Short and Sweet

Given the night's events, I am tired and a tad bit depressed so I am planning to keep this post short, sweet, and to the point. Because my mom is leaving tomorrow morning for Korea, she asked me early last week if I wanted to have my birthday party tonight (my birthday is actually next Saturday). I said yes, so we planned for it to be just family, my grandparents and bestfriend Kim and her fiance Cameron included.
So we all got together at my mom's house around 6:30ish and I made tacos for dinner. After we finished eating, I was allowed to open my presents. I got loads of goodies, some not even on my list! Japanese Cherry Blossom Body wash & lotion from B&BW (that I was totally out of, yay mom!), a new Yankee Candle in Christmas Cookie scent (that I can't wait to start burning!), and then I opened a perfume box that I thought only had an eyeshadow compact in it (something else I'm running out of). Anyway...the box apparently had a secret compartment where one of these cute things was hidden. The one I have is second from the right.

So I'm a tad excited but also tired and depressed. And Bryan only got one photo of the party because our camera sucks and we need new batteries. I'm off to bed!



Thanks to my bestest friend Susie for the new heading on Gracie's blog. You rock!

No real news to report....we had our farewell fellowship at church for The McCrory Family. I know that Gracie and I will miss them very much, as she was fond of both Miss Lyndsey (or Miss Leezee as she called her) and baby Claire. I enjoyed having them serve at our church in the short time they were there, and they will be missed terribly.

My mother is having a birthday party for me this weekend, since she won't be here for my birthday party next Saturday. I will have pictures to post of that from this weekend.

Gracie has fallen in love with our Christmas tree. She likes to give it kisses because "it's so peet-ee, Mama!" Speaking of Gracie and Christmas, Bryan, Nanna Kay and I will probably be taking Princess Pooh to the Montgomery Zoo next week sometime to see the Christmas lights and ride the train. Definitely keep an eye out for pictures from that. We're trying to plan for a day where it won't be too cold.

More updates to come later...


Turkeys & Tailgating

Thanksgiving Recap: For those of you who might be interested to know, Gracie does not like: dressing, cranberry sauce, or green beans (for the record, I already knew about the last one). However, when it comes to Thanksgiving Gracie does like ham, sweet potato casserole, and....deviled eggs. I never would've guessed on the eggs until I gave Bryan one and Gracie said "I own bite." so I gave her some...and she inhaled two of them.
Thanksgiving is always fun for me because I see family I don't get to see alot throughout the year, but I always end up eating way too much. And every year I tell my Granny to give me her dressing recipe and she never does. This year, I'm putting my foot down!


So tonight, somewhat in honor of the Iron Bowl/Auburn vs. Alabama garbage that e.v.e.r.y.b.o.d.y seems to love but me...we had an impromptu tailgating-style picnic on the coffee table. First Bryan made us fuzzy navel slushies. Gracie's is the one picture above, and yes folks we are working on the "big girl" cup now!

This is a picture of Gracie and her new and yet unnamed pal, Little Lamb. He was a gift from a friend of Nanna Kay's.

A picture of the non-Iron Bowl watching picnic we had on the coffee table. We had our fuzzy navel slushies, potato salad, tortilla chips and cheese dip, and pigs in a blanket. Yum!

Bryan also started a fire so in the spirit of keeping her new clothes clean, we stripped Gracie down to nothing but her diaper. She is pictured here on her princess couch, while we hung out on the livingroom floor munching on goodies and watching The Polar Express. She's got a mashed up pig in a blanket in one hand, chip in the other.

I just don't "do" football. My family never has, and in the six years Bryan and I have been together (while his Mom, sister, and brother-in-law are avid watchers) Bryan and I have honestly never watched a game. I'm just not into football! But we had fun celebrating in the spirit of hanging out and chowing down anyways!


