Friday, May 25, 2012

We're home & Insta-Friday

We rolled in late last night from the most magical place on the planet!!!

Today is filled with mounds of laundry and gearing up for a busy weekend.  My baby cousin is graduating tonight!!! I officially feel old.

I may or may not have time to blog over the weekend, so here is a little recap of our week in instgram pics.

 I'm linking up with Jeanette at Life Rearranged for InstaFriday.

 1. Almost there!

 2. We Made It!!!

3. Coffee Run
When you stay at a Disney Resort, you can buy a suviner cup that comes with free refills of coffee, soda, or tea your entire stay.  I won't lie, it's one of our favorite parts of staying at a Disney Resort.

4. Relaxing with our feet up

5. Future Photographer

6. Riding the Disney Transit to Downtown Disney
Probably one of her favorite rides at Disney, only behind the golf carts at the campground.
7. Harry Potter World
I'll have more to say about this later, but overall, NOT IMPRESSED. 

8. "They don't call her Tangled for nothing."

9.  My view for most of the week.

10. She adapted to beach life pretty quickly
We left Disney Wednesday morning and headed a few hours north to St. Augustine. It was our first time there and I loved it.  I was only bummed that we couldn't spend a few more days there.

11.  "I play hard Mama."
We headed home yesterday evening after spending most of the day on the beach.  
These were Olivia's last words before she passed out for most of the trip home. 

life rearranged

I will post more about our trip next week and pictures from the real camera.  

Have a great weekend!!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Disney or Bust

 Our car is packed and we're headed out to Disney for the week.  

If I was a good blogger, I would have scheduled post for while I am gone.....but, we all know I'm not.  
So, it will be quiet around here for the next week because I won't be near a computer.
Not just because I'm being lazy like the week before. 

You can follow our week on instagram (anmabrey) if you cannot live without our smiling faces for a week.
  I'm certain I will be posting on there.

 I'll be back next week and I already have some post brewing in my little brain.

Until then, have an awesome week! : )

Don't forget, my neighbor is standing on his porch with the shotgun in his hands.  
You think I'm playing....just ask that raccoon that came in his yard last week.
Oh, can't.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Last day of Pre-K & a few tears

Due to our vacation next week, today was Olivia's last day of school.

They had a special outside day where they ate a special snack and got to bring their bikes to ride.

I was honestly amazed that two of the kids were riding big kid bikes like pros.  Seriously, the competitive part of me wanted to run out and buy OK a big girl bike and practice day and night till she got it.  Thankfully, she was not the only kid that couldn't figure out how to pedal a bike, so we didn't run straight to Wal-mart after we left school. 

After the special outside time, I joined her for the last few minutes of class so I could collect her stuff.  One of the items her teachers handed me was a scrapbook that they had been working on all throughout the year.

 Olivia was excited about it, so we sat down at the little table to go through it while we waited for the carpool line to be finished.

Her teachers did an amazing job with it and it was fun to scroll through and see what all she had been up to during the school year.

I loved all the pictures they had throughout it.

However, when I got to these pages, I teared up right there in the classroom.

This picture was taken this morning

Obviously, a newborn picture.

I'm sure the reasons are obvious. I'll only say it do they grow so fast????

We walked to the car and after strapping her in, I let the tears flow for just a few more seconds.  This stage she's at is so fun and I wish so bad I could keep her little. 

The excitement, the innocence, the laughs & giggles, the sweetness, the cuddles, the hilarious things that come out of her mouth, still thinking Dad & Mom are the greatest things in the world, how she's usually a big girl, but sometimes still a baby.....I want to bottle it all up.

I know we have a long ways to go school wise, but there was just something a little bittersweet to see her first year of preschool come to an end.

However, I won't get to sappy over it all considering this is what she's doing while I type this.

I'm pretty sure she's been more entertained by it this afternoon, than she ever was when she actually fit in it.

I got a whole post typed out in complete silence, so I'll take it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Quick Trip To Nashville

Sorry it has been quiet here lately.

We have just been busy with life this past few weeks.
It doesn't slow down till a few more weeks and then we have a pretty quiet summer ahead of us.

It doesn't help my blogging that I've lost my laptop to David for now.  He needs one for work and we have no extra money for a new one, especially since we have a desktop at home that is currently working just fine.  I am just having trouble down loading pictures from my camera to the desktop and evidently that throws off my blogging.


This past weekend, Olivia and I headed up to Nashville to spend Mother's Day weekend with my Mom.  It was the first Mother's Day I've spent with her since she moved up there 12 years ago.  I should be ashamed, I know. 

It was a pretty quiet weekend mostly just spending time with our Nashville family, a little shopping and eating. 

Oh, and a little drum banging.

This child takes her music seriously and I lost a little piece of my mind over the weekend.  If anyone has the hilarious idea of ever buying my child a drum set, I will seriously be rude about it and send it back home with you or ask for the receipt. 

You've been warned.

 Since we were going to be out of town over the Mother's Day weekend, Dave took me out to celebrate Mother's Day the Monday before.  I choose Japanese Steak House for lunch and of course it had to be one of those rare times while going out-to-eat that my child decided to lose her ever loving mind.  It was such a humbling Mother's Day experience.

