says, "huh?" We are also adjusting to having to wear shoes....we were able to avoid this the first 6 or 7 months of his life, but he looks a little silly bundled up in a jacket, hood, and hat, with no shoes or socks on. We usually have to do a little scavenger hunt in the car before we get out of the car to look for two little shoes and socks. He is also very mobile. He is not technically crawling everywhere, but he gets where he needs to go by scooting, sliding, and rolling. He can also do the splits! He also has a fetish for electrical cords. He loves to chew on them and shake them. We have unplugged almost everything in his reach, and hid the cords, for fear our child will injure himself.....I thought this was an issue that only my son has, but when we went for his wellness check on Wednesday, a warning was listed on a sheet from the pediatrician (along for a sticker to put on our telephone with the number for poison control) about keeping electrical cords away from children....This must be a common fascination of babies that I was completely unaware of.

At Jackson's wellness appointment on Wednesday, Jackson got a clean bill of health. He weighs 18 pounds, 8 ounces (25th percentile), and is 29 inches long (75th percentile). I forgot his head circumference measurement, but it was in the 75th percentile, as well. Dr. Wiley said that he looked great, and was very pleased with the way his head is rounding out. The flat spot on the back of his head had concerned us a few months ago. Jackson may also begin eating finger foods and some table foods now, so he enjoyed a few treats off of the Thanksgiving table on Thursday.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Until Next Time...

Today, Amy asked me to go with her to Target and Babies R Us to create a gift registry for her baby boy that will be arriving this Spring. We went to Target first, and she scanned many of the essentials....diapers, wipes, bottles, pacifiers, baby wash, washcloths, hooded towels, burp cloths, receiving blankets, etc. We then took a break, and went to Starbucks, and then drove to Babies R Us. She registered for the bedding she is using in the nursery, as well as the travel system, and other large items she is planning to use. We had so much fun looking at all the the baby items!

I couldn't help but think about when Blake and I completed this task about 10 months ago. I remembered how we split this task up into 2 separate trips. I remembered wondering what my little boy would look like in all of the cute little clothes, and how he would like how we had everything set up for him. I remember wondering if he would like the swing or the bouncer. I remembered having a slight meltdown when we approached the aisle with all the the bottles, breast pumps and "accessories," due to my lack of knowledge and inexperience.

It was fun being with Amy today, knowing all of the fun, excitement, and memories she is going to make with her little boy in the months and years to come! We packed up Jackson's swing, Bumbo Seat, and Papasan Chair to loan to her, and hope that her baby boy enjoys them as much as Jack did. I couldn't help but be a little sad when we loaded them into the back of her SUV today. I can't wait to use them again, someday....later.

We ended our afternoon at Chili's with turkey sandwiches....her treat! Yummy!

Congrats Fireman Brad!!

On Thursday night, our family celebrated as Brad graduated from the Fire Academy, and became one of our city's newest firemen. We attended a wonderful ceremony, and are so proud of Brad's accomplishment. We know this has been a dream of his for quite some time. We continued to celebrate after the ceremonies, and had dinner at Ichiban. (Jackson thoroughly enjoyed his first hibachi grill experience). On Friday, we had a cookout at Brad and Lydia's to celebrate with family and friends. Way to go, Brad! We are so proud of you.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Just Jackson

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Take 5

Veryl Tagged Me So Here We Go.....

Ten years ago I was ...

1. 19 Years and a Freshmen at UTC
2. Working at Floyd's Hardware in Soddy Daisy
3. Was driving a 1992 White Pontiac Grand Prix. The driver's side door would not open from the inside and the blinker was nonoperational.
4. I was a History Major
5. Not dating Alisha, basically wasting time

Five Things on my To Do List Today

1. Do some grocery shopping
2. Hang out with Alisha and Jackson
3. Do Nothing!

Five Snacks I Enjoy

1. Popcorn
2. Emerald Almonds
3. A Golden Delicious Apple
4. Gummi Worms
5. Doritoes

Five Things I Would Do if I Were a Millionaire

1. Travel, travel, travel
2. Build our dream home
3. Buy Alisha a Honda Pilot
4. Take Brad to Anfield in England to see a Liverpool FC Game
5. Hire Alisha a maid

