Friday, November 28, 2014

My Plate Was Fifty Percent Mashed Potatoes

Happy Day After Thanksgiving, y'all!

Today is the day of leftovers and shopping and leftovers. How was your food? Was it amazing? Mine was amazing. My favorite part of Thanksgiving is the sides. My meat to sides ratio was a little backwards but I was thrilled with my decisions. Our Thanksgiving Day was a little unconventional because or our poor little sick baby. We woke up and watched the parade while I made Sweet Potato Souffle (That part is pretty typical) but then I left my husband and my baby girl at home while I went to be with my family. We knew she didn't have a whole days worth of energy in her to play with her cousins so I headed out to Cypress while Grant and Ellie stayed home. It felt weird not to have them there but I was so thankful for my husband and his willingness to take one for the team.

Thankfully, after Ellie's nap, we spoke on the phone and decided the 2 of them should venture out and have dinner with the rest of us. Ellie was beyond ecstatic to see her cousins and it really perked her up. And I was glad to have my man and my girl with the rest of my family.

This morning, Ellie woke up at 9:30am (PRAISE THE GOOD LORD) and did not have a fever! I'm crossing my fingers and wishing upon a star and also PRAYING THAT THIS STICKS. Cause ya know what? MOMMY IS DONE WITH THE FEVER TIMES. DONE.

I didn't take many pictures yesterday at my parent's house, but I did document the following to have for posterity's sake:

I'd like to start off by saying that my mom is organized, but my favorite kind of organized. She's organized but also laid back. That being said, I simply had to take a photo of this markerboard on the back side of her pantry door. The woman has it together, folks. The oven schedule is serious business.

I got a lot of questions about the upstairs/downstairs notes. My parents house has a very small little kitchenette on the 2nd floor and there is a small oven. It comes in very handy on big holidays!

Sometimes Mom likes to get her craft on. Cute little place cards.

Everything was beautiful!

So now it's the day after Thanksgiving, which thrills my heart because CHRISTMAS TIME IS HERE!!!!

Let the decorating begin!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Is Anyone Else Watching State of Affairs?

There was a hole in my TV watching schedule.

My poor DVR works overtime on Wednesdays and Thursdays with all the recording it has to do. I am a very demanding cable watcher. However, on Mondays, we had nothing. I watch nothing on Mondays and I kept seeing the 10,028 promos NBC was airing these last few weeks for State of Affairs starring Katherine Heigl.

 I decided I would give it a shot. I was intrigued because:

1. I'm normally intrigued by shows of this nature
2. I was interested to see if I could believe Katherine Heigl as a hard core CIA agent. I think she is a good actress but I'm so very trained to see her as Dr. Izzie Stevens from Grey's Anatomy. Or Jane from 27 Dresses. Or Nicole from My Father the Hero.

I'd like to give a shout out to the giant black scrunchie. Thank you, 1994. 

So, would you like to hear my thoughts on this show? If you don't, well that's just too bad for you. It's my blog. This is what we do here.

Disclaimer: These thoughts are not organized in any way, shape or form. Prepare yourself for some rambling and confusion. 

Let's begin.

This is very obviously NBC's response to Homeland. 

It also seems to be a little bit like Scandal in the sense that there is a storyline that spans the entire season, while also giving the main character a new problem that arises and is solved in each episode.

The first episode confused me and I was mostly not all that invested in the story, until the last little twist at the end... then I was all like Monica, yelling out loud "THIS JUST. GOT. INTERESTING."

I find myself spending a lot of time looking at Katherine Heigl's clothes and wondering about some of her choices and how they sometimes dress her like Olivia Pope. Especially when it comes to the coats. This is not a complaint. Just an observation.

Heigl's character's name is Charleston Tucker. People call her Charlie. There are lots of scenes featuring Charlie leaning over a desk, staring at screens, looking very concerned. 

The story with her fiance is incredibly mysterious and I'm gonna need them to reveal more about this real soon.

For those of you who watch this show, what are your thoughts on the President? I get a super shady vibe from her but I'm not sure if that is what the writers are wanting? Is she supposed to just be firm and professional? Cause I get that, but I also feel like she is maybe behind what happened in Kabul in some way. As of right now, (only 2 episodes in) I do not care for her. What are your thoughts?

All in all, I think I'll keep watching. Katherine Heigl is believable and I'm very interested in what happened to her. I also am thinking that they are using the new briefer as a possible love interest. I don't remember what his name on the show is, I just know he was Samantha Spade's baby daddy on Without a Trace. 

Hello. I watch too much television.

Okay, so, are you watching? Do you like it? How do you feel? Share!

Monday, November 24, 2014

An Unwelcome Weekend Visitor

About 10 days ago, Ellie came down with a 24 hour stomach bug. The morning of the day that it hit, I remember thinking to myself "Wow, all 3 of us have been healthy for a long time. It's been awhile since any of us have been sick. Ellie has been so healthy and happy!" I made sure not to say those words out loud because I believe that when you say those words out loud you are inviting illness into your home. So, I just thought it in my head.

Within 6 hours of even thinking that thought, my child had a stomach bug.


