Forward Motion

Productivity makes me happy.

More specifically, my own productivity makes me really happy. And it makes my husband happy and I'm sure Lily Grace appreciates it too.

I got a lot done today and I'm feelin' really great! I was on such a high that I cleaned out the refrigerator. Now I am drained. I wonder how long it will take for me to recover? I'm sure it will be quite some time before I clean it out again. Really, if I just took things out in a timely manner I would never have to clean the fridge out again. A revolation has occurred.

Starting to learn to deal with Lily Grace's Terrible Twos. Last night we went to the football game (Go Blue Devils) for 3 1/2 minutes. Then the fit began. Many factors: the overbearing, recently entered the picture, trying to make up for lost time Grandparents; the ostentatious gifts that they brought to the game for Lily Grace to play with; the other kids who also wanted said gifts; and most importantly, exhaustion.

I've come to realize that as a parent, on account of your children, sometimes you have to miss out. Last night was the first time that I fully embraced this concept. I wasn't even mad we had to leave. While my child's best interest is always in the forefront of my mind, my selfishness is always looming and making me somewhat bitter. Horrible, I know. But I'm being completely honest here. Anyhow, last night I literally only cared about fixing Lily Grace's situation so that she could be happy, whatever that took. I feel slightly like a real adult. If I can become selfless when it comes to my children, then I truly believe I will be a successful parent. (Whatever that means. ;))


I'll see you around my home town

Hey! Guess what? I didn't give up! I've just been super busy. Let's see, there was Lily Grace's birthday party, school started, rekindled my relationship with the gym, started teaching a Wednesday night class at church, and a whole slew of other things that were so important, I can no longer remember what they were.

Well, really, the last post was so in-depth that it burnt me out. As much as I love having the pictures when I go back and read that post, it was such a pain in my arse that I'm not doing that again! One picture will be enough. If I have time. I figure an imperfect post without all the stops is better than none. Hence the one you are getting now.

Life's great. The baby is great. Hubby is great! Football season started and the cotton's blooming. My Southern side is fortified. (Yea, I just said that!!)

Too cute for words, I know.
A HUGE thanks to Jessica at "A Blog to Brag About" for fixing up this pre-made for me! It was too cute to pass up, but all my wordage at the top didn't fit. I e-mailed her, and shazaam! she was so kind to alter it a bit for me. So, THANK YOU so so much!!

P.S. Look what my incredible husband got me! :)

Two pictures! Wow, I out-did myself. Promise it won't take me 2 months to write again.


My fingers hurt. Oh, well, now your back's gonna hurt 'cause you just pulled landscaping duty!

In other words, I've been working in my yard all day. I've been spoiled by my deck garden and have not really done a single thing to the rest of the yard all summer. Sorry, yard! I really enjoy working in my yard, but as we live in a rental I try not to invest too much into it. This yard would take a lot to get the soil right for flower beds and such. Well, maybe not A LOT a lot, but more than I am willing. So, I make due. Such as, my deck, or container, garden:
I know, I know, I've outdone myself! Well, if you had seen my weak attempt at three tomato plants last summer, this would simply blow you away. Needless to say, my tomatoes didn't do too well. I may have only produced two tomatoes so far this summer, but my plant is healthy and happy! I used 'Big Boy' this year, but next year I will be trying 'Better Boy', and possibly adding one more plant. I like to take things slow and easy. :)

During my time outside I pulled weeds, pruned trees, cut down and moved old trees, slayed a weed jungle that was taller than me, and saved a few trees' lives. Literally. There are these vines--if you know anything about them please tell me more--that will grow up and literally pull a tree down. This happened to at least two of three fallen trees on the far side of our pond. That had to be some time last spring. As soon as I noticed, I took my pruners and trimmed those trees as much as I possibly could so we could at least walk over them. Well, this time around, I cut all the limbs off that I had missed, making the now dead trees much easier to move and finally got them out of the way.
See that? Nope, didn't think so, cuz I moved all of it! Three dead trees! Sometimes, I amaze myself. Now, this next little area was completely overrun with weeds and grass and I was fearful that my lantana and knockout roses were going to be choked out. Also, some time ago I began putting brick I found behind the shed around where my garlic is, also overrun, and never finished. So I did that too.

