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Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland: February 2010

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Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland: February 2010

Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland

February 28, 2010

Simple Sunday Ramblings...

Hello my most favorite people ever! Hope you guys have been more productive than I have are having a wonderful weekend. In true totally random tradition, I have several completely pointless mind dumping thoughts {and even a few photos} for you.
  • We have completed 98% of the painting in our living room and foyer. I was a little surprised because I actually like the off-white wall color in here. I hated it when we moved in {which is why we are having to paint again now...because I didn't want to leave it white.}I think it's partly because the paint was faded and really dingy looking. Now that there is a fresh thick coat and the baseboards have been cleaned and touched up, it looks really good. It doesn't look as big with white walls, but none the less.
  • We still have to paint Little Man's room. Just the one wall, so it shouldn't take very long. We're waiting to do that in a few weeks. Hubby's mom and Little Brother are coming to visit the second or third week in March to take a few of the things we aren't putitng in storage [like our literally brand new 42" way that is going in a storage unit for 5 months] and visit during their Spring Break. She's going to take Little Man back with her so that I we can get all of the last minute stuff done here. It will be a nice little break for the hubby and I to get some alone time before we go home for everyone to drive us completely crazy.
  • I have officially decided to make the big switch to Wordpress. I have thought about it and thought about it and thought about it. I've looked at different blogs and read all of the pros and cons and I've decided that this is going to be the best decision for me. I'm really wanting to grow this blog into something BIG and with my photography starting up, I think Wordpress will be better equipped for me.
  • Similarly, I'm going to fork over the cash for a professional design. I'm deciding between two designers right now, but I think I have made my mind up. I'm not going to say who just yet, because it's going to be another few weeks before I actually "hire" them [gotta get up the funding and such, you know]. But I am REALLY excited. I've looked at their work and it's a.m.a.z.i.n.g! I want something professional, simple and stylish and since I have no idea how to edit with wordpress, I'm going to have to hire someone. And I'm pretty sure that if I spend the money to have someone do it for me, I'll be less likely to want to change it. As I tend to do here.
  • I'm also going to incorporate my photography blog with this blog. That way everything is together and I won't have to pay for keep up two blogs. And, much to my own dismay, I'm afraid I'm going to end up changing my blog name again. I'm just really not feeling this name. It doesn't reflect everything that I want it to and I'm just not happy with it. ::Sigh:: When I "make the move" I want everything exactly right. I want the name to work, the design to work and I want to really set myself up to establish a name for myself online. I'm so excited.
  • I'm getting my very first camera lens on Monday [well, that would be tomorrow]!!!
  • This summer is going to be crazy busy...the more I keep thinking about it, the more I realize that, even though hubby will be gone, it's going to fly by. I'm doing my very first maternity "shoot" in July for one of my very best friends. I've got lots of ideas but a lot of work to do before then. I've got several purchases to make and a whole bunch of studying to do. I'm really excited, but somewhat nervous too.
  • I am in dire need of a mental break. My mental health is on low right now and I am very much anticipating the quiet two weeks alone during the time when Little Man is in Alabama. I love being a mommy and I love my little man more than anything else in the entire world, but his newfound sense of clingyness, whineyness and lack of desire to SLEEP during the day is leaving me ill, frustrated and absolutely exhausted. Add to that the stress of moving and the frustration with a few other things we've had going on lately and it makes for one stressed out and worn out mommy.
  • I'm about to buy a new computer and I'm unsure which one to get. I know I'm going to get a laptop, but I don't know what to buy. I've looked at Dells, Toshiba's and HP's but I'm stuck. Can't make up my mind. Does it really make a difference or is it just a matter of brand preference?
  • I didn't watch any of the Olympics this year. Boo Hoo. Couldn't get into it and couldn't really find the time to. LOL I don't even know what the medal count is or anything. Is that bad? Unpatriotic in some sense? I hope not, because if it is, then I failed. Oops.
  • Our computer charger bit the dust again the other day. This is the FOURTH charger we have bought for this thing in the year that we have had it. Right now the husband has it rigged well enough to use it, but it's a piece. Going to have to order a new one [again] tomorrow.
Guess that's all for now. My son is awake and screaming and the husband is studying for his big test at work on Tuesday. Guess that means mommy has to 'answer the call' and tend to the child. Can't believe tomorrow marks the first day of MARCH already! Where is this year going? Hope you guys have a great Sunday evening!


