Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Top 10 Reasons I Got Married...

There have been a lot of posts on blogs I read about marriage lately. Some good. Some bad. Some brutally honest.

So without further ado, here are the top ten reasons I married Jay...

1. I love him. That one is totally obvious, so I decided to put it first!

2. He has absolutely no clue how to launder slacks properly. I can't help myself; I totally love to take care of things for people.

3. On one of our first dates, I asked him what he wanted to do with his life. His response was genius. He told me he wanted to raise a family the same way his father did and his grandfather did. Be honest, that would have reeled you in too! :)

4. He is the only person I know who likes their tea the same way I do. Not too cold. Not too sweet.

5. He isn't bothered by my unhealthy obsession with my feet. He isn't bothered by my unhealthy obsession with other people's feet.

6. He would drive to Cullman for take out food if I asked him to. That's nearly an hour away from our house, but I know that if I really, really wanted All Steak for supper, he would go get it for me. Cuz he loves me.

7. He would never intentionally hurt me. Ever. In fact, I think he would go Braveheart on anyone who tried to hurt me.

8. Even when I am looking my absolute worst, he always tells me that he thinks I'm beautiful. The spring before we got married, I had strep throat. He came to my parents house to see me. I was sitting in their sun room with a red nose, no makeup, without a shower for a couple days, fever, and glassy eyes. I will never forget the fact that he sat down right next to me and told me that I looked beautiful. In hind sight, he might have been sucking up to me; I caught the strep from him.

9. He likes zombie movies. He will sit through chick flicks without complaining though...just for me.

10. Because no one else has ever made me feel as special as he makes me feel.

Easter Eggstravaganza...

Has anyone noticed that my posts have been a little on the sad side lately? I have. I think it was the weather. No, seriously. We had so much bad weather...rain, cold, rain, cold...it was sucking the fun right out of me!! So, I decided to post this preview for you.

Last weekend, I took the children to an Easter Eggstravaganza!! The day began with a breakfast....with the Easter Bunny!! Ella was the only one of my children who wanted to sit with the bunny for a picture. Imagine that! A little later in the day there was an Easter egg hunt on the courthouse lawn. I have a number of photographs from this event. I can't wait to post them all!! The sun is shining, and I have my mojo back!!
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A Stranger Cared....

I sat in the lobby and realized I was the youngest person in the room. This was not a shock. It wasn't the first time this happened. My mother has rheumatoid arthritis. She has had it for as long as I can remember. Over the years, I have been in many waiting areas. She used to take us with her to appointments when we were children. I was always aware that my mother was too young to be in a rheumatologist's office. Most of the patients were much older than she and didn't have three children tagging along. On Wednesdays Ed would take us to get frozen yogurt and to visit Roy D, our great grandfather. (I didn't like Roy D very much. He was rather grumpy. ) My mother would go to the hospital for blood work. She has taken gold, methotrexate, azulphidine, arava, plaquenil, vioxx, celebrex, humira...you name it...she's had it. Most of these drugs can cause damage to a person's liver or kidneys. That was the reason for frequent blood work.

I went to see a rheumatologist earlier this year. I don't have any problems, but given my family history of RA, I kind of feel like a ticking time bomb. As I sat in the lobby, I looked around at the familiar types of patients. The one thing I was shocked by was the woman who stopped me as I was leaving that day. She caught me by the hand and said, "I know you're young, but I promise you will be okay." After her touching display of concern, I didn't have the heart to tell her that I'm not sick; I was there simply for extensive lab work because of my family history. I smiled and thanked her.

Monday, March 29, 2010

What Happens to Layton...

...in the car.
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He nearly slid out of his booster seat on this day!! Good thing we were parked and waiting to pickup Ella from school!

I Felt Sad When I Should Have Been Happy...

As I sat and watched Ella's class play, I felt very sad. I felt sad for some of the children I saw walking across the stage. They are sweet, innocent children, and their childhoods will be hard.

There was one girl who was overweight. I have no doubt that she will be taunted by her classmates.

There was another girl who wasn't very clean. Her shoes were well worn and her hair still had humps in it from where she had slept on it. As far as children are concerned, she might as well have a giant bulls eye painted on the back of her t-shirt.

There were children who were clearly not as bright as most of the other first graders. Will they be teased when they leave the main classroom to go to special math and reading classes?

It is hard to grow up, and I'm not always sure that I am making the right decisions with my children. I don't want the three of them to bully or tease other students. I pray that God will help me raise them to be sweet children.

How can we help them? What can I do?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

Southern Food is Yummy...

I love my Crock Pot. I use it for all sorts of meals. A few days ago, I made some beef and vegetable soup in it that was pretty dang tasty.
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I also made a skillet of cornbread to go with the soup. It was a truly Southern meal. Ha!
I am always on the lookout for great Crock Pot recipes. I love being able to fix it and forget it when it comes to supper.
What are your favorite Crock Pot meals?

There's A Child In This Picture...

I would love to be able to take really, really good photographs, but photography simply isn't one of my talents. Often times a child will pop up in a photo when I wasn't expecting a child to be in the picture. I have tons like this:

This was at Dub's restaurant in town. Dub's is so good. It gives you an instant heart attack and 6,000% of your daily recommended cholesterol, but it is so good.....

