Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I have a favor to ask....

These past two days have seemed to be getting away from me it feels.  I had another one with a little more depth post planned for today, but every time I sit down to try to finish writing, my attention is needed else where (i.e. a two year old). 

So, I am asking a huge favor from you guys today.

Please feel free to respond in the comments below, on facebook, privately, anomously, whatever you feel comfortable with.  I just want some help and some opinions.  Even if you have never ever commented before, please comment on this one for me and you never have to comment again (though I'd like you to anyways).  Mmmmkay, Thanks!

 When buying/looking at houses, what are the things as a buyer, that stick out to you?

What I mean with that is, like..finger prints on the wall, mismatched hardware in the bathrooms, crappy paint jobs, etc.....those are just things that come to my mind.

I mentioned on other social media that we had our first showing this past weekend.  Originally we were supposed to have two, but one potential buyer who asked us to leave for two hours so he could come look at it, ended up being a no show, no call.....can we say RUDE!!!  Please do not waste my time!!!  The least he or his agent could have done was call to say we won't make it.  I had to keep a two year old busy outside of the house for over three hours early Saturday morning.  This guy obviously doesn't realize the way to the Mabrey's heart. If you know us, you learn quickly not to waste our time. Let's just say that is not the best way to make us want to possibly work with you to come to a lower price. We'd rather sit here longer and wait for someone else who will be a little more respectable of our time to come along.  


Anyways....moving on.

However, the potential buyers that DID show, we have yet to hear any feed back from.  So, I'm just curious as a general question.....what are the things that you look at when looking at buying a house?  That way, I can go ahead and start addressing some of those possible things.

Even better....for anyone who has been to our house, what are the things that stick out to you? 

I promise my feelings will not be hurt.  I know our house is far from perfect.  We've learned that there are things about our house we've had no problem living with, while it bugs other people. 

For example: When our house was a foreclose (before we bought it) it was vandalized at some point and white paint was thrown all over the fireplace and their are spots of white paint on the living room ceiling from where the vandals threw paint around.  We fixed the fireplace, but we have never painted the ceilings and when you look at a certain angle, you can see the spots.  It has honestly never bothered us and on our "one day we'll get around to it" list.  However, it evidently bothers my cousin-in-law because he mentions it almost every time he comes to our house for the past (almost) three years now. It's not something we take offense to, in fact, I usually laugh when he mentions it.  Like I said, its something that doesn't bother us, but he notices every time and he's been the only person so far to mention it before.

So, help a girl out.  I feel like we have a few big projects to work on and I'm afraid we may focus too much on those and not the little things.

I appreciate any advice. 

Thank you in advanced for your help....cause I know you're going to help me, right?!?!  : )

P.S. The reason why I am asking is because we are in a higher (but fair) price range for our area and we really will not get much traffic coming through our house.  So, I thought it would be easiest to get the most feedback from you guys.  Thanks again!!! : )

Friday, July 27, 2012

A favorite.

 Kids in goggles make my favorite things ever list.

Happy weekend! : )

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Clearing my head

I've got nothing today.

After blogging for a week straight (did ya notice?), I'm out of things to say.

Today has by no means been a bad day, its just been one of those in which I cannot tell you how many times I've looked at the clock and thought "It's only____ o'clock?!?!"  

My mom and I had a long conversation this morning about God and his blessings.  It was one that has had me thinking all day.  I think I need to sit on it a little longer though before I decide if I want share my opinion on it.

OK and I are heading out this evening to sign her up for dance.  I've been debating if I want to sign her up for gymnastics too.  It would only be an hour of dance and an hour of gymnastics a week, but I'm afraid is that too much too soon when adding in pre-k three days a week?  I totally agree with the issues of over scheduling kids, but OK is one that likes to stay busy and signing her up for both would give us at least something to do five days a week for at least an hour each day....so, I just don't know....

Speaking of which....I'm going to go ahead and make my plea that I'm ready for summer to be over with and school to start back up.  We are starting to get a little bored and ready to get back into a schedule.  The fact that it has seemed to be dreadfully hot all summer long, has not helped (remember when we were swimming in March here).  Normally, we stay outside when it warms up, but its been way to hot.  When I went to run at 5am yesterday morning, it was still 81 degrees outside.  Ugh! I can usually stand the heat, but I don't remember it being this hot for this long. I'm ready for fall and the (slightly) cooler temps.  Unfortunately, Olivia's pre-k doesn't start back till a month from tomorrow....not that I'm counting down or anything.  I'll try to keep my complaining to a minimum over the next month. 

I'm ready for my friend to come home.  I've been pretty busy over the past few weeks and we've talked everyday, but I still know she's not right down the road.  Which honestly makes me a little scared about when we do move.

I somehow missed posting one of my favorite pics from our weekend away.  Its a little blurry, but her little pen mustache is too cute not to share.

And I've been dwelling over this the past week or so.

Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


As you all know by now, I am not a fan of spontaneity.  I know I've seen it on pinterest before, a quote saying "I'm a fan of spontaneity, as long as it is carefully planned." That describes me to a T.

On Sunday morning, Dave called from work and said "hey, I can take two days off this week.  Let's leave tomorrow and go somewhere."

Leaving to go somewhere for two days with less than a 24 hour notice.....I can finally live life on the edge and say, I'm in.

So, we threw a bag together, threw OK in the car, and headed north to Chattanooga two days.

We grabbed a hotel room downtown near all the attractions,  parked our car for two days, and walked all over town.
We went to see the fishes at the aquarium. 
We played in the fountain in our undies (just OK, not the adults).
We ate out at new restaurants and drank margaritas as big as our heads (just me, not the responsible adult or Olivia).
We swam in the hotel pool past our normal bedtime.
We walked down the street for ice cream even after we had swam past our bedtime.
We went and played at the Children's Museum until the rest of town got there.

 And we had a blast.

Here's the past 48 hours in pictures:


 It was fun to get away with just the three of us for a couple of days.  We honestly always seem to head out of town with others.  At one point, Olivia said "I love us!"  It made my heart swell.

It was also fun to get away and no one really know where we were.  We didn't tell either of our parents where we went.  We felt like such rebels.  Yes, we are thirty years old, but we're still close to our parents like that.  We turned off our phones, got off facebook (and even instagram!) and spent the two days just us.  I only talked to one other person the entire 48 hours (Don't you feel special now, Alison! ).  Sometimes, you just need a break from it all.

We could have seriously just taken Olivia to the hotel and not spent another dime on doing anything else.  Do you remember the line from Talladega Nights "I'm all jacked up on Mountain Dew!!!" Well, the line of the weekend was "I'm all jacked up on hotel!!!"  The kid was running around like crazy when we were at the hotel.  To the point it was hilarious.  I would highly recommend the Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown if your going to stay in Chattanooga.  It was newly remodeled, clean, awesome customer service, a great pool (Olivia's favorite part and I failed to get a picture of it), comfy beds, and close enough to all the attractions to walk. 

I highly recommend being spontaneous every once and awhile. Those always seem to turn out to be the most perfect days (and trips)! : )


Thank you for the sweet and encouraging words I got on here and facebook from my post on Monday. You now know why I haven't responded to any of them.  I really hope my post didn't come across as "whoa is me" or feel sorry for me, because that's not what I was wanting.  I honestly wrote it from a peaceful and happy heart.  It was just something I need to get out on paper (or computer screen).  The older I get, the better I am understanding I am not the one in control of my life, he is.  I know there is no clue as to what will happen in the future, but I have to prepare myself for the possibilities. Sometimes, our dreams just need a new direction and that was more where I was heading with that post.  Regardless, I'm excited about new dreams and what's in store for our future.  Again, the sweetness is greatly appreciated.  You guys are the best! : )

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Sadly, our Twiggy has been missing for almost two weeks now. 

I haven't mentioned it to anyone really because I've been holding out hope that she would come back. 

But this past weekend, I finally decided it was time to put up her food bowls and come to terms that she most likely isn't coming back home.

When we got her last summer, we intended to keep her an indoor cat, but we quickly realized she wanted to be outside majority of the time.  I may or may not have lied about her claws when others questioned our getting a cat after the dog incident last spring.  I personally thought it was no ones business what kind of pet we got, so when someone accused Twiggy of scratching Livi in the face, I lied about her having claws.  She actually had all her claws, so she was okay to be outside.  Judge me if you want, I honestly don't care anymore.

She usually spent most of her days outside and would come in at night, but it wasn't unusual for her to go missing for a whole day or two.  However, she would always come back home.  After three days, I realized I hadn't seen her and started searching for her.  Our neighbors have not seen her (they were out of town though, so that doesn't help much) and I called the animal shelter, but they had no cats that meet her description. With her turned out paw, she would be easy to recognize.  So, that leaves me to wonder if she meet up with something in the woods. 