For Mama

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.
- Washington Irving (1783-1859)

My mother was so excited about being a grandmother than when she retired in April of 2005, she told everybody at her retirement reception that she wasn't going back to work; she was going to be a full-time grandmother. I knew she was excited about being a grandmother, but I never expected the never-ending love and support I got from her not only while I was pregnant, but even the months and leading up to the two years since Gracie has been born.
I remember how terrified I was when Gracie was born and they let us come home from the hospital. Still feeling a little bit in shock, I didn't sleep much the day we came home from the hospital. And my stomach went into knots every single time someone mentioned leaving me alone with the baby.So it was an utter shock to me that first night home when Gracie, screaming and crying, refused to go to sleep and I was physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted. Bryan called my mom and she came right over, rocking and cuddling Gracie until she went to sleep.
And she was right there when I went back to work, suffering what I consider a mild case of post-partum depression, and invited the three of us to spend the night at her house.

My point in this long, rambling post is that I don't know where I would be as a mother without my mother. Even before that, going back to when I was little and she had to play dual roles of Mommy and Daddy. I often take for granted the fact that she was always there, constantly, no matter what.

My mother is taking a job overseas for a year. And at first, it really bothered me. Okay well to be totally honest...I'm still not 100% okay with it. But I'm adjusting. I've managed to get Gracie through 2 years of her life without any major scars. And I know in my heart that if my mom had other options, she would not willingly miss out on a year of Gracie's life. And I understand that this is a good thing for her, and a positive move in terms of finances and everything.

It just sucks, I guess. But I'm not going to be depressed about it, I'm going to be excited for what this opportunity means for my mom.
And so I'm dedicating this post on Gracie's blog to her, as a way of wishing her luck and telling her just how much we love and will miss her. And how she'd better check this blog on a daily basis, OR ELSE! :)

When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.


Spirit of Christmas

After recovering from our nasty encounter of "The Crud" thanks to
Amy Wade & her Family, it seems we have been run down by another infection: the spirit of Christmas!

I think poor Bryan thought I was nuts when I called him this morning to ask very politely if he would mind pulling out the Christmas tree and putting it up. In the last six or seven hours I have completely decked my home out in Christmas attire, and made a loaf of pumpkin spice bread so that the entire house feels all warm and cozy and Christmas-y. And take a piece of advice from Rachel's blog and find some mulling spices to simmer on the stove. I promise, your entire house will smell like Christmas!

Gracie was very excited about helping decorate the tree, so Tina and I let her help with putting the candy canes on. When I can get my hands on my camera, I will take pictures of the tree so we can show off her hard work.

The picture posted at the beginning of this post is one of Gracie from a portrait session Nanna Kay had done at Sears this weekend.If you receive an email from me, you have the opportunity to order prints if you'd like to. If you didn't get the email about them, just email me and I'll pass it along!


Especially Heather

I'm in no way stealing this post, just sharing it. Please visit Heather's website and pray for this wonderful family.

(/begin post)

How many times do we reserve God for Sundays, only taking him out of His of box (which we made especially for Him, btw) at church. We wear our “Sunday Goodness” like a badge of honor to impress Rev. James, his wife, and all the members we come across along the way. Then, as easily as we got Him out, we put Him right back in and live as if we are ashamed of Him or have no recollection of our relationship with Him the other six days of the week.

Holy Crap. That is what it is. Holy Crap.

Or we put on a face of religious rituals, thinking that we must be able to get into heaven because after all, we did X and we did it well, ignoring the part of the bible that says “No one comes to the father except thru Me”

Holy Crap.

How many of your friends, in your weekly life, could you tell that you are sold out to Jesus, heart and soul. How many would be shocked if they knew that you were a Christian? Or, more direct, how many of your friends are Believers themselves? How many of your week day friends would die of laughter at the way you “put on the show” every Sunday morning?

Lets take that a step farther. What do you think it does to the heart of God?

God is not a puppet. He is not a lucky charm, or a “just in case” memento. He wants demands all of our hearts. Not just the parts that we deem Him worthy to have, not just the parts that we want to show Him, but every.single.aspect. of our hearts and lives. How can you deny Him access to your pain when He is already right in the middle of it. He is just waiting for you to, ya know, ask Him for help.