Ellie had the stomach bug and it was over quickly and I remarked to Grant that all in all it wasn't all that bad and that we could now return to our regularly scheduled programming. We were thrilled that Grant's parents would be coming to visit us this weekend and Ellie was so glad to have a few days with her grandparents. Little did we know, her grandparents would not be our only weekend guests. There was another really sad and frustrating guest called MR. Sick Sickly and he is no longer welcome here. 

Baba and Papa arrived Friday night and we promptly went to eat at Lupe Tortilla. This was a successful trip for a few reasons:

1. We ate chips and queso
2. We drank margaritas

We were all eating and chatting and Grant started kicking me under the table. I looked at him and he was making signals with his eyes that I should quietly turn my attention to our daughter. And there she was. Quietly eating REFRIED BEANS. And she ate an entire chicken flauta, y'all. We all exchanged looks at the table using only our eyes that basically said "DO NOT LOOK AT HER OR TALK TO HER OR SHOW HER ATTENTION OR TELL HER SHE IS EATING BEANS AND FLAUTAS. DON'T. TELL. HER. SAY NOTHING OR SHE WILL STOP. GO ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS."

Then, AFTER she ate a whole chicken flauta and refried beans, we informed her that people who eat can have ice cream, and she was very happy about that. Ice cream was purchased and we had a happy girl.

Here she is right before ice cream was served.

Happy, happy girl. Totally fine and healthy and normal.

She went straight to bed when we got home from dinner, and we had a nice night with Grant's parents, enjoying time with family and we decided we'd head out of the house around 10am Saturday morning to have a nice little day together. 

At breakfast, Ellie was being especially whiney. Wouldn't eat. Bad mood. Uncooperative. I pulled her into my lap and thought she felt warm. I asked Grant to bring me a thermometer. 101 degrees.

Well... that's a show stopper right there.

Here's what the next few days held:

CRAZY High temps (105, etc.)
Multiple phone calls with doctors office
Rocking a steaming hot baby girl in a rocking chair
My sweet in-laws being helpful and kind even though they came all the way to Houston to be exposed to a virus and sit around our house for 2 days
Bubble gum flavored Advil
Essential Oils
Multiple baths
Not a lot of sleep
Fast food
Pizza delivery
Despicable Me (twice)
Despicable Me 2 (3 times)
Mickey Mouse: Twice Upon A Christmas (4 Times)
2 episodes of Bubble Guppies
Ipad time
Apple sauce

Anyhoo, last night was the worst of it. Grant's sweet parents drove home and we were hoping that her fever would finally break. (It hadn't broken in 2 days, not once) and it just climbed higher and higher last night. She couldn't sleep for more than 20-30 minutes. We gave her another dose of Advil at 3:30am and, finally, at 5am she fell asleep and slept till 9:15am.

Poor Grant had to wake up early and head to an important meeting this morning. He's operating on about 3 hours of sleep, bless his heart. 

The fever hasn't been back yet today, praise God. I'm hoping it stays away. This week was supposed to be fun and full of family time, not full of fevers and sickness. It's just horrendously inconvenient, but we are powering through. 

To put a positive spin on this, I will say that I am THANKFUL for the following:

1. My husband who is just flat out amazing
2. My sweet mother and father in law for all their help and kindness even though they knew they could get sick
3. iPads
4. Movies to entertain a sicky girl
5. Papa John's
6. A low key week that gives us time to rest 
7. Advil
8. Stuffed animals... they really do bring such comfort to a 2 year old girl
9. Fuzzy socks. Just because.
10. My large support system of family and friends that have offered help

When Ellie woke up this morning, she did not have a fever for the first time in 48 hours. We are hoping it stays gone! I placed a call in to her pediatrician this morning. I'd rather get her looked at now and if she needs to get on meds we can start that now so she doesn't have a whole week of sickness.


Onto my 3rd cup of coffee. Have a great Monday!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Our Week as Told by Instagram

Happy Friday, folks! As we wrap up this week, I thought I'd shine a light on Instagram (which I love) and do a little photo recap! 

This was Sunday morning. I was looking everywhere for my bracelet as I tried to get ready for church. We were running late and I was stomping around, talking about how I just saw it. And then I found little Miss Munchkin sitting on some pillows, playing with it. I took a picture and then chose another bracelet. Sometimes you just gotta let a little girl play with bracelets. 

Speaking of girly things.... I receive American Girl catalogs from time to time and I promptly throw them away. Ellie is too little for something so expensive! However, on Monday, she went to throw away a paper towel in the trash, and then I heard her say "Oh, what's that, Mommy?" She pulled the catalog out of the trash. She sat down and flipped through it. She loved all the dresses and hairstyles. Oh, I'm in trouble. (And, no, she is not getting an American Girl doll for Christmas. Ain't no way I'm starting that yet.)

Ever have a heart attack in the middle of the day? I turned around and saw this reflection of a glowing baby in a shopping cart and I screamed and clutched my chest. 

I finally got my head wrapped around the fact that the sun shining through the living room window was causing some crazy glowing effect with this baby doll of Ellie's but I was thoroughly panicked. I put a blanket over the baby doll and closed the shades!

Sometimes when Ellie is told that it's time to put on pajamas, she has some opinions about that. Honestly, putting on pajamas is my most favorite part of every day. This girl doesn't know what she's missing out on. Anyways, she threw herself onto the ground while loudly voicing her disapproval. Thankfully, her daddy came to the rescue to console her while also explaining to her that we don't throw fits when we're asked to do something we don't want to do. 