Since the beginning of summer, she was wanting to be outside constantly but only a couple of weeks into summer, a few neighbors noticed we were having a coyote problem in the woods behind our houses.   I was trying my hardest to keep her in all times, but she would bolt any chance she got.  Unfortunately, I'm wondering if she finally meet up with one.

This "not really a cat" person though has started missing her big time.  Our house has felt a little emptier without her here these past couple of weeks.  Oddly, Olivia hasn't asked about her yet but I'm sure its coming.  I however cannot help but find myself constantly glancing out the windows to look for her.  I finally had my "moment" the other morning when I glanced out at one of her usual spots and realized she wasn't there and odds are, never will be again.  Yes, I bawled like a baby.

Ironically, I posted a picture of her on Instagram a couple of weeks ago and oddly, it is the very last time I saw her.

 I joked with a friend on Instagram that I wondered if she was "debating to jump."  I would be lying if I said I didn't go down to check below the deck to make sure she didn't.  Thankfully, I did not find her there because let's be honest, I would probably be traumatized if I came across her not breathing body.

The only person I've even told she was missing asked if we would get another one and I do want another cat.  However. I think we're going to wait though till we sell the house and get settled somewhere else first. 

Until then, I'm holding out hope our Twiggy will be one of those crazy pets who go missing for sometime and then find their way back home.  I'm hanging on to her food bowls just in case.

Monday, July 23, 2012


A couple of months ago, Dave and I were having a casual conversation about the direction of our life, when he informed me...

"I'm happy with just one."

This of course sent me into a little of a tailspin.

I've dreamed for years of being the mom of a brood of three or four. Up until recently, I've always pictured our future family Christmas cards filled with five or six people in it.

Much of that comes from the fact that I am "technically" an only child. I have had and still have step-siblings and a half brother throughout my life and I am fortunate to have a close relationship with several of them.  Honestly though, a lot of times I feel like it's just not the same thing if you know what I mean. So, I've always swore I would have plenty of kids to make up for that fact.

However, like always, while I was busy making plans...life happened.

Back at the beginning of the year, while on a run, out of no where it hit me that we fall into that category of couples.....children do not come easily for us.

Oddly, that was a hard pill to swallow. I cried right there during the middle of my run.  I've spent years hearing stories and reading blogs of others struggles and it never occurred to me until just a few months ago, that we were one of those. After a freak delivery with Olivia, a year of ppd and then add over two years of trying to have another one, it safe to say we fall into that category.

So that leaves us at where do we go from here?

Yes, we could through the procedures they believe I need to have to be able to get pregnant again, but to be honest, I don't want to.

I don't really want to have it done and to really be honest, I don't really want to be pregnant again. I am completely jealous of those women who love being pregnant,  because I am not one of those women.  I was sick for the majority of my pregnancy, due to what happened last time I will most likely have to have another c-section......I'm not someone who can just pop babies out and go home the next day. Yes, that may sound completely selfish to some, but its the honest truth.

Adoption is not entirely out of the question, but right now it is no where on the radar anytime soon. If you want an explanation about the events from last year.......we just were not ready like we thought.  Adoption is still near my heart, but we have decided we are not cut out for DFACS. If  and when we do go the adoption route in the future, it will be private and most likely oversees. Money however is the determining factor for that and right now, we have none. 

I'm a planner.  I have to plan out my life.  I have to make plans for life two, ten, and twenty years down the road.  We're both not happy unless we are making plans for our life.  But since I'm also a "right now" person and adoption seems so far off the radar, I've been struggling with coming to terms with the fact that we most likely will be an one child family.

It might not sound like a big deal to most, but it has been a big deal to me. It's almost like I've been going through the grieving process over not having a big family over the past six months.

For a long time, I've gone back and forth....one day I'd be in tears over not having a big brood. The next day, I'd be running around and singing how I love having just one!  At one point, I was standing in the kitchen yelling to Dave at the top of my lungs"I will have another child!" That tells you where I tells you where I have been at with this all.

I honestly cannot understand why I've become so obsessed with it.  I've got a great life, a wonderful daughter, a great marriage, but yet, I seem to be putting all my happiness on children that may or not come.

Over the past couple of months, my heart has started to see a change.

When imagining our lives in the future, I am now able to picture just one....and I'm happy with it.