He knows that you have a depression problem. He knows that you can’t stand your body. He knows that you have anorexia/bulimia. He knows that you cut yourself to just feel something. He knows that you had an affair. Whatever it is….

He knows.

How can we think that the God that created the universe is oblivious to our hearts problems. And how can we deny him access to those situations which he already knows about? That is like trying to ignore the big elephant in an elevator. No matter where you turn, the elephant is still there, still present, still out of place.

Jesus wants to help put your life back together again. He longs to.

Stop hiding behind the “Holy Crap” and come experience the goodness that God has in store for you. Ill let you in on a little secret that I have come to realize over and over again. Life is not fair. But despite its unfairness, it can be marvelously wonderful. It can be so much more for you than what it is.

It holds so much more than “Holy Crap”.

So Much More….

(/end post)

Amen, Heather. Thank you for sharing that with us. -Miranda

Week-End Review

In my previous post, I mentioned that I would inform those of you who check my blog (thank you!) whether or not Gracie liked the Snappy Smothered Chicken. The answer is a big, resounding "No!" and her Mommy didn't much care for it either. For me, it was the white cooking whine I used. It tasted better in another recipe I've tried previously, but it just didn't sit well with me in that one. I will probably substitute chicken broth or extra milk next time and see how that turns out.

So far our weekend has been kind of laid-back. Friday night, Nanna Kay kept Gracie so Bryan and I rented Mr. Brooks and Reign Over Me. I'm not a big Kevin Kostner fan and the movie was kind of morbid and gross, but Bryan and I are huge fans of Dane Cook so we rented it anyway. I won't spoil the movie if you're interested in watching it, but it just wasn't my cup of tea. Reign Over Me, however, was actually pretty decent but a tad on the depressing side (if you watch the trailer, you'll find out why). The story is linked to 9-11 in a roundabout way.

Then on Saturday I had to work, which is loads of fun considering I'm in retail and we're always busy this time of year. The next few days will be just as busy. Then last night we had dinner at the home of my sister-in-law Tara, to celebrate Nanna Kay's birthday. Nanna took Gracie to have Christmas pictures done at Sears, and I will post a link to that whenever they are online.

Other than that....the weather is kind of dreary here this afternoon and my mom and sisters are coming for dinner. We are looking forward to having a quiet Thanksgiving with Bryan's family this week. I'll post more later!


Are you callin' me a CHICKEN?

I love chicken. Absolutely, totally love it. What's not to love? There are about a zillion different ways to cook it! So I was told by someone at work (thank you, Tracie!) that the recipe I found on
this mommy's blog was worth a try. Plus, it uses an already-cooked Rotisserie chicken and takes about 15 minutes to throw together!

So if you are willing and love chicken as much as I do, then you should definitely give it a shot and let me know what you think. I'll be cooking it up for dinner tonight and will be sure to report back this weekend about how much (or how little) Princess Poo enjoyed it!



Friday morning when I got Gracie out of her crib (before we all came down the "The Crud") I noticed how dry her diaper was. Having read a small amount of potty-training material while I was pregnant, a clear sign of a good sign to start potty-training is when the child is waking up with dry diapers.
On a whim, I asked if Gracie needed to go potty. I was answered with an "uh huh" so we took off for her bathroom and I plopped her down on the toilet. Now, we don't have your standard "potty chair" because 1) we have two bathrooms and 2) her bathroom is too small to accomodate another chair so we just bought the little cushiony attachment to go on our regular toilet. All it has really been doing since we bought is keeping her from falling in.
Anyway, I'm getting off track. So Friday I put her on the potty and went to get her clothes ready for the day. (Before you go all "Bad Mommy" on me, I could still see her on the potty from her bedroom).
Then I hear her tell me, "Mama, I pottied." Hm. This has happened before. But guess what I found out when I lifted her off the potty? It was yellow!!! (read: she really HAD used the potty).
Not wanting to make it a HUGE deal, I told her how awesome that was. Fast forward through our weekend of sheer entertainment spent lounging around the house like sick little imps. This morning she woke up around 6:45 and again, I found a dry diaper. So we did the potty routine again, only this time she was rewarded for her efforts with an M&M. When she asked for more, I explained that she gets one of those when she uses the potty. So we're going to make a really good attempt to "Officially" begin potty-training. Wish us luck!


