Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I Did It!

Today is the last day of 2013. And today, I finished something I started on January 1st. I actually finished it. I finished something I started.

I started this on January 1 and I didn't really tell anyone about it, because, let's be honest, I rarely complete a task of this nature. I didn't want to tell people and then somewhere mid-April start to slack off and then have the embarrassing moment of admitting that, once again, you failed.

So, today, December 31 is the day that I'm finally able to tell you what I've been doing all year!

In the year 2013, I can now honestly say for the first time in my life that I have read the Holy Bible in its entirety.

I've never done that. I've gone to church my whole life and owned a Bible my whole life. I've read all of the New Testament and I've read probably 60% of the Old Testament. But only in bits and pieces here and there. And I always skipped the boring parts. And I've never read Habakkuk and Haggai and Amos and all those Minor Prophets.

Here's how it came about: My church provides a yearly devotional each year. In 2013, we did the "Read for Today" plan. Each day is assigned a chapter of Psalms, a chapter of Proverbs, a reading of the Old Testament and a reading of the New Testament. You actually end up reading the New Testament twice over the course of the year, and the Old Testament only once. Today, I completed the book of Malachi which was the last part of my year-long reading plan.

Here's how I broke it down:

I downloaded the PDF from the church website and printed it out. I also downloaded a diary app onto my laptop. Every day I would open a new diary entry and type out what I would be reading that day. After I read the daily reading, I would type out my daily prayers. This has been incredibly beneficial for me because a) I get distracted when praying so typing them out helped me to focus more and b) I can go back and read and see how I've grown this year and how God has answered SO MANY of my prayers. It's really quite remarkable.

I need to come clean about a few things.

1. I missed a lot of days. We would be out of town or busy or it might be a holiday or whatever so if I failed to read on Tuesday, I would just read the Tuesday AND Wednesday readings the next day. It kept me on top of it though because there was a time in July where I missed 5 or 6 days and I ended up reading for a loooong time to make up for the days I missed.

2. It wasn't always fun. There were days that it was definitely a chore.

3. I did this during Ellie's nap time everyday. If she didn't nap, I don't know that this would've happened. Honestly, the fact that I was disciplined enough to do this for an entire year is an act of God. Seriously. I am SUCH an undisciplined person so this is pretty crazy for me.

4. It got really hard towards the end. The end of a calendar year brings about so many stressors and calendar events and travel plans and it was really hard to finish strong.

5. (This is one point I want to be super clear about) I still don't understand everything. There was stuff that I read that was just in one ear and out the other, so to speak. I am not a Biblical scholar or a theologian and a lot of this is just a foreign language to me. I looked up a lot of things online and some stuff was just way over my head. However, I can say that after reading the entire thing... so much of the content makes more sense to me now. Reading the Old Testament made certain things in the New Testament more understandable. Also, one thing is for sure, God knows what He is doing. He has a plan and He sticks to it. He's always right. And we make a lot of stupid, dumb mistakes because we think He is wrong. He proves Himself time and time again. If only I would trust Him....

I'm so glad I did it. I learned a lot. I have been a Christian since childhood and there are still new things that I am learning to this very day.There is more I want to learn. I am in awe of how the prophecies in the Old Testament came true in the New Testament. I feel like this journey, both the reading of the Bible as well as my daily prayer time, made me more aware of the majesty and power of God. And the timelessness of Him. The God of Adam, the God of Abraham, the God of Esther, the God of David, the God of Isaiah, the God of Daniel, the God of Mary, the God of Jesus, the God of Peter, the God of Paul, the God of John... IT WAS ALL THE SAME GOD. And the God that I pray to? The God that I praise? The God that I ask for help and mercy and forgiveness and blessings? It's the same God. He was the same then as He is now. Powerful. Merciful. Loving. True.