I have finally started seriously accepting the fact that obviously, God has a different path for me and being the next Michelle Dugger is not one of them. 

Let's be honest, being the only "one" does come with some advantages. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Different Kind of Date Night

After the July 4th race, I started searching for all the up coming races in our area.  I quickly came across one happening the following weekend.  It was a night race which works better with our schedule and even better, it was benefiting the little boy of a friend of a friend (not sure I worded that correctly?).  I secured a babysitter and then talked David into running with me so we could make it a date night.

It was possibly the worst/best idea I have ever had.

I have not ran at night in about two months now and Saturday night was nothing but a reminder of why.

It seriously felt like we were running through hell itself.  It was so hot and humid, you could barely breathe. 

Plus, the three pieces of pizza I ate for lunch did not help.
I know,  I know better....

Oh, and the race route was hilly.  Very hilly.  Like the entire course was hills.  Yeah, they kindly forgot to mention that till right before we started the race.

We had a lot stacked against us.

We stopped and walked several times.  Not saying this bragging, but I honestly cannot remember the last time I stopped to walk during a run.  I'm only saying that to show you it was that bad.  I remember several times swearing that I would never run a night race during the summer again.

However, we finished and we didn't do as bad as I thought we had. 

Dave #125/262 35:10
Me #126/262 35:11

 *Please note the 8 year old trying to out run us....In our defense, he only ran the last .2 miles*

 However, as we jumped in the car and headed off for dinner, the first thing out of our mouths was "that wasn't that bad."  Though I can promise you we were dying just moments before, but we were already talking about our "next" race. 

The racing bug has bitten for sure.

I might just turn him into a runner after all. 

And because you all know my favorite thing to do is eat my words....

My next race is in August at 7pm.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A sign in the yard

Well, there is a sign in our yard and our house is officially for sale.

We've spent the past week doing more stuff around the house than we've done in the past two years combined.

It's amazing what a little motivation can do.

We called one of our friends we worked in the real estate business years ago, and after doing a little bit of research, we decided "why not?"  Currently, there are only eight other houses in our school district for sale within a $50,000 price range and after looking at the pics of a few of them, we thought we might have a shot, even with the few things we need to address around here.

I'm not getting my heart on it selling quickly.  If it takes a year to sell, I'd be okay with that.  I worked in the business long enough to know it can take time.  Which that is a big reason why we're putting it up now.  We don't want to be under pressure to sell it by a certain time when David gets promoted again. I honestly have a feeling we won't have many people even come and look at it.  Not saying it won't sale, we just are not in a price range we'll have many people tromping in and out.  Luckily, things in our neighborhood have still been selling really well even with the market like its been the past few years.

A couple of people have asked and I didn't really say it clearly in my last post, but we are planning on renting for the next few years.  When we sell this house, we'll move back to the county we lived in when we first got married (oh yay....not), but it is closer to David's work so it only makes sense.  Our main goal is to be relocatable. Dave mentioned what we were doing to the guy who decides where (and when) he goes next and he agreed it was a good idea and time.....gulp.

(April 2011)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

On my mind

  • We made it back from the beach on Saturday and I swear, I just haven't been able to get it together these past few days.  I feel like I've been in the weirdest mood lately.  One minute I feel like I just want to be left alone and then the next, I'm scrolling through facebook feeling left out of life. Does any of that make sense?
  • I'm ready for summer to be over. It has just seemed like a long and boring summer this year.  This is probably one of the first times in my life I've ever said that.....take that back, I'm sure I said it the summer I was pregnant.  That was a long summer too.  Starting in September, we have a busy fall and I'm ready for life to get busy again. I'll also go ahead and say it...I'm ready for the holidays this year. I may or may not have debated turning on a little Christmas music earlier, but I haven't gotten that desperate yet. 
  • David and I have been talking about putting our house up for sale at the beginning of next year. We have a few things we need to do before we think its ready for showings, so we'll see if it actually happens.  We have made it very vocal around his work that we're ready to be moved to a different location for his next position and though that could be years away, we were thinking "let's put it on the market and see what happens" kinda thoughts.  Kinda thinking along the lines of that since we don't need to sell it, that might be the best time to try to sell it.  Even if we don't have to move for his next position, we've been talking heavily the past few months about downsizing anyway.  3700 sq. feet is a little much for only three people.  Lots of space to clean.  So, we'll see......its scary, a little sad, and exciting all at the same time.
  •  A few people have asked how the potty training is going and I'm happy to report its getting better with each day.  We've only had one or two days since the first week, that it seems she's totally forgot what she was doing.  Otherwise, she's gotten the hang of being a big girl.  We do however still use pull ups for night time.  I think it will still be awhile till she's COMPLETELY potty trained.
  • We had bookclub last night and it was my turn to host.  We read To Kill A Mockingbird and it was a big hit with everyone.  The last time I read it was in eighth grade and I remember it being one of my favorite books we read in school.  It was fun to re-read it as an adult and have new, somewhat wiser, view on it.  I would highly recommend giving it an re-read if you haven't in awhile.  There is a reason it always makes the "best of all time" lists. 
  • The heat has been brutal for runs these past few weeks.  Runs have seemed so hard and I haven't been happy with them at all lately.  Maybe that's actually why I'm so ready for the fall???  I've started getting up at 4:30 am to run most mornings and I though I consider myself to be a morning person, four thirty is too early. However, it is when you can find the coolest temps of the day, so I guess I will have to keep it up a another month or so. The true problem is that by the time I get back from my runs, Olivia is already up and going strong.  By nine a.m., I'm ready for a nap.
  •  I signed David and I up for a night race this Saturday.  We're planning on making it a date night and adding a kids free dinner in there afterwards. It's either my best idea yet...or he might be hating me on Saturday evening.
  •  It's 2pm and I'm still in my pajamas while my kid is running around in her underwear.  It doesn't look to promising that I'm going to get dressed today. 
  • And since every blog post needs a picture

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Insta-Friday on Saturday

We're headed home from the beach today, so I thought I'd leave you with some pictures of our week through Insta-gram.

 Last Friday, she did not wake up till after 8am.  
This has only happened like twice in the past almost three years.

 We've been going back about cutting her hair for some time now.  She wanted long like Tangled and I wanted it short since she doesn't like me putting it up.  I finally decided shes too young to make these decisions and mama gets the final word.  She was not a fan and was not still at all for the poor girl who cut it.  It has one little wonky spot, but otherwise its super cute and I'm planning on keeping it short for some time now.  

Friday night dinner date with Daddy, Nana, & Papa at Cracker Barrel.  
One of my all time favorite places to eat! Yums!

Sunday morning cartoons at the beach with Daddy.

Beach storm

Flying a "real" kite


Mamarazzi strikes again!


She played hard.

Watching fireworks from the safety of the kitchen.

We're lazy bums.

It's 3pm here, but 5 o'clock somewhere.

A life lesson during morning coffee.

Linking up with Jeannett for Insta-Friday:

Have a Great Weekend! : )

Friday, July 6, 2012

Goal #1: Accomplished

It hit me a few months ago that just maybe, the actual 1/2 marathon shouldn't be my first race.  

I've raced in a few 5ks, but its been way over 15 years and its been over 13 since I've raced on a track. 

I wanted to get one (or hopefully two or three) under my belt before the big one in September.   I originally planned on racing in the famous Peachtree Road Race, but then a few things came up and it was looking like I would for sure be at the beach with my family, so I started looking for an replacement. 

Luckily, I found a Independence Day 8k being held about 30 minutes south of where we stay and decided to set my sights on that one.   

I then proceeded to con convince my cousin KP to sign up with me. 

We had to get up extra early to make it to the race, but it was so worth it and we made sure to show up with our game faces on.

KP's boyfriend Andy made sure to get the money shot of me.

 (Obviously, I was happy to have made it to the potty and I have no clue why my hat is so crooked the entire morning) 

We ended up running together the whole way and came in at 51:14. We both were pretty proud of our finish time being it was our first road race (her official first, my first as an adult).  Our only goal was to finish and we obviously accomplished that.  We were actually pretty proud of the fact we ran the entire course. 

It was a fun first race since it was big and well organized, but not too big (just over 750 runners).  It was a great way to get a little race experience under my belt. Or I guess I should say, refresh my race experience.

We celebrated with chowing down on the free Krispy Kreme donuts at the finish line. 


(I had already scarfed mine down by this point)

Like most other runners, it totally made me catch the racing bug.  I may or may not have spent the rest of the morning searching up coming races.  

KP and I were laughing just after the race at how we felt like we were about to die just moments before, however just twenty minutes later, we were ready for more.  

And that's what I love about running. 

In case your interested and in the Myrtle Beach area, here is more info on the Independence Day 8k.