What is the big deal?

My mother has told me on several different occasions that it is time to retire the pacifier. The dentist will tell me so, she says. Seriously? I don't see what the big deal is. We have graduated from keeping it in our mouths 24/7 to at first just having it when we were seperated, then to ONLY being allowed to have it at nap and then bed time. And she seems to be doing very well with just having it when it's time to sleep.
So if I decide she can hold on to it for a little while longer, I guess that will be up to me. Although I'm interested in getting rid of it. Very soon.

By the way, the same author who wrote this book has alot of books in a "Best Behavior" series (Hands are Not for Hitting, Words are Not for Hurting,etc.) I think I might invest in some of these cute little board books for Gracie.


A Huge (Sarcastic) thank you to the Wades

Why, you ask, am I giving thanks to the Wades?

Because thanks to the internet, they have somehow transferred their germ-infested household over to ours! Ah, the internet is a wonderful thing. (FYI: You can click on the link via their name and read about how Amy, Jeremy, and Jackson have been fighting illness for the last two weeks. Thursday, Gracie ended up at the doctor with a upper respiratory infection. Bryan complained Thursday night of a sore throat, and on Friday when he left work with a fever of 103 degrees, he went to Pri-Med and was sent home with pneumonia and some medication. My throat had been hurting Friday morning, but it wasn't until late Friday night that I really started to feel bad. I took off work early yesterday and took myself to Pri-Med, where I was told I have a severe sinus infection and a touch of strep throat.
Gracie seems to be doing better, although she's very clingy today. Bryan is no longer running a fever, but I am feeling totally down and out right now. I think I'm going to take a nap very soon.
So thanks to the Wade family :)
Next time...keep your germs on your own blog!


The Birthday

Okay, so Sunday was a bit more relaxed than Saturday's whole day was. We got up that morning and had breakfast, then off to church we went. Bryan's mom and my mom and Tina all came to church because I was singing a special song for Gracie on her birthday, and they did a slideshow of pictures for me.
We came home that afternoon for lunch (Bryan's mom got us Captain D's-yum!) and then sang Happy Birthday to Gracie, as seen in the picture below. She was a little confused about the candle and just wanted to eat the Dora face off the cupcake!

Playing with her Dora Etch-A-Sketch.


The Birthday Party (Part 2)

There are more pictures to come, including a cupcake picture from this afternoon after church, but Jessica has a ton of pictures on her dad's camera I hope to get from him sometime this week and upload!

Gracie on the horsie she fights Camden for at her Mawmaw's house.

Opening her presents outside.

Taking out the tissue paper....

Opening her little dog carrier (the dog tucked away inside) from Avery, Bailey,and Ms. Jenny.

The Birthday Party (Part 1)

Gracie's birthday party yesterday was a big success. FYI for anyone who cares, I hate daylight savings time. It's the only time of year I can go to bed at 8:30 (I was exhausted) and then be up at 5:45 this morning. BLAH!
Okay, on to the party.....Princess Poo (this affectionate nickname was given to Gracie by her "favorite aunt" Tina) racked up on clothes, and toys as well. She also got some very pretty jewelry from her Mawmaw and Miss Tasha. There were a ton of kids, so here are some shots from the party.
We did not get to sing Happy Birthday because after opening the gifts, most of our guests started to trickle out. So we brought some cupcakes home to sing Happy Birthday this afternoon since today is her official "birth" day.

Gracie & her Aunt Jessica

Mr. Preston. I asked him to smile, he refused!

Mason (L) and Gracie (R) on the swings, with Mason's mom, Brooke in the background

Noah (on the airplane) and Jackson (on the slide)

Another shot of Jackson