Monday, December 30, 2013

7 Years

We have been married 2,555 days. 
We've lived in 2 apartments.
1 house.
We've had 4 different cars.
We've had one baby.
One dog.
We've been to Disney World.
We've been to New York City.
We've been to San Diego.
We've been to marriage counseling.
We've had job changes.
Career changes.
Deaths in the family.
Drama in the family.
Healing in the family.
We've had fights.
We've made up.
We've laughed, HARD.
We've had many, many road trips.
We've had a couple hundred Sunday mornings seated next to each other at church.
Fun date nights.
Spontaneous lunch dates.
We've had a wonderful, full 7 years.
And I can't wait to see what God has in store for all the years to come.
I love this man of mine. He makes everything better.
Happy Anniversary, Grantley.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Merry Christmas, 1 Day Late

We had a wonderful Christmas.

We woke up and celebrated in our little living room with our little girl.

She got a red wagon. And some books. And some blocks. She did a lot of smiling and clapping. My sweet husband blessed me with jewelry and some new cowgirl boots. Then we drove over and spent the day at my parents' house. We ate mashed potatoes and Ellie got a stroller with a baby and some Bubble Guppies toys. You know how she loves the Bubble Guppies. 

Grant spent the day in the driveway playing Ladder Ball with my brother-in-law. I got some super cute tops and jewelry and my family is awesome. 

The best part of all of it? The reason for Christmas. Because God gave us the perfect gift - Emmanuel, God with Us. He is Wonderful, Counselor, the Almighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

Merry Christmas from us.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Eve Eve

It's December 23rd.

I still have three presents to buy. Three. Thankfully, I THINK I can find them all in one store, (praying) so I won't have to stay out too long in this Christmas madness. Three gifts, and then I'm done. 

I'm about 40% done with wrapping so I've got to get on top of that too. We were supposed to go to New Orleans on Friday and then get back in town Sunday night. However, Thursday night I had a 101 degree fever  (I KNOW. I DON'T KNOW WHY THIS KEEPS HAPPENING) so we had to cancel the whole gosh darn thing. We'll go spend Christmas in New Orleans in January. I think we all need a little more time for us to put all this sickness to rest and not be spreadin' our sicky germs all over God's green Earth! 

(Side note: yesterday, three little red bumps popped up on Ellie's neck and shoulder. I about lost my mind. I was like "IF THIS IS THE CHICKEN POX SO HELP ME LORD" but thankfully it was just bug bites. I can't handle another illness. Can. Not.)

I'm so excited about this week and about all the family that we will see.  So many grandparents, cousins, nieces, nephews... it's going to be a blast. 

Saturday night Lindsee came over and we all hopped in the car and drove around River Oaks looking at Christmas lights. River Oaks is a fancy neighborhood in the Houston area filled with multi-million dollar homes and some of them put on quite a Christmas display. We had way too much fun. I might have hopped out of the car at one point to claim one of the houses as my own. Plus, they had chairs in their yard so it was as if they were inviting me to sit down.

I'm so thankful no one had me arrested.

Then we saw this beautiful home. I jokingly put it on Facebook and Instagram and captioned it "Merry Christmas from our home to yours!"

A few people didn't know I was joking. Um, no. I do not live there. Can you imagine?! 

Grant was our in-car DJ and Lindsee made requests throughout the drive. We somehow ended up on a Katy Perry marathon where it was established that she is Ellie's favorite singer. "Roar" is totally her jam and she sings along with the chorus. She also throws in some pretty awesome arm movements. 

Then Lindsee spent the night with us and that always makes my heart very, very happy. 

This week we are laying low and trying not to get sick before our family time which starts TOMORROW! It's Christmas Eve Eve, y'all. Get out your maternity pants.... the EATING IS ABOUT TO BEGIN.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Celebration Hangover

"You've got to get yourself together, Jenny."

I am saying this to myself several times a day.

I was honored to be a part of Celebration at our church - the big Christmas show. We had 7 performances and I am exhausted. I wore (mandatory) bright red lipstick every night and the green glitter from my top will be with me for decades to come. It's everywhere. But I had a blast. It was a blessing to be a part of but I am just not functioning now that it's over.

Exhibit A: Yesterday morning, our whole family slept till 9am. Even Ellie, bless her darlin' heart.

Exhibit B: This morning I went to the grocery store and I purchased a Diet Coke in the check-out lane. I left it there on the counter. Just drove off without it... I was halfway home and realized I still needed that Diet Coke.

