Tuesday, April 30, 2013


I am insanely proud of Bryan. It's still hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that my baby brother is actually allowed to do the things he does. When he goes to work it's not just a paycheck. He's making a difference in peoples lives. There are people walking around that wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him. He won't take compliments about it. Well, he'll say thank you and then probably share a gruesome story with you... But this is what he does. It's what he's chosen to do with his life. I know his job is stressful. It is exhausting. It saddens me when he has to make a run with a kid involved. Not many of us can handle that. Despite all of the hardships that come with his job he goes back shift after shift and gives his all. He is an amazing person. He has more strength than he knows.

My little brother started volunteering as a firefighter when he was 17. That was 4 years ago and at the time I thought, "Well that's pretty cool. It keeps him busy and he's helping." I didn't realize how much he enjoyed doing it and that he would turn it into a career... he'll even be Sparky the firedog.

He continued volunteering his free time while he went to school to get all of his certifications.
Now he is a fire fighter and a paramedic.

He was named firefighter of the year in 2010. Noah thinks it is "AWESOME" that his uncle gets to ride in a firetruck or ambulance. Back home every time we saw one Noah would ask, "Is that uncle Bryan's firetruck?"

I'm proud of everything he has accomplished and I know he is going to do so much more. I love him very much. I'm happy to call him my brother.

And yes ladies... he's single....

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Book Chat - Strangest Book

I thought for a while about the books I have read. I couldn't think of anything really strange... So I'm just choosing the book I've read with the strangest twist ending.

From Goodreads

Me & Emma is about Carrie (8) and her younger sister Emma. Carrie is very shy and kind of keeps to herself. Emma on the other hand is a little spitfire with no fear. After the tragic death of their father their mother falls apart. She remarries and the man she chooses is awful. I cried a lot while reading this book. Their step father is an abusive man. The two young girls live a very sad life. Their mother who is emotionally absent has pretty much forgotten about them and left them in the "care" of the step father. The twist at the end of the book left me shocked and heartbroken. It also gave me a whole new perspective on the book. I would like to go back and read it again someday now that I know the true story. This is a fast read. Something is always happening. It's hard to put down because you just want to find out what is going to happen.Great book. Read it...but get tissues first.

Go link up!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The evolution of a sister.

My sister, Jessica, was born a few weeks before my second birthday. I've been told that at first I was excited! A sister! Who wouldn't love having a sister? Apparently me. After a few days the novelty of having a sibling wore off and I asked quite frequently when "the baby" would be going back. I've seen countless home videos of the terror that can be a younger sibling. She broke my toys! She took my things! She was in my way!

I'm not sure why my mom thought these haircuts were cute...

Eventually she grew up a little and so did I. Now we could play together. As long as there wasn't someone else to play with this was fine with me. Playing with my little sister was fun but I couldn't let anyone else know that, so if she tried to tag along with me and my friends... No! Just no! I loved her I liked her I really did. I'm sure this behavior was very confusing for her. Sorry Jessica...

It took me forever to find a photo of us together during this phase. At least we're at the same table?
Then came the I hate you, do not make eye contact with me in public, and if you speak to me at school you might not survive another day phase. We disliked each other a lot. There was lots of fighting. I really don't even remember what we fought about. I do remember her always taking things from my room. My mom allowed me to put a lock on my door to keep Jessica out. Things got pretty bad sometimes. She once threw our GIANT family bible at me... THE BIBLE. I think Jesus would not approve lol. We just didn't see eye to eye and didn't have very much in common so we avoided each other most of the time.

Somehow the planets aligned in that special way and something magical happened. We became best friends. I can't pin point the exact moment this happened. I think it was all the time we spent apart after I got married and moved far far away. We also both grew up a lot and matured a great deal. I love my little sister so much. I miss her a lot. I can talk to her about anything. I can just be weird awkward me around her. She GETS me. I can not wait to see her this summer. We laugh so much when we're together. The hardest part about moving away from Louisiana has been not seeing my family. My sister can't stop by the house. Noah can't go to her house and have a sleepover with my nephew. She can't call me with a problem and come over to drink wine and sort it all out. We have come a long way. I love her with all of my heart...even if she is taller and skinnier than me... =)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Etiquette for being a mom of a 7 yr. old

1. Do not attempt to kiss his cheek at the soccer game. If you succeed he will just wipe it off.

2. Do not call him any kind of cutesy name when helping in his class.  It is okay at home but NEVER at school. He will stare at you will death in his eyes.

3. He will still hold your hand in public if he thinks it's for his own safety.

4. He will choose going to a friends house over snuggling and watching a movie with you after school. Try not to be too sad.