Anyway, I am hoping to buy a new camera this year. I want one that takes really, really good pictures. Any suggestions?

Thursday, March 25, 2010


When people see me with my children, it is not that uncommon for them to say that Hadley looks like me and that Ella looks like Jay. Sometimes, I hear that Layton looks like Jay.

To me though, I think Layton looks like my father. This is what he looked like when he was little.

What do you think? Does this little man look like Ed?

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A Trip With Friends...

Layton and his friends went to the skating rink recently. For the most part, he was taken with the ball pits.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Little Man Heads to Nashville...

Recently, Jay and I were lucky to go on an overnight trip with just Layton. It's been a really long time since we went anywhere overnight with only one child.
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We were in Nashville, TN. We walked on Broadway, and Layton tried on cowboy hats. He also picked up a lovely pair of boots that will probably make the blog pretty soon. He watched a movie on my laptop while we were in the hotel. We also took him to the Cool Springs Galleria.
Overall, he didn't like it. I asked him if he liked getting to spend the night with just mommy and daddy. He told me, "No, there wasn't anyone to cuddle with or play with. I missed sister and shoo shoo." Translated: I missed Ella and Hadley.
There were other reasons we were away with just Layton, but I'm not ready to share that yet.

My Little Cartoonist...

Hadley loves to draw, sketch, paint...anything that is creative. She drew some cartoons the other day in the likeness of Club Penguin. I thought they were so cute!!

Yes, I put a post it note over some information that could be deemed a security risk for our family.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


This winter has lasted so long and been so cold that warm months seem like a distant memory. It seems like ages ago that I took this picture of Layton chilling on the pier in his favorite shark swim trunks. I am ready for it to get a little warmer....
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Monday, March 22, 2010

Hershey's Better Basket Blog Hop...

Hershey's has partnered with the Children's Miracle Network for in excess of 20 years, and this year, bloggers get to help!!!

For every blog post sporting a virtual Easter basket post, Hershey's is donating $10 (up to $5,000) to the Children's Miracle Network!!!

* Copy and paste these rules to your blog post.
* Create a blog post giving a virtual Easter Basket to another blogger – you can give as many Virtual Baskets as you want.
* Link back to person who gave you an Easter Basket.
* Let each person you are giving a Virtual Easter Basket know you have given them a Basket.
* Leave your link at BetterBasket.info/BlogHop comment section. You can also find the official rules of this #betterbasket blog hop, and more information about Better Basket with Hershey’s there.
* Hershey’s is donating $10 per each blog participating to the Better Basket Blog Hop to Children’s Miracle Network (up to total of $5,000 by blog posts written by April 4th, 2010).
* Please note that only one blog post by each blog url will count towards the donation.

I received my basket from Colleen at Mommie Daze.
Now I am passing the virtual basket along to:
Jenna at Jenna's Journey.
Lacy at Forever Young.

Three Cuties At Cracker Barrel...

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

My New Iron...The Iron in My Blood...

My crimson blood is still reeling in pain from the fact that I bought an orange and white iron.

Layton's favorite color is orange, and he went with me to purchase a new one. Needless to say, he really, really wanted the orange one....

I think it's because he's been riding on an orange tractor all his life!

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Who's There?...

Charsy: Hello, GaGa. It's me, Charsy.

Me: Hi Charsy!! How are you??

Charsy: I'm good. I'm talking on my pink phone. It's cute. You'd be jealous if you saw it. Also, you are a crappy Aunt. You didn't even bother putting this picture of me on your blog until March.

Me: Snap!
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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Boats, Bridges, & Boards...

Jay and I went on a boat ride with some of his coworkers recently. It was an evening ride; it was a little cold for me. :)

This is where the boat is located. It's on the Tennessee River.

I particularly enjoyed the view of the bridge from the front of the boat as we pulled out of the slip. This bridge has been there for a long time. There used to be one more bridge that went from Athens to Decatur. It was a wonderful bridge, a draw bridge, that we (when we were children) thought sang to us as we drove over.

In this shot, you can see the train bridge from the back of the boat.

I failed to get a picture of the whole boat, but it was quite large...bedroom, kitchen, flat panel TV...large. This is what the console (I guess that's what you call it) looked like. This one was down below. There is a second one a level up that Ken (the owner) sat at to steer us around.

As most of you know, we love spending time on the rivers in our area, so this trip was right up our alley.


Ella's grade presented a program during Read Across America week. The first grade students put on a Seussical!

Every song was based on a Dr. Seuss book, and each line referenced a Dr. Seuss book. It was adorable!!

Yes, she likes to entertain the masses. Check out her grin when she noticed the camera was on her.

I loved this particular decoration the best. It's a tree with Thing 1 and Thing 2 climbing in it. I think I am partial to it because I used to call the girls Thing 1 and Thing 2. That was before Layton came along.

Pardon the red eye. I really should have edited these pictures, but I am a lazy bum. She was sporting her leopard print converse the day of the play.
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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Oldie But Goodie.....

