Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Just a snapshot of my heart. 

I haven't been taking nearly as many pictures lately, so this weekend I pulled out my camera and snapped a few in the back yard.  This is by far my favorite.

You might get more of these one picture, snapshot posts from me for awhile as I navigate my new schedule.  Or this might be the only one ever.  Time will tell...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I Am Old.

So for my practicum I had to sit in on a Freshman class yesterday. It was like, the basic 'Welcome to College 101' class that our university has to help students make the big jump from high school to a university. They didn't even have this class when I was a freshman, so we just had to learn by doing, but whatever. These kids need a class on how college works. Maybe that alone should make me feel old, but it doesn't.  Mainly because people like me were the reason that class was invented.  I could have used a class on how college works at eighteen.

So what made me feel old, you ask? When I walked in and every single girl in the class had on skinny jeans or leggings with riding style boots?  No, I was mostly okay with that. I mean, it made me feel a LITTLE old in my cords and chucks,  but not THAT old.  I mean, I OWN skinny jeans.  I OWN boots.  I didn't have them on, but whatever.  I am totally in style at least SOME of the time.  I still felt fine about my age in relation to these students.

Then the guy in front of me opened his laptop and this was his screen saver:
And I was shocked.  Like, not that a college kid has some random inappropriate picture on his laptop.  I was TOTALLY ready for that.  Okay... not totally ready.  I was a little like "Well, I NEVER!"  In my head while fanning myself on the fainting couch, (OLD) but the words weren't my issue.  That is a picture of HERMIONE GRANGER you guys.  And she is the sex symbol of this generation.  HERMIONE GRANGER.    When I was in college she looked like this:
And when I was a freshman boys would have had this* as their screen saver:

I mean...if when I was a freshman people had things like laptops. Which we didn't  We were lucky to have our own desktop computer in our dorms.  Most of us used the library writing center.  And in class, we had Five Star notebooks and folders.  Or maybe, if we were really on top of things, one of those five section accordion binders to file away all of our stuff.  But guys would TOTALLY hung a poster like this on their wall in their dorm. 

God, it's official. I actually AM getting old.

*okay, they might had a more scandalous picture, but I can't bring myself to do any more googling of sexy pictures (I sound old to myself... sexy pictures...) on my work computer.  I already think my IT guy will be scratching his head...

**The traffic that the post brings to my blog will make me chuckle.


Friday, September 21, 2012


You guys... the amount of stuff I dropped off at consignment on Wednesday was alarming. I mean, not as alarming as the amount Boo dropped off, because they had to take two cars and the check in people actually asked if she had twins because she had so much in each size.  That's right.  But still, my drop off held  an alarming amount.

And it felt so amazing to take it.  To clean out the guest room of the piles and piles of stuff, to pack the SUV to capacity and to just unload it and walk away.  I would have thought I would be sad, but I wasn't.  A year ago, this would have ripped my heart out, but this week, it just felt like moving forward and making space for the future. 

I mean, moving forward besides that box of keepsakes that I decided I would never in a million years part with.  THAT box, nobody is ever touching.  Because those clothes are precious and adorable and FULL OF MEMORIES. I may or may not have actually put a few up on my shoulder and hugged them. But whatever.  That's normal I think. (say it's normal)

I checked yesterday and my take home total (after their 30% ) is already at $250 and the sale still has two more days.  SO... I am feeling pretty good about the entire thing.  Definitely worth the time to hang everything and pin on the tags.  Someone on here asked where this sale was happening, so here is a link!  If you live local, go and buy! Especially if you have a boy under the age of three. You could find some of Henry's things, then you could buy them and send me a picture of your baby in them, and it will make me really happy!  I mean... that might be far fetched... but IT COULD HAPPEN.  (Let me believe it.)


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Daring Greatly-A BlogHer Book Club Review

**This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club, but all thoughts and opinions are always my own.*

Brene Brown's new book, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead  challenges it's readers to open up to our own vulnerability and to embrace that it is not weakness, but rather a pathway to greater connections with our loved ones and our careers that would not be possible otherwise.  The title of the book comes from famous Roosevelt quote:

 It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; . . . who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.

 —Theodore Roosevelt

Brown writes with a passion that is inspiring. She opens up throughout the book  with personal stories and research based findings to show that we all struggle with shame, and that the biggest mistake we can make is to bury that shame, to hide behind our secrets and to not allow ourselves to be vulnerable to those around us.