5. Don't be offended when he asks you to stop singing made up songs....and maybe plugs his ears if you continue.

6. You will fix his hair in the morning. It will be so cute. He looks like a sweet little boy. On the way to school you'll glance in the mirror and notice that he is ruffling his hair up. When questioned he will explain that your way is not cool. 

7. The same thing goes for clothes. Come on he's 7! He really does know more about what cool 7 year olds want to wear than you do...

He won't give you a hug or a kiss anymore before he gets out of the car at school unless you ask him too... But he will still tell you he loves you and says goodbye 5 times before he gets out. He will be excited to tell you about his day when you pick him up. When you tell him you missed him he will say he missed you too. You will find things like this in his backpack. 

Your heart will warm with happiness. He will always be your little boy no matter what. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sip, Read, Swap

Jen from That's What She Read and Mallory from From California to Kansas hosted a book swap recently that included swapping coffee mugs... Genius! Who doesn't love a cute new mug?

I was partnered with Melissa from Lulu & SweetPea.

She is amazingly kind. I love her blog. It's so bright and cheerful. After checking it out, emailing, and tweeting back and forth I realized we had quite a bit in common. I knew I needed to share my favorite book with her. Finally my package was ready to mail.

This is only the second swap I've done and I'll definitely take a trick from Melissa and keep it. She wrapped each of my gifts in really pretty wrapping paper. It looked like a box filled with happiness.  I wish I had taken a photo before I opened them! I'm impatient though and for me that was like trying not to open the presents Christmas morning.

Melissa sent me a Faith coffee mug, which I use a LOT. I actually had to take it out of the sink and wash it prior to taking this picture. I probably use it every day! She also sent me Linger and Forever. I read the first book Shiver and really liked it so I was thrilled to find these two books inside my box. Of course I read them right away! She wrote me a very sweet note and I'm keeping it inside Linger. My son enjoyed the package as much as I did. He quickly snatched up all of the packing peanuts and bubble wrap. They are now with his enormous lego collection...

This was a really fun swap! I enjoyed getting to know Melissa and you should definitely pop on over to her blog and check it out.

Left Neglected - Book Review


LEFT Neglected is about do it all woman named Sarah. She has a high powered job, 3 kids, a full schedule, and no time to even think about slowing down. One day on her way to work she does something she does everyday. She takes out her cell phone, takes her eyes off the road for too long, and her life finally slows down.

Sarah has a traumatic brain injury called left neglect. Nothing on the left exists to her. Not the left side of her body. Not the left side of a room. Not even the left side of her dinner plate. Sarah should feel lucky but she doesn't. How is she supposed to get back to doing it all if she cant even dress herself? 

In the struggle of recovering Sarah is also dealing with the possibility that her son has ADHD and her very absent mother has made a reappearance in her life.

I really liked this book. I read Lisa Genova's book Ask Alice a few years ago. I was at the library and stumbled upon Left Neglected and snatched it up as soon as I recognized the author's name. Ask Alice was about a woman who has early-onset Alzheimer's. Lisa did such an amazing job with that book I just knew I wouldn't be let down with Left Neglected.  Lisa seems to have a real skill in writing about problems with the brain. She writes in a way that doesn't focus just on the issue but how it affects the person with it. I didn't even know left neglect was something that could really happen. Early in the story Sarah's husband becomes frustrated with her. He can't understand how she just can't SEE the left. Sarah's husband is urging her to just "look left" and she asks him to describe the room to her, which he does. Then she asks him,
"Okay, now what if I told you that everything you see is only half of everything that's really here? What if I told you to turn your head and look at the other half? Where would you look?"

In Left Neglected I immediately felt connected to Sarah. I felt all of her frustrations. I cried when things got hard and cheered when she has success. The story actually has a bit of humor in it. It has a quick pace and no dull boring moments. I found myself laughing at times.  I highly recommend reading this book. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Need a laugh?

These two videos make me laugh so much. I have watched them so many times it is probably a little ridiculous.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

My Name is Memory - Book Review

From Goodreads:
Daniel has spent centuries falling in love with the same girl. Life after life, crossing continents and dynasties, he and Sophia (despite her changing name and form) have been drawn together-and he remembers it all. Daniel has "the memory", the ability to recall past lives and recognize souls of those he's previously known. It is a gift and a curse. For all the times that he and Sophia have been drawn together throughout history, they have also been torn painfully, fatally, apart. A love always too short.

Interwoven through Sophia and Daniel's unfolding present day relationship are glimpses of their expansive history together. From 552 Asia Minor to 1918 England and 1972 Virginia, the two souls share a long and sometimes torturous path of seeking each other time and time again. But just when young Sophia (now "Lucy" in the present) finally begins to awaken to the secret of their shared past, to understand the true reason for the strength of their attraction, the mysterious force that has always torn them apart reappears. Ultimately, they must come to understand what stands in the way of their love if they are ever to spend a lifetime together.