Five Places I Have Lived

1. Elliott Street
2. Dayton Pike, Soddy Daisy
3. Lightning Drive, Soddy Daisy

Five Jobs I've Had

1. Assistant Principal at Orchard Knob Middle School
2. Teacher at Soddy Daisy High School
3. Child Care at McConnell Elementary
4. Intern at St. Jude Hospital (Fundraising Division)
5. Walmart

Monday, November 10, 2008

Take 5

I was tagged by former Lightning Drive resident ya go!

Ten Years Ago I was....
1. 18, and Blake was 19...waiting on him to realize I was supposed to be his wife!
2. a Freshman at UTC, taking my first Education classes
3. running 4-5 miles per day
4. driving a super awesome 1994 Chevrolet Beretta, with a Backstreet Boys CD in my Discman, playing through the tape player!
5. Pouring Coffee and making fancy drinks at Barnies Coffee and Tea

Five Things on my To Do List Today:
1. Pick up around the house, and put everything back in its respective place.
2. Go to work.
3. Exercise
4. Go to the bank.
5. Devotion

Five Snacks I Enjoy:
1. Starbucks. Pumpkin Spice Latte or Vivanno.
2. Yoplait Strawberry Yogurt
3. Tropical Trail Mix
4. Baked Cheetos
5. Mentos. The Fresh Maker.

Five Things I would do if I were a Millionaire:
1. Make a very generous donation to our church
2. Build our dream home that Blake and I often dream about (bonus room, dining room, fireplace, hot tub, front porch)
3. Take my parents and Blake's parents on a fabulous vacation to thank them for all they do for us
4. adopt a child (or children)!
5. buy two new cars (one of which being an SUV or van)

Five Places I've Lived:
1. Northmont Road, Hixson
2. Hixson Pike, Soddy Daisy
3. The Love Shack, Soddy Daisy
4. Lightning Drive, Soddy Daisy
5. ??

Five Jobs I've had:
1. Chuck E. Cheese's...where a kid can be a kid!
2. UTC Children's Center, Pre K teacher
3. Barnie's Coffee and Tea
4. 3rd grade teacher
5. 2nd grade teacher

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Happy Birthday, Blake

Today is Blake's 29th birthday! We have kind of been celebrating all weekend. On Friday, the staff at Blake's school were kind enough to give him a little party at work. The teachers had a birthday cake and soft drinks, and gave him a gift card to Olive Garden. On Saturday, we used our gift card, and our little family went out to dinner. I had chicken marsala, and Blake had steak gorgonzola...yummy! Today, we had cinnamon rolls for breakfast (a Sunday morning tradition), and went to church. After church, Blake's mom made taco soup for lunch, and tonight, I had a little family party for him at our house. We had cookie cake, 7 layer taco dip with chips, and neopolitan ice cream. Blake received several nice gifts, and a very special one from Jackson. Happy Birthday, Blake! Jack and I love you!!

Jackson was so excited about the party, he couldn't go to sleep at bedtime. Silly baby!

Friday, November 7, 2008


Jackson called me mama! Blake was giving Mr. Jack a bath Saturday night, and he was getting a bit fussy, because it was almost time for him to eat. I was putting up laundry, and he saw me walk by the bathroom, and he said, "Mama!" He has said it several other times this week, and it just totally melts my heart. I love being Jackson's mama!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

7 Random Facts About Blake

1. I always have chapstick readily available at any time. I am not quite sure why, but every morning when I am getting ready for work I grab my wallet, work keys, personal keys, cell phone and chapstick. When I changed clothes when I get home, my chapstick is placed in the new pocket. When I go to sleep at night, I cannot enjoy my REM's without knowing my chapstick is at arm's reach on my night stand.

2. I have the worst telephone manners. Not when I am on the phone, but whenever other people are on the phone near me, I want to be involved in the conversation even though I have no idea who is talking and what they are talking about. Just ask Alisha. I have to be involved in the conversation and will willingly give all stakeholders my opinion whether they want it or not.

3. My favorite beverage is Dr. Enuf. What is Dr. Enuf (aka D.E.) you ask? It is the original energy booster bottled and sold only in Johnson City, Tennessee. It is a carbonated beverage packed full of vitamins and other nutrients that are quite tasty. There is so much mystique and traditions that surrounds D.E. that I cannot do it justice in this blog entry. Because I do not live in Johnson City, I have to have it imported by my suppliers who, due to legal reason, I cannot mention here. I am very protective about my D.E. since it is in limited supply even going to such links as hiding it in my closet, under the bed or in the fire safe when certain other D.E. lovers come to my house. I do not drink this drink frivolously. I approach the refrigerator, check out my supply and then ask myself, "Has this been a D.E. day?" D.E. days in the past have been when we found out the gender of Jackson, when Jackson was born I took some to the hospital, the last day of school, Friday night after a long work week, etc.

To find out more go to

4. At the age of 28 I took up a new sport, soccer. I play for Steve Zisssou Football Club at the YMCA. We are currently in the off season right now. So every Sunday we pirate a local area high school's practice field and play. I also religiously follow the Liverpool Red's Football Club out of England. I watch them every chance I get usually having to pay 1.99 Euro to watch them online since the games aren't aired here in the U.S. My favorite player is the Spaniard Fernando Torres. If you are lucky, you might see me out sporting my Torres jersey.

5. This might seemed a little lame, but in 1998 I was voted Mr. Soddy Daisy High School.

6. The very first time I flew in an airplane I was the one flying the plane. I decided to take a flying class having never flown in a plane before in my life. The instructor took me out to the Cesna and took me through the preflight procedures. Then, we hopped in the plane, lined it up on the run way and took off with me at the controls. I flew the plane for about 20 minutes and then brought it in for a landing. That was my only lesson. I really didn't have enough time or money at the time to dedicate to the lessons. However, I do desire eventually to obtain my pilot's license.

7. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. For years the Wednesday before Thanksgiving we go to my grandmother's house and eat a turkey sandwich. The next morning, I wake up, put my turkey in the oven and turn on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. My dad will always complain about the fact that the Macy's Parade really isn't a parade but a Broadway Show. He said it all the time when I lived at home. Now I call him and see if I can get it out of him sometime in the conversation. I stay in my P.J's until the parade is over. Then, I get dressed and usually head to my Tutu's (grandmother's) house and have a traditional Thanksgiving meal. After stuffing myself with, ironically, stuffing, my aunts, uncles, parents, grandparents play some type of game. Sometimes Monopoly, other times a good hand of Texas Hold Em. Now, since I have become married, I have placed some alterations in my traditions like going to Alisha's parents for dessert, but that is pretty much the core of my Turkey Day. I look forward to including Jackson in all of these traditions and even creating some new ones.

I tag Brad.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Baby's First Boo

We hope that we made Jackson's first Halloween as special as we could for an 8 month old. I dressed him in proper Halloween attire, with a matching bib, as we went out to run errands, and met Daddy for lunch on Friday. When we got home, we all went on the back deck and carved Jack's first o' lantern. We let him help out, and he pulled all of the "gunk" out of the pumpkin. We did have to supervise, as to make sure that he didn't try to eat the pumpkin seeds. We then all dressed up and went trick or treating. Jackson was a pumpkin, Blake was dressed as Senator McCain, and I was dressed as Governor Palin. It was quite fun dressing up! We went to Nana and Papa's, Nandee and Pop's, Bill and Janet's house, Tutu and Papa's, and Auntie Tina's. We came home with 4 jars of baby food, 3 tubes of Puffs, a new sippy cup, and 2 new books. In celebration of his first Halloween, I fed Jackson his first biter biscuit. It was so fun to watch him explore this new found treat! After his bath, we put on his Halloween pajamas, and sat on the front porch, and passed out candy to our last few trick or treaters. Blake and I had intentions of staying past 10:00, and watching "Ghostbusters," but we were all fast asleep before the DVD was out of the case.