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February 27, 2010

A Little Acceptance Speech

I'll be honest. I am really bad about posting awards. It isn't that I don't appreciate them, because I do. Aside from comments, the awards are what keep me blogging. Just the tiny little tokens of appreciation from all of you mean the world to me. Recently, I have received several awards. I am going to pass each award to 3 of my favorite blogs.

First, my wonderful friend Mandi over at Capital Heights Mommy gave me these two awards:

For both of these {and the next one, too} I am supposed to tell you guys 7 things that you may not know about me. I've done this a few times before, but I'm going to try to come up with a few new ones. So here we go:

1.   I watch Disney movies for my own entertainment. Not because I have a child who watches, but because I want to. Seriously. A few Christmas' ago, my sister bought me my very own copy of the The Little Mermaid and I've caught myself watching a few other Disney movies during the day, even when Little Man is asleep.

2.. As much as I love to shop, I'm kind of cheap when it comes to buying clothes. I hate to spend money on clothes. Sometimes it just feels like a waste to me. I will spend money on handbags or shoes. Don't ask why. I haven't figured it out either.

3.  I am considering getting my nose pierced. I've always wanted to because I think they are cute, but I just never have. I think I may cave in and do it. We shall see.

4.   I'm getting my first tattoo in a few weeks. The hubby and I are both getting one {my first and his, hmm...6th?} I can't decide if I want it on my wrist or my foot. And I still don't know what I want.

5.   Hubby and I want another baby and will probably start trying for #2 in early 2011. But I secretly worry about getting pregnant because I am afraid of not being able to lose the weigt afterwards. Is that too shallow? I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who has ever thought about that.

6.   I could watch Forrest Gump and Gone with the Wind over and over again and probably never get tired of it. In fact, I watched Forrest Gump every night this week during the AMC "Can't Get Enough Gump" week.

7.   I hate Burger King. Yuck.

Ok. So for the Sunshine Award, I am passing this onto 3 of my favorite newly discovered blogs:

Mrs. F at As the Forest[e] Grows
Lauren at Leaving a Legacy
Chrissy at Life As a CEO

And the Beautiful Blogger Award, I will pass on to 3 people as well because Nicolosa at Low Expectations has given me this award too!! This award goes to:

Ashley at Life is Beautiful
Jenny at Small Beginnings
Brandi at Stepping on Cheerios

I can't thank you guys enough for these. I love getting messages saying that someone thinks that my writing and my blogging is award worthy. You guys are the best and I really to love all of you :) Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

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February 26, 2010

Sweet 16

16 months.

That's how old Little Man will be tomorrow. 16 whole months old.

Holy cow, where has the time gone? He certainly isn't the baby boy that I can still feel myself holding, wrapped up in a blanket, and humming to. I can't get him to sit still that long, much less actually wrap himself in a blanket.

At 16 months:

  • You are independent. You want no help with anything. Including climbing the stairs, getting in and out of the bathtub, eating, or going to bed. Sometimes it's a good thing {especially when it comes to going to bed} and others [like with the eating] it's not so pretty.

  • You eat everything. Seriously. You like more types of food than you have toys. I'm eager to see how long that lasts. And there are definitely no signs of you being a vegetarian. You are a Bama' boy at heart and love you're meat.

  • You are going in and out of a snuggly phase. There are days when you prefer to sit and be held, and then there are others when you are strictly "hands off" and want no one picking you up or hugging you or holding you at all.

  • You are as much a mommy's boy as you are daddy's. And we love it that way.

  • You may not be able to communicate like an adult yet, but you do understand what we're saying. And you do grasp the concept that daddy will be going 'bye-bye" soon. Which is probably why you have been all about daddy the past few days.

  • You still love Veggie Tales, though you are finding more entertainment in toys and real play than you do in TV right now. And that's good. We don't mind. Really. Not having to sing the Veggie Tales theme song 10,000 times a day doesn't phase us a bit.

  • You go to bed with your blankie, bottle and stuffed monkey-but wake up in the morning with nothing in your crib. I think that they crowd you. Because we can usually hear you throwing them out of the bed. Especially the bottle when it makes the loud "thump" on the floor.

  • You have to sleep in pants. Have to. No getting around it. Because if you don't, mommy and daddy enter your room in the mornings to find a diaperless little boy covered in pee. And you think it's the funniest thing in the world.

  • You are dwindling out of your napping phase. Morning naps are becoming less and less frequent, and if you do manage to go down for one, you usually don't take one in the afternoon. But that's ok. As much as mommy loves nap time during the day, I will survive. Just as long as you keep sleeping all night.