A magical, suspenseful, heartbreaking story of true love, My Name is Memory proves the power and endurance of a union that was meant to be.

You need to read this. I've read a lot of great books lately. This book rose quickly to the top of my favorites list.  The world created inside is so easily believable. I love that Daniel comes back again and again trying to find Sophia if only to lay eyes on her and know that she is okay and happy. It is also heartbreaking. 

Sometimes a book that bounces around through time can be confusing and hard to follow. That wasn't the case with My Name is Memory. Ann Brashares did an amazing job weaving Daniels previous and present life together in a way that didn't leave you dizzy. She created characters that were easy to fall in love with and some that were easy to fear. They felt like real people to me. That is both good and bad. Good because I'm still thinking about them. I felt involved in there lives. Bad also because I'm still thinking about them. I miss them as if they were my friends. It's makes me want to cry!

I could not put this book down. Except for once when I was so scared of what might happen that I just had to take a break and calm down. It will pull at all of your emotions. I stayed up late into the night finishing the last few chapters. The last parts of the book are my favorite. They are also the most intense. I felt the need to get up and pace around the room as I read because I was so involved... so nervous. Tears streaming down my face. Do not read this book without a tissue box nearby.

As soon as I finished I started looking online to see if there was a sequel because trust me... you'll want more. From what I was able to find Ann intended this to be a trilogy. Her publisher decided that because not many people purchased the first book they would wait on moving forward with the remaining two. I sincerely hope that another book comes out. I will be lost and heartbroken without it.

You NEED to go get this book. I beg you to read it! 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

My favorite place in Germany!

Today I am guest posting for my friend Jessica. 
We met in Germany years ago and now she is moving back! 
On her blog today I'm sharing my favorite place in Germany.

Go check it out!


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Bell Jar - Book Review

From Goodreads:
Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under--maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther's breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational--as accessible an experience as going to the movies. A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic.

I've heard great things about The Bell Jar so naturally I wanted to read it. Let me say this. I did not love this book. I won't read it again. I do however give Sylvia a lot of credit for writing in a way that really takes you inside the deteriorating mind of Esther. It happens so slowly that you don't see it coming right away. I had two problems with the book. One was the pacing. The first part of the book is incredibly slow. It is basically building a back story on Esther and giving you an idea of her personality and how she lives her life. It's really about 10 chapters of Esther moping and complaining.

Like I said the book is very well written. I think if the beginning had been more interesting I would have been more invested in the story. I felt like I just kept waiting for something to happen. The second issue I had was how I felt about Esther. It is hard to really like her. As soon as you notice that something isn't quite right with Esther the story picks up and moves along at a better pace. Even though it becomes more interesting I still didn't care much for her so it was hard for me to relate to how she was feeling and enjoy the rest of the book.

I wanted to like this book but it just didn't end up that way.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Comfy pants...are they your friend?

The other day Joey came home, looked at me, and said,"Did you go somewhere today?"

No... I just decided that after showering instead of putting on comfy yoga pants I would put on real pants. I figured if I was going to put real clothes on maybe I should also use the blow dryer? Hey let's get crazy and get that makeup out.

Then I started thinking it was odd that he thought I went somewhere just because I was dressed like a real live functioning adult. At that same moment I realized that I DO have a tendency to shower, throw my hair up, and reach for the comfiest clothes I can find. I'd like to use the excuse that I'm pregnant but it would be a bad one. Since becoming an at home mom again caring about my appearance has declined...drastically. I figure no one sees me so there's no reason to "get ready".

Once upon a time I got up every morning and "got ready". Hair! Makeup! Office clothes! The whole shebang! I worked for a real estate agent and before that a title company. I couldn't show up in my stretchy pants and hoody... Well, I could but I would probably be sent home to change.

The truth is even though I don't HAVE to get ready I SHOULD. I definitely feel better and happier when I look nice. Now I'm not saying I'm going to be photo ready everyday because that's just crazy talk BUT I am going to make more of an effort to get out of those lounge pants and into real pants more often.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Give me food!

Food controls my life.

My mood is directly related to whether or not I'm hungry and just how hungry I am. If I'm hungry or getting hungry I have NO patience for anyone. Snacks must be carried in my purse at all times.

At my appointment with my midwife yesterday she said I've gained 2 pounds but since I wasn't able to eat much during my first trimester that I shouldn't worry about it. I thought for sure I would have gained more than that! I've been eating like crazy the past few weeks!

