Monday, September 29, 2014

Friends in Low Places

When Garth Brooks announced he was going back on tour this year Patrick and I immediately started talking about going.  I didn't think he would come to Birmingham but hoped he would come close.  Well the second city he announced was Atlanta.  We knew we had to go!  We didn't get tickets the day they went on sale so we started to lose hope.  Well I was randomly checking a ticket site and there were some available so we snatched them up.  Our friends Tony and Carla went with us and we had a so much fun!  We got a hotel room for the night so we wouldn't have to worry about driving back.  The drive over seemed to take forever, I think it was because we were all so excited.  We narrowly avoided a head on collision, Tony quickly realized we were going the wrong way down and turned down a side street but it was scary for a second.  We finally arrived at the hotel just in time for check-in.  Funny story:  Friday, Patrick asked me if I was going to be taking an overnight bag.  I wish you could have seen the look I gave him.  It's like he doesn't know me at all.  I take an overnight bag when I go somewhere for the day.  Needless to say I packed an overnight bag.

Love is dragging a pink suitcase when you're married to an overpacker!

We got ready and headed to dinner.

A few pictures before dinner.


We went to dinner at the first place we came to. Ted's Montana Grill.  We used to have one in Birmingham but it closed.  (Patrick and I had eaten there before but I spent most of the meal trying to remind him.  He is convinced I went with someone else.)  After dinner we had time to kill before the show so we decided to ride the Ferris wheel to get a good look at the hip hop festival.  It was such a beautiful day!


SkyView selfie.
My bearded date.  He was so excited about all the compliments he got on his beard.
Not really sure what I was doing here but I can assure you I was having fun!
Carla and Me at the show.  
I was so afraid our seats were going to be terrible.  
There were definitely better seats in the house but there were worse ones too. 
We had so much fun.  Garth was amazing!  He retired right around the time that I really started going to concerts so he was one of those people that I thought I'd never see live.  Patrick felt the same way so it was kind of surreal getting to be there.  Honestly I don't know how he does it.  I was exhausted.  Last weekend he did two shows each night.  Talk about impressive.  Trisha sang a few songs and was great too.  I didn't want it to end (except my feet were hurting and I was really tired).  My favorite part was he seemed genuinely happy and shocked that people still wanted to see him after all his time off.  I also read somewhere that he is donating everything he makes from the tour to charity.  Pretty amazing.  After the show, we went back to the hotel so I could change shoes and then we headed out in search of a late night snack.  We really wanted Hooters but we took a wrong turn somewhere and never found it. So we ended up at Waffle House.  Y'all it was packed.  We had to wait for 30 minutes for a table...at waffle house.  But it was probably the best waffle I'd ever had.  We were all barely holding our eyes open at this point so we headed back to the hotel and called it a night.  Before we knew it it was time to wake up and head home.  We had so much fun and the whole trip home we talked about all the trips we need to take together.  We always have so much fun with Tony and Carla.  I think our personalities just mesh really well.  We got home around noon and Barrett was taking a nap at my parents house, so we left him there to sleep and headed home to unload.  When I went back to get him he was so excited to see me.  It was so cute.  We missed him but we enjoyed our time away and he had a blast at my parents house with my two nieces.  We were again reminded that we're not as young as we used to be.  I took a nap Sunday afternoon and I'm still exhausted today.  It may take me a week to recover...but it was totally worth it!



Sunday, September 21, 2014

Later Gators

Saturday was the SEC opener for the Tide.  We loaded up Saturday morning to head to Tuscaloosa.  Traffic was a nightmare.  We had to make one stop at John's exit to give him something.  We ended up having to stop at a rest stop because someone couldn't hold it until we got there.  Which if you know my dad is huge because growing up he would only stop one time on the way to the beach, a five hour drive.  We finally made it.  I think it took us close to two hours.  Not fun.  I was a little nervous because this was the first time in 10 years that we weren't hosting the tailgate.  Luckily my cousin and his wife invited us to tailgate at their house and it worked out perfectly.  they live almost the exact distance from the stadium as John's apartment.  It was different being at a house that wasn't occupied by college kids but it was fun!  I was also nervous that i was going to be the only "kid" there.  Not that my parents aren't great but part of the fun of past tailgates have been all the people.  Turns out I was all worried for nothing.  
My sister and her husband came.  She was so happy to see me.