As you can tell by her lack of eye contact, she wasn't entirely convinced. And yes, her shirt says "Happy." Oh, the irony.

I already told you about Tuesday's Epic Toddler Meltdown ... but thankfully, Ellie's school Thanksgiving feast on Thursday went much better. She had a great time and I love seeing her interact with her little friends. 

She refused to eat turkey and cheese (I DO NOT COMPREHEND THIS) so her Thanksgiving lunch consisted of yogurt, crackers, and fruit. Sigh. 


Remember a few weeks ago when I told you about getting a passport and the giant forehead situation? Well, it came! Now I just need to decide where I want to go. I've been to Italy already when I was fourteen. I'm leaning towards a UK trip. Who knows? It's a great, big world out there....

My sweet inlaws are driving in from New Orleans as I type this, so I need to get my bootie out of this chair and start getting the house ready. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Let's Go to the Cinema, Darling

I feel like I've been in a bit of a movie slump lately. There just hasn't been that much that has come out in theaters in recent months that I've really wanted to see. Everything is a superhero movie or a Hunger Games or a sequel to some comedy. I don't hate these movies, but they just aren't my favorites. I love a good historical drama or musical or period piece. Thankfully, there are several things hitting theaters soon that I am thrilled about!

Here's what I can't wait for:

#1. Into the Woods. 

First of all, I love Stephen Sondheim. Secondly, I love this musical. Thirdly, I played Rapunzel in this musical in the 10th grade and I had the most hideous wig in all of creation. Fourthly, this show was the setting of one of my most embarrassing moments which I like to call "The Tale of 3 Jenny's." There were 3 girls named Jenny cast in our show. One played Cinderella, one played the stepmother (I think?!) and the other one was me, Rapunzel. I was backstage and someone whisper-shouted, "Jenny, your cue!!!" and so I ran out on stage and then looked around and realized that I did not recognize this scene and everyone on stage was staring at me with a WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE face and then I realized that I probably shouldn't be there and then I realized that they were probably talking to another Jenny. Oops. 

Anyways, this trailer looks AMAZING. I want to see it so bad!

#2. Cinderella

While we're on the subject of fairy tales.... CINDERELLA, Y'ALL. And it's directed by Kenneth Branagh so you know it will be good. And, let's face it, anything will be better than the horrible quality of Drew Barrymore's Ever After. Doesn't this look just so, so beautiful?!

It makes me squeal. Oh my goodness. 

I mean this IMAGE: Seriously.

#3. Unbroken

And now for something completely different. Louis Zamperini has an amazing story. My husband had the opportunity to hear him speak before he passed away and Grant was very much impacted by this man and all he has endured and overcome. Angelina Jolie is behind the film. Hoping she does his story justice! Such an unbelievable life this man lived....

#4. Okay so this isn't really a movie. But we're showing videos here so I'm showing this one too. It's my blog and I can do what I want to.

Can we talk about how absolutely adorable this is?! PRECIOUSNESS.

Now go back and watch that Cinderella trailer again and again. I AM SO GOING TO SEE THAT THE DAY IT COMES OUT. Hunger Games, Shmunger Games, y'all. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Epic Toddler Meltdown On Stage

A few weeks back, I learned that Ellie would be having her first school "program" for Thanksgiving. She and her classmates would stand on stage and sing songs and be adorable and we would clap and I was totally thrilled. This is a big milestone. Especially since Ellie comes from a long line of performers. I am a musical theater girl and it thrills my heart when Ellie sings and dances with great confidence and gumption. I knew her passionate hand motions and gestures would be hilarious to watch. Her teachers have told me that she is always singing every word to every song and is just a hoot to watch. Grant took the morning off of work, and my mom came too to watch Ellie's first performance. We just knew she would give us the gold. 

Well. We were wrong about that.

Our first mistake was where we sat. Since Ellie is the tiniest of the tinies, we decided to sit on the 2nd row so we could get good pictures and be close up. But we were just too close, y'all. Ellie and her class filed into the Chapel and that's when she saw us. She saw me, Grant, and my mom. "GRAMMY!!!!!" she exclaimed as she let go of the rope her class was holding on to and ran straight to our pew. She crawled into Grammy's lap and decided that's where she wanted to stay. 

I tried to get her to go back to her class. I tried to get her onto the stage.

Nope. Nope. Nope. "My Grammy! My GRAAAMMMMYYY!"

I told her she was going to have fun and sing songs and Mommy would clap for her. 

This is your heritage. This is your legacy. THIS IS WHO WE ARE. STAND UP AND SING. 

My mom actually went and sat on the back corner of the stage and said "Grammy will sit right here, will you stand next to Grammy and sing?" 

"No, I sit with Grammy."

Here she is, clinging to Grammy. The terror in her eyes...

I tried to take Grammy's place so she could watch. 

This was unacceptable to our Ellie.

Here I am, trying to console her. 

(Side Note: the 2 beautiful ladies behind her in the red shirts are her teachers. THEY. ARE. SOLID. GOLD. I love them and Ellie loves them (she talks about them every single day) and I just needed to take a moment to say that God has blessed our girl with those women. I can't imagine the exhaustion they feel at the end of a day with all those 2 year olds. I feel exhausted after 2 hours with only one of them.  Plus, they are so loving and sweet and I feel 1000% confident leaving my child in their care. I'm so, so thankful. Okay, back to the meltdown.)