Man, it feels good to get stuff done. Now, if the husband notices or not, I don't really care because I know what all I have accomplished! I have realized over the past couple of years that yard work is like a haircut. If he's not here to physically see it happening, it doesn't phase him. Just as well, if I mess something up, he'll never notice! But once I point it all out, I know he'll be proud of me! :)
Now, I am no photographer, but when I do get my camera out in the yard I like to take pictures of the little things that make me smile. Here are a few:

My aloe is struggling and this guy's foot is broken
thanks to curious kitties sleeping in this bowl

A couple of many bird houses and feeders throughout the yard

Wall decor on the side of the barn

Everyone needs a whirly bird

My bike. Thanks Dad. I know, it's really pink.
But, I'm a woman...so I'll embrace my femininity.

LOVE my bench! Thanks Nana and Papa!

He hides somewhere in between the mint and oregano

The black-eyed susans that inspired my deck garden. The person who gave them to me will probably never know what she sparked in me. I have always been interested in gardening, but was always scared of it for some reason. These pretty things, and some wisdom from Nana, inspired me to just do it and not care if I kill it or whatever could possibly go wrong.

And, of course, my love, my little monster, my sunshine! :)


Feelin' good, Feelin' great

This article has some great (and easy!) tips on how to stay fit. I was recently at a point where I felt really comfortable, and even good, about my body. But, then I came off of being on the road every weekend for a month and am not feeling so comfy anymore. I know I need to hit the gym and watch my foods when I start feeling miserable all the time. I feel like I've just eaten a huge meal all day, even when it's been a while. Being at home I find myself snacking way too much. I like the idea of having a veggie tray in the fridge. It really gives you no excuse not to munch on the healthier things. I often times find myself making excuses as to why I don't feel like getting the carrots out (they're all the way in the bottom of that veggie drawer... and... and... ok! I'm lazy!)
One tip in particular that I challenge myself to do is this: When I feel the urge to go to the fridge I usually try and put it off as long as possible, which ultimately leads to a "binge" which is why I need to implement my own tip more often. Ok, so now that I've checked myself, here it is: When I feel the urge to go to the fridge, I go and fix a glass of water. My need for instant gratification is satisfied, and I'm saving myself, well, a lot of obvious things. It's just so easy to get distracted by yummy drinks and snacks. Plus, if I only keep skim milk and water in there I feel like I am depriving my family. Obviously, my daughter has to have whole milk and fruit juice, so there's two more things. But no sane adult drinks Mott's for Tots nor do they only ever want to drink milk. Which leads me to keep sweet tea (extra sweet the way the hubby likes it), lemonade, and any assortment of beverages so my husband doesn't get punished for my lack of self control. Anyhow, the water thing is easy to do and I keep an always full Brita pitcher. Nothing is more satisfying than an ice-cold glass of purified water. Yumm!

I like cold things. And I like sweet things. Which equals popsicles and ice cream (my weakness). Edy's Fruit Bars are delish and relatively good for you, but if you really want to watch your frozen treat intake or could simply live off of popsicles, like me, then I suggest Crystal Light popsicles. Oh man, they are wonderful! They always satisfy my sweet tooth and my cravings for cold, icy treats. We have a SnoBiz in town and it is fortunate that I have grown up so much, because if I were still on my own that is probably what I would live off of. If you don't know what SnoBiz is, think Hawaiian Ice or I guess, it's just flavored shaved ice, really. I could literally eat it every day for the rest of my life! Thank you Crystal Light--an adult's alternative!

I'm looking forward to going back to work so I get can back into my workout routine. It's so nice to be able to leave the baby at daycare a little longer so I can hit the gym. My goal this fall: to actually lose weight. It's going to be tough, but I'm ready to get serious and really push myself to stick with a routine. Typically my routines last for a max of two weeks and then a month of being sedentary. Not this time, not this girl!! I'm gonna do it, with you and God and everybody else as my witness! Hey, I just got inspired! :)


Now THIS is something to blog about!