Exhibit C: This evening, Grant and I were leaving the house to bring a meal to some friends that recently had a baby. I could. not. find. my. keys. anywhere. Tore the house upside down. Grant found them in the trunk of my car. And the car was unlocked.

(Keep in mind that it wasn't even 2 weeks ago that I got a knock on the front door from a very kind police officer who was asking if everything was okay. Apparently I had unloaded the groceries from my car and taken them inside and failed to close any of my car doors. Hi, robbers, please come take whatever you would like from this vehicle.)

Exhibit D: While cleaning the kitchen tonight, Grant pulled a fully toasted waffle out of the toaster. I put that in there around 8:15am this morning. Never got it out.

So, yeah, I'm a hot mess.

This week is dedicated to finishing the Christmas shopping and getting started on all the wrapping. Hoping I don't forget to label the gifts or anything like that, but at this point I don't trust myself to do anything correctly.

Monday, December 9, 2013

That Time I Put on MakeUp and Did My Hair

It's been over a week. Over a week of a sick child. And during that week, we've mainly stayed home. We've gone to a doctor appointment twice, to my parent's house once, and to Texas Children's once for a chest x-ray. Otherwise, we've been here. We've essentially been in our pajamas for a week.

I've not been getting ready each morning. My "Mommy of a Sick Kid" uniform seems to be no make-up, hair in a pony tail, long sleeved shirt, sweatshirt, jeans, and moccasins. I'm the picture of beauty and having it all together.

This morning, Ellie woke up at 8am. She had been sleeping since 7:15pm the night before. She never woke up once and didn't have one single coughing fit the whole night. Then, after she woke up, she ate a decent amount of her breakfast. Not all of it, but more than the 3 bites she's been having for all of her other meals this week. Between the good night's sleep and the fact that she ate half of a waffle and a handful of blueberries, this made me feel like I could climb every mountain.

I practically twirled into my bathroom where I showered, blow-dried my hair, put on makeup, put on nice clothes.... I even took Ellie out of her pajamas. I just couldn't take it anymore. We had to pick up and move on with our lives.

Today went well. She is still congested and has a bad cough. However, she ate about half of each of her meals and she had tons of personality and spunk today - more than I've seen her have in a whole week. Hoping she's closer to 100% tomorrow!

The maid came today so my house is clean, I made dinner and now I'm blogging while getting ready to watch The Sing-Off while my husband sleeps next to me on the couch. I am declaring with full confidence that this week will be... it HAS TO BE better than last week. 


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Princess Sicky Pants

People. My baby is sick.

It's just a bad cold... I took her to the pediatrician yesterday. She said there is no infection, "but she does feel very, very badly."

She has been running a fever for 2 days and coughing more than I can handle. The congestion is awful and she can hardly sleep. She doesn't nap, doesn't want to eat much, and Grant and I take turns throughout the night letting her sleep on our chest since she sleeps best when she is upright.

We've been using Motrin for the fevers, Vicks for the cough, elevating her mattress, the humidifier is going all night long... it's been an all-day song and dance. I'm praying she wakes up tomorrow back to her old self.

Cause this pitiful face is almost more than I can bear.

It's been a long few days. And Houston is about to get ridiculously cold (at least for us Houstonians who rarely see temps over 85 degrees) so we are going to be cooped up for awhile. All I want for Christmas is for all of us to be healthy.

The hard thing is.. this has been quite the season of sickness in this family. Grant and I have both been on antibiotics in the last month. Ellie and I have both had some bad stomach issues. We've been cooped up in the house a lot. I've had to cancel on many of my commitments and we haven't been around people very much. We don't want to get our friends and family sick. Plus, no one wants to hang out with the sick people! Unfortunately, the illness and staying at home has made me a little down in the dumps.

I know we are doing exactly what needs to be done. I am staying at home with my girl, helping her to get well. I need to cancel on some things because I need to be here with my daughter and do all I can to help her get well. At the same time, I have felt isolated and like the walls are closing in on me. On top of that, Ellie has been super clingy in her sickness and it's made it very hard for me to be productive and get anything done. I feel like I am lagging in all of my responsibilities and I am not on top of everything. I add things to my to-do list rather than scratch things off. It's just been a hard season.