Staring at Grammy and Daddy and screaming.

At one point she laid down on the stage. Special memories.

I was laughing really, really hard at this point. Like, about to pee my pants. I finally just took her off the stage and put her right where she wanted to be: Grammy's lap. 

She watched her friends and did a lot of the motions from the pew with us. Honestly I was so surprised that it went down this way, but I can't wait to show her pictures of this when she is wanting to be front and center, star of the show as is bound to happen. She's a performer. I just know it. 

At one point, my friends Amanda and Raegan from a few rows behind me (who were laughing and giving me thumbs up as Ellie laid down on the stage with snot coming out of everywhere) hollered out to me "We want a blog about it! Write a blog!"

Oh, girls. I had already started writing it in my head. That moment I carried the toddler that was screaming like a wild banshee off the stage... that was when I started writing this blog. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Takin' Care of Christmas

Every year I try to start Christmas shopping a little bit early. We have a child, parents, grandparents, 7 nieces and nephews, and 6 siblings that need gifts, not to mention friends and teachers. I feel like every year on December 20th I am still wrapping gifts and stressing about people. As you can imagine, this just doesn't really put me in the Christmas spirit.

Back in October, I bought 2-3 gifts. It helps to start early because you aren't paying for everyone's gifts on one paycheck. It doesn't sting as much when it is spaced out over 3-4 checks. However, I just couldn't get my groove going this year. I bought a few more in November, but by Saturday I had probably only purchased 6 gifts.

Yesterday, as we pulled into the driveway after church, I started thinking about gifts again.. and then I decided I had had it. I LOVE Christmas, I love giving gifts, I love picking them, but I wanted it to be done. Today. I wanted it to be done so I could enjoy the season and I could enjoy giving my family the gifts I have chosen for them.

So, yesterday, I put my sweet little Ellie down for a nap, then I settled onto the couch with a blanket, a Diet Coke, my laptop, a pen and paper, and I GOT DOWN TO BUSINESS, Y'ALL.

My secret weapons:

Amazon (Prime shipping, of course) (also check for deals)
Zulily (double check when you're on Zulily that it will ship by Christmas. I love Zulily but sometimes they send things out 6 weeks later.)

Y'all, I was kicking butt and taking names. Not to mention, I purchased 19 gifts yesterday for under $400. Bada-bing Bada-boom.

So, today, I am going to finish eating my lunch (leftovers from dinner last night) and I am going to sit down and wrap the gifts I already have here in the house. I'm wrapping them so I can be done. Because this week the UPS man is going to become my best friend. And the last thing I want is to open the guest room door 2 weeks before Christmas and see 35 unwrapped presents stacked high and get overwhelmed by the thought of drowning in Amazon boxes and then just shut the door and have a panic attack and be like:

I'm getting it done early. I'm spacing it out. I'm takin' care of Christmas.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Well This Has Been a Special Time

Let's talk about this little cutie right here:

This is a little girl that I thought was totally healthy. Then something happened about 30 minutes after this photo was taken. 

Yesterday, I was driving to my parents' house (about a 40 minute drive) when Ellie got sick in the car. We were about 5 minutes from Grammy and Pops when she just said "Oh no.." and there she went. She immediately said "Uh oh! I made a mess!" and "I sorry Mommy!" and started to cry. I reassured her as I quickly dialed my parents and said "BE READY WITH TOWELS AND GLOVES."

We got to the house, where Mom swiftly took Ellie inside to bathe her while I tried to figure out what to do about the carseat.

I very seriously considered throwing the whole thing away. It was that bad. 

I did what I usually do when faced with a problem that I am certain other people have dealt with before. "Mom, I think I'm just gonna ask Facebook" is what I believe I said. So I posted to Facebook yesterday WHAT DO I DO?!? and the people responded. Thank you for your responses. I did start a minor debate amongst some of my Facebook friends about whether or not the car seat straps could be machine washed.  It was at that point that  I had another thought about burning the whole thing.

I washed the washable parts and then took to the carseat with gloves, 409, Lysol, soap and water, and q-tips. 

Ellie ran around in a diaper while we washed her clothes and all the towels and the washable parts of the car seat.  Ellie was cracked out with happiness. She played with toys, saw her cousins, danced, sang, giggled, ran and acted 100% normal. I decided she had either eaten something bad or she was car sick. We ate dinner, dried everything (even using a hair dryer for parts), then went through the exhausting gymnastics routine that is putting the carseat back in the car. And then Ellie and I went on our merry little way home. 

I called Grant as we left my parents' house and told him that she seemed totally fine and the carseat was finally clean and we would be home soon. He asked me to pick up Popeye's for him and I told him I would. And then, while jamming out to "Shake it Off," Ellie started throwing up again. Not to disturb her favorite song, she continued to sing the chorus while crying and heaving. It was the funniest, most pitiful thing I've ever seen. She kept singing. While vomiting. 

So, I called Grant. Told him I'd be home in 5 minutes. I would not have Popeye's with me but I needed him to be ready with towels and gloves. (Didn't I just have this conversation?!)

