Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Mack

My brother Mack (yes.. the same one that suggested she be strapped in her carseat to sleep) is called "My Mack" by his nieces and nephews.  He is the greatest in their eyes and the name seems to fit because they all think of him as their very own.  Madison thinks he hung the moon.

so does his dog...

Madison is glued to Mack.  He is that uncle that loves to wrestle with the kids on the floor. He is very patient and sweet.  We are very lucky to have him!  We stayed at Caitlin's (my sister-n-law's) parents house this past weekend.  I think I mentioned that Caitlin is the little sister of my college roommate.  So I've known Caitlin since she was 13 and her family since I was 18.  They are like my own and we had a wonderful time there.  I made Mendy, my college roommate, take all the photos over the weekend.  When she sends them to me I'll post.

I did take a few pictures while out to dinner celebrating a family member's birthday.

That is Mack seated next to Madison.  What I love most about this picture is his shirt sleeve.  Notice the stains??  She loves to keep one hand on him... at all times.... chocolate cake fingers or not.  I started apologizing like crazy .. I swear any other guy would be irritated, but Mack just told me it was an old shirt anyway...

and my favorite picture of the time at Mack's house....

She MADE him sit in her booster and put the tray on.. as best he could.  She's so proud of herself.  If she walked off and he started to get up she would turn around and give him a firm finger directing him back to his seat.  It was hysterical! 

Thank you My Mack and Caity for having us!

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First Flight

Our first flight went very smooth.  Jason helped the two of us get checked in.  The beauty of a small airport is that we were the only ones at the Delta counter checking in.  We were also the only ones going through security.  I had lots of help from the security workers.  I not only had to take my shoes off, but Madison's shoes and sweater.  I also had to put her stroller through the scanner.  I'm also visibly pregnant and probably looked pretty pitiful trying to handle all of that.  They were very nice especially expediting "Melmo" through the scanner!

We had a small 10 minute delay due to fog in Atlanta, but thank goodness it wasn't longer than that.  I made it clear to Madison that she was not getting out of her stroller and once she realized that was how it was going to be she relaxed. 

As soon as we got in our seats I started snapping photos of Madison on our tiny plane.

A really nice man sitting in front of us asked me if this was her first flight and he offered to take our picture...  Madison loves to say "cheese" these days!

I also made it VERY clear that she would not be getting up from her seat.  I belted her in and I think she must have felt like she was in the car.  She entertained herself by sprinkling milk on the tray and wiping it around.  (I was not loving this... but it kept her happy!)

She did a wonderful job.  I didn't even have to pull out the DVD player.  I'm saving that for our much longer flight to Texas. 

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

The view from here...

If you want to become popular in your neighborhood really fast have a few of these parked in front of your house.  Today we said goodbye to all of our neighbors. 

Our entire house was packed in one day.  I am SOOOO VERY thankful I did not have to do the packing. I broke a sweat just watching them.   

Madison and I will be getting up early to head to the airport.  I've already got my little camera packed to capture her first flight.  I hope it's one full of smiles!

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hard To Get

Remember Seth (front row on the right)?  This was their final playdate.  His mom and I teared up as they said goodbye.  They both acted pretty shy.  We were all sure Seth HAD a thing for Madison. Seth's mom deemed Madison his first girlfriend. :) 

Watch Madison's hands....

Poor guy.. never saw it coming!

I promise.. she loves him!  She's just playing hard to get...HEE HEE! 

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I Hate Goodbyes

This household has been very busy saying our goodbyes.  Everything we have been doing over the last week has been our last here in North Carolina.  There have been a lot of tears for me.  Madison doesn't quite get it, but I know she will still ask for her buddies once we move. 

I got together with some of my girlfriends this past weekend for a tea at the O'Henry Hotel. 

I was just having a wonderful time laughing and cutting up.  Then they gave me a gift.  I thought nothing of it other than.. "oh how sweet.." and proceeded to open it up. 

Inside was this....

I LOST IT!  I never in a million years expected anything that would make me cry.  When I left Georgia after living there my entire 25 years to marry Jason and move to Texas I was not sad.  I was so thrilled to move and start my new life with him.  When we found out we were leaving Texas to move here I was not sad either.  I had not lived in Texas very long and sure I liked it, but I was excited to move back closer to home.  However, I have found leaving NC to be very difficult.  I think it's all about Madison.  Jason and I started our family here.  Not only am I leaving some wonderful friends, but I am leaving all of these babies that have become a part of our world!  I KNOW there are some great things waiting on us in Texas.  I know there is a plan and we are meant to be there.  BUT this new adventure does not begin without a few tears while getting there!