1st there's breakfast #1 around 7:30
Then breakfast #2 around 9
Snacky snack snack snack around 10 and again at 11
Lunch around 12
Snacky snack snack snack around 1, 2, and 3
Dinner #1 around 4
Dinner #2 when Joey gets home around 6

People...that's a lot of food. One huge difference between my pregnancy with Noah and this time is the kinds of food I want to eat. With Noah I wanted junk food ALL the time. This time I want lots of fruits and I could probably eat my weight in cheese, grapes, and olives.

I did find some wedding cake ice cream that has frosting and bits of cake in it. THAT I am willing to fight with Joey over.

My 20 week ultrasound will be ordered at my next appointment. So in about 5 weeks we will know whether the baby is a boy or a girl!

Updates (15 weeks)

Due date: 
September 27, 2013

Size - about 4 inches
Heart rate - 160 (previously it has been 160 and 170)
Gender - ???????????

No nausea YAY!
My midwife confirmed that I have been having Braxton Hicks contractions already. BUT she said that although they usually don't start until much later that it's not a concern unless they are painful or become regular.
Super hungry!

Funny Noah:
No new questions but when I told him we will find out next month if it is a boy or a girl he put his face in his hands and said, "I'm not ready to know yet! I haven't been able to decide if I want a brother or a sister!"

Now we just wait to find out whether it's a boy or a girl.....
So impatient!!!!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Book Chat - Children's Books


This week the chat is hosted by...

Photobucket  & 

It's no secret that I love books. I'm so happy that Noah also loves books. Losing library trips has been a punishment for him... that's how much he likes going. He heads straight for the chapter books now. I try to convince him to get a cute funny story book but he thinks that is the "baby" section. Sigh....  I guess I'll have to wait until the baby is born to read a good If You Give a Mouse a Cookie book.

He has also taken an interest in science books, mostly learning about the solar system and dinosaurs. We often find ourselves sitting on the floor surrounded by children's science books trying to choose which ones to bring home.

Noah's current library finds:

My favorite Children's book

I love Goodnight Moon. I like the easy flow of the book. It's so soothing. Noah has outgrown this book but it still sits on his shelf. Every now and then after much begging from me, he will ALLOW me to read it to him.  We do have to read another book of his choice but hey that's compromise.

The first book I bought Noah

I absolutely love this book. It is so cute and has a sing song feel to it. I bought it when Noah was a newborn. I can't wait to break out this book again and read it. 

I'm happy Noah enjoys reading. I hope that it is something that stays with him. At bedtime sometimes I read to him and sometimes he reads to me. He is already talking about how when the baby is here he can read stories to the baby. That just makes my heart smile.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

You might not know...

1. I used to sell Mary Kay. I feel like I was kind of tricked into this. All that talk of no work and lots of money got to me. I never actually made any money. I didn't enjoy the "team" meetings. It felt very high school popularity contest and less own your own business. I quit and don't regret it.

2. I love crab legs more than any other kind of food. They are delicious and I'm so glad my mom introduced them to me a very very long time ago.

3. I have one brother and one sister. I am the oldest. My sister is an amazing woman. She knows what she wants and won't stop until she gets it! My brother is a super hero paramedic/fire fighter and I'm incredibly proud of him.

4. I've lived in Washington, Mississippi, Michigan, Louisiana, Germany, Louisiana again,Italy, Louisiana again, and now Illinois. My dad was in the Air Force and Joey was in the Army so we moved around quite a bit. I hate moving. It is a huge pain! Hopefully the next move we'll make will be back to Louisiana and we'll just stay there for good =)

5. I don't like sports. I just think it's boring. UNLESS it's Noah's soccer game...THAT I love =) He's so cute!

6. Half of my top right front tooth is fake. I think I was about 8 or 9 and I asked my dad to give me a big push on my bike down the driveway...this was a bad idea. Well I got my wish and it was fun until I got scared, squeezed the FRONT breaks, and flipped off my bike. I broke off part of my tooth =(  Thankfully the dentist fixed it right up!

7. I kill plants. Anything in my yard needs to be pretty self sustainable because I will forget about it. My father-in-law sent me these pretty flowers. They keep going from very perky to very droopy because I forget to water them or forget to put them in the sun. I feel like maybe they think every morning, "Is today the day she kills us?"

I hope you learned some new things about me. Don't worry there won't be a quiz ;)

Tomorrow is the book chat! Don't forget to link up with Jessica from SWEET GREEN TANGERINE. This week the topic is children's books.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Blogger Buddies

I LOVE my Bloggy Buddies. I had no idea that when I started this blog I would "meet" so many amazing people.I thought I would write a post now and then, it would give me something to do and I would have fun doing it. Never did I imagine that I would make such great connections. I wish I could scoop you all up and whisk you away on some amazing tropical blogger vacation...with free WiFi of course.

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