I have never read any sort of self help book and wasn't sure I would enjoy this one, but this book never took on any kind of preachy 'you are doing it all wrong and let me list how to fix you' feeling.  Which... I don't know, is that how normal self help books are?  This book reads like good advice.  It reads like something that is logical, but that we all need to be reminded of.  We are all normal.  It is okay that we feel the way we feel, but we need to talk about it.  We need to be open and honest.  We need to be vulnerable.  That will help us to be the best version of ourselves.

We will be discussing Daring Greatly over the next several weeks with BlogHer.  Come join the conversation!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Writers Block (with lots of words)

For the first time in awhile I am worrying about my blog surviving. Don't panic. (did you panic?  No?  Okay) This happens every now and again. I get a little writers block and life gets busy and I think "That's it... I am OUT of things to write about! my blog is done!"  I start to picture myself  looking back in six months and thinking "Oh yeah... I used to blog?  Weird."

And I don't know, maybe I kinda am out of things to talk about. I was thinking out an entire post last night, then I realized it sounded kinda familiar, THEN I realized that was because I had already written something exactly like it.  Which is sorta sad.  I have written so many posts that I am starting to rewrite them and not even notice.

If you are curious, the post was about Henry not sleeping through the night right now and how each night he wakes up yelling for his Mama, and how I am so exhausted (SO EXHAUSTED), but somehow I love it at the same time. Not the lack of sleep, but those hours where I am all he wants or needs.

But as sweet as it might be, it is exhausting on work days.  My new hours have me coming in at seven, so my Henry wake up call that happens between 3 and 4 and generally lasts an hour (or sometimes just the rest of the night) have me dragging.  I am also pulling together all this stuff for a huge consignment sale, and let me tell you, we have a LOT of baby stuff.  Kind of an embarrassing amount.  And each item has to be organized, hung up, entered into a computer program and tagged with printed labels.  We have 275 items... and that's just for the fall winter sale.  It's a lot of work.  And will be AMAZING if people buy our stuff (PLEASE BUY OUR STUFF) but for now it is one more thing to do.

Plus there is the new job and the school work and the practicum work... sometime I should tell you about my practicum.  It is so interesting.  But not today.  That is a post for another day. This is my post for today.  Talking about my writers block as a way to make myself post so I break my writers block. But since I had Henry sleeping and the consignment sale to talk about, and a future post about my practicum brewing in my head, I guess I don't have writers block after all.  I am just really sleepy.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Henry's In Charge

So things are a little insane around these parts. My new job is truly wonderful, but I am learning new things and getting into a new routine which is always exhausting. Add in my class and my practicum (Loving it!), plus a HUGE consignment sale I am working on to sell an alarming amount of baby stuff, and you have one tired Mama. Toss in that Nick is working like crazy on the class he is teaching and you also have an overworked Papa.

 So Henry has been left to his own devices as of late. I think he is fairing rather well...


I mean, the bucket has slits in it. So I am going to go ahead and call this safe. Also, SMART because if there is a surprise alien invasion he has a helmet to protect his precious brain.
 Henry Fall 2012
And who can see a problem with handing your feet out a car window? I mean, it's like air conditioning for the leg. Henry says, "Listen Mama, I am in charge here. YOU put your foot back in the window!"
Riding a rather terrifying looking antique horse, nothing wrong with that! (look at it's teeth! Who MADE this thing?)
Clothes, no need. Not when you have such an awesome Angry Bird towel. Henry knows what style looks like. No help required.
 Henry Fall 2012
And snacking and relaxing, he learned from the best. Cheetos kicked back in his recliner playing the DS... I see no parenting problems here at all.

So as you see, he has this entire thing under control.  No parents required, Henry can totally handle being in charge! Works out well while Nick and I learn to swim in all this new responsibility.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sweet Baby Quinn

One of my very good friends Rhiannon and her husband had their first baby this week. Rhi is part of my ZPO group of girls that I have been hanging out with for... well, kinda forever.