Ellie was in the back seat saying "I sorry, Mommy!" and "I made a mess, oh no, oh drats!" and "Shake it Off again, Mommy, please?"

So, I got to the house, we bathed her again, we disassembled the carseat again and rewashed all the same clothes and the same blankets. I was exhausted and tired but again thought maybe she was developing car sickness. Grant and I sat down to watch "Nashville" when she hollered for me. And then she threw up in her crib. We cleaned her, changed her, settled her. And then she did it again. 

My poor baby. 

She finally went down for a good rest around midnight and slept all night. At 6:30am she started calling for me and asking "Ellie eat dinner" and "Ellie drink".

We were sooooo nervous this morning but she ate well and has kept everything down. And around 10:00am I realized that she had a fever.

The only good thing about today has been the snuggles. 

Here she is in her 4th set of pajamas. Reindeer shirt and polka dot pants. We made do with what we could at 12am. 

So, now, she's taking a really great nap. 

And this is my "My Kid is Sick" Day Uniform:
T-Shirt from a work event that Grant went to
Loud pajama pants
Leopard print fuzzy socks
No make up
Hair in ponytail

3 cups of coffee and lots of Lysol. That's my day. 

Please pray that this ends soon.

And if I could not have any more vomit in my life this week I would really be super happy about that. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Healing Power of Chips and Queso

It's amazing what Mexican food can do for your soul.

Last night, I had a girls' night dinner with some friends at El Tiempo. El Tiempo is a fantastic Mexican restaurant here in Houston that has excellent queso, excellent fajitas, and excellent margaritas. And, as I learned last night, excellent tamales. IT JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER.

Side Note: It has come to my attention that there are places in the world that don't get to experience the glory that is chips and queso. A few things you should know:

1. Queso is my love language
2. Queso is more than just melted cheese
3. Queso can be served with or without meat
4. Queso is a gift from God

I'm showing you a few photos of the different kinds of queso you might find at various restaurants across Texas:

Shout out to Google Images for providing these beautiful photographs.

As far as chain restaurants are concerned, Chili's actually has really good queso. So does Willie's Icehouse. A few years ago, I went to Chili's and ordered the queso and the waitress brought out something that was sooooo not what I was expecting. I questioned her about it and she explained that they were trying a new queso recipe. I asked her if they could still make the old one. She graciously obliged my request. (I mean, it's the whole reason I go there. I wanted my queso. The right queso.) A few weeks later I went back to Chili's and ordered the queso again, but made sure to specify to the waiter "I'd like the original queso, not the new one" to which he replied "OH, no, we quit doing that after a few days. People were getting really angry."

As they should be.

Anyways, back to last night!

I felt a little bad because when we planned the date for this dinner, I didn't know that my husband would be having a minor procedure done on his back the same day. Last night I kept asking him "are you sure you're okay to watch her? Are you in pain? Can you pick her up?" He seemed iffy about it but he said "I think I should be okay" so I took him at his word and ran out the door. I'm such a thoughtful and considerate wife.

Dinner with the girls was awesome. We covered a VERY WIDE RANGE of conversation topics. Some silly. Some serious. Some ridiculous. But it was awesome and I love them and I'm so glad for our little monthly get togethers.

The thing is... I've noticed a pattern. When I have these dinners with my girlfriends, the next day something happens to me. Every time I have girl time, the next day I am incredibly motivated and productive. It's bizarre... all day yesterday I was just looking around my house and thinking "I CAN'T do the laundry... I CAN'T unload the dishwasher... I CAN'T do anything but lay here under this blanket and eat Skinny Cow chocolates and popcorn."

That was an actual thought I had yesterday.

Today I woke up and was fully in gear. Four wheel drive. Full speed ahead. Unloaded the dishwasher, put away laundry, straightened up the kitchen, read books to Ellie, came up with a fun activity for her, making to do lists, kicking butt and taking names.

And I remember the last time I had dinner with my girlfriends, this same thing happened the next day.

I don't think it's a coincidence. I think it's a direct result of having a little break, laughing with my friends, eating delicious food and not having to experience the drama that is dinner, bath, and bed time with a toddler. Just one night off and I was operating on a full tank of gas again. I guess you can say it filled my cup.

I say this to say, if you can't seem to function... try to have some time with your friends. And try to eat chips and queso. It has healing powers.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Unrealistic Pinterest Things

First of all, I have loved reading your Christmas ideas you left on my blog from Saturday as well as the comments on my Facebook page. Did you know So.Many.Words. blog has a brand spankin' new Facebook page? It's true! Click here. Go there. Like it. We have a good time over there.

I definitely think it would be fun to get Ellie her own little tiny Christmas tree to put a little plastic ornament on every night. Perhaps it will satisfy her need to destroy our beautiful Christmas tree in the living room.

Now, let's get to the root of this post. Today I'm going to be talking about things I've seen on Pinterest that will totally, absolutely, 100% never ever happen. Ever. Let's begin, shall we?

I saw this lovely photo about car organization.

Isn't it lovely?

You can find the link about it here.