My friend Katie put together this little collage of pictures she has taken over the past year and a half.  This too made me cry!

I truly believe that people are placed in your life at certain times for certain reasons.  We have been so blessed by all of our friends. 

Friday is the big day.  Madison and I will fly to Georgia to stay with family while Jason drives out to Texas with his dad and our two dogs.  I am already praying that they will have a safe drive because I'll tell you what... the worst experience I have ever had in a car was driving here from Texas.  It was the middle of July and it was HOT.  Abbey, the beagle, did fine.  Charli, the wonder mutt, did not.  Our drive went something like this for 21 straight hours...

Charli - barking hysterically while vibrating her entire kennel behind my seat.
Me - "Maybe she has to go to the bathroom?"
Jason - "She does NOT have to go to the bathroom.. she's just mad"
Charli - more barking
Me - "Pull over.. I know she has to go!"
Jason - He pulls over, gets Charli out of the car, puts on her leash and....nothing!

It was awful! 

I am also praying that me and Madison have a safe trip and good stay in GA. I'm looking foward to some family time.  I am staying with my younger brother for the first few days.  I told him that I would need a pack-n-play for Madison to sleep in.  I asked him if he had any friends with kids that he could borrow one from.  He thought really hard and then gave me a firm "no."  He then said.. "can't she just sleep in the bed?"  I was like "ummm... no."  So then he said..."can you just strap her in the carseat, put it in the room, and shut the door?"  I'm laughing even as I'm typing this conversation.  (For the record, he is a fantastic uncle and no he doesn't have his own kids yet!)

I'll try and keep you up to date on this crazy adventure over the next few weeks!

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I think she's trying to tell me something...

I never seem to have my camera handy.. so this is via my cell.
  Madison shoved Abbey out of the way so she could get a drink of water.
  I guess toddlers learn from dogs too.
 I got her a sippy of water right after this.
 She declined it. 

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Baby Boy's Nursery Bedding

I had a successful trip to Atlanta.  I was able to get curtains and our baby boy's bedding!  Here is a sneak peek!!  This is a sample piece for the bumper.  I sent it to my husband via my cell and he complimented the "nice pillow."  I had to explain that it was the bumper. :)  It will take a few months for it to come in and I can't wait.  It was so weird to give them my new address in Texas.

Jason sent me this photo while I was away.  Two things crack me up aside from that HUGE smile on Madison's face!

1.  My husbands beard  (he grew that in a just a few days.. that takes talent)
2.  Madison's hair! 

When I got home today I got her up early from her nap.. I couldn't stand it. I was dying to see her.

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

My Baby's Baby

When I brought Madison downstairs this morning to get ready to go to school she insisted on bringing baby down with her.  I put her down at the bottom of the stairs and watched her take her baby and place her in a kitchen chair.  She then walked around and climbed into her own chair.  (I ran back upstairs to get my camera).

When I came back my child was standing.  I snapped a picture as I was telling her to "SIT DOWN!"  (With her purse!)  She didn't like that!

But she did....  I thought is was so sweet that she gave "baby" a place at the table!

This is how she rode to school this morning.. with her purse.  She cracks me up how she carries it like a little old lady!

Have a great weekend!  I'm off to Atlanta to do some shopping for the new house! Hopefully, I'll find some deals!!

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Monday, January 4, 2010

Dear House Hunter..

Dear House Hunter,

I received a call on Friday that you would be touring our home with your realtor this past Sunday.  My husband and I jumped into action cleaning the house and making it perfect for your arrival.  I even got on my hands and knees and scrubbed several scuff marks off my new hardwood floors just to make them perfect for you.  On Saturday I sent Jason to the grocery store to buy fresh flowers while I stayed at home with my feverish toddler.  I spent a lot of time arranging the white daisies just for you.  On Sunday morning we lit candles, made sure ALL of the laundry was washed, folded, and put away.  We went around the house straightening pictures and I fluffed pillows just for you.  You were due at our home at 12:15.  That is around the time Madison is usually finishing up lunch and getting ready for her nap.  So we blew out the yummy smelling candles, turned on lights, opened blinds, put on a little background music, and kenneled our dogs in the cold, cold garage.  We took our tired, sick baby out to eat so you could tour our home in peace. 

