March 31, 2012

March 2012 in Pictures

Don't forget to check out our March 2012 Monthly Update.

FYI - There are practically no pictures from March but I know I will get fussed at if I don't post anything. So, I give you a few mobile uploads and some headshots we took to help advertise hair accessories for a friend's new business.
At the movie theatre after seeing The Lorax - great movie, by the way!

My little pirate, passed out!

tLG painting Mama's toenails.

Modeling headbands and crocheted flowers.

You must checkout Perfectly Peppy!

March 2012 Update

Ah, Spring! Yes, warmer weather is here, hopefully for good, and we have pushed the clocks forward. I am a happy camper!

Let's see here. At the beginning of March I helped host a baby shower for two ladies in our LifeGroup at church to help welcome their sweet baby girls. In fact, I served as a doula for both of them. I am LOVING doula work. Way back when, I would have never guessed that I would have become as passionate as I am about pregnancy and birth. Not for myself of course; although, it has been a very healing experience for me personally. Each of their births were completely different but absolutely beautiful. You can read their stories from my perspective here (#1) and here (#2). I'm still on track with my course work to submit for my doula certification at the beginning of June. Yay!

This month we also celebrated Mike's birthday. His cousin came in from out of town and we all hung out over at his parent's house while he and his Dad spent the day preparing some delicious BBQ pork and ribs. YUM! Recently, Mike also took Skylar fishing and she caught her first crappie and bass. She was beyond thrilled! She also came home with a little minnow who resided in a fish bowl in our kitchen for a few days. He was named Nimo. Not Nemo. Nimo. Just ask Skylar. :)

Mike is still enjoying work life over at Bass Pro. Starting next month he will start teaching Survival Classes for the store. This is SO right up his alley. The mall just opened back up for the 1st time since the May flood of 2010. We are so excited although it has made things a little more difficult for Mike to get to and from work due to the volume of other folks who are also excited. When the mall flooded, the #1 thing on Skylar's mind was Build-A-Bear. She has been asking pretty much non-stop about that one store for 2 years now. Can you guess where we went on opening day?

tLG is doing well. She's reading so good and her spelling is coming along very well. She of course still likes to draw, and color, and paint, and is becoming better with writing her numbers. The orientation of #2 and #3 give her fits sometimes but I'm impressed with how great she is writing in general. She still participates in gymnastics and Awana once a week. She starts Spring Break tomorrow and it's not a moment too soon. I get the feeling that she is a little burned out so hopefully the break will do more good than bad. ;)

Next month is when I travel to San Diego for the next conference with my new company. To be honest, I'm a little nervous. First of all there are about a million details that have to come together in the next 2 week. Second, the thought of being away from my peoples for an ENTIRE week is kind of terrifying. As a mother, I worry enough about tLG when I'm home. I can't imagine being away from her for a WEEK. I'm sure I will feel a lot more confident once I get the logistics nailed down.

Happy Spring!

P.S. There aren't a lot of them, but feel free to hop over and check out our March 2012 Photos.

March 29, 2012

Welcome Back, Opry Mills!

It's been almost two years since the infamous Nashville Flood and today was a BIG day for the quaint little area of 37214 known as Donelson. Our mall reopened. Opry Mills is back and it is 10 times better than before!

For the past two years, tLG has been very concerned about the mall. She has asked me constantly about why it flooded, how it flooded, what happened to the stuff, what are they doing over there, will the mall open, when will the mall open, and what will it look like. However, the most common question is "Mommy, is Build-A-Bear coming back?" She was more concerned about this one store more than anything else. Bless her.

Let me tell you, two years is a long time for an adult to wait for something so it must have seemed like an eternity to a 5-year-old. So today, on opening day, I picked tLG up from school and headed straight to Opry Mills. She was cracking me up with how giddy she was. I heard "Look! Look!" every other second and that was just in the parking lot. As we walked toward the door, she was even more dramatic talking about how she "can hardly stand it." As soon as we entered the building I swear you could hear her heart skip a beat. She was seriously beside herself and, honestly, I was too. It was a good feeling to be back in that mall. I don't think I realized exactly how much I had missed it. Seeing all those people made me even more excited for my little part of town. This is big for Nashville and HUGE for Donelson (and hopefully my property value). :]

As promised, we headed straight to Build-A-Bear. tLG was practically dancing as we walked in. Right away she found a dog (of course) and I let her pull out all the stops for this build. She added a song, bought an outfit, and accessories. It was a special day and I wanted it to be memorable for her as well. I love this kid so much and seeing her excitement gave me that "happy in my heart" feeling. Her dog was given the name Chocolate Chunk and has not left her side all afternoon.
Oh and the mall.... it's absolutely beautiful! I can't wait to visit Opry Mills again. Soon!

March 21, 2012

Spring Confession

Now that the first day of Spring has official come and gone with record-breaking temps and beautiful weather, I have a confession for all of my winter loving friends. You know who you are. I only hope that you will forgive me for what I have done. It really wasn't my fault. Ok, maybe a teensy bit my fault.

Many of you have questioned this unseasonably warm winter we have had. Last year, school closed so many times for snow that I actually lost count. This time, they closed one single day and it wasn't even for snow. It was for what Metro deemed "inclement weather". It had barely sprinkled snow the day before and because we had yet to use a snow day because it was Friday or maybe a combination of the two school closed and we had a 3-day weekend. Not one time this year did we have a good, hard snow. I don't even remember seeing one miniature table snowman grace the feed of my Facebook and no one had any snow cream to boot. It was a rough time for my winter fanatic friends.

