I am such a bad mom...

I failed to take even one picture of my daughter during our Thanksgiving festivities. Wait, I am lying. I took one of her in my Granny's van yesterday when we were sitting in the car eating Hardee's for breakfast because 1) it was too flipping hot INSIDE Hardee's to eat and 2) it was also too flipping crowded!

Wednesday night we went to visit with my Granny and Pawpaw for a few hours, since I knew we wouldn't see them Thursday. It's nice to see them when I don't make time to go and see them. They don't live that far away, so I don't really have any excuses! But it was nice to visit and have pre-Thanksgiving dinner with them. Then when Bryan got home from work, we managed to drag my mom's artificial tree out of the attic and get the lights on it. Now if we could just make time to hang our ornaments....

Thursday I worked for about three hours, got off and went home to pick up Bryan and Gracie. When Bryan stopped at Entec, we found a "Black Friday" newspaper (yeah!) after searching since 6AM. We got to his Aunt Cathy's house around 10 that morning, and just got to hang out and chat with her while she cooked. (Okay, I napped. In front of the big roaring fire place in a cozy chair.)
After we enjoyed lunch with Bryan's family and Gracie took about an hour nap, we headed off to run home to make some sausage balls before going to my Aunt Gail's house. I never knew sausage balls were so easy! I also packed up the cupcakes leftover from my Girl's Night on Tuesday, and some butterscotch bark I made and was not at all impressed with.

We got to my Aunt Gail's about 5 that evening, and hung out. We also managed to stuff in some more food (ugh!) but had to call it quits before I cleaned my plate. However, I did pack up some food to bring home and our refrigerator is still overflowing with stuff!

Then at 5 Friday morning, my Granny calls to make sure I am up and ready. We had decided over the phone Thursday evening that we would hit Target first. My sole purpose for going there was that they had some awesomely good movies for $3.98 and $5.98 and were just not deals I wanted to pass up!
Being that this was my first EVER Black Friday experience, I felt a little overwhelmed. But because I wasn't like most of the gadget-hungry masses, I found literally everything I was shopping for. After Target we stopped at Hardee's for breakfast and then hit JC Penney's, Bath and Body Works, and Wal-mart. I spent most of my money at Target and JC Penney's, but also found some nice things at Bath and Body Works. If you haven't tried their holiday line - particularly the scented oils - you should try the Frosted Cranberry. My whole house smells like holiday! (If that makes any sense).

Today was a lazy, dreary day spent at work. Gracie requested that we watch Polar Express tonight so that is exactly what we are going to do after a dinner of spaghetti casserole! I am off, I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday! More posts to come!

Countdown to Mawmaw: 10 Days!!!


Thankful Day

Just wanted to drop in for a quick second and wish everyone a Happy Turkey Day. I hope you are thankful for everything in your life, good or bad. I know I am.

I am thankful for good friends, my wonderful family, and for the love of our Lord and Savior.

I am also thankful for my fellow bloggers.

Have a good day and don't eat too much!



Hhm. So either I've been overly emotional lately (given a lot of circumstances) or maybe I'm having one of those "heart-to-heart" moments.
Standing in Karen's house today while I was cleaning gave me the opportunity to think as I cleaned. Sometimes it's good for me, sometimes not. Today was one of those days where it became kind of a toss up.

Have you ever heard "Word of God Speak" by MercyMe? If you haven't you should look it up. As I'm driving home from Karen's, I am absolutely overcome by this strong sense of thankfulness that it's hard to find words to explain it. So much of my life I've spent being angry, holding grudges, and I guess God has taken this opportunity this last year to work really hard at opening my eyes to how wrong that is. So much of my life was lived as I struggled with Poor Me Syndrome. Something about being saved and accepting Christ changed all that for me, and I think it has just slowly begun to become apparent to me.

When I was driving to the pediatrician's office this morning, it was as if I put myself in His shoes. Gracie is in the backseat, unaware of what to expect. And here I am - knowing that a flu shot is looming, know how terrified she will be. And yet, I just continue on my merry way to the pediatrician's office.

After the routine nurse/doctor check up, Gracie asks one last time if she has to get a shot. Not skipping a beat I tell her yes. I see her eyes brimming with tears as she argues me. "I'm not sick," she says. "I don't need a shot."

It's that simple for her to rationalize. But I know that this flu shot - no matter how painful - can be good for her. It can protect her from harm. "It will hurt for a little while, but then you'll be okay." I assure her.

Isn't it funny how I totally took how I was feeling at that moment and related it to the way our Heavenly Father feels about us? He knows what lies in the road ahead of us and sometimes - no matter how painful the situation - he will let us walk into the fire and come out on the other side. We might have battle wounds (or in Gracie's case, a bandaid) and it might hurt for a little while, but the pain doesn't always linger.

And just like I did in that room at the pediatrician's office, He will be waiting with his arms open to comfort and assure us that He's never too far from us anyway.