After lunch, we went for a little Mother's Day shopping and not only did I walk out with a new pair of running shorts, she walked out with a present too.  That Daddy is a sucker!

But I guess so am I, considering I bought her a Disney Princess set a mere week before we leave for our Disney vacation.

Let's be honest, we all know we'll get suckered into buying her something while there too! I guess the fact she hasn't put them down since she got them makes me feel a little better.

We went to eat at a place in Nashville called Chuy's on Saturday night.  It was delicious and the prices were cheap! I would highly recommend it if you have one near you.  I would even go as far as to say it would make my favorite places to eat list.  I even ate the leftovers the next night and that says a lot cause those who know me know, I don't do leftovers.  I looked it up and found we have one here in Atlanta and I'm already making plans to take Big Dave.

I love visiting our family in Nashville! Its become one of my favorite places to go.  It doesn't hurt that the drive up there is one of my favorite drives.  Its always so beautiful.  Nashville is definitely on our "we'd move there" list.

I promise my eyes remained forward and I snapped the pic blindly.

While there, my MIL sent me a pic of her Mother's Day gift to me on Sunday.  

She knows me so well.

So, that's all I've got for now.

Sorry for the repeat of pictures if you follow me on Instgram.  I promise to have legit pictures from a real camera next time.
I'm anmabrey on Instagram if you want to follow. 

I'll go ahead and warn you that blogging will be not be happening next week, we're heading back to Disney for the week.  Disney twice in one year? Yes, we're officially obsessed now.  

I know its breaking a blogging rule by telling you that we're heading on vacation this upcoming week, but we seriously own nothing of monetary value and the few things we do are things we're taking with us. Also, my neighbor has been informed of our leaving town and is keeping an eye on the house.  Plus, he's not afraid to shoot.... he told us that the other day too.

And he was being dead serious.

Friday, May 4, 2012

One Chapter ends, a new one begins.

A little over a month ago, I was heading to lunch with Amy when I got a phone call from Dave. The moment he said hello, I could tell something was up.

Thankfully, it was good news. 

He was receiving a promotion the following week. 

It something that we had seriously waited years for.  Waffle does promotions a little backwards.  You decide when your ready to promote, apply for the position, they interview you and if they decide your ready, you sit and wait till a job in that position opens up.

He had been waiting for four years.

We had seriously gotten to the point that we thought it would never happen.

It is a huge deal for us.

When people say promotion, most people think of pay raise, but financially, its not much of a difference for us.  However, lifestyle wise, it's a game changer.

During his last position, we were told repeatedly by the higher ups that if he could move one more step up, life would be so much easier.  The position he spent the past four years at, is well known as one of the hardest in the company.  You spend a lot of time away from home and yes, you are even required to work on your off days.  Even the top dogs of the company have been known to say that was their least favorite position in their career.  It was not an easy four years. 

One month into the new gig and I'm happy to report it feels as though the clouds have parted and the sun is shining again.

I've gotten a lot of questions from others asking how we're adjusting to the new job and I cannot even begin to stress how much I love the position he's in now.

Holidays and weekends are still permanently on the calendar, but in this position, his schedule is much more flexible.

He now has the same off days every week.

He has never had set days off since we've been married. 

The weekends are actually some of his easier days and he's usually home by 3 on a bad day.  More often though its even earlier, so we still have time to fit plenty in.

Since he isn't technically filling in for anyone any longer (which was what he basically did his last position), he can actually arrange his schedule to come to any activity Olivia is participating in.  Which is a huge deal considering she's starting dance at the end of the summer.

 He is still averaging about 70 hours a week and most of that is time spent away at home.  There are three days a week that Olivia and I are pretty much on our own. Those days he rises way before I even turn over (and I'm usually a 6am girl) and he doesn't come in till way past Olivia's bedtime (and sometimes mine).  Those days are long for him, but with his set schedule now, he recovers much more quickly. 

The constant phone calls have ended. 

Very few people realized how much he was on the phone.  We had to switch to unlimited minutes years ago because we were going over our cell phone bill by a couple of hundred dollars every month.  I would get so frustrated when we would be trying to fit in some family time and he would end up on the phone the phone the entire time trying to staff stores because his managers couldn't do their job.  Yeah, harsh but true.

We were guaranteed  a middle of the night phone call at least three times a week. 

We haven't had one middle of the night wake up call since he was promoted.

Someone close to us made the comment the other day he seemed much less stress since starting this new position and he is.

He suddenly seems like a new person and happy with life again.  The stress and frustrations from the past few years have been hard to watch as a wife.  Life these past few years has been hard on both of us.

Most of this probably won't translate well to those who don't really understand David's job, but I've been getting a lot of questions from family on how we are adjusting and the blog is always an easy way to explain to everyone at once.

There will still be times he's super busy and there will be times he has to work more due to unforeseeable events, but overall, things really do seem to be so much better and we've settled nicely into our new routine.

Last fall he did almost reach his breaking point and did go for a few interviews.  He was offered a job somewhere else, but he turned it down at the last minute because he wasn't just ready yet to give up on what he had been working towards.  Six months later, we're so happy that he stuck with it just a little longer.  Taking the advice from some older and more wiser mentors paid off.