Before we knew it, it was time to head to the stadium.  I sat with my dad.  He has fun seats.  It was a beautiful, hot day.  Like really hot.  I was so happy we were in the shade for the last half.

We had a god time.
After the game we headed back to my cousin's house to hang out.  My cousin Mark made an appearance. 

Some of the "M" cousins.  Mark, Mary Margaret and Me.  (Mary Margaret is actually a second cousin.  Her dad is my first cousin, we were at their house.)

We missed everyone that wasn't there.  I didn't take very many pictures.  I was too busy visiting.  I'm not sure I'll get to go to any more games this season but I hope to make at least one more.  I'd like for Barrett and Patrick to go.  As far as the actual game goes, holy moly did they grease the ball?  We couldn't hold on to it for anything, for a while there I was nervous.  Thankfully we got our act together pulled out a big win.  Looking forward to the week off.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

September 11th

This is a long winded rambling post...read at your own risk.

As with every American I remember where I was on the morning of September 11th, 2001.  I'm sure I've shared it here before but here it goes again.  I was a junior in high school.  I can't remember what the class was but I remember the teacher.  I think we were watching a movie, 13 years later the details are a little blurry.  Our principal came over the intercom to alert the teachers that there had been an apparent terror attack on the World Trade Center in New York City.  The teacher immediately turned on the news and we all sat in shock as we watched the events unfold.  I'll never forget the look on one of my best guy friends face.  His face was stuck in this limbo of disbelief and asking why at the same time.  It's burned into my memory of that day forever.  I vaguely remember the teacher turning the tv off after a while saying we'd seen enough.  Whether it was for our benefit or hers I'm not sure now.  My next class was History and I remember the coach already had the tv on and he simply said "We're watching history" and that's all we did.  I don't remember the next class but my last class of the day was cheerleading and I remember one girl coming in and making jokes.  I laughed because honestly I needed to laugh.  
I remember going home and saying the same joke and my mom didn't laugh.  She was glued to the tv just as we had been all day.  I remember the idea of the draft being reinstated being thrown around by the media, the truth was no one knew what to expect.  My older brother was 20 at the time, has graduated college and didn't have a wife or kids he was perfect for the draft and I realize now that my mom was scared that her baby was going to have to fight in this war that we suddenly found our country in.  I remember the images and the news footage.  We watched it for days and weeks.  It was all anyone talked about.  I remember the quiet.  When the planes were grounded for a few days the quiet outside was numbing.  The first time I think I heard the National Anthem after the attack was at the Friday night football game.  I remember feeling so proud to be an American.  I still get chills when I hear the National Anthem.  
Over the last 13 years the memories have faded a bit but there are some moments I'll never forget.  The emotion of the day has definitely changed over the years.  Through college and now as a wife and mother the weight and reality of the events of that day are heavier than ever.  My heart breaks for the wives that lost husbands and the children that lost parents.  I think about the first responders that sacrificed everything so that they could save lives.  True heroes.  As a mom I'm now responsible for teaching my son about the events of that day.  I remember driving my niece to K4 on this day 5 or 6 years ago and thinking she has no idea what this is all about.  Her innocent mind doesn't know evil like this yet she's going to have to learn one day.  It broke my heart.  I saw on facebook today people were keeping their kids home from school because of the terror threats.  I refuse to live in fear.  I will not let the enemy win.  I will share with Barrett was this tragic day means in history but more than anything I want him to know about the heroes.  I want him to know about the passengers that stormed the cockpit to fight the terrorist to spare lives on the ground.  I want him to know that firemen and police officers ran up dozens of flights of stairs to get people out knowing there was a good chance they wouldn't come back out.  I want him to know that Americans were proud to display their flags, they stopped and listened when the National Anthem was played.  People went to church.  I want him to know that as sad and scared as I was to be an American, I'd also never been more proud to call this country my home. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Weekend Review...Its September!!!


