Friday, May 29, 2009

The "Not So" Lazy Day

I almost labeled this blog - Lazy Day - but then remembered all we did today, and realized it wasn't quite as laid back as I thought!

We started the day with breakfast with my girlfriend, Laura. She and her 18 month-old, Ford, were in Atlanta visiting her sister and were able to steal away for a quick visit. The last time we got together was at Chick-fil-a and that was a little crazy. It was much easier to visit here at the house since Ford and Jackson had room to run and play.

It was so good to catch up with her and hear about her expanding family - she and her husband, Seth are expecting #2! Laura is such a fabulous mom! Ford is a great little boy and I can't wait to meet this new one in November.

After they left, Jackson and I headed to swim lessons. Jackson "graduated" from his swim classes back in April, but when I put him in the pool three weeks ago, something just wasn't right. For the past two weeks, we have been back at the daily lessons. Today, he tested out again with instructions for us to get him in the water this weekend and see how he does. Hopefully, it will all be okay and we won't have to go back again next week.

After naptime, I looked outside and realized how much of our backyard was in the shade. Jackson loves to play outside but since I hate putting sunscreen on him, we usually don't go out until nighttime. Since it was shady, we headed out.

Our neighbors had a baby 7 weeks ago, and sadly, we haven't spent much time with them. Since it was so nice, out I called up Angela and asked if she and baby McKenzie wanted to come play.

They joined us and then Jackson's friend Sam joined us too! It is Kate and Ben's anniversary so Wesley and I watched Sam so they could go out for a quiet dinner. The boys just played and played outside. Angela's husband, Steve, also came over and once Wesley came home, we just had a little impromptu party at the Benders!

We visited, the boys played, and McKenzie slept until 9:00!! We just finished putting a tired little boy to bed. I don't think he has ever had this much excitement and fun in one day.

So, even though we had a late night and a busy day, it was packed with so much fun fellowship, it turned out to be so enjoyable!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day

Last night, we celebrated Memorial Day with some good friends from church. Katey and Waylon invited us over for a cook-out and it was so much fun!!

Katey and Waylon live in the country on a beautiful piece of land. The kids were able to run and play while the adults enjoyed watching Waylon on the smoker. He treated us all to a delicious Memorial Day feast!

We are truly blessed to have such great friends. All the girls get along, the guys get along and somehow all the kids do too!!

We had such a fun night being together but as Waylon prayed he made sure to reflect on why we were all there in the first place. I admit, usually the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Memorial Day is a good friendly get-together. But really, we set aside the day not for a good BBQ, but rather to remember all those – like my grandfather – who sacrificed so much to make sure we lived in a county where we could be free. As our preacher, Kurt said in church Sunday: We live in the “Home of the free because of the brave.” Thank you to all those who served or who are serving our country.

Kate, Katey, Priscilla, Ashley, Leanne

Waylon, Todd, Todd (and Tucker), Ben, and Wesley enjoying the amazing appetizer Waylon made on the grill...

He stuffed a jalapeno pepper with cream cheese, and mini-hot dog, and wrapped it in bacon. Yes, it is a heart attack waiting to happen, but WOW! did it taste good!

Though the boys ate most of them, we were able to steal a taste.

Jackson tried to impress the ladies with his strength as he pulled the wagon! Only Alayna was impressed...

and later jumped into his car for a quick ride around the driveway!

After dinner, we watered the yard with playtime in the pool and sprinkler.

The highlight of the night for Wesley was riding around the house on Waylon's four wheeler with Jackson. I had brought Jackson's helmet for his little miniature 4 wheeler, but it worked for the big one too. Though he has a funny look on his face in this picture, he really loved it...more than I can say for his Momma who was worried the whole time.

This picture is a priceless description of the fun we all had!
Does it get much cuter than Alayna diving her face into a cupcake (she didn't want to get her hands dirty!) while Jackson covered in chocolate and icing looks on and smiles?!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Special Visitor

Last night, we had a special treat! Adam, a friend from college, came into town with his girlfriend and stayed the night with us. Wesley and I hadn't seen Adam in two years so it was so good to be with him and catch up. It was also great to meet his girlfriend, Cathy, and for them to meet Jackson.

Adam is one of those friends you just love being around. He is very special to Wesley and me because he was friends with each of us individually before we were a couple. Wesley and Adam both lived on the 3rd floor of Sewell, and Adam and I became friends in a computer class our second semester on campus. Once Wesley and I started dating, it was fun to be able to hang out with someone that knew us both really well.

I have so many college memories of Adam from hanging out in the Square, to Phi Sig functions, to (as we remembered last night) the time I cut his hair in the bathroom of Sewell - and they say girls aren't allowed in the boys' dorms in Lipscomb...whoops :-)

Adam was always there for Wesley and me and always a true friend. Last night was so special as were able to just sit, chat and reconnect.

Funny how time changes some things - we now live in different states, have different jobs, Wesley and I have a child - but with good friends, time can never change good conversation and laughter!

We loved having Adam visit!

Old School Photo: This one's for Cathy. Since she and Adam met last year, she hasn't seen many College-Age-Adam pictures. I thought she would enjoy this one from our freshman year. Don't we look so young!

