Sunday, January 1, 2012

112 Things to Do In 2012

I had a thought today about putting together a list of things I'd like to accomplish this year. Some big, some small. I picked 112 items since it was 2012...that makes sense to me, at least! I have been working on this list for the better part of all afternoon, and finally finished it a few hours ago! I wanted to wait until the kids were asleep before I posted it to share. Thanks to all my friends and family for their suggestions!!

1. Take a family vacation to a new place we haven’t been to as a family
2. Go on a mission trip
3. Lose the 25 lbs I want to lose this year
4. Do something out of my comfort zone
5. Sing a song acapella in church
6. Spend more time outside with the kids
7. Get rid of satellite/cable
8. Have family pictures done with the kids
9. Go on a blind date
10. Limit internet time to 7 hours/week
11. Learn how to say “Jesus Loves You” in another language
12. Spend a day doing things for others
13. Don’t spend any money for a period of 24 hours
14. Read “in character” to the kids
15. Go visit my mom overseas
16. Spend an afternoon at the park with the kids
17. Learn how to knit
18. Have a no occasion party
19. Take a cooking class
20. Read 12 books from “100 books to read before you die”
21. Take a piano lesson
22. Read Confident Woman by Joyce Meyers
23. Get a facial
24. Highlight my hair
25. Become a prayer warrior
26. Update both baby books
27. Start (and finish) a scrapbook for James
28. Start a family scrapbook
29. Find someone willing to “Mom Swap” for a day, and do it
30. Watch a movie that only has subtitles (foreign film, etc)
31. Cook Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon
32. Find a pen pal in another country
33. Write one old-fashioned, hand written letter a month

34. Learn how to make cake pops
35. Potty train James
36. Teach Gracie how to tie her shoes
37. Get my eyebrows waxed
38. Get a 60 minute massage
39. Go to a concert
40. Read a book of poetry
41. Go to “karaoke night” at a local place
42. Make Caribbean style chicken wings
43. Go horseback riding
44. Go on a boat ride
45. Go hunting
46. Cook something with deer meat
47. Sing “Singing in the Rain” while actually IN the rain
48. Have my name put on my Bible
49. See a show at Alabama Shakespeare Festival
50. Take the kids to a museum
51. Have a picnic
52. Do 6 Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes (instead of 3)
53. Perform a random act of kindness
54. Paint a picture
55. Take a dance class
56. Cook a turkey
57. Visit an old friend
58. Go on a hike/nature walk
59. Go fishing
60. Save all my change/coins for the year
61. Learn a song in another language
62. Be involved in a musical
63. Have an “unbirthday” party on a gloomy/rainy day
64. Learn how to change a tire
65. Paint the hallway bathroom
66. Take a trip to the zoo
67. Visit the capitol in Montgomery
68. Send someone flowers
69. Make a cheesecake from scratch
70. Take the kids to a public library
71. Read to Gracie’s kindergarten class again
72. Save 3 weeks of pay in an emergency fund
73. Invest some money
74. Get my passport
75. Let the kids make dinner (I supervise)
76. Buy someone coffee
77. Volunteer my time/services for a day
78. Read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
79. Host a grown up party
80. Go to a football game
81. Write a song
82. Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes (literally!)
83. Learn how to read sheet music
84. Praise God during a storm
85. Forgive someone
86. Don’t say anything negative for one day
87. Make a homemade Valentine and then give it away
88. Give a stranger a compliment
89. Leave a note of encouragement for a waiter/waitress when eating out
90. Pay for the order of the person behind you in the drive-thru line
91. Play a game of laser tag
92. Take the kids bowling
93. Have a “date night” with Gracie & James, separately
94. Share my testimony with someone
95. Bake cookies and take them to a nursing home
96. Take a trip just me and the kids
97. Work with the kids to memorize 1 Bible verse each month
98. Watch “Passion of the Christ”.
99. Attend a game at Stanhope Elmore
100. Do something special for an important person in my life
101. Go see Breaking Dawn Part II
102. Buy a lottery ticket
103. Plant some flowers
104. Make a special school lunch for Gracie once a month
105. Buy a puzzle and put it together
106. Sing with Jason Easterling and Laura Wesley again
107. Make homemade gifts for the kids birthdays this year
108. Make homemade ice-cream
109. Play bingo
110. Write a letter of appreciation to someone I admire
111. Have a themed dinner & a movie night
112. Make Paula Deen’s Banana Pudding

Friday, September 30, 2011

Elephant in the Room

"Elephant in the room" is an English metaphorical idiom for an obvious truth that is being ignored or goes unaddressed. (Wikipedia)

I have been having a hard time lately. And if I am being honest, it is because I am divorced. And when it comes to church that is hard to ignore. Especially when it's so obvious to me at times, but maybe not as obvious to other people. I stand out. And I get that. But lately I have been having some trouble with that.

I only bring that up to share an absolutely hysterical conversation with my 5-year-old daughter that is related to the hard time I've been having.

I was on the phone with Amy, discussing some of my issues with the situation to her, and I made the exact comment of: "I seriously felt like the elephant in the room."

She and I talked for a few minutes (the kids were close by in the kitchen because I was getting dinner ready) and then it was time for her to pick Jackson up from daycare. So we hung up and Gracie said, "Why did you feel like an elephant, Mama?"

Silence. I thought for a second and said, "Gracie, what are you talking about?"

"Well," she says, "You told Miss Amy that you felt like an elephant in the room."