We've had a fun low key weekend.  We're adjusting to Patrick's new shift.  It's not quite as seamless as I was thinking it would be but we're making the most of it.  
Daddy working night shift does have its perks.  He brought us donuts Saturday morning and Barrett was a fan for sure.  The {empty} box has been sitting on the counter waiting to go out with the trash and he keeps going to it and signing for more.  He gets very mad when I tell him there are no more.
We played around the house Saturday morning while doing laundry and other chores.  Barrett went down for a nap right as the Bama game was coming on.  It was pretty much over in the 1st quarter.  
We had a fun afternoon playdate planned with a bunch of our little friends.  We met up at Froggy's and these boys had a blast! We had 7 boys 4 and under (5 under 2).  We had the place to our selves and it was nice.  Of course Barrett was scared at first and he didn't really want to get out of my arms.  He eventually warmed up and enjoyed it.  We went down the big slide.  I'm not sure if Barrett liked it or not.  We played for a little over an hour and wore the boys out.  We came home and ordered pizza and hung out at home.  Patrick watched the Auburn game and I watched "The Heat" with Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock.  It was pretty funny!
Sunday we got up and Patrick wasn't feeling good so Barrett and I headed to Mass without him.  Barrett wore his victory Bama bubble.  He looks so big.  I told my Dad and Brother that I don't know how much longer he's going to be able to pull off the bubble.  I can't take how fast he's growing up.  
After church we went to lunch at mom and dad's house and then to John and Hope's house to celebrate Hope's nephew's first birthday.  It was a fun day with family.  We're gearing up for another week.  I don't want to wish the time away but we have some fun things coming up at the end of September that I can't wait for!!!  It's going to be a good fall!  I love this time of year.





Tuesday, September 2, 2014

September Goals

I did ok with my August goals.  I'm going to be honest and admit that August was pretty much a blur.  1)  I got our main "command center" in the kitchen somewhat organized.  I have a place for everything and we've done a decent job at keeping it organized.  I still need to further organize a few places.  2)  Meal Plan.  I've done a pretty good job at planning the meals, it's the follow through where I've struggled. Ha.  3)  I went to the gym exactly 3 times. so this was a fail, big time.  4)  I never got around to cleaning out the guest room.  I'm moving it to my September goals.  5)  I got the pantry and laundry room cleaned out and it is so nice to not cringe every time I open those doors.
Here are my September goals...
1)  Make a budget and stick to it.  We've got a couple fun things coming up this fall and I need to be more conscious about where I'm spending money so we have a little wiggle room.  
2)  Cook five nights a week.  Like I said earlier I did pretty good planning my meals but didn't cook enough.  I feel like we only ate fast food during the week a couple of times and it was mainly the week Barrett was sick but I just need to get in the habit of cooking every night.  Not my favorite thing but I'm going to try to learn to love it.
3)  GO TO THE GYM.  So far we're two days in and I haven't been at all.  Even if I don't get to the gym I need to a least get out and jog.  I want to be a runner.  I just haven't devoted the time to it.  I also need to get some decent running shoes but I haven't wanted to spend the money.  It's something I need to invest in. So many people around me are running and training for races and I want to too.  But even if running doesn't happen this month, the gym has to.
4)  Start planning for the holidays.  We're having a Halloween get together like we did last year.  But I also need to start planning for Barrett's birthday as well as Christmas.  Setting budgets and making lists (my favorite part) needs to start happening.
5) Clean out guest room.  This is a carry over from last month.  It needs to happen ASAP.
6)  Might be my favorite item on the list.  Decorate for Fall.  I usually put everything out Labor Day weekend but it didn't happen.  Hopefully over the next couple of weeks I'll start dragging it all out. 

So there you have it.  My goals for the month of September! 


Monday, September 1, 2014

Catch-Up


It's been while since I've sat down to write.  We've been doing a lot of nothing lately.  Trying to adjust to our new routine and get back in the swing of things.  I didn't do so hot on my August Goals but I did get a few things done.  I'll do a post later today with my September Goals.  I feel like that really helped keep me on track. Here are a few things we've been up to over the past two weeks.
My sister was in town last weekend and she gave Barrett a cookie after church.  I let him eat it in the car and I think he enjoyed it.
Barrett got another haircut.  He did so good.  His little face is pitiful but he sat so still for Amy.

Here's the after.