Adam, Cristal, Leanne, and Wesley

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Preacher Man

Is this a glimpse into Jackson's future? Maybe he will be a preacher when he grows up!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

This, that, and the other..

Not too much going on around here this week so I thought I would just post a few random things.

#1 - HUGE shout out to my hubby! Wesley was asked to speak at the Alpharetta High School's Baccalaureate ceremony. It was Sunday and he did an AMAZING job! I was so very proud of him. He is a great speaker and always does a good job, but his speech on Sunday was so impressive. Unlike me, I know the Class of 2009 will remember their baccalaureate speech!

#2 - Waffles. Jackson has a huge fascination with waffles. Don't exactly know what that's about but I do find it funny since I had waffles almost every morning for breakfast when I was pregnant with him! Anyways, he asks for them at every meal. One night we thought we had distracted him with a huge pile of spaghetti, but no! After devouring the entire plate of pasta, he looked up at us and said "faff-ful."

Sometimes the waffle cravings pop up when we least expect them. Last Friday, after we picked Jackson up from Mother's Day Out, we went into the offices so Wesley could print something. Jackson was just sitting in the middle of the floor when all of the sudden, he looked up and "Faff-ful!" How he went from playing to waffles, we don't know, but it was cute!

Truthfully, we don't know if he likes the waffles as much as dipping them into "pop pop" Sorry, Dad, somehow "Pop Pop" went from your name to the name for syrup!

#3 - Jackson's First Kiss. We were over at the Howard's house Friday night. As we were getting ready to leave, Wesley told Jackson to give Tucker a hug. Jackson reached over and gave him a hug.

Then, Wesley said give Addie a hug. Well, Jackson leaned over, gave Addie a hug and as she was pulling away, he snuck in a little kiss on her back! All four of the adults just looked at him in disbelief -- did he just kiss her? Yes, he did and not only did he kiss her, he gloated about it!

After the kiss, he jumped off the couch, gave me a high five and strutted off. No joke! Our 22 month old, strutted off after landing his first kiss! Something tells me, we might have a little ladies man on our hands.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mother's Day Out

Yesterday I signed Jackson up for the Mother's Day Out program at the YMCA. It is from 9:30 - 1:00 today. It looked like a fun morning. They have play time, song time, gym time all centered around a Bug theme (That's nice - he will learn about bugs and I don't have to touch them!)

This morning, I packed Jackson all up and just sent him off with Wesley...I now have the house to myself! What ever am I going to do?!

I have a list of things to get accomplished but for now, I think I am going to enjoy a cup of coffee, watch Regis and Kelly, and go through the 46 e-mails in my inbox :-)

Jackson ready to head out. He is making car noises as I was trying to take the picture which explains the funny expression.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Walking in the Rain

I made a commitment to myself and to Jackson that for the summer months, I would move my exercise outdoors one day a week. I am a little spoiled with the Y, and seem to limit my workouts to what can be done while Jackson is in the play center. He loves to be outside, and it is good for me to get moving outside as well.

I shared my commitment with three of my girlfriends to see if they wanted to join me. They all were on board for our first outing today!

The plan was to meet up to walk and then have a picnic lunch. At the last minute, Ashley had to back out but Kate, Katey and I met up at the Alpharetta Greenway for the walk. When we arrived it was sprinkling, but we decided to just chance it and hope we didn't get too wet. We walked (and talked!) for 1 hour and were pretty dry until the last 15 minutes. Let's just say none of the kids were too happy about walking in the rain!

Since it was so dreary out, we decided to take our picnic to the mall. I bet we were a sight: Three sweaty ladies in workout clothes and three wet, cold little ones, camped out in the food court with our homemade lunches! Oh, well! It worked! The kids enjoyed being dry and the three of us were able to relax and eat a wonderful meal. Thanks, Kate, for the delicious chicken salad sandwiches!

After lunch, we walked down to the kids' area so Sam, Alayna and Jackson could run around.

Jackson loves going down the slide on his belly!
Sam and Alayna
Jackson and Alayna

Hopefully, Katey, Kate, and Ashley will join us again next week for our outside stroll. It would be so much easier to keep my commitment knowing I would have some "Girl Talk" as I walked!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

"Happy" "Mommy" "Day"

Since Jackson hasn't mastered saying more than one word in a row instead of hearing "Happy Mother's Day" this morning, I have enjoyed hearing him repeat Happy, Mommy, and Day. Sounds the same to me - so sweet!

I am so blessed to have such a beautiful, spirited little boy and I thank God for the joys of motherhood.

I love you, angel!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Grace Chapel Ladies' Brunch

This morning, I attended the first event held by the Woman's Ministry at our church -- a wonderful brunch at the beautiful home of one of our members. There was a great turnout - 67 ladies showed up.

The weather in Cumming has been hit or miss lately. Either it is blazing hot or raining. Not this morning! Today, we were blessed with a cool breeze and an overcast sky. It made the brunch, which was held outside, very pleasant.