All this to say, I am very glad the Christmas season is upon us and I am praying that I can "fill my cup" with all the family time and fun parties. I need to see my people!

Hoping tomorrow we start to see some improvement!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thanksgiving in New Orleans 2013

We really had such a great weekend in New Orleans for Thanksgiving. We had 14 people under one roof, 7 of those people being children. But it was so much fun and there was just a lot of togetherness and a lot of food and that's pretty much all I need in life.

We have a very long drive to and from New Orleans. Ellie is getting older and getting more and more bored with this drive. We finally purchased a DVD player for her in the car and a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse DVD. She didn't notice the screen there for most of the drive, so when we were at the Texas/Louisiana border and I reached back and turned the screen on, she lost her mind. She was squealing, flapping her arms, waving to Mickey and saying "HI!" I think it's pretty safe to say we won't be traveling without this anymore. Especially for these long, long car rides.

On the way, we stopped at Cracker Barrel where Ellie once again made it clear to us that she wants nothing to do with any kind of vegetable. But doesn't she look so cute in her turkey shirt?!


We got there pretty late, but she was a happy girl that next morning when her Baba made her some french toast. Happy Thanksgiving indeed!

Here we all are as a family for Thanksgiving meal. Unfortunately, Grant has a blue heron attacking his head.

This Matilda Jane outfit was killing me. I mean, really. Just the cutest.

 And this is what Grant chose to do with his day-after-Thanksgiving. 

 I stayed inside, where it was warm. And there was television. And I didn't have to touch gross monster fish.

So we drove to New Orleans in a turkey shirt. And we drove home in a Christmas tree shirt. Because it was December 1. Time to kick off the season!

Here we are at a Dairy Queen.

 I feel like it is kind of a requirement that I mention that while we were at this Dairy Queen, we saw a man feeding a chocolate ice cream cone to a ferret. You just can't make this stuff up, y'all.

In summary, we had a great Thanksgiving. We are thankful for family, all the kiddos, mashed potatoes, the Lord's faithful provision, chocolate cream pie, our precious daughter, safe travels, the DVD player, Grant's job, and getting home. 

Let the Christmas decorating begin!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Remember Remember the 1st of December

December 1, y'all.

How are we already here?

I don't know. But I'm just glad because I sure do love the month of December. It's crazy and busy and out of control but I love it and I can't wait for it to commence.

We just got home from New Orleans where we were visiting family for Thanksgiving. The drive home was a bit brutal but I am thankful that we all got home safely. And Grant cooked dinner when we got home and Ellie went straight to sleep and it was just a lovely lovely evening.

I will do a full Thanksgiving post when I have some ounce of energy to upload pictures and come up with a blog post that has some semblance of coherent thought.

In the meantime, I will have you know that this household has no paper towels. No, not one. I'm not quite sure how that happened. And our dog has no remaining dog food. We fed him table food for dinner. So tomorrow's to do list includes a trip to the grocery store. And way too many loads of laundry. Which I will probably leave sitting in the dryer for the foreseeable future.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Root, Root, Root for the Sports Team

I'm a Texas girl. Born and raised. This is a place full of sports. Whether it be high school football, college football, NFL, baseball.... we've got some big sports here and some passionate fans.

I am not one of them. And Lord knows that I have tried.

The problem, at its most basic level, is my lack of understanding of the sports along with my uncompetitive spirit. I want everyone to win. When a team loses, I feel bad for them. I feel bad for the coach, for his wife and children... it's really just quite pathetic.

On the few times in history when I have tried to get excited and cheer for "my" team, I am always let down.

My senior year of high school? My school's football team did not win one single solitary game.

Remember that time the Houston Astros made it all the way to the World Series? I was so pumped! And then they lost miserably. (And they've really never recovered, have they?)

Last year, the Texans had a great season and made us all proud. But this year.... absolute nightmare.