We've been busy at work making gameday shirts.  This was the only picture I got of Barrett Friday in his team colors.  
Saturday morning we were up bright and early.  We made cookies for our little football party later that day.  I let Barrett like the beater.  He was a fan.  I also bribed him to say "Roll Tide"  He'll say "Tide" sometimes when prompted.  It's pretty cute and his daddy is in denial.  

We went to Emory's 1st birthday party Saturday morning before football.  We wore our team colors.  I love this picture Natalie snapped of us.  

Another one of my sweet boy at the party.  He was so good.  
We came home and watched football with some friends.  It was a fun day.

Mother's Day Out has been going really great.  Barrett still cries when they get him out of the car but his teachers tell me he is fine as soon as they get in the door.  They also tell me he is so good.  At first I just thought they told everyone that but every teacher that has put him in the car says that he is just so good and so sweet.  Makes me happy to know that he's doing good. 
We've got a lot of fun lined up for September and I'm looking forward to it.  I'm ready for the cooler weather for sure!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Barrett's First Day of Mother's Day Out

As you know I've been taking Barrett to work with me since he was 5 weeks old.  Luckily he is so laid back that it has been working perfectly.  My boss is amazing and I'm pretty sure he likes Barrett more than me.  When I was pregnant I knew I didn't want to work full time and I knew that daycare wasn't going to be an option with my current job because I would have barely been making enough to cover the cost.  My boss said I could bring him at first and we could just see how it went.  Well almost 20 months later I'm still taking him with me.  I'm so thankful that this has worked out.  I love working because it gets me out of the house and I get to be creative while making a little money to help support my shopping habits my little family.  I also am blessed to pretty much make my schedule each week so we can still have play dates with friends and that kind of fun stuff.  It really is the best of both worlds.  
I was talking to a friend this summer and she was talking about putting her son in Mother's Day Out and her son and Barrett are about 6 months apart but they have always played really well together.  She was talking about how she couldn't leave her son anywhere because he was so attached to her, which we were having the same problems. Patrick and I started talking about it and praying about it.  Barrett still does great at my office but he's starting to not want to be confined for 6 hours a day and who would.  So we made the decision to enroll him in a local program.  It's two days a week from 8:30-12:30 and it's 5 minutes from my office.  So I'm able to drop him off and go to work and then go pick him up and go back to work.  I knew it would be good for him to be away from me for a little bit of time each week.  It would also be good for him to learn to take direction from someone other than family.  I knew it would be good for me also to let go a little and to trust someone else with my son.  Our early intervention coordinator and speech therapist also said it would be good for him to be around other kids.  So I know this is the right thing to do right now.
Today was his first day since he was sick last week.  It went about as well as you'd think.
This pretty much sums up the morning. Ha! 

He was very skeptical of my picture taking.

He likes wearing his backpack.

Trying to get a good picture of him before we left.

This is the best I could get with him holding his sign.  (It was so humid my lens started fogging up.)

Patrick was off today so he went with us to drop him off.  They have a car line but we had to go in the first day to fill out the paper work.  Patrick held him and I'm glad he did because I don't think I would have been able to put him down while he was upset.  He did fine playing while we were in the room talking to his teacher.  We could tell something was up when we left the classroom to put him in the bye bye buggy for the morning stroll.  His friend Drake was there and we put him in the buggy beside him and he started crying.  Then Drake started crying.  It was awful.  His sweet teachers assured me they would both be fine and she immediately took them on a ride.  It was heartbreaking.  The funniest part was the other two kids were just looking at them like, "get it together kids, it's not so bad, your mommies are going to come back to get you."  I wanted to sit in my car until it was time to pick him up.  I knew he would be fine.  He does that when I leave him with anyone.  But it doesn't really make it any easier.  They sent me a picture about 15 minutes later and he was fine and playing.  I was so thankful.  Before I knew it, it was time to go pick him up.  His teacher brought him out to my car and he was happy to see me but he was trying to act like he was mad at me.  It was pretty funny.  She said he did great and he and Drake played together.  He ate his whole sandwich at lunch and barely used his paci.  I was so happy.  When I got back to work my boss asked him if he had fun at school and he said, "no".  I'm glad he did good, I hope drop off gets easier.  I'm already dreading it on Wednesday.