After the delicious meal, I was asked to give a little inspirational message. The purpose of the Woman's Ministry is to encourage and lift each other up. Working off that, I talked about how we need to deepen our friendships within the group to learn the best ways to encourage each other. I think it went over okay. I enjoyed preparing for it and I always love to talk!

It really was a great morning and I am looking forward to the upcoming events of the Ministry.

Our table this morning: Micah, Jen, Meredith, Leanne, RuthAnne, and Amy

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Mother's Day to Me!

When Wesley asked last year what I wanted for my first Mother's Day, I answered, "A picture of you and Jackson." I followed it up with, "And in fact, that's what you can get me every year!"

Last year, he and Jackson went to get my Mother's Day picture while I was on the girls' trip to the beach. This year, they waited until I got back and let me go with them. Tonight was picture night so we all three headed to Sears.

The lady was very nice and captured so many great shots. We ended up ordering two different poses though I could have ordered them all. In my opinion, I have the two cutest, most photogenic boys out there!! Take a look and see if you don't agree!!

After the photo session, we went into the mall for dinner at the food court, a ride on the carousel and some play time in the kids' area.

Of all the gifts out there for Mother's Day, I can't think of anything better than a picture of my two boys and time together as a family. It might not be a fancy gift, but it is exactly what I wanted!
Thank you, Wesley and Jackson!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ashley's Bachelorette Party!

After two great days in Destin, I packed up and headed to Gulf Shores, AL. Mapquest said it was 90 miles so I was thinking I would arrive in about 1 ½ hours - wrong! Three hours after I pulled out of our house in Destin, I arrived in Gulf Shores. Oh well, it was a beautiful drive.

I was meeting up with three of my girl friends from High School – Ashley, Erin K and Erin P/G (She is now Erin G, but will always be Erin P to me). We were celebrating Ashley’s upcoming wedding the best way ever – a Bachelorette party at the beach!

We had so much fun!!!! Friday, after we unpacked and did some catching up, we went to eat at Sea N Suds, a little seafood restaurant we walked to on the beach. The food was great and we were able to sit outside and enjoy the beautiful view. After dinner, we headed out to see Ghosts of Girlfriends Past with Matthew McConaughey. It was the perfect movie to see with girlfriends!

Saturday, we spent most of the day at the beach. The weather was beautiful and we enjoyed laying out, reading and laughing!

Saturday night, the wedding fun started with a lingerie shower for Ashley in the condo. After the shower, we had dinner at the Original Oyster House (yummy!) and then took Ashley all decked out in a veil and sash reading: Miss Bachelorette to FloraBama, a hot spot in Gulf Shores. We stayed out late dancing and just enjoying a fun night together.

I wish I had pictures of our night out but all the good pictures are on Ashley’s camera. One of the highlights at FloraBama was seeing a lady – probably in her 70s – out on the dance floor. She had two college aged boys dancing with her and it was a show stopper! If I get the pictures, I will post.

Sunday, we spent the morning on the beach and then packed up and headed out. As we pulled out of Gulf Shores, it started raining on us –our first rain of the weekend! We crashed in Birmingham at Erin’s house and Monday morning, I got up and headed home and Erin K and Ashley headed back to Nashville.

I had the most wonderful weekend! It was so good to be with friends. I am forever grateful for Wesley for taking off three days of work to watch Jackson for me. I think they had fun even though Jackson is keeping quiet about what they did over the weekend :)

Again, I promised no bathing suit pictures! Here’s a small sample of the fun we had!

Erin P/G. Erin K and Ashley at Sea-N-Suds

The Bride To Be, Ashley and Leanne

Our condo was on the 5th floor, second from the right. Thank you to the Prillaman's for letting us use it for the weekend!

Erin, Ashley, Erin and Leanne before the presents were opened.

Leanne, Erin, Ashley and Erin at the Oyster House.

And yes, I do realize I have a halo on my head. I guess it's true what they say - Cameras don't lie :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Girls Get-Away!

Last year, a few of my girlfriends from church got together and planned a four days girls trip to Destin, FL. Since we had so much fun, Cory – our social director – planned a five day trip this year.

When the dates for the trip were announced, I at first had to pass. I already had plans for another beach trip that same weekend with some high school friends. After some encouragement from Wesley, I realized I could do both. I would tag along for the first two days with the church group and then head to Gulf Shores to be with the other group.

Two beach trips in one weekend – WHOO HOO!!

The first leg of the trip was wonderful and so relaxing. We got there on Wednesday evening. Thursday, everyone went to the beach and then after lunch got ready for a shopping trip. Since there was nothing I needed at the outlets, I decided to stay back. GREAT IDEA!! I had the entire house to myself. It was so relaxing. I read, watched Oprah, and took a little nap. I felt so good by the end of the afternoon. Friday morning, I spent a little more time on the beach before heading over to Gulf Shores.

I had a great time the short two days I was in Destin and hope that Cory will plan another trip next year :-)

Since I promised I wouldn’t post any “bathing suit” pictures, I only have one picture from Destin. Here is our group enjoying dinner at the Back Porch.

Girls Trip 2009
Allison, Kerri, Cory, Dionne, Ashley, Leanne, Dee, Kathy, Laureen, Olivia, Angie