More prayers, please

In no particular order....

Please pray for one of my oldest (and by oldest I don't mean she's old, I mean we've been friends since seventh grade!!!) Carolyn who just found out in October that she and her husband, Scott, are expecting a baby. I am excited for them - having a child can be nerve wracking and exciting all at the same time!
Oh and Carolyn if you are reading this: I agree with what you said on your blog. People can tell you everything they know about pregnancy and childbirth, and yet every single pregnancy is different. Just keep whatever you are told or what you learn in a little bank in your memory for later use. You'll learn what you need to know as you go through this! I'm excited for you guys And I know your Dad is too.... :)

Also please continue to be in prayer for my brother-in-law Joe and his family. His father died unexpectedly on Saturday and the funeral is late this morning. My mother-in-law says everyone seems to be doing well. They are all strong Christian people but I am sure, as with any loss, while they know he is in heaven it is still a sudden loss to learn to cope with.



Please be in prayer for my brother-in-law Joe's family. As I sat here getting ready to type this, I was going to ask for prayer for Joe's father, John. He went to the ER this morning with chest pains and they ran some tests and discovered a tear in his aortic valve. They took him be helicopter (?) to Birmingham.

I was on the phone with my mother-in-law just seconds ago, and John passed away after arriving at the hospital in Birmingham.

Please be in prayer for his family.


Praise report and well wishes

So Gracie's quarantine is almost over, and she's venturing out tonight to spend the night with Nana Kay. I know she will be excited to go to church Sunday morning, given how ticked she was with me Wednesday when I told her she couldn't go. She is not enjoying this antibiotic, but it's doing it's job.
So far this week she and I have made Christmas cookies and eaten them all (maybe six total) and have watched Garfield and the Grinch repeatedly. She seems to be on her way to a full recovery!

With Thanksgiving staring us in the face next week, I doubt that it will be very likely I'll have any updates these next several days. So I wanted to wish all of you a safe and happy weekend. Bryan and I are dropping Gracie off at Nana Kay's tonight and then heading to Chili's for dinner: just the two of us. This doesn't happen very often, but is a special treat we've begun to look forward to.

While I'm here, I wanted you guys to know how excited I am for Nate and Tricia. If you have been keeping up with my blog, you know I've been asking for prayer requests for Tricia's lymphoma diagnosis and test results. They got their results and it (to quote Nate) APPEARS that the lymphoma is gone. PTL!

So take care of yourselves and I'm sure I'll post turkey day pics next week!


Prayer Request and Info

I'd like to ask that you keep Gracie in your prayers this week. On Monday, we took her to the doctor because last Monday she was diagnosed with a "respiratory virus" and sent home. We were told to treat the symptoms. By Wednesday night she had started refusing to eat a whole lot, even some of her favorite foods. This past Saturday, Nana Kay said Gracie had been complaining of a headache.
I had no indication of any kind of fever or any other symptoms, until early Monday morning when she cried every twenty minutes for no apparent reason. When we took her Monday afternoon, they diagnosed Gracie with RSV.

If you are the parent of a young child or know someone who is, you might want to pass some of the information along to them. RSV is highly contagious and can be more serious in infants, especially preemies like Baby Gwyneth or the Steece Quads.

Gracie had it once when she was three months old and though the doctor did not seem as worried this time, she is still very winded and tired - especially from coughing so much. Her lungs were inflamed so they gave her a steroid shot before we left and put her on a very strong antibiotic she doesn't seem to like.
She has been quarantined to the house at least until Sunday, and can go back to preschool on Monday morning.

Please pray for her and be sure to pass the information along to others you know. You can find more info on RSV here and here.


Praise & Prayers

While Amy and I do our fair share of blog stalking, there are some blogs I visit more frequently than others. And while I know that there are people hurting and in pain all over our world, this family is one that has just touched my heart.
I found them immediately after their daughter was born and Tricia was awaiting a lung transplant. I have posted about them before, concerning prayer for the lymphoma that chemotherapy doesn't seem to be helping with.

Nathan just posted an update last night that you can read here. Thank God for small miracles! I am thankful that the spot on Tricia's lungs is an infection, while I know just from what Nathan stated that her immune system has a harder time fighting off infections because it is weakened. I am just elated to hear that it is only an infection, and not cancer.

I know that Nathan and Tricia are faithful Christians who, as Nate said: As always, we trust that God knows our future and wants the best for us, even when it doesn't feel that way.

Nathan and Tricia, if you are reading this: Know that there is another small soul in this world praying for you and your family. That whatever God's will is for your lives, He will make it known to you. I'm glad to hear that Tricia is feeling better and hope you guys get to close on your house very soon!


Do YOU want to be different?

Someone I know, and I can't remember who either has a quote in their email signature or something that simply states: Be the change you want to see in the world.