We're excited about this new stage of life and now even more excited about the next.  It makes the last four sucky years totally worth it.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Turns out, I have been reading.

I mentioned the other day my book list was looking sad this year.  However, I went to add a finished book to my book list and realized that I have been reading a bit this year, though it feels like I haven't for whatever reason.

 Also, I mentioned at the beginning of the year that I had no reading goals besides to read what I already had in my collection.


I should have known better.

Books are my thing.

Since we're almost halfway through the year, I thought I'd share what I've been reading so far this year.

I know a ton of people who enjoy reading the same things I do, who raved about the Outlander series, but I didn't get it.  It was long, wordy, and mostly boring to me.  Its about 700 pages and I didn't get a lot out of it for how much reading you have to put into it.  Needless to say, I didn't pick up the next one in the series. I don't want to deter others from the series, because I'm in the few for not liking them, but these you have to decide for yourself.

Half-marathon: You Can Do It is an interesting running method, but a pretty dull book compared to all the running books on the market today.

I liked the Runner's World Complete Book of Women's Running much better than the last.  It had a lot of helpful information that was directed specifically towards women runners and I found some motivation in it.

Sarah's Key was a book club pick and I hate to say it, but I didn't love it as much as other people did.  I was excited about this one since it had such great reviews, but it was just a sad story to me.  Maybe its because we have already read four other WWII books in book club and I am just over WWII books for the moment.  I wouldn't say its not worth anyone's time, I just had higher expectations for it I guess.

The Weird Sisters was another book club pick and overall, I enjoyed it.  It does kind of just end at the end, but I enjoyed the story and the relationship between the sisters.  It also lead to some interesting conversations about our childhoods and our siblings at that months book club meeting.  I think I like any book that gives us great conversation at book club. I will warn you that its written in a different style, but if you can get past that, its a great story. 

I found sTori Telling at the Goodwill for a $1.  I'm not even really a Tori Spelling fan, but I've heard a lot of people talk about her books, so I decided to give it a shot.  After reading it, I'm still not a Tori Spelling fan.

Mr. Sparks is a hit or miss for me.  I can take some of his books, but some are way too cheesy and just like every other book he wrote.  The Lucky One so far goes down as one of my favorite Nicholas Sparks books.  Its your typical Sparks book, but worth it if your looking for a light and easy read.  I finished it in less than eight hours so that tells you how it ranks.

Train like a Mother is hands down one of the best running books out there.  This was seriously one of the most entertaining books I've read all year.  I was laughing out loud during some parts.   Plus, it was way motivational.  I was seriously talking about doing a marathon after reading it.....but then I came down from my high and realized I should get through the half marathon first.   If your a total novice, I would start with their first book Run Like A Mother.  I have not read it yet since I needed more guidance on my training than actual running, but it got better reviews than Train Like A Mother, so I'm sure it would not disappoint.  Also, you can listen to free pod cast from the authors on itunes which are entertaining....if your into running.

 Dumbing Us Down is an eye opener.  It was written by a man who spent over 25 years as a teacher in a public school and once named New York States Teacher of the Year.  This is a must read by any parent whether your child is in public school, homeschool, or private school.  I read in a education book once (not a homeschooling book), that the problem with parents today is that they do not realize they are the authority on their child's education.  We can choose to give up the responsibility of who educates our children, but we are to never give up the authority.  Today parents have given up the authority over their child's education.  That has stuck with me for years now and while reading this book, that statement continuously came back to my mind. I haven't read this actual revised copy, because I had an old copy.  So if you read it, I cannot vouch for what the revised parts talk about. 

 There are very few books I'll run out and pay over $20 for, this was one of them.  I could not wait to get my hands on this one and it was painful to read everyone's love for it while I was waiting to get my hands on a copy.  I've been reading Kelle's blog for some time now and its always one of my favorites.  Bloom did not disappoint.  It is a beautiful story and the pictures make the book even more beautiful.  Her honesty throughout is breathe taking.  I seriously wept through certain parts of it.  If your going to read one book this year, this would be my recommendation. 

This month we start a new cycle with book club.  Last cycle, we decided to jazz things up a bit and we actually voted on what we read each month.  It was suggested this go round we read classics. Most of us were excited about the idea and we decided to roll with it.  I'll be the first to admit that I don't read very many of the classics, which is sad especially since I'm obsessed with trying Classical Education with Olivia in a few years.  Our first classic to tackle is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  I'm about half way through and so far, I'm enjoying it.

What are you reading these days?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

First Day: May

We are back from Arizona.....obviously.

We landed late Friday evening and ended up having a super busy weekend, so I'm still recovering.
Forgive me.

More about our trip later, today it's time for another first day post.

A few disclaimers.....

~I woke up and realized my big camera had a dead battery and a dead back up battery, so these are all iphone pics.
~I evidently like to take pictures of  food. 
~My child goes through three outfit changes throughout the day, but I swear these are all from yesterday.

With that said, here's our first day of May....







 Linking up with Nicole: