Thursday, April 26, 2012

Now, I get it.

For years now, Nicole has been professing her love for the desert.  The rest of us would just roll our eyes and tell her she was living in vacation world and she'd be back to loving Georgia in no time.  We all go through that stage when we go on vacation.

On our second day here, I was professing my love of the desert to David over the phone.

Which is big coming from this self proclaimed "I'll never live outside of the South" girl. 

Its beautiful out here.
Beautiful in a different way of course, but still beautiful.

The first day here, I kept telling David, "everything's brown."
But last night while driving around town looking for somewhere for dinner, all I could notice was the green.

Yes, cactus and palm trees are a far cry from pine trees, but they have their own unique beauty.

No, this is not coming from some vacation fog.  David and I have been talking a lot about what we are looking for in the next area we move to and besides not being a quick drive to family (or having a chick-fil-a), Scottsdale honestly fit every other want, so its hard to walk around town and not love it.

Before my family gets worried that I'm about to drag Olivia across country.  There are Waffles out here, but very slim chances we would ever get sent out this way.

So for now,  I'm going to soak up my last twenty four hours in the desert.

However, now I get it. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Heading to the Desert

By the time your reading this, Livi and I will be boarding a plane and heading west to spend a week with these guys

Please say a prayer.


I am not a huge fan of flying.

I'm convinced its some kind of black magic and just not natural.  Considering that "learning to fly" is high on his bucket list, David just rolls his eyes when I feel the need to explain this to him every single time we drive by the airport....which is at least a few times a month.

 This is my first time flying alone.

The icing on the cake, first time flying alone with a toddler who has never flown before.

See, prayers are needed.

While your at it, please say a prayer for this dude....

Friday evening when heading out to meet Dave for dinner, I saw him at a stoplight.  That, I'm 95% sure, is a pet rat in a hermit crab cage strapped to the back of his bike.

Obviously, he needs prayers too.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bittersweet & a little jealous

Last night my baby cousin Abby headed out to her Senior Prom and we went over to join in on the festivities.

Olivia is way into girlie things now and of course was in awe of the pretty dresses and watching Abby & her best friend Kagen getting all dolled up.  When the girls put their dresses on, Olivia just keep staring and saying "so pretty."

I was surprised at how bittersweet this night felt to me.  There is a pretty big age gap between Abby and I, so I guess it was one of those "wow, I'm getting older" moments.  She will always be a feisty, blond, curly head little girl to me.  

Abby was six when David and I went to our senior prom all those years ago.

Obviously, she wasn't into posing for pictures at the time, which you will find ironic just a few pics down.

Twelve years later, it was her turn.

You might recognize this girl who is Olivia's favorite real life Barbie.

Twelve years later, a different little cousin was refusing to look at the camera...

All my pictures are a little off considering there were seriously over fifty different people there taking pictures of the group.  I was not about to jump in another mommas way, so I stayed off to the side most of the time.  Lord knows I'll be pushing people out of the way when its Olivia's turn.

I can say that things have changed a bit since we went to prom all those years ago.  This monster was there mode of transportation for the evening.

I hate that this one turned out blurry, but I had to post one of my Uncle living it up in the bus.

For the record, I was standing at the halfway point of the bus.  This thing was huge.  Four flat screen tvs, a disco ball, a mini kitchen, a huge stereo made our little limo twelve years ago look extremely lame.  I do not want to imagine what is the cool thing to take when Olivia goes to prom.  In all honestly though, it looked like it would be a blast to have a night on the town in.  I was a little jealous.

Yes, on our way to the festivities earlier in the day, it hit me that the next one in our family we go through the prom experience with is Olivia.

Cue the tears. 

Friday, April 20, 2012


It's Friday!

(I just realized I started last Friday with the same greeting....obviously, the creative juices are flowing).

Can I be honest a moment? I've been having mixed feelings over android users having instagram now.  I love it because of the fact I have more friends to stalk follow throughout the day.  However, now that all five of my readers are on instagram, I think you might all be over my insta-Friday post since you've been looking at them all week.

Luckily, I think my Grandparents and my dad are not on instagram yet or just not following me and considering the fact that I have no other post for today, my other three readers will have to live with a recap of our week in instagram.