Well, I know why it didn't snow. It was all a part of my evil, summer-loving, warm-weather thriving plan. How, you ask? Well, I bought this girl a sled for Christmas. Mwhuhahaha!
You can't see it in the background, but it's a blue one, just like this.....
See, last year I would have paid big bucks for a sled. We certainly needed to be doing something with our time while being out of school and there was plenty of snow to go around. However, a sled was no where to be found. Everywhere was sold out. So, this year, I bought one in early December as soon as they hit the stores. I wanted to be prepared. I also have been friends (not by choice) with Murphy long enough to know that if I make a plan, he will intervene. I buy a sled therefore Murphy works a deal with mother nature and laughs in my face. This time, the joke is on you Murphy! Take that. :)

So, I hope all of my cold weather pals aren't too upset with me. You know I hate the white, flaky stuff. You got plenty last year. I deserved a year off and I will happily listen to your moaning and complaining when this summer is melting us into the pavement. I'll even let you come over and run through my sprinkler and drink my rosemary lemonade. Truce?

I know what you all are thinking. It has snowed in Tennessee as late as April before. Others, like my friend Val are probably thinking, "Now that you've written this, Murphy is gonna stick it to you good." Nope. I've got it all covered. I refuse to pack up the winter clothes until May. That ought to fix the situation right up. Murphy, this time I've got YOUR number. *grin*

March 11, 2012

My Favorite Day of the Year

It's back. My favorite day of the year. Many folks could easily claim Christmas or their birthday or anniversary the best day of the year. Not me. It's the start of Daylight Saving Time.

For several weeks I've been enjoying the fact that the days are getting just a teensy bit longer. I can actually put dinner on the table and it isn't pitch black outside. It's a good feeling. Starting today, I get six months of sun. Sun of the late in the day variety. I could care less about it being bright and shinny in the morning hours. This girl needs her sun at night. Like, really. I NEED it. Lack of sun makes me super grumpy. I need warmth and light and vitamin D I need it during the hours that I'm awake and up and moving. Let me tell ya. That ain't at 6 a.m. I'm a much bigger fan of long summer nights.

I know that many of you are lamenting over the lack of a precious hour of sleep. Typically, I would be too. To be perfectly honest, I would gladly give up TWO hours of sleep just to get back to DST. Oh how I wish we could just stay on this time schedule and never go back.

So, this is me wishing you a happy Daylight Savings Time. Is it too early to send out an invite to my Summer Solstice party?

March 10, 2012

Four Little Words

We had a busy afternoon with a family birthday party. tLG played hard with her cousins. By the time we got home, she was noticeably tired and crashing hard from the cake and ice cream sugar rush. Saturday is also known as "hair washing night" 'round these here parts. My girl was fussing about bath time and declared Saturdays to be "no fun." I'm washing her up and trying to remind her about all the fun things that happen on Saturdays but she's not really buying it. I speed things up sensing that a meltdown is on the horizon. My plan is just to get her in the bed ASAP.

When I get her out of the tub she is naturally complaining about being cold so I wrapped her in a towel and snuggled her up in my lap. At this point, the drama girl says she can't possibly stand up for me to blow dry her hair. Shocker. Sometimes, as a mom, you know when your kid has had enough or when you can push them to continue with the plan. This was not one of those times. So, I met her remark with the option to sit up on the countertop in the sink. Even with me throwing her a bone, it was met with frumpy compliance. But having her big girl body up in the sink gave me a flash back to 4 years prior when her much smaller body was a frequent flyer in the bathroom sink while I would get ready.
As I'm drying her hair, I'm watching her yawn and watching those big brown eyes get heavy. I'm brushing through her soft brown hair that I had threatened to cut off just the week before. I'm filled with compassion for my girl knowing that she's had a big day, knowing that this grumpiness isn't really her fault, realizing that I'm not at my best when I'm tired too.

The words come falling out of my mouth, "you are so beautiful." At first I get no response so I continue my job of brushing and drying. Then, if I would have blinked I would have missed it. I caught a glance of a subtle smile, a quick blush, and a sheepish close to her eyes. I have just lifted her spirit with four simple words. These are words that I know in my soul to be true but words that I probably don't say enough. I began to think about other truths that I know in my heart but fail to express to the person who needs to hear them the most. I relish in that little smile for one more second and say "you are smart and you know what else... you are funny too. You love animals and you are a great artist! There are so many things that I love about Skylar."

And you know what... the rest of the bedtime routine wasn't so bad. In fact, it went rather smoothly. I was 100% prepared for a fight and four little words turned around the whole situation. Sometimes we just have to be reminded that we are special and that there are those who love us in spite of ourself.

March 4, 2012

No-Name Recipe

My hubby is excellent at coming up with new recipes, which comes in very handy when we have a whole lot of this and that but nothing that typically goes in one of my old faithful recipes. I tell him what ingredients are available and he tells me what would be good together. This week he came up with a new one (I still need to share with you the recipe he made up for apple butter pork chops - YUM!). Anyway, he made up something this week that was so delicious I ate it for three days in a row. The only problem is that I have NO idea what to call it. Here's what he came up with.

Name: To Be Determined

2 onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 egg
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles

Chop onions into thin rings (Tip: If you allow them to sit for 10 minutes before cooking they will retain all of their antioxidant properties). Melt butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sautee onions until caramelized. Meanwhile, combine beef, salt, pepper & egg. Divide into 4 balls and press into a patty. Panfry or grill until golden brown on either side. Top each with caramelized onions & blue cheese crumbles. Place in the oven on broil for just a few minutes to warm the cheese.

Let me tell you, that blue cheese and onion toping was delicious and the egg kept the beef very moist! We served ours with sweet potatoes but most any side dish could work here. Now, what in the world should I call this concoction? Help!