We arrived home 30 minutes early because Madison was so fussy and tired.  We were hopeful that you had already come and gone.  Jason pulled in to the driveway and sent me inside to investigate.  (He knows I'm very picky about my house and can tell if someone has been inside.)  I ran around the house while he sat in the driveway with our cranky child.  NOTHING... I didn't see one thing out of place.  So I went back to the car shaking my head and Jason took a turn.  Our poor cold dogs were shivering and howling in their kennels since we had the garage door open all this time.  Jason returned to the car only to close the garage and pull into our neighbor's driveway.  We sat there for 20 more minute in hopes that you were just running late. 

At exactly 1:15 Jason drove back across the street and we resumed life.  I put Madison to bed over tired and not feeling well.  She woke up inconsolable 30 minutes later.  When it was all said and done she only slept a terrible hour. 

I just had this feeling you had not come.  My feelings were confirmed when we heard from your realtor that y'all did a drive by because you wanted a "more established neighborhood." 

Well.. you shouldn't judge a book by its cover or a neighborhood by its trees.  Next time.. just go in and take a look around.  It will make the home owner feel like their work was partially appreciated.


Home Owner

When we toured homes in Texas I went in all of them.  I didn't feel sorry for the home owners that had an empty home even though they probably needed it sold the most.  I felt sorry for the ones that had cleaned and lit candles.  Those that had to evacuate their families so I could take a look only to decide that their home wasn't for me.  BUT at least their work was not in vain.  I took a look and appreciated their nice clean home.

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Sunday, January 3, 2010


Madison's room does not hold heat well at all.  I always run in her room to check on her before I head off to bed.  Lately I've had to leave her door open to help it get more heat since we are having this crazy cold stretch.  All of her pajamas or "night-nights" as she calls them are cotton.  So we headed to Carter's this afternoon to pick up a few fleece pajamas.  Lucky for us they were on sale for $5.99!  They hardly had any 24M because according to the sales lady they are so close in size they only order a few.  I didn't believe her because when I held up a 2T I swore they would never fit my baby!!!  She grabbed a boy's 24M and proved to me that they were indeed very close.  So here is my baby in her 2T.  (I guess she can wear them next winter too...!)  OH.. and she also has a onesie and socks on under the sleeper!  She was a little under the weather over the weekend.. (103.4 temp to be exact) and I just didn't want to take any chances with her getting cold.

P.S. She is REALLY in to "backpacks" these days.  I was pulling out my camera and she grabbed our point and shoot camera case.  I really could have lived without that in my pajama shots.. but she was not having it.

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year's Supper Recipes

My dad always cooks black eyed peas and collard greens for New Years Day.  (It's suppose to give you luck and money for the New Year!)  I received my January Southern Living a few weeks ago and found a recipe I was dying to try for New Years day.

Hoppin' John Stew with White Cheddar Cheese Grits:

1 Tbsp. butter
1 cup chopped smoked ham
1 medium onion, chopped
2 (15 oz.) cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
2 (10 oz.) cans diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1tsp. sugar
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
White Cheddar Cheese Grits

1.  Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add ham and onion, and saute 3 to 5 minutes or until onion is tender.  Stir in black-eyed peas and next 3 ingredients.  Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.  remove from heat, and stir in cilantro.  Serve immediately over White Cheddar Cheese Grits.

White Cheddar Cheese Grits

2 cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup uncooked quick cooking grits
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded white Cheddar cheese

1. Bring chicken broth and butter to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Gradually whisk in grits, and return to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until thickened.  Stir in cheese until melted.  Serve immediately.

Cilantro and white cheddar cheese waiting to be used... Jason's dad made this beautiful cutting board and gave it to us for Christmas.  It will look GREAT in my new kitchen! :)


Good-for-You Collards

6 bacon slices, chopped
1 medium-size sweet onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 (16 oz) pkg fresh collard greens, washed and trimmed
1 (12 oz.) can light beer
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

1.  Saute bacon and onion in hot oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat 5 minutes or until onion is tender.  Add collards, in batches, and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until wilted.  Stir in beer, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes or to desired degree of tenderness.  Stir in lemon juice and remaining ingredients.

I was really surprised at how easy this dinner was to make.  I started with the collard greens and got them cooking and then made the Hoppin' John Stew and made the grits in the last 10 minutes of cooking.  I started all of this at 4:30 and had dinner on the table at 5:30. 

My New Year's baby!!

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