Here's the thing. I genuinely like the idea. I am always looking for ways to organize my car. But y'all, that whole set up would last about 17 seconds. She would pull out every single thing, hold it in her lap, then throw it on the floor and it would roll under the front seat, never to be found again. There's no way that she would be like "Oh, I shall put this pack of Kleenex back in the Kleenex spot!" Please. She would immediately open the package, pretend to fake blow her nose with every single tissue and then hand them to me individually while I'm driving and they would end up in my cup holder, all wadded up.

That's just the truth.


Look! Here's a hair style you can achieve in 10 Easy Steps that you have neither the time nor talent for!

I mean it's beautiful but hair styling is just not where my spiritual gifts lie. Not even in the slightest.

This past July, we had a Bubble Guppies birthday party in our home for Ellie's 2nd birthday. I, of course, looked on Pinterest for Bubble Guppies party ideas. Um, y'all.


Just looking at that gives me anxiety. CALM DOWN, LADIES. IT'S A TODDLER, NOT A KARDASHIAN WEDDING.

I really, really enjoy Christmas decor. It makes me happy. My mom's house is always especially magical at Christmas time, and I'd love to slowly, over time, create that same environment for our kids.

I'm not sure this is going to accomplish that feeling:

A few thoughts:

1. All that greenery would make me sneeze.

2. Oh, I'm just going to sit down by the fire and wrap this ukelele in no box with plain white paper and twine.

3. Look at the perfection handwriting and spacing of the naughty and nice list over the fire place. And those names.....Oh, Weller and Louise. They are always so naughty.

I realize for some of you this stuff is quite doable and fun and exciting but this is all just a bit too much for me.

The door decor.

This is beautiful and everything but

a) that is a lot of wreaths
b) that would cost a lot of money
c) I bought 3 pumpkins for my porch this year and someone stole 2 of them so I'm not really going to trust people to not take this 47 Christmas wreaths.

Okay. I think I'm done now. I just needed to do some Pinterest venting. Proceed with your day.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Wrestling Pajamas Off of a Toddler and Other Weekend Festivities

Another weekend, come and gone. We're getting closer to the end of 2014 and I don't know how that happened so quickly. Wasn't it just Valentines Day a few weeks ago? Regardless, the holidays are nearly upon us and the air is getting cool and crisp and wonderful. Since my creative juices aren't exactly flowing, I thought I'd do a weekend wrap-up of sorts and fill you in on some things that happened in the last few days.

It's been an interesting weekend with our little toddler girl. She's quite opinionated and passionate and dramatic. Yesterday we were going to have lunch with a friend, so around 10:30am I decided it was time for her to get out of her pajamas. Well, this was the most offensive and hurtful thing I have ever asked of her. I was wrestling her out of her shirt and pajama pants while she thrashed and screamed and sobbed. It was a great time. At one point, she said "NO! DON'T TOUCH IT!!!!" as I tried to get the clothes off of her. "Why can't I touch it, baby?" I asked. "IT'S BREAKABLE!!!"

Well then.

Cotton pajamas from Old Navy are breakable. Who knew?

While I was having a blast forcing a 2 year old out of pajamas and into daywear, my dear darling husband was apparently having one of the best days of his entire life. He went hunting and fishing with his friend Justin down off the coast. They hit their duck limit and caught lots of fish. He came home basically floating on a cloud and talking about how wonderful life is and God is good and it was the greatest day ever and the Aggies won so it even went up a notch after that. He hugged me and thanked me for taking care of the opinionated little toddler all day and he said he wanted to make it up to me. I told him I wanted to order pizza and not cook and go to bed early. He agreed.

He cooked his trout tonight. I'm not much of a fish eater, but I will always try it. Tonight, he gave me a piece of fish which I tried and I actually kind of liked it. "I like it," I said. "It's got a good texture. It's not squishy. You know how fish can sometimes be squishy?"

"No," he replied, "It's not squishy. It's not squishy or squeaky or any of those things."

Apparently I've shared my feelings about this with him before. Sometimes fish can be squeaky and I don't like that. I don't love the smell or the texture but the trout he made tonight was actually quite good. It didn't smell that bad and it wasn't squishy or squeaky. Well done, Grantley. He brought a few down to our neighbors and they traded the trout for fresh Rice Krispy Treats so clearly it was a fair exchange and a win-win situation all around.

As I've mentioned before, I'm training for  the half marathon in January. On the weekend, I'm supposed to do a longer run. Today I was supposed to run about 6-7 miles and that soooo did not happen. I ran for 2 miles and then walked home. It was bad. I was distracted, my legs felt like 1000 pounds and I just wasn't feeling it. I'm disappointed in myself but today was just not the day. I did take this pretty picture though. Does that make it better?

I'm getting a little panicked about the half marathon but I'm hoping that I can start to get some momentum going soon since we are about 2 months out and I need to get a move on. The longest I've run is 5 miles. Eek!

Tonight I watched a documentary called "20 Feet From Stardom" on Netflix about back up vocalists. I have a few thoughts about this.

1. I now want to be a back up singer.

2. There's just not much more I love in this world than some killer harmonies.

3. One girl finally decided to step up and be a lead singer and this is what she chose to wear for that occasion:

Also, one of the groups featured in this documentary sang the theme song to "Growing Pains" so their credibility went waaaay up in my book.

As long as we've got each other....

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Christmas With a Toddler: Now Taking Suggestions

As I mentioned in a post last week, I'm starting Christmas festivities early around here since I feel like at 2.5, this will be a lot like Ellie's first Christmas since she a) doesn't remember the last two and b) will actually be able to participate and enjoy the fun of the season.

We've been listening to Christmas music and watching Christmas movies (such as Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas) and I already told you about us taking her "Disney World" aka Lowe's to see the Christmas inflatables and her reaction to that.

Some other things I want to do with her:

1. Pick out a Christmas tree from a tree farm
2. Take her to Santa's Wonderland in College Station
3. Drive around and see the lights in River Oaks
4. Zoo Lights
5. Tell her the Christmas story through a Nativity Scene that I bought for her.
6. Do a little advent time before bed each night
7. Make Christmas cookies
8. We will, for the first time, fully decorate the outside of our home. Grant is 100% NOT on board with this but I keep telling Ellie "Daddy is going to put lights on the outside of our house, Ellie!" and then I turn to Grant and he is giving me a death stare and I laugh so, so hard. The other day he asked if I needed him to do anything and I said "start working on your plan for the outdoor Christmas decor" and again he glares and I just laugh and laugh and laugh. He is so blessed to have me.

But I need suggestions, y'all! She will be 2.5 in January... she loves music and she loves Disney movies. What are some "musts" for her that she can participate in? Someday I will take her to The Nutcracker but at this point that would kind of be a disaster. :)

Must see movies?

Must see attractions?

Sweet traditions?

Suggestions welcome!

(And for you're new to the blog and need a frame of reference, I live in Houston!)

Thank you in advance for your advice and suggestions. The internet is awesome.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Getting Passport: Might Possibly Travel

I stood in my closet this morning, browsing my tops and trying to decide which shirt had a neckline that I won't regret in 10 years. Why? Because I took passport photos today. And a passport is good for a decade. What hair style and neckline will I not regret in 10 years? It's hard to say. If you told the 20 year old version of me that I would wear jeans other than bootcut in a decade, and that the jeans I would wear would accentuate all the wrong things and make me more hyper aware of how squatty I am and how wide my hips have become, I wouldn't have believed you. And, for the record, I think I'm going to get a petition going to bring the bootcuts back and rid the universe of the skinny jeans. It's time for them to go.

Anyways, I did go to a post office today and a very nice lady administered my passport application process and made me raise my right hand and take an oath and that made me very nervous all of a sudden.

Is this photo a true likeness of you? I don't know, I'm wearing a lot of makeup. When I woke up I looked a heck of a lot worse than this.

Are all of the answers in this application true and accurate? Maybe. You already made me change one answer because I said I am 5ft 2 inches AS I HAVE SAID FOR THE LAST 12 YEARS and you corrected me and informed me that I am 5ft 1 inches and so I am just really not sure about anything anymore.

The last time I applied for a passport, I was 14 years old. I was going to Italy on a choir trip and I had braces and lets just say I'm glad that photo is no longer a part of my national security record. The next time I traveled outside of the United States was on a cruise and they didn't make me have a current passport for that, and then the next time was on my honeymoon in 2006 and we went to Puerto Rico which is part of U.S. territory so I didn't have to have one then, either.

Since then, we've traveled to Florida and California and Oregon and New York and lots of fun places, but we've kept it domestic. So where am I going now, you're asking? Why do I need a passport?

Get this: I have no travel plans.

Let me break it down. Grant and I are not long term planners. We're more like 60 day planners. And I don't have a passport. So what if we want to go somewhere? We can't he will say to me. You don't have a passport.

Well guess what? I do now! BOO YAH!

Also, Ellie is at school today so I could apply and not have a toddler climbing up my leg. Ellie is especially mad at me today because I made her take off her pajamas and then I also refused to let her carry her GIANT PINK CASTLE into the car with us today. Clearly I am an out of control dictator.

Anyways, this is the top I chose. Also, the lady who took the photo kept telling me multiple times to get my hair out of my face. The side bangs were not acceptable. Apparently the U.S. Department of State needs everyone's foreheads to look as large as possible.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Early Arrival of Christmas in Our Home

I'm starting Christmas festivities a little earlier than usual this year. I normally have a strict day-after-Thanksgiving start date in our home, but this year I'm bending my rules a little bit. I haven't started decorating, and I probably won't until Thanksgiving is over, but I am easing some things in. It all started two weeks ago when we took a little family field trip into Lowe's and Ellie about lost her mind in the Christmas department. LOST. HER. MIND. She doesn't really remember Christmas last year and there were all these trees and twinkling lights. And don't even get her started on the giant, inflatable yard decor. Y'all.

She looked up and saw Snoopy in a helicopter and started yelling at the top of her lungs "LOOK! LOOK! HEDICOPPER!" really loudly. Like, we were the spectacle of the Lowe's. Then, a 9ft. tall giant inflatable teddy bear. "TEDDY BEAR, MOMMY! DADDY! LOOK! BEAR!"

And then.


She saw the Mickey & Minnie inflatable.

It wasn't this exact image, but you get the idea. I wish I could accurately describe to y'all how much my child lost her ever loving marbles in the Lowe's. Screaming, y'all. SCREAMING. "MICKEY MINNIE! OH! OH HI MICKEY MINNIE!" Over and over again. I turned to Grant and said "Why would we ever need to take her to Disney World? We can just come to Lowe's."