And the Aggies.... oh my goodness. And the last time I went to an Aggie game I stepped off a step wrong and rolled my ankle. Remember lemon ankle?

I realize I am in the minority. Most of my friends and family get really fired up and throw big parties and they know every player by name and they know what the Ref is going to say before he says it. Me? Not so much. I have no idea what is going on.

You can read more about my lack of sports understanding here. I know, it's pathetic, and I'm a disgrace to Texas girls everywhere.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Family Day

It's Sunday morning. Normally, at this very moment on a Sunday morning, Ellie would be in her Sunday School class and Grant and I would be in Bible study.

The thing is, last night I went to bed at 8pm. Yes. EIGHT. I've been feeling less than great. We all slept great last night, but when we woke up to go to church, I still wasn't feeling great and Ellie has had 3 dirty diapers since she woke up. It's not even 10am. Our morning was not going well so we declared it Family Day.

Family Day happens every few months. I kind of love it. We all stay home together all day. We take it slow, while also crossing all sorts of things off the to-do list. Lots of cleaning and organizing. By the end of the day we have a cleaned out fridge, all the laundry is done and put away, and the countertops are sparkling clean. The only thing we may do out of the house is a quick trip to the grocery store. Either we all go together or Grant and Ellie go by themselves while I stay home and cross a project off the to-do list. For some reason, I just feel like we get more accomplished when we are all in it together.

I guess "we" doesn't really include Ellie. She usually sits on the kitchen floor and plays with tupperware and wooden spoons. We all have our own little contributions to Family Day.

One of my favorite things to do on Family Day is to walk around my house with a trash bag and throw things away. Receipts, wrappers, junk mail.. whatever... things are just lying around that don't need to be there and I've been avoiding them for some unknown reason.

I just love knowing that when I go to bed tonight, everything will be in its place and we can enjoy our Thanksgiving week without feeling like our lives are in a mess. Aside from all that, it's reaaalllyy cold here right now and so we get to stay inside in our warm pajamas and I'm gonna make grilled cheeses for lunch and it's just gonna be a good day.

Maybe I'll be able to convince Grant that since it'll be awhile before we have another Family Day... maybe we go ahead and decorate for Christmas? One can hope....

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Pushing of the Buttons

Everybody has something. Something that irks them. A pet peeve. And sometimes you marry a person that brings your level of irritation to new heights. Someone that pushes your buttons.

Maybe it's towels on the floor. Maybe it's the toilet seat. Maybe it's leaving drawers open.

Not in this household. For us? Light switches.

We've been married for almost 7 years and this is our most common argument.

I leave light switches on. Grant likes them off. That's the gist of it. However, I feel like if I am home, if I am spending hours upon hours here and walking in and out of rooms as I clean up the house, follow Ellie around, and keep the household running, the lights are on. If I leave the house to go somewhere, I turn off the lights. Grant does not feel the same way.

Sometimes he walks through the house, hollering out the number of light switches he is turning off.

He turns off the light in the utility room. "ONE!"

The hallway outside the utility room. "TWO!"

Our bathroom. "THREE!"

I'll start with my very eloquent and educated defense: "I'M HERE ALL DAY!"

Closet, bedroom light. "FOUR AND FIVE!"


This continues as I get increasingly irritated with this little song and dance. At some point I will exclaim "It does. not. make. that. big. of. a. difference."

Then, he will head out the door to go to work, all the while talking about electricity bills as I'm yelling, "BYE. BYE. Have a good day. BYE!"

I try to be better about it. Sometimes I'll defend myself by saying "Ellie's bedroom light is off! Her light is off! I turned it off!"

The lights being off... it's just not where my passions lie. However, the trash bags being on the curb on time? That's a whole other story...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Oops.... I Caved






Oh, how I've missed my friend.

To make it even BETTER, I had a Diet Coke with a delicious bowl of Beef Lo Mein from our local Chinese takeout place. I feel like I ate something substantial for the first time in weeks. And it tasted good so I'm pretty much a happy camper. 

We had a great little day today. Ellie and I went on a walk around the neighborhood with some friends. Paisley and her mama, Courtney, brought their little red wagon. The girls had a blast.