My Pampered Chef party was a success!! Not as many people came as I would have liked, considering I invited 30, but I had a great time, the house looked great and I got tons of compliments on the house, the food, the set up, etc. And yes, I'll take all the free PC stuff I can get, but feeling loved and appreciated is more than any of those fabulous kitchen gadgets could ever do for me. I'm always nervous to have people over because I feel like they can see into my soul and I try to keep that hidden for fear someone might not like it. That is perfectly normal, right? Well, I'm a little sick of being gaurded and this was going out on a major limb, but we're having Lily Grace's party soon and I'm really excited about it now! :)

Clearly I am on a successful party high! Maybe it will last all the way until like next week! Wouldn't that be something? Or forever??? Ok, ok, too much I know! Anyhow, I'd post pictures, but I was enjoying myself too much to stop and get the camera out. I prefer to commit things to my mental log, at the expense of others, but I just get caught up in the moment. Also, in this particular situation of 8 people (including myself and the consultant) pictures would have been like "look at me! I did it!" Which, I did but..... My husband tells me I read too much into things. I. couldn't. agree. more. I torture myself with what I assume others are thinking. Another thing to work on. I'm all about self-improvement and as for now, I'm maxed out, or rather would prefer to coast for a bit before I take another challenge. However, I think making assumptions is something I need to work on because we all know what happens when you assume: ass = u + me


Hence the Name

I'm being uber domestic and hosting a Pampered Chef party tomorrow. I've invited only people I know from church (think of it as a test run for future parties) and I'm pretty excited! For the first time, probably in my entire life, I'm not stressed. I haven't even started stressing about Lily Grace's birthday party in August and I didn't give dinner a second thought for two nights in a row now! Not sure what has come over me, I'll try not to worry about it though, or else the cycle will begin all over. Now that I've finally gotten this wife/mommy thing under control, I have to go back to work in a week and a half. Isn't that the way it goes? So everyone will be expecting me to be on top of my game once school starts back, but hopefully they won't expect too much of me as everyone should know by now that I don't do well with change.... Hmm..not good for an adult. Luckily I have like 7 more years until I have to be an actual adult!

I had decided on a Dora birthday party at the park. Not only do I realize that this is cliche and unfashionable, but I realized that it's just lame. So, I scraped it and am planning on a birthday picnic here at the house. (Think pink, lime, turquoise checkered table cloths, watermelons, bubbles, yard golf, and all things yummy!) I have worked hard in my home to finally get it to where I felt like visitors would feel comfortable and welcome and might even like it. Side note: It's a rental so I didn't want to put too much into it, but had an epiphany one day that rearranging furniture can change an entire stupid room to awesome! Anyhow, after all of mine and Eddie's hard work there's really no reason to go to the no A/C, public restroom, and uncontrolled public park. Not saying we'll never have a birthday there, just not this one. Ok, maybe never. I'm started to get super excited for Lily Grace's party and have just about everything I need sans food. Once again, I am suspicious of my on-top-of-things-ness and put-together-ness, but I'm going to try and enjoy it while it lasts! Who knows, it may never go away?

P.S. CUTEST party invitations I customized on http://www.zazzle.com
http://www.zazzle.com/pd/realviewpopup?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.zazzle.com%2Frlv%2Fisapi%2Fdesignall.dll%3Faction%3Drealview%26pdt%3Dinvitation%26pending%3Dfalse%26pid%3D161279219835690919%26rvtype%3Dproduct%26view%3Dfront%26max_dim%3D675%26bg%3D0xffffff%26square_it%3Dtrue%26draw_relative_size%3Dtrue%26style%3D5x7%26media%3Dbasic%26color%3Dwhite%26context%3Ddefault_invitation%26view_hack%3Dfvbv%26drawareaboundingbox%3Dfalse%26drawsafearea%3Dfalse%26view_auto%3D1.4&dim=675 (So, I wish I could post a pic but I haven't gotten that far with rights and all that... maybe this link will work!:))


Weary Stay at Home Mother Leaning Too Much on the "TV Babysitter"


This article has some really great advice! I find myself waiting as long as possible to turn the TV on and forcing myself to turn it off for my daughter. She just loves it so much. The first thing she asks for in the morning is "TV?" I challenge myself to serve breakfast and spend some time together before I finally give in. I'm not going to say that I don't cave sometimes, because I do. I want to get an early shower and the TV is perfect to keep her entertained while I am doing so. The kicker: turning it off once I'm done! This is a great article though and I wanted to share and will definitely try to implement these tips into my days at home with Lily Grace.