And as long as I have been friends with Rhi, she has been waiting for this moment. To hold her daughters in her arms. To be a mama.
So it was really exciting to be at the hospital the day after Quinn was born. To see sweet baby toes.
To hold her and kiss her and tell her how very loved  she is.
 To let Henry meet her and to know that now the second generation of ZPO has a new member, another little girl to go along with our sweet Cici.
And most importantly, to see my wonderful friend holding her sweet baby, and know she has everything she always wanted.

Congratulations Rhi and Chris. We are so happy for you!


Monday, September 10, 2012

Last Day / First Day

 Friday was my last day at my old job, and today was my first day at my new job.  Big changes in a 72 hour period.  It is such a strange feeling to walk into the same building on a Monday morning, but pass the door to my old job, wave at my old coworkers, and make my way to my new desk in a different part of the building.  My new responsibilities.  My new group.  Just down the hall, but yet totally separate from the me of Friday. 

Friday was kinda sad.  Lots of 'I am still in the building... this isn't a big deal' type conversations.  But knowing that we are not going to work together the same. We wont actually work together at all.  Our jobs are in the same building, but are totally separate.  I will go days without interacting with these people that I spent nearly 40 hours a week working beside for over a year.  I will see them, but I wont be apart of them anymore. We work in the same building, but I am no longer in their group.  I loved being a part of that group. 

And yet as much as I loved it, I wanted this change. I went after this change.  And today was wonderful.  walking into a lab where I already at least kind of know people, where I feel comfortable, where I am doing something completely new, something I am very excited about, with a new group I am thrilled to get to work with. I am viewed differently today by my new group.  I feel different than I did on Friday.  Because Friday I was one thing, and Monday I was something else.  And it's just down the hall, but it's starting all over again.  At a new job, with new people, for the third time in two and a half years.

It's exciting.  And it's a little overwhelming too.  I will miss my old friends, but I am already thrilled with my new ones.  Today was a really great first day. Today makes me feel like this was the best decision I could have made. I am thrilled with my new job.


Friday, September 7, 2012

An A for Effort

So one of my New Years Resolutions that I thought sounded like a really really fun idea (rolling eyes at myself right about now) was to start painting. I have no idea why I put such a lofty goal on myself as "learn to be creative and pick up a time consuming new hobby" but at the time it sounded kinda neat.


So because I am a person who needs to checked EVERY SINGLE THING OFF MY TO DO LIST, I have been aware of this little personal goal for some time.  As the months tick by I mention to Nick that we need to go up in the attic and get my easel and we really should hunt down those paints... and he just looks at me.  And his look says "we??" 


I brought this on myself.  So I tried to talk all the girls in Nick's family into a painting day.  We could all attempt a Bob Ross painting, people suggested alcohol, it all seemed like a sealed deal!  I could check off my resolution!

Yes.... I am now defining my 'start painting' resolution as one lone painting session.  Shut up.  I am busy.

So I felt pretty good about it until I realized it was September.  And... well.... I just wasn't that confident they were all as committed to helping me realize my dream of completing all my New Years Resolutions as I would hope.  I mean, half of them live in South Carolina and have no real plan to enter the state of Kentucky before the end of the year.  I was on shaky ground.  So when Henry asked to paint the other day, I thought "YES!  This is it!  I will just paint WITH him, and it will count.   Like, I will really try, and I am sure I will make something amazing.  How hard can it be??"

Henry and Mama Painting

Right.  So like art... it does sorta require some skill.  I mean, I only had the little 99 cent brushes and the washable crayola paint.  But still.... Bob Ross could have made MUCH happier little trees with these supplies. And see the white caps on the water and the shading on the mountains and the trees (Shut up, they are totally mountains)?  I was actually putting in some effort here.

Next I thought maybe I should try some still life.  So... you know, I looked around for something still.  I saw a pretty much empty fruit bowl. 

Exhibit A

Henry and Mama Painting

So I painted that.

Henry and Mama Painting

I mean.  Sure, it's blue.  But who paints a white bowl on white paper?  And like... I couldn't help it that the bowl was mostly empty.  YOU TAKE WHAT YOU GET IN STILL LIFE! (the shading on the bowl, the sticker on the fruit... ACTUALLY TRYING HERE PEOPLE)

I am not going to lie, I wasn't feeling so great about my painting abilities, so for my final piece of art I went safe.  I went for a crowd pleaser

Henry and Mama Painting
It was a hit
Henry and Mama Painting
Henry went with a more of an abstract style. I think his might be the best piece produced in the session
Henry and Mama Painting

No doubt, he has skill.