They kept trading cups. Ellie would look at Paisley and say, "Hi, baby!"

When I pulled Ellie from the wagon when we got back to the house, she screamed. SCREAMED. She didn't want to get out. Even after we got inside, she laid on the floor of the entryway and just sobbed. Guess we know what we're getting her for Christmas! (I already ordered it online. Hooray!)

Later, she woke up too early from her nap. She was still very much acting tired but wouldn't go back to sleep, so we made a cozy little pallet on the floor for her to watch Bubble Guppies.

And now I'm settling in to watch Scandal. I'm so very happy because my belly is so very full.

One more bonus picture from a few days ago....When you ask Ellie where her Daddy is, she'll hold up her hands and say "Dun knooowwww!"

And if that is not the cutest thing... then I don't know what is.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Different Kind of Shopping Experience

On Tuesday mornings, Ellie goes to Mother's Day Out from 9am till Noon. It's not an incredible amount of time, but it's enough for me to run a few errands, or go to a doctor appointment, or sit in my car and stare out the window silently. Whatever I choose to do.

As the holiday season is quickly approaching, I decided to take my 3 hours away from Ellie yesterday to do some Christmas shopping.

A few things you need to know about my views on Christmas gifts: 

1. I have a lot to buy. We have many family members, including 7 nieces and nephews, and a toddler of our own. 

2. I usually don't spend more than $20/per person with the exception of Grant, Ellie, and sometimes our parents. There are always exceptions if I find the perfect gift for someone, but in general, I can find something wonderful for not a lot of money.

3. I usually do a lot of shopping online, but sometimes I just need to see it in person. Plus, I don't have to pay shipping!

4. I LOVE giving Christmas gifts. Honestly, I do. While the shopping can overwhelm me, I love nothing more than seeing these people I love open what I lovingly chose for them. I know Christmas is not about gifts. It's about Jesus. And I do the best I can to make sure I keep that in mind all season and that we as a family recognize the true meaning of Christmas. However, I love the gift tradition. I don't go overboard with it, and I love giving someone a little "happy" at the end of every calendar year. 

That being said, I have a lot of presents to buy and I need to get started early. I've already gone on one or two shopping excursions in the last few weeks to search for gifts. However, each of these excursions have included Ellie. 

A few things you need to know about shopping with Ellie:

1. She has time limits. 

2. She doesn't like when the stroller stops. Seriously. If we're truckin' away through the mall, she's happy as a clam. But the minute I turn into a store or, heaven forbid, temporarily stop the stroller to look at something or check the price of an item, or even PAY for an item... oh NO. My girl ain't takin' that. She turns around, points her tiny little index finger at me and says, "NO! NO!"

3. She requires things to hold.

4. She almost steals things from stores.

5. She throws her sippy cup.

6. It's a little bit of a hassle maneuvering her stroller in and out of the stores and racks of clothing. I've been known to knock things over.

So, yesterday, for the first time, I went Christmas shopping, in a mall, without Ellie.

A few things you need to know about this shopping excursion:

1. I got to the mall at 9:30, when the stores don't open till 10am. I walked in, grabbed a Starbucks, and sat quietly and waited for the stores to open while watching the sweet elderly people walk the mall in their cute little jogging suits.

2. Between 10am and 11:30am (when I had to leave to go get Ellie), I bought EIGHT Christmas gifts.

3. I did not have the stroller with me so I felt very free and uninhibited. The only downside was I wished I had the stroller to use as a place to put all my shopping bags so I didn't have to carry them.

4. I bought myself a pair of earrings at Francesca's, because I wanted them and they were BOGO and so I thought why not? YOLO. 

5. It was quiet, it wasn't busy, and I felt quite accomplished when I left there.

Then, I picked Ellie up and she was so cute and happy to see me and we kissed and hugged and I drove her home and she took a nap and IT WAS THE BEST DAY!!!!

And that is the end of that story. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Cleanse: Food That Makes You Sad

I think I mentioned that I'm in the middle of a cleanse. Well, I guess I'm almost done with it. Thankfully. I haven't had a Diet Coke in almost a month. Meanwhile, there is an entire 12pack of them in my fridge, calling my name.

I am not snacking at all. Seriously, not at all. No snacks. Just three meals a day. Three small meals a day. And they are not filled with anything good. And then I drink 8 glasses of water a day. So really I'm just living a life of reckless abandon. Except the opposite of that. More like a life of boring salads.
While I am proud of myself for how I have been quite disciplined, I also feel like a little piece of my soul has died. I mostly miss queso. All cheese, really. And pasta. I'm thankful that I can start reintroducing these things in moderation in the not so distant future. And Thanksgiving is coming so all of this is about to be cancelled out anyways.

I'm cheating with my cleanse and continuing to have one cup of coffee every morning. Because I have a toddler and she needs food and supervision and the coffee is what powers the mommy machine. Especially since I don't have the great benefits of Diet Coke throughout the day.

The good thing is, we are almost done with it and I can say that I did it, I stuck with it, and I drank more water in that 24 days than I have in the last 365 days of my life. For serious.

As of right now, I'm drinking my 7th glass of water while I sit on my couch. It's 9:52pm on a Monday night. Toys still cover my living room floor and they will likely stay there overnight. Who knows, maybe I will feel empowered and motivated and pick them up before I go to bed. After all, I cleaned out my fridge and pantry today. If that doesn't make you feel like an accomplished, productive human being, than I don't know what does.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

My Shows

Look, I'm not gonna pretend that I'm not a major TV watcher. I am. I watch a lot of TV. Some people would say too much. But I don't say that. I am very, very thankful for the DVR. And honestly, this season, my shows are bringing their A game. Well, most of them. So here's what's on my weekly schedule:

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER: Okay so this is one that Grant and I watch together. And this is the final season. And we are finally meeting the mother. We still don't know her name, but she is just darling. And we've seen some "flash forwards" of her and Ted together and I'm very, very happy about the entire situation.

THE MINDY PROJECT: Y'ALL. Mindy is funny. And her writing is very, very clever. And I need her and Danny to go ahead and be together. And I need Mindy and I to be good friends and hang out in real life. That's not creepy, right?

LAW & ORDER SVU: I admit that I quit watching this show for awhile after Detective Eliot Stabler left the unit. I was throwing a temper tantrum. But I came back because I missed Olivia Benson. 

MODERN FAMILY: When Phil was wearing the Mumford and Sons suit this season that was way too tight... I could not control my giggles. 

CRIMINAL MINDS: I don't know why I love this show the way that I do. And sometimes they stretch it a little too far and I text my friend Tiffany and we discuss how outlandish can be. But, I love the characters. I find it fascinating and I always love a good "whodunnit" detective show. 

NASHVILLE: Oh, oh, oh. I love this show most of the time. Sometimes it's dumb. Like this last week it ended with a really, really stupid plot twist. And I yelled "THAT IS DUMB" at my television. But Deacon and Rayna... oh my goodness.... I LOVE Connie Britton and her perfect hair. 

And this is the other reason I watch Nashville: The Stella Sisters. These real life sisters sing on the show a lot and I would watch it just for them. I mean really. Look them up on YouTube. Lennon & Maisy Stella. You won't regret it. 

Okay, I'm afraid you aren't gonna YouTube them. So here's a video. Watch it 12 times.

GREY'S ANATOMY: I KNOW. Most people are like YOU STILL WATCH THAT SHOW?! I do. I watch it. Because I've watched it since the first episode in my apartment in Denton... and I can't just drop it. I'm too invested. I've watched this show since I was 19. And honestly, sometimes I'm ready for it to end. Cause sometimes I'm like "Oh, geez....." and I want to throw things at the TV. But for now, I'm still watching it. And I still miss Mark Sloane. 

SCANDAL: I really don't even have words for this one. I just don't. The story is addicting and the characters are so well written and complex (UM, Hi, Mellie...) and I'm obsessed.

LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON: I've always loved Jimmy. He just seems like the nicest guy. When Grant and I took a trip to NYC back in 2011 we got to see a taping of this show. It was so much fun. And he's just adorable. I'm THRILLED that in February 2014 he will be taking over The Tonight Show which means that I can watch him and go to bed earlier. I don't watch his show every single night, but I DVR it from time to time when he was a guest that interests me. Here he is with Seth Meyers, who resembles my husband!

DOWNTON ABBEY: Don't you think for one minute that I've forgotten about Downton. No way. They are still one of my favorites and I am anxiously anticipating the premiere in January. Bring. It. On.

So yes, we are a TV watching family. If Ellie could write, she would blog about her favorite episodes of Bubble Guppies and what she learned from them. If I'm watching a show, sometimes she will bring me the remote and put it in my hand, then say "Mommy... Bubby Guppy?" In other words CHANGE THE CHANNEL, WOMAN.

It was a long summer without my shows, but I am so glad they are back!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The First Meal

This week, while watching the Today Show, I saw an interview of a young man who had just been released from prison. He served 10 years for a crime he did not commit. A reporter asked him what he wanted to eat for his first meal out of prison. His response? "I kinda want some Dairy Queen....."

My first inclination was to laugh... of all the meals in the world, you want Dairy Queen? And then I thought about my husband, and how I know with almost full certainty that if he were in a similar situation he would request Popeye's for his first meal.

I'm about 2.5 weeks into a 4 week diet, and I am constantly thinking of everything I would rather be eating. Salads and vegetables and grilled chicken breasts are really starting to get old. So, ever since seeing this interview, I have given a lot of thought to what I would want to eat for my first meal out of the slammer. I've come up with a few options.

Option 1: Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. My best friend. I'd want a family size box and I'd want it all to myself. While sitting on a couch and watching Friends.

Option 2: Chicken Fried Steak with gravy. And mashed potatoes. And macaroni and cheese. And a sweet tea!

Option 3: Tamales. And chips and queso. And a Diet Coke.

Option 4: Bow tie pasta with Alfredo sauce and chicken. And breadsticks. And a glass of white wine.

Option 5: A bowl of cookie dough.

Option 6: Cheesecake

Option 7: Italian Creme Cake

Option 8: A slice of cheese pizza, a slice of sausage pizza, and a slice of pepperoni pizza.

Option 9: A hot dog and cheese fries

Option 10: There's an Italian restaurant out near my parent's house that has a dish on the menu called "Tortellini alla Panna". In the description of this item on the menu, it actually says the phrase "Not for the weight watcher". I WOULD BE ALL OVER THAT.

There are so many options and I would probably have one a day for the first 10 days of my freedom. Clearly, I've given this a lot of thought. And, clearly, this cleanse I am on is making me daydream of better food. Like Beef Lo Mein.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Strep Positive

We just can not seem to get healthy around here, y'all.

Yesterday I was feeling worse by the minute. I knew I was going down. I went to an urgent care and learned quickly that I have Strep.

To be honest, I was kind of glad it was Strep because my first thought was YAY DRUGS. I am a fan of modern medicine. More specifically, I am a fan of the antibiotic. So I hopped right on that train. I started the drugs 24 hours ago and I'd say my pain level has decreased by 90%. So thankful. 

And then there's this girl...

She is ALL TODDLER. She wants to walk everywhere and doesn't want to be carried. While this is cute, it is also quite problematic as she pays no mind to the intended destination. For instance, while I was taking the photo above I was repeatedly saying "Let's go to the car, Ellie. Ellie Paige... this way! This way, Ellie, let's get in the car!". And she just kept walking up and down the sidewalk, ignoring me. Don't try to hold her hand, and don't you dare try to pick her up. MIND OF HER OWN, Y'ALL.

Oh you, know, just enjoying some milk while watching her fave show. 

My sister is now a trunk keeper for Matilda Jane Clothing. LORD HELP ME. The clothes. I can't stop. Seriously.  Anyways, the other day we stopped by my sister's house and Jaclyn (Trunk keeper #615, y'all) informed me that this release included a hat that she felt Ellie really needed to try on. So then this happened:

It's just more than I can handle.