Grant then turned to his daughter and said "Ellie... this is called Disney World. You are at Disney World right now."

Anyways, we had to pull her away to go to other departments in the Lowe's store and she was not happy about that AT ALL and sobbed and screamed and threw a giant toddler hissy fit. It was a really special time, as I'm sure you can imagine.

Anyways, I know she is going to love Christmas this year. She's been watching some Christmas movies that I've rented from Amazon Prime and she is loving it all. I love that she's hearing these songs for the first time and loving them. I've also ordered her a nativity set and a little toddler Advent calendar to go through once Thanksgiving passes. Like I said, I usually don't start things this early, but in a way I feel like this is her first Christmas and I don't feel like 25 days is enough time for her to watch all the Christmas specials she is required to watch and get the full Christmas story and experience. So, Christmas has come into our home. In small increments, but it's coming.

I'm loving that the weather is getting chillier and I'm drinking lots of hot coffee and making chili and stews and pretending like I live in the tundra of the North. It never hurts to use your imagination.

Also, this has nothing to do with anything I just wrote about, but I reaaallly love this cover by Sara Bareilles and feel like it needs to be shared. So I'm sharing it. Because it's my blog and I can share what I want to.

So just play that 14 times and tell me you aren't in some kind of zen, relaxed, sip coffee and ponder life kind of moods. The girl is talented. Give her all of the Grammys.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

That Time a Serial Killer Knocked On Our Door

I've shared with you before that my sisters and I didn't always handle pressure well. A few weeks back I explained how we ripped the spoiler off the back of my sisters car for no reason and pushed a panic button because someone was panicking. If you haven't read that blog, you can click here and find out more about that moment of my life that I am ever so proud of.

Every once in awhile I'll think of another sister story that I feel like needs to be documented for posterity's sake. So, today, I ask you to sit down, grab a cup of coffee and a good blanket for this edition of Sister Stories.

I was in elementary school, Jaclyn in middle and Shannon in high school. We all arrived home from school that day to find that our mother was not home. This was rare, but she left us a note (Hey, kids! There was a time when your mom couldn't text you because text messaging wasn't a thing and also children did not have phones. Isn't that crazy!?) and the note informed us that she had to run a quick errand but that the piano tuner would be arriving around 4:30 and she left us a check to give to him. All we needed to do was let him in.

That seemed simple enough. Basic instructions, right?

Well, Shannon had heard on the news recently that there was a serial killer on the loose posing as a piano tuner. Never mind that this sweet, elderly man had been tuning our piano for years and had never, not even once, attempted to murder any of us any of the times he had been in our home. Shannon, being the amazing and responsible big sister that she is, decided that a serial killer would not be entering our home. Not on her watch.

So, as 4:30 approached, we locked all the doors, turned off all the lights, and closed the shutters. We sat upstairs, looking out a tiny crack through the shutters as he came, knocked, and left. NO ONE IS HOME, PIANO TUNER MAN, YOU CAN GO MURDER SOMEONE ELSE.

When my mom arrived later that afternoon, she asked a) why our house was so dark and b) if the piano tuner had come. We informed her that we would not let him in because there was a piano tuner serial killer on the loose and you can never be too careful.

Mom went off on a nice little tirade about following instructions and how this man is approximately 109 years old and now she has to reschedule and GIRLS CAN YOU STOP BEING SO DRAMATIC?!

How lucky my parents were to have us.

Monday, November 3, 2014

It's a New Day

Hello, Monday! Confession: I actually like Mondays. There's something very fresh and clean about them. Clean slate. I'm all about that. And y'all. It's NOVEMBER, y'all.  November! Christmas is nearly here. Time to get my shoppin' on.

I told Grant last week that I wanted to download the new Taylor Swift album. But Grant told me to just listen to it on Spotify. Well, you know what's not on Spotify? Taylor Swift's new album. So this morning, I sat down to drink my coffee and I certainly did download that album onto my iTunes and I'm listening to it now and IT. IS. FANTASTIC.

I'm busy getting my act together and writing out my day plan since we were gone all weekend. We went to New Orleans to visit family and I helped with a baby shower given for a friend. We also had an awesome date night in the city while Ellie got to stay and play with her grandparents. We had dinner at Lilette and then went into the Quarter for dessert.

Here we are at dinner:

And here is my yummy dessert: Cinnamon Coffee and Creme Brulee from The Bourbon House. YES.

Honestly, we had such a fun night. It's been months since we went on a proper date and I was in a new dress and new shoes and it was all just fun.

Unfortunately, the night did end on a frustrating note. We parked in the Quarter and walked around and we were only there for about an hour or so. When we got back to the car, Grant realized he had misplaced his parking ticket. We searched pockets, all over the car, under the seats, and after about 20 minutes we figured we lost it somewhere along the walk. So we drove up to the cashier of the parking lot and explained that we had lost our ticket. AND THEN THE PARKING ATTENDANT INFORMED US THAT A LOST TICKET CHARGE WAS ONE HUNDRED AMERICAN DOLLARS. We had to pay $100 to get out of the parking lot. ONE. HUNDRED. We tried really hard not to let it ruin our night.

Even though my sweet husband told me the next morning that he dreamed about looking for it all night. Sigh.

Happy Monday and Happy November to you, sweet reader!