And I love that quote. It's one that sticks with me constantly. And when I was checking out Angie's blog the other day about "Seven Prayers a Day" (where she uses Bible passages and adapts them into prayers) one of those prayers really jumped out at me. It reminded me of that quote I've already talked about and when I checked it out in my own Bible, I noticed that it was worded slightly different. That Bible verse is now underneath the photo of Gracie at the top of my blog.

Anyway, all that said I just wanted to share a video that I am not certain I've posted here before. I don't know if it's a God thing or what, but this whole idea of not being changed by this world but living by the example of what Jesus did for us and how much he loves us has just stuck with me like super glue. And no matter how much I try to hide from it or run from it, the idea just keeps seeking me out. So I wanted to share this beautiful song, if you've never heard it before.


What's great about 8?

Disclaimer: Because Amy and I visit most of them same blogs and/or know the same people, I am not tagging anybody. I will, however, share my answers with you. I can picture all of you on the edge of your chairs in anticipation.

8 TV shows I watch
1. Days of Our Lives. Say what you will about soap operas and all that jazz, I totally get that it's not realistic but I am hooked.
2. One Tree Hill. Again, same as number one but this is one of view teeny bopper dramas I can actually sit through without feeling nauseous.
3. Grey's Anatomy. I don't care what anybody says, this is way less depressing than sitting through ER.
4. Friends. Okay, now only in rerun format but they're all still funny to me!
5. CSI. I will not be specific because there are only like three hundred different versions of this show. All good.
6. Reba. I don't know how I missed the show before it went into reruns, but some of her stuff is hysterical!
7. Cosby Show
8. Full House

8 Things that happened yesterday
1. I went to work.
2. Nana Kay dropped Gracie off at work.
3. Gracie and I came home to unload groceries.
4. Gracie and I went to Michael's for scrapbooking supplies.
5. After I fed her a dinner of spaghettios, string cheese, and apple slices (don't judge!), Bryan gave Gracie a bath.
6. Bryan and I had what he called an "old country" dinner - fried ham, scalloped potatoes, cornbread dressing and brussel sprouts.
7. I made cookie bar brownies for dessert.
8. The three of us watched "Garfield:The Movie". Apparently now Gracie is in love with the fat cat!

8 Favorite places to eat:
1. Chick-Fil-A
2. O'Charley's
3. Applebee's
4. Wendy's
5. Olive Garden
6. Moe's
7. Captain D's
8. Home

8 Things I am Looking Forward to:
1. December. Not just because it is my birthday (the 8th) but because ON my birthday, my mother will be coming home from Qatar for that month.
2. Being an aunt for the first time ever!
3. Spending this first REAL Christmas with Gracie, who has just started asking about Santa Claus. I will post later about this issue! Not that I have an issue with Santa, but I want her to understand the real meaning of Christmas: Our Savior.
4. The new season of "Secret Life of the American Teenager." Call me a closet teeny bopper show fan, but I actually liked it.
5. Winter. Cold weather. Hot chocolate and lots of blankets. I love this time of year!
6. My Premier Jewelry party. And I'm not a big fan of jewelry, so that speaks volumes!
7. The next year in the life of our church. I've just seen so many of the possibilities over the last few months with Bro. Bruce as our new pastor....I'm excited about the future of life @ Glynwood!
8. The New Year and whatever it has in store for my family!

8 Things on my wish list:
1. A "new to us" vehicle.
2. A radio/alarm clock type gadget to play my iPod.
3. Be Delicious perfume by DKNY.
4. A new hair cut.
5. Some new winter sweaters. Most of mine are so old!
6. A vacation.
7. Getting back on our feet as a family.
8. To go back to school and get a Master's degree.


Birthday Post (Finally!)

Now that our week has calmed down a little bit, I thought I'd post pictures from Gracie's birthday party. I won't give the recap because most of you know the drill: cake, kids, and presents. The carnival party turned out really nice in my humble opinion. And all the kids seemed more excited with Gracie's kitchen than in watching her open any of the other presents.

I sincerely apologize for the lack of commentary to go with the photos, but in trying to get them up I realized that blogger is not uploading them in order - and I'm being lazy. Plus, Bryan's dad has been in town for the week and we've been super busy. So I'm only posting these pictures at the request of Ms. Leigh, so she can admire her handiwork of the circus outfit. You did an awesome job, Leigh, and Gracie loved the monkey!


Birthday Wishes

Hey folks!

I am not at my own computer right now, but wanted to post in honor of my baby's third birthday today. I promise a more sappy post later, to include pictures. For now be sure and sign the comments section to wish Gracie a happy birthday!


Guess Who's Having a Baby?

If you guess that it's ME, you are WRONG! Play the video below to hear Gracie make the announcement!

That's right, folks, Gracie's Aunt Tara is pregnant - which means I'm going to be an aunt! Yay!

Sorry for the no birthday pics yet.....Bryan's dad got into town early tonight. I will try to post them tomorrow afternoon.