1. Trying to practice our making it through "the worlds busiest airport" skills or trying to prove to my husband I can make it through the airport alone with a toddler and all our junk.
His concern about it are serious. 

2.  Found these Tervis Tumblers during our weekly breakfast date.  
I love my sweet tea and I love Tervis Tumblers.  
So, I think that justifies that I need one of these.

 3.  We had a family lunch date at the park.
This girl looks way too big to be my baby.
Can I just say that kids at the park make me want to homeschool.
They are weirdos.
Even Olivia looks at them like their weird, because they are.  

4.  Rocking her new $1 shades from the dollar section at Target
She's a hipster toddler.
I promise those are organic fruit snacks...just like the Doritos in the camping post.

5.  My beloved black flip flops that I talked about yesterday.


6.  It was a rainy day here Wednesday and we spent most of our day playing in the playroom.
She is now a master tower builder who constantly wears a tutu.
Can you tell that she's at the stage she wants to pick her own clothes now?
 She has been wearing this skirt non stop for weeks now.  

7.  I'm back to wearing spandex twenty years later.  
Obviously, I'm not wearing them to look cool this time around.

 8.  I have been fighting with this child to wear a bow in her head from the moment she was born.  
After 2.5 years of fighting, she suddenly wants to wear a "bobo" in her hair all the time.  
I love the fact she has the belief of going all or nothing size wise. 

Link up with Jeanette:
life rearranged


Have a Great Weekend!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ten for Today

1.  The other day, I was complaining to friends during a conversation about refrigerators about how our ice machine no longer spits ice out of the fridge door, and I want an entire new fridge because its a pain and I'm too lazy to open the door and stick my hand in for ice.  After 3&1/2 years of it being broken, the husband fixed it for me.  It worked for two days, broke again, and I'm back to sticking my hand into the frozen tundra.

2.  I'm trying for the third time in the past year to grow Olivia's bangs out.  Third time the charm, right?

3.  I'm about over Target at the moment.  I've cut back my shopping there tremendously over the past six months, however, I still like their kids clothes.  I've been trying to buy Olivia's spring/summer clothes over the past couple of months and they are ALWAYS out of stock on everything in her size.  I've been to three different Targets within 30 minutes of us and they are all out of what I'm looking for.  I have several times tried to go online to buy several different items and I get the OUT OF STOCK with every thing I look at.  Most other stores, if its not in the store, you can usually always get it online.  Targets website is a joke.  Why do you put all that stuff on your website if you don't carry it?  Take it off the flipping website.  I'm talking I've been looking at certain things for months waiting for them to be in stock.  Its not just clothes I've had that issue with either.  It's getting to the point it just ridiculous. Target is quickly making the top of my poop list.

4.  That being said....Old Navy has been rocking it lately.  Thanks for actually having stuff in stock online and in the stores for a good price.  Their kids clothes are some of my favs and they fit Olivia perfectly.

5.  Speaking of Old Navy....I realized the other day that I've been rocking these Old Navy flip flops for six years now.  Anyone who sees me on a regular basis in the real world will tell you I wear these almost every single day.  It will be a sad day if something ever happens to them.  I seriously might go into a depression.  I've had several other black flip flops since these and no others have ever compared.

6.  Ames and I have a date planned this Friday night to go see this.  We may or may not hold hands and cry together during Nicholas Sparks movies while eating a TUB of popcorn.  It's our special thing together.

7.  Yesterday I ordered another phone case for my phone.  That makes five cases in six months.  I may or may not have an addiction

8.  I am currently obsessed with these two songs. As I type this, I now am starting to think that I am evidently longing for my younger days, which I find odd since I personally think life is more fun now then when I was younger. Regardless, I turn the radio up when either of these come on.

9.  I am in search for some curling cream for my hair.  I haven't had any luck with the last few things I've tried and its getting to that season where I don't fix dry my hair.  Any suggestions?  Please!

10.  You might have heard I have a little vacation coming up next week, which means this week is going by sooooooo slow. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Up close and personal.

While camping this past weekend, we did go on one little adventure on Saturday morning.

We took Olivia to the Pine Mountain Wild Animal Safari, which is a zoo that you get to ride through and feed the animals along the way.