I nodded, still not getting exactly what she was asking me. And then I forgot that children at her age are very literal. When you say something, they think you mean it.

"You shouldn't feel like an elephant in the room," she says, "because you aren't fat and you don't have a trunk!"

I seriously couldn't breathe I was laughing so hard. Thank you to my sweet big girl for that much needed laugh in a tough situation.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Ten years seems like a long time. And like everyone else who remembers that day, so much has changed for me in ten years. I saw the cover of People magazine the other day of children who were not even here when 9-11 happened. Their mother's were pregnant, and many of them lost their fathers in 9-11.

It is hard for me to forget where I was that day. Or the events of that day. Ten years and I still can't watch video of the airplane hitting the second tower. It makes my stomach turn.

We will never forget. We will remember. And we will be forever changed.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

It's hard to believe that Jackson and Gracie have started Kindergarten this year. Just a week or so ago I was telling Amy that I remember when we would watch them climbing all over the booths at Zaxby's when we met there for dinner on Wednesday nights.

So in honor of these two little buddies who embarked on a new journey a week ago today, here is their friendship in pictures!:

(Well, a few pictures anyway!)

Jackson, at Gracie's 2nd birthday party (he is about 15 months old here)

A scrapblog page I made of some photos from Zaxby's! They look so little!

Gracie and Jackson last year, at the fair

We were at the zoo and ran into Jackson and his Nana and Tata! I don't know why he wasn't happy about having his picture taken...

Gracie & Jackson at the museum this July

These two kids are so special and I love them to death. They are the best of friends, and Gracie told me once that she would marry Jackson...if he didn't love Auburn so much. But his mom is too stubborn to ever change that!

I hope they have an awesome year in Kindergarten and that they will be friends for a long time. Being from a military family I know how hard it was to move constantly and make new friends. Hopefully Jackson and Gracie will be friends for life!

Which means I have to put up with Amy forever!!!

Seriously. I'm only kidding!

Monday, August 22, 2011


Sorry for the lack of posting. We had a busy week!

Gracie had a wonderful first day of Kindergarten, which I got to hear all about in the car on the way home Tuesday. By Friday morning she was dragging. I am sure most of that had to do with the fact that they have PE and she's adjusting to all of the physical activity.

She said she slept during nap because Mrs. Beale wore her out! She is excited about going back this coming week.

We also signed up for gymnastics on Thursday night. I had wanted to find something outside of school and church for us to do, and this was the perfect opportunity. The class isn't too early or too late, so it won't interfere with routines at all. And I am hoping Gracie will enjoy it. We will have to wait and see! Her first class starts this Thursday.

James had his two year check-up right after we dropped Gracie off for her first day of Kindergarten. He weighed in at 28 lbs, 8 oz, and that ranked him 50% for weight. Of course his big head is in the 95%!

And speaking of his big head, the photo above is his eye one week after the accident. It had been almost a full second week and the black eye is almost gone. Most of the glue has peeled and come off and the wound is healing nicely. The swelling is completely gone.

Hopefully as he grows the scar will get smaller in size and not be as noticeable.

Happy Monday, folks!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Another First

We left the house at 7:15 AM today. The Princess began her first day of Kindergarten. I am so excited for her because I absolutely loved school. At the same time it's almost bittersweet because here we are at another milestone.

And I have a love/hate relationship with those. It is a blessing to watch my children grow and experience new and wonderful things, and another blessing to be able to share in those things. But once you have reached that milestone there is no going back. Only moving forward.

I look forward to hearing all about her first day of school and promise to share more of those details later this week!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Kindergarten Open House

So in between James celebrating his birthday and giving his mother a mini-stroke with a banged up head and a trip to the ER, Gracie was having her Kindergarten Open House.

We were lucky enough to get the first teacher we requested, at the suggestion of some very dear friends from church. Gracie received a letter in the mail that was from her teacher and we spent time buying school supplies, picking out a backpack, and shopping for school clothes.

I had started to wonder how nervous I might actually be the night of the Open House. When Gracie went to Victory Baptist, we had some experience with Open House for K4. But this felt totally different. And it really wasn't all that different. Okay so it's a new school, new faces, new teacher, new-WOW! I think I just made myself a nervous wreck.

And Gracie is not usually shy. She can talk your ear off if you give her the chance. So she's walking right beside me through all the hallways leading us to her classroom, and when we get to the door she freezes.

"I'm nervous." I hear her peep out. So to keep myself from getting nervous, I just shuffled her through the door and tried to help her find her seat. We were greeted by Mrs. Beale, who knew Gracie right away (which totally surprised Gracie!).

Mrs. Beale went through some information for the parents, and then took the time to sit down with the kids and talk about classroom things like rules, and activities, and then read them a story about the first day of school. She also had a surprise for the kids in their cubbies which turned out to be just a bunch of cute little things in a personalized paper bag. It also gave the kids a chance to figure out which cubby was theirs!

I explained to Mrs. Beale when we got ready to leave that I had to get her picture with Gracie so my family living so far away could meet Gracie's new teacher! She was happy to help me out.

Gracie really seemed to like Mrs. Beale. She had lots of fun things to tell the kids, and they really enjoyed the story and meeting their class pets. Mrs. Beale loves gardening and also told the kids that her parents loved science, so it's one of her favorite things to learn about.

Gracie said she liked her classroom.

And that she's excited about Kindergarten.

And that she can't wait to come back the first day.

And that Mrs. Beale was really nice.

And then we discovered that Mrs. Beale is an Auburn Fan.

Oh, well.