  • You have recently discovered how to pick your nose. And mommy's nose. And daddy's nose. You think it's funny. Atleast you haven't decided to eat what you pull out yet. Yuck. I'm afraid that day will come too, though. Because you are a boy. And that's what boys do.

  • At your last appointment you weighed 25/5.5. You're a big boy. And mommy's back can tell it.

  • Poptarts have become the breakfast food of choice. Strawberry or Cinnemon are your favorite. And you enjoy crushing the Strawberry poptarts up in your hands and rubbing them everywhere.

  • Walking is second nature now and we can't slow you down. You run to the door to greet daddy in the afternoons and you would prefer it if we let you walk everywhere rather than confining you to a stroller or a buggy. Oh well.

  • You've recently decided that the vaccum cleaner is no longer something to be afraid of, and you spend a lot of time during the day 'talking' to it.

  • Your vocabulary includes: cookie, duckie, dog, Larry {as in, the cucumber}, daddy, mama, baba, cup, huh [as in, questioning what we are saying. Boy they learn early don't they?] juice, ball and mine.

  • You understand what the hairbrush is for, how to use a Q-tip, how to help put on and take off your clothes, how to talk on the phone, how to turn up the TV [but not how to turn it down...much like your daddy], how to go get your shoes and bring them to us, which toys are which when we ask for them,  how to open up and say 'ahhh' when you want something to eat, and how to point-with one finger-at what you want.

  • The masculine genes run deep within you because your favorite toys are your bouncy balls, your football or baseball, and your toy trucks. You spend endless hours pushing your trucks around the house and throwing the ball.
You are the coolest, goofiest, handsomest little boy in the world!! We love you so much & don't you ever, ever forget it!!!

Love, Mommy & Daddy

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February 25, 2010

Can you Deal? Do you even want to?

I'm a little stuck as to how to start this post.

Could be because I'm only halfway concentrating as I sit here at my computer munching on a leftover cinnemon roll and listening to Jason Aldean on CMT. Or because it's unusually cold in my living room this morning and I'm sitting right beside the sliding glass doors where there is a slight draft blowing at my feet. Or it could be because the idiot groundskeepers are weed-eating outside of my patio AND outside of little man's bedroom window-resulting in his very LOUD refusal to nap. Or maybe it could just be because I just don't know how to start this post.

Some people just can't handle some of the aspects of life. Have you ever thought about that? That some people just have a hard time dealing wtih things that happen in life? I've noticed that over the years, especially in the time that we have been in Florida. I think it's just a mentality that people are brought up around. And there are a lot of people that don't know how to take people like me or my husband and our ability to just, well cope and deal.

Just like this move.

I have had more people bringing up the not-so-pleasant aspects of this move than I've had people being happy for us. {Almost} everyone I have talked to has dwelled on the fact that Hubby will be gone for 4 1/2 months. Nevermind that Little Man & I will be at home surrounded by family that we rarely see, visiting hubby every month for several days at a time, and that we will have email, facebook and webcam to keep in touch. Or the fact that Hubby is moving up in rank or will be getting a raise, or that he will be getting paid to do something that he absolutely loves.

Forget all that. They want to focus on the bad. The 'being gone.'

And that brings me back to my initial point. Some people just can't handle things like that. I've heard more, "I couldn't do it...I don't know how I would manage...How is your marriage going to survive that?" since the news was put out there than I ever imagined I would here. How am I going to do it? Because it's LIFE and because I have to.  Do I want Hubby to leave? Or course not. Will I survive with him gone? Absolutely. Will our marriage survive the seperation? Without a shadow of a doubt.

I think that goes for every aspect of life. There isn't a day that goes by that we can't find the negative of a situation. Life isn't perfect. By any means. But rather than getting ourselves bogged down in the things that don't go according to our plan, we endure. We move on. We live through it. We stop complaining and we move past it.

I never really noticed it until I got away from Alabama, but there are a lot of people that just aren't raised the way that we are raised back home. We're raised to have a thick skin, to let things roll off of us, and to move on. We don't wallow in sadness and hurt feelings. We just brush it off, acknowledge that not everyone is going to like us, personalities are going to crash, and that not everything in life happens according to the plan we think we have.

Me, personally, my feelings don't really get hurt that often. If you don't like me, that's ok. I don't do confrontation because that's wasted time. I don't argue with people over politics because you can't change their mind. And I don't usually argue with someone about football...because everyone in the South knows that it's second to religion for most people. When something bad happens during the day or the week or whatever, I pick myself up, dust off and go tackle it. I hit things head on. And a lot of people are just kind of flabbergasted by that kind of mindset. [And if that mindset floors you, then you would really not know what to think about my Hubby. His mentality is even stronger than mine. Haha!]