So... there it is.  I painted.  So when I give myself a check mark when reviewing my resolutions NOBODY CAN QUESTION MY DEDICATION!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Trust Your Eyes: A BlogHer Book Club Review

This is a paid review for the BlogHer Book Club. All thoughts and opinions on the book are, as always, my very own.

Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay is a suspense thriller.  And I was about to make that sentence longer and give an actual description of the book, but I am going to stop there and say that it's a suspense thriller, and it reminded me that I LOVE suspense thrillers!  I used to read them years ago and I just FORGOT about the genre entirely.  How sad for suspense thrillers.  I have just ignored them.  But no more!  Not after Trust Your Eyes!  My love for has been reborn. 

So, back on topic.  Trust Your Eyes is the story of Thomas Kilbride, a schizophrenic who is obsessed with maps and spends all of his time on a Google Earth type website called Whirl360, which allows him to see every street in every city across the globe, and his brother Ray.  With his' photographic memory, Thomas is spending his life memorizing the world one street at a time. 

The book opens with the death of Thomas and Ray's father and the return of his brother Ray to settle the estate and find a permanent place for Thomas.  While Ray is working to get things in order, Thomas inadvertently stumbles upon what he believes to be a murder on Whirl360.  Ray is torn between believing his schizophrenic brother, or trying to just move forward.  Along with the possible online murder, other things aren't adding up for Ray.  His fathers death and mysteries from Thomas' past are all leading him to question everything around him. 

Trust Your Eyes is a great read.  It's an easy story, but stays suspenseful until literally the last page.  If you like suspense thrillers, or if you used to, but forgot and now want to maybe try them again, I recommend you start with this one!

We will be discussing Trust Your Eyes with BlogHer for the next several weeks.  Come join the conversation!

I know this was two review posts in a row, and I am sorry the due dates fell that way!  I really will be back tomorrow with an enjoyable nonsponsered post showing off my amazing artistic abilities. Does that make it okay?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dove Conditioner: A BlogHer and Dove Review and $1000 Spa Give Away!

Two posts in one day?  I KNOW! Things are crazy around here. But I am once again pairing with BlogHer and Dove to review a product and bring you a chance to win a $1000 Spa Gift card! How cool is that? This is a paid review, so if you are are not into that sort of thing, no big deal. Click away and come back tomorrow when I will be back to my normal randomness that unfortunately does not include $1000 spa give aways.

My hair is a natural disaster. I have that kinda wavy, huge hair that just takes over.  It isn't curly, and it most definitely isn't straight.    When it's humid outside it expands at an exponential rate.  I have the very best 80's hair around. Although as a child in the 80's I felt I needed to perm this monstrosity to fit in, so I guess we are never happy with what we have.

Anyway, my hair, it's out of control.  But in order to attempt to keep it under control I constantly apply product and heat.  If I wear it "curly" I douse it with a spray hair gel, and if I wear it straight i blow dry it, then flatten it with a straight iron.  My poor hair... I really abuse it now that I think about it.

So, when BlogHer and Dove contacted me to review their new Nourishing Oil Care Conditioner I was all in.  Especially when they told me that it's main purpose is to smooth dry, rough and frizzy hair.  Because... yes.  That is the definition of my hair.  They just need to add "out of control" and the will have summed it up perfectly. 

When the bottle arrives in the mail I was immediately on board with this stuff because it smelled awesome.  My mom was standing there and I waved it under her nose as well, and she said "Oh... I would use THAT!"  But it's conditioner... you can't go on smell alone.  So I started using it, and have now been putting it on my hair for the last couple of weeks.  It's pretty much everything you want a conditioner to be.  It isn't greasy and it doesn't weight my hair down, but it definitely is helping to control the frizz and seems to have my hair looking healthier, which is a real feat with all the damage I have inflicted.  It is a good price for a great conditioner.  I will buy it instead of the more expensive one I was using before this review, simply because I think it works better.

So now what about this $1000?   BlogHer and Dove are giving away a Spafinder gift card, so just follow the instructions below to enter!  Comments on this post will NOT count as entries.  You will have to follow the link in order to be in for the prize, and will be asked to give an answer to a question from this post.  So, here is your question:

What is is your favorite thing about your hair?