This is an old picture of Charsy, Ella, and Layton. It is so cute though!!!
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Friday, March 19, 2010

Layton Got Up Close...

Layton went to Ella's class play with us. He took some interesting pictures.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010


Is everyone receiving my replies to your comments? I am not sure if I have it set up correctly. If you have received an email, would you mind letting me know?

Mommie Daze Has It Covered...

Do you read Mommiedaze.com? You should check out this post. Colleen very succinctly replies to the New York Times article that was just plain tacky. (That's how Southern women in my hometown politely call something rude and distasteful.)

Thank you Colleen! I hope my husband reads both your blog and the NYT article. :)

The Candy Gram Gone Awry...

The high school I went to had a student government that was obsessed with candy. The candy was used as a fundraiser tool. A member would collect money from students. The money let you write a message on a card that would be delivered along with a piece of candy to the recipient of your choice. I didn't send a lot of them. I didn't receive a lot of them either.

One year, I did receive one. When I opened it, I recognized the handwriting, but it was signed by a secret admirer. The note went on and on about how much he liked me and wanted to ask me out...blah blah blah. I was puzzled from the moment I opened it because I knew whom it was from. You see, we had a class together the year before. When it came to big exams, the teacher paired students together based on their grades for the test. The person with the highest grade was paired with the person having the lowest grade. The person with the second highest grade was paired with the person having the next to lowest grade. Playoffs, if you will. Anyway, I had been paired with this individual and knew his writing quite well.

So, I went to see him and ask why he wrote me this cheesy note. It was incredibly awkward for me to ask him, but I'm glad that I did. As it turned out, he wrote the note because some female classmates of mine asked him to write it. They needed a boy to write it so their practical joke would be more effective...authentic male handwriting. He was asked to write me a love note because the girls wanted to see how pathetic my reaction was. The girls were being cruel and mocking me. The boy admitted what he had done, acknowledged that it was probably the wrong thing to do, and apologized for putting me in a situation that would cause further ridicule. He never told me who asked him to do it though. He only told me that it was a group of girls.

I went ahead and played the part for anyone who asked. I fawned over my fake candy gram. They (whoever they were) were already laughing at me anyway; I just thought they might like some new material for their jokes.

So spill. What was one really, really embarrassing moment for you in high school? Did you (like me) realize that groups of people were laughing at you behind your back? Did you come out of the bathroom with your skirt tucked in your stockings? Believe me, I could write a book, no, a tome, with all my embarrassing moments in it. Maybe I'll start doing that. A weekly blog post about the things that I would like to forget happened...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hadley and Her Hashbrowns...

Here's the evidence.....

So Unhealthy...

My children are not morning people. They like to stay up late and sleep all day. Some nights, it seems like they don't all fall asleep until close to midnight. When we have a particularly rough morning and seem to be late, we buy breakfast on our way to school. All three of them love the hash browns from McDonald's. I am so lazy that I actually feed this to my precious children for breakfast!

Layton and Ella each eat one hash brown, and Hadley usually eats two. It costs $2.16 after tax to feed them their hash browns.

DHR is probably going to come steal my children in the morning after word gets out that I am feeding them cellulite, cholesterol, excess carbohydrates, and liver disease for breakfast.

Now it's your turn. Confess to something you feed your children that you really shouldn't be feeding them.

The Good, The Clean, The Really Clean...

Jenna is doing a MckLinky with cleaning and organizing tips!!

My number one laundry staple is Biz Bleach. It is a color safe bleach that works wonders on children's clothing! To get socks really white or really breakdown a tough stain, I soak laundry in biz in my sink for a few hours before washing.

This is Caldrea all-purpose cleaner. My favorite scent is the Ginger Pomelo; it is so delightful. It doesn't take a lot of cleaner to clean up really awful messes, so that's good since it is a little pricey. I love it for the smell though!!! After a really smelly supper (like fried salmon patties or spaghetti), this cleaner will flat out remove the odor from your kitchen! Pimento's in downtown sells it.

No post from me would be the same without a confession of some sort, so here it is. I cannot keep up with the housework, laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, etc. I pay an absolutely adorable girl to come clean every other Friday. She mops the floors and cleans the bathrooms....changes sheets if need be...polishes furniture...cleans the windows...cleans the hardwood...Wow, it seems like I don't do anything now that I think about it! HA!! Anyway, we are incredibly blessed to be able to have someone come in and help out around the house.

Organizing tips? Sure!

I have a large Vera Bradley planner that I LOVE. All invitations are either taped to the applicable day or paper clipped to the applicable day. It makes things so much easier for me. I am really bad to look at things written on my calendar and completely forget about them, so having the invitation hanging off the page really helps me out. I should photograph that so it makes more sense.

This was a really great bloghop to participate in. I might not have any tips that anyone finds useful, but it was fun to actually think about the things that I find most helpful in my day to day life. Thanks, Jenna!

MckLinky Blog Hophttp://www.brentriggs.com" />

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Have You Ever?...

Have you ever seen little skates so cute???!!!?!?!?!?

He had to have a lot of help, but he managed to skate quite a few laps...