Olivia loved it, especially the deer.  Early on during our three mile ride through, she decided she had no problem discriminating and only shared her loot with the deer.  She refused to feed anything else.  I cannot say I blame her since they seemed to be the only animals that weren't right up in your face.

This baby zebra was only five days old.  Sorry, I only have a butt shot but I wanted you all to get to see a five day old zebra.

I have decided that I am not a fan of any animal that looks like this one.  That face says pure evil to me.

Giraffes are one of my new favorite animals.  You seriously cannot realize how beautiful and majestic they are until you are right next to them.  To stand a foot away from a giraffe should be on everyone's bucket list.   

This guy obviously has no concept of personal space.  I promise that this is not zoomed in.  Mr. cow from India was seriously thisclose to me and all up in my dance space.

I may or may not have thought about how I would love to have a pair of those horns hanging in my house when I saw this guy.  The horns were beautiful. I know, I should be ashamed of myself considering I was at an animal preserve, but you know I like to keep it real on here.

This guy was pretty cute even though he weighs a mere 5000 lbs.  I'm pretty sure Nicole's tour guide and ours went to the same zoo tour guide school, since we got the same exact facts they got about rhinos. I guess its good to know our guy and his facts were legit.

They also had a walk around part of the zoo which held plenty of animals like tigers, lions, alligators, baboons, i.e. animals you would not like to be out in the open with.  I'll spare you all from the 100's of baboon pictures that I for some reason felt the need to take. 

For the  record, a trip can be considered a success when Olivia has to be carried out of the park asleep on her Papa's shoulder.  It is rare for the girl to sleep at all, let alone on someone's shoulder.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


This past weekend, Olivia and I slipped away with Nana & Papa for a weekend of camping.

This trip made me realize that I could seriously camp every vacation and be a happy girl.
I love camping.

 The funny thing is, I had never really camped before I started hanging out with the Mabrey family.  I only camped once when I was about four and my dad was a boy scout troop leader at our church.  One night in a tent though isn't really camping in my book.

We've said for some time now that we wanted our kids to grow up camping.   In her two years on Earth, Olivia already has three camping trips under her skinny belt and thankfully, she seems to love camping even more than we do.

Since we were close to home, Dave joined us for a a few hours on Saturday afternoon.  We missed him, but was glad for the few hours we did get together.

Personally, camping is always the most relaxing trips for me.  Whether we camp in the mountains, the beach, or down the road, our agenda is pretty much always the same.  We ride bikes, we sit and talk, we nap, we eat, we read, and at night, sit around the campfire.  I love the simplicity of it and I always come back refreshed.   

For some reason, the past few weeks, I had been irritable and antsy.  This little trip seemed to come at the perfect time. I came back feeling like a whole new person. 

It might have helped that I may or may not have sat in a lounge chair reading the majority of the weekend while Olivia was being entertained by the grandparents.   Either way, I'll take it.

Did I mention we nap?

Friday, April 13, 2012

I'm about to go there...

 Its Friday!

Somehow, the week got away from me and obviously, I took a little blogging break. I wasn't planning on it, but sometimes you got to step back and put yourself back together.  That was me this week.

But now I'm back and better.

Can I bring up a touchy subject for a moment?

That comment that was made a couple of days ago....

You know, the one made about Mitt Romney's wife Ann.

Yeah, I'm going to go there. 

Its been irking me the past few days.  Mostly because I personally was stabbed with a comment that was similar TWICE within the the past few months by two different people. Yes, I'll just call them out, people who are not mothers. 

Yeah, that's why it was a stab.

Whether you go to a 9-5 job every morning or you work at home taking care of your children 24/7/365, being a mom is work. 

Being a mom is a hard work....period.

Honestly, as a stay at home mom, I look at working moms and I don't see how they do it.  As a stay at home mom, they impress me.  I realize that being at home, I have plenty of time to get most of the stuff I need to get done, done at some point in time through out the day.  Working moms have a very limited time slot between say 6pm-10pm to get the usual stuff done (i.e. dinner, laundry, baths, homework, etc.) all while taking care of the kids and putting some quality time in with them. 

That is what is impressive to me.

However, I don't have the "luxury" of sitting on my butt all day watching tv and reading like some people think.

I rarely have the tv on during the day and the fact my book list is looking pretty sad this year, is evidence I don't get a lot of time to read lately.

A few things to think about from a stay at home mom....

I think one of the things that people don't realize about stay at home moms, is how emotionally exhausting it can be.  Most days, I fall into bed more emotionally exhausted than physically.  Personally, I'd rather be physically exhausted than mentally/emotionally.  You'd be amazed at how emotionally exhausting it can be with a two year all day long. Its tough to not get a break from someone at some point and time during the day.  Seriously, try it....even my husband I have never spent 24/7/365 (Yes, I say 24hrs a day since my two year old is still not sleeping through the night currently and guess who's up with her...yeah, me).  So don't judge when a sahm post that nap time is her favorite time a day on facebook. She needs a lunch break just like you do.  Also, just another thing to think about, I don't get sick days.  I rarely get to step away from my job and just leave it all behind.  I'm at my "office" seven days a week. 

It can be lonely.  So very lonely.  Its very easy to get isolated when your staying home with little ones.  My husband can tell the days he comes home and I haven't talked to another single soul besides Olivia. Let's just say, its not pretty. Even if its trough text, I have to talk to another adult throughout the day. 

You can sometimes feel like more of a drain on the family than actually adding to it.  We still have months where it seems like there is more month than money.  Those are the months when I start questioning myself if I'm actually benefiting the family staying home.  In the long run, yes, I am.  With David's crazy schedule, it does benefit our family with having a parent home 24/7, but when you can't help pay a bill, its easy to forget that. 

My successful days are few and far between.  For me personally (it is different for every sahm) a successful day is having a clean house, a happy kid, a dressed mom, and dinner on the table when my husband walks in the door.  However, it very rare that the stars align and all of those come together.  Seriously, maybe once a month. If I have a clean house, I have a unhappy kid.  If I have a happy kid, my house is a disater and we have to go out for dinner.  In my own book, a fail.

One of my longest and closest friends is a working mom of two small children.  We often share with each other our struggles, not a working mom or a stay at home mom, but as just plain moms.  She has the same struggles with her kids that I have with my own.  Every conversation we have with each other, we're at some point saying to each other "I don't see how you do it."

I was fortunate that I was able to start my stay at home mom journey when I was five months pregnant with Olivia, so I never have worked while having children (Being that I stayed home four months before I had a kid, I can say that being a housewife is different than being a SAHM.....NOT THE SAME THING).  So, I cannot stand here and share the struggles of working moms.  However, from having friends who are working moms, I do realize we ALL have our struggles.

This post isn't to start the ongoing war that seems to be still raging between the two moms.  Its just a reminder to stop and think before you open your mouth.  The older I get, the more I have such a hard time understanding why women are so quick to tear each other down. We're all struggling, we all have pressures, and in the end, we all want the same thing, happy heatlhy kids.

I've noticed lately that regardless of where they spend the hours between 9-5, most woman my age identify themselves as "mom" before anything else.  Being a mom is a job.  Wheter your office is in a building downtown or your own home, the mom job is hard work.  A job that all of us would agree, working or stay at home, raising little people is the hardest work we've ever done.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter 2012

Our Easter this year was much the same as the past few years.

But there is a comfort in that. 

Lunch with my Dad's side of the family.
The annual Easter pic lineup from my Aunt Syl where everyone rolls their eyes and grip,s but always participates.
Running to the other side of town for a late lunch with Dave's side of the family.
Spending the evening complaining about how we over ate.

This year, we did however add a egg hunt at both stops.

Its a day filled with family and food.

The last year or so, the reality rose of the possibility we'll have to move away for David's job within the next few years.  There is a huge part of us that wants to and excited for a new adventure and a new place to live.  We've both lived in this area our entire 30 years.  Last night after the days festivities, David brought up that was the one thing he hates about the thought of moving away.  Both of our families are right down the road and we easily get to spend every holiday with them and even see them on a daily basis.

At least for now, its not something we have to worry about.

I thought I hadn't got many pics yesterday, but I had a hard time narrowing them down. So prepare for picture overload.
Aunt Syl conducting her annual picture lineup.
 Late Lunch with David's side of the family

Hope everyone had a great Easter!