See how I went with a positive question there?  I was going to ask what annoys you most about your hair, but then though "wait.... let's make people feel good about themselves."  So...You. Are. Welcome.

 Good luck!

Enter to win a $1,000 Spafinder gift certificate!



You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Follow this link, and provide your email address and your response to the Promotion prompt

b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: "#SweepstakesEntry"; and then visit this link to provide your email address and the URL to that Tweet.

c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and then visit this link to provide your email address and the URL to that post.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. Winners will have 72 hours to claim the prize, or an alternative winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 9/4/2012 - 9/30/2012

Be sure to visit Dove® to get a coupon for $1.50 off Dove Hair Therapy products.

Henry's (Kinda-Sorta) First Movie!

We had a great holiday weekend full of family friends, cookouts, celebration dinners for my new job, football (not GOOD football, but still.  Football), hours put in for my practicum and, most importantly (in my own head) we took Henry to his first movie!

I mean... it was kinda his first movie.  He has... TECHNICALLY, been to the movies before.  But we choose to not count that time.  I mean, as parents we are allowed to do that, right?  Make up our own history?
Okay, FINE.  It was his SECOND movie. But his first ended in such an epic disaster that it has pretty much been blocked from memory.  Back when Cars 2 was in the theater my mother in law thought it would be fun to take him.  They went, got a big bag of popcorn and settled in for the show.  It was quickly clear that this entire movie theater thing was entirely overwhelming for our boy.  He wouldn't sit in his own seat, instead choosing the much safer location of wedged in between my mother in law and the back of her chair.  That's right.  He used his Nana's body as a shield from the terror that was the big screen.  After about fifteen minutes she asked if he wanted to leave and he basically shouted "What?  Leaving is an OPTION?  LET'S GOOOO!" 

So... I guess for posterity's sake we will have to call that his first movie.  All fifteen minutes of it's terror.

Needless to say we have been reluctant to try again.  I mean, I am a HUGE movie theater fan, but the entire point of the movie is to be fun, not to cause terror.  And I was afraid if we tried again too soon it might scar him for life.  The only 'scar him for life fear' ... every parents worst nightmare. 

Anyway, we finally decided it was time to give it a go. We have been talking about it for awhile, but never actually decided on anything.  Then, Saturday I randomly decided THIS IS THE TIME!  Mainly because I was bored.  But WHATEVER! It's time to conquer fears!  LET'S GO TO THE MOVIE!

So we checked the dollar theaters (I mean... come on.  I am not paying twenty bucks for the three of us to see fifteen minutes of a movie) and find out that Ice Age 4 and Madagascar 3 are playing.  Not the best choices.  I think Henry has seen some of one of the Ice Age movies.... how are there four of them?  And three Madagascars??  REALLY?  So we pick Ice Age and head to a theater across town.  We get almost there when we realize that, we (I) totally sucked at calculating time and are WAY too late to see this movie.  You can't go in ten minutes late to a dark loud theater with a kid that is terrified of loud dark things.  THAT is the scar them for life kinda thing I was worrying about!  So, with some grumbling from Nick about my spur of the moment 'LET'S SEE A MOVIE NOW!' announcement and my estimation on travel time to different dollar theaters, we head to the one much closer to our house that is showing Madagascar 3.

I didn't know how it would go.  As soon as we walked in he put his hands over his ears.  Not a good sign.  We weren't in the theater, we were in the LOBBY.  So... I guess he remembers the Cars 2 event.  As we walked down the dark hallway he turned a little panicky but then we walked into the theater, he looked at the screen, put his hands down and said "Hey, COMMERCIALS!!"

From then on he was fine.  And you all, he was so adorable!  He laughed HARD at several parts of the movie.  Proclaiming loud enough for those around us to hear that "That's REALLY FUNNY!"  At the end he got tired, but when we asked if he wanted to leave he said "NO!  IT NOT OVER!"  So we stayed until the end.

A good thing too.  Turns out those Madagascar Movies are really cute.  Mama rather enjoyed it herself.  If I am being honest, I would say Henry wasn't the only one laughing out loud.  Although now I think it has set the bar a little high on what Henry might expect when we go to the circus.... but Whatever!  One event at a time!  The movie theater was a HIT!

Our big boy after his very first FULL movie in the theater.