The Lion Sleeps... For Now

I love my little bundle of joy/monster more than anything in the whole world!! Lily Grace is a true blessing from the Lord, but he knew exactly what he was doing when he "blessed" us. She is so perfect and sweet and tender and dainty with her sweet words: "luh lou mama" and giving me all the sweet kisses I could ask for. But, on the other hand she can be a holy terror that if you didn't know any better you'd think was a different child! Now I know what you're thinking, all children can be that way! That may be true, but I am convinced that my child takes her measures to the extreme. After all, at home we do call her "EXTREME BABY!!!!!!" (with some echoes and super hero theme song to boot). There's an old adage we used to recite for my little sister and at the time I thought, how perfect for her, but *now* I think, what were we thinking? This little diddy was clearly made up with the anticipation of my child. And it goes a little something like this:

"There was a little girl

who had a little curl

right in the middle of her forehead.

And when she was good,

she was very, very good.

But when she was bad

she was HORRID."

You're probably thinking I am being silly, but it is so true of my precious offspring. My mother laughs and says I am getting exactly what I deserve. I'll take it though. I wouldn't trade my daughter for anything in the entire world. I love her (until she hits her teens:) ).


I got a feeling.....

Today was a good day. A good day back "home" would probably consist of some heady lunch at a crunchy little bistro and ah-mazing bargains at all my favorite stores (that does sound fun)! However, today's good, no wonderful, day was spent eating shrimp and crab legs à la in-laws and riding four-wheelers and the mule (think half four-wheeler, half golf cart) around the huntin' land where a 9 foot gator almost got one of our dear friends! Can you believe it?! I can't lie though. I really enjoy going out there with my husband and today we took our bundle of joy who will be 2 in August and we had a blast! It was a relaxed and beautiful South Georgia day and it's ones like these that I wouldn't trade for all the sky scrapers in the world! Did I mention I woke up and took my bike for a refreshing ride to start my day? "Ahhh...."

On a side-note...I would like to be in a pageant some time in my life.. just one! I'll put it on my bucket list (I just started it right this second!) I think it would be fun to get all glammed up and strut around for a little while.. who knows? I could win??? :)


Independence Day

My whole life the 4th of July has been a big production. Not only is it super fun to get amped up, cross the state line to buy "real" fireworks and cook out, but it's a time to spend with family and friends. The fact that my baby sister's birthday is July 4th always added to the excitement and the sheer delight of always having something fun to do. Since I moved "down South" I find myself wondering on this day if I will even get to light a sparkler. This is just unheard of. Where I come from there are exciting fireworks shows on every corner and if you were lucky you could even catch more than one. It was always fun to decide where we would go to view the action. Here in Tifton, they don't even have a fireworks display. Or do they? No one ever knows...some years they might, some years they don't. No one ever knows, you don't know who to contact to ask, and you'd be damned to try and get to another county--yes, I said county--in time to see some, because whichever one you picked probably isn't having them (womp womp wish we'd known before we drove 45 minutes out of town!). So, I try to make the best of it. For one, I try not to be the control freak that is bursting out of me: Wake up for an all-American breakfast, get ready in our not cheesey or over-the-top red, white and blue outfits, visit family for hotdogs, hamburgers and all the fixin's, swim and relax, and pack the cooler for the fireworks show at the park (Hey, that sounds pretty fun). I sit back, and whatever the day brings me, which will probably not be much seeing as how we have no amenities here in our rural community, I try and be thankful for. Just being able to be with my family makes me happy. I just wish I could give my daughter and husband the fun memories that I was fortunate enough to enjoy when I was young. Who knows? Maybe someday this small town will get their act together and even have a parade? I'm not sour, though it may seem, I just sigh and wish I could be some place bigger. I'll have to try and make do--like I am becoming acustom to. Have a happy and safe 4th of July!