I think my mindset comes from growing up without that picturesque childhood. I mean, I had a good childhood, that's not what I am saying. I just mean growing up in a home where things weren't always perfect and my parents never tried to put up a front to pretend that they were. My parents fought. They argued. My sister and I almost killed each other {and sometimes I feel like I still could. Haha. Kidding. But not really.} We went through financial hardship..and for a period, there was a lot of. But you know what? We got over it.

When things were bad financially, you know what my dad did? You ready for it? He got up and went to work. He didn't sit around and wait for a handout or wait for someone to do it for him. When my sister and I fought, you know what we did? We got over it. When my parents fought and hurt [not physically...I'm going for emotional hurt here] one another, you know what they did? They cooled down, talked it out, and forgave one another. That's what you do. You take the good times with the bad. And you take the bad times with a grain of salt and move on.

We have got to stop dwelling on things that make us unhappy. I've been there. I've done that. I've held my feelings in, I've allowed things to hurt me and scar me and knock me down. But I refuse to live that way anymore. I decided last year that I was done allowing the unfortunate circumstances hold me back. I refuse to let people and their words damper my spirits. I refuse to let the inconvenient things in life knock me down and steal my joy. Life is too short for that.

So while Hubby is gone, instead of focusing on the fact that he won't be there with us, I'm going to rejoice in the fact that: he has a job, he is doing what he loves, and that we live in a culture where we have the technology to keep in touch. There is so much more to focus on besides the things that are uncomfortable. And I applaud all of you who tackle life head on and don't get bogged down in the negative. That's why I read the blogs that I read. Because you can handle it. That's why I'm friends with the people I'm friends with it. Because they know how to take the tough stuff. That's why I married the man that I married. Because he has a tough shell and life doens't too often knock him off of his feet. And when it does instead of laying there and wallowing, he swallows his pride and he handles it.

Here's to living positive and dealing with the hardtimes. We can all do it. We just have to want to.

Happy Thursday Everyone! YAY for the weekend! {well, for me anyway!

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February 24, 2010


Good morning everyone! Hope you are all having a fantastic week! I've been busy, busy, busy packing and painting and all of that fun stuff and I feel like I have neglected my blog and my friends here for the past few days. Hubby and I decided this morning that we are going to take a break today and tomorrow from all of the work and spend some time doing some things that we enjoy and take up some quality time with each other and with Little Man. Which, for me, means lots and lots of bloggy time today...catching up on posts and comments and responding to several emails that I have let slide to the backburner the past two weeks or so. But this morning, I wanted to talk about something that has kind of been on and off  my mind for several months. I kept saying I was going to blog about it, but haven't done it yet, but something I read online this morning kind of irked me and I wanted to bring this up.

This morning I was browsing around the internet, hitting a few of the 'mommy blog sites' that I frequent and some of the new ones I have discovered and read where someone asked this question:

How can you be a mommy and a blogger? I don't understand how you can 'be' a mom full time, but spend all of your time blogging about being a mom full time. You can't be both. You are either or.

This really kind of peeved me off. Pushed my buttons a little bit. I don't want to step on anyones toes this morning-and probably won't since, obviously those of you who stop by are most likely mom bloggers yourself. But I am going to broach the subject of making money from your blog. And the controversy that goes with it. I would love to turn this into a discussion, so I encourage you, if you will, to read on and leave a comment at the end.

Personally, I don't understand how blogging is any different than keeping a journal...other than the fact that you publish it online. And that's a decision that is solely and completely up to the author and no one else. I started blogging when I was pregnant with Little Man. We had just moved to Florida, away from all of our family and I was alone. I had no where to turn to talk about my pregnancy {except for my poor husband, who didn't understand the constant shift in hormones I was experiencing.} and no way to keep family updated on what was going on. So I turned to the internet. Found blogger and got started. And I've never turned back. Through blogging I have made some wonderful friends who, though we've never really met, have been there for me during times when even the people close to me weren't. There is a common thread that runs through us mommy bloggers...we understand. And we're there to offer support.

Now. To the question at hand. How can you be a full time mom and a blogger? I say it's no different than being a working mom. Or being a mom and a wife. Or being a mom to multiple children. It's about finding a sense of balance. Knowing what time you have, what you have to do and using it. My friend Mandi posted a really great blog the other day about setting up a schedule for your blog that I would encourage you to read. As my blog has grown, I have learned that there becomes more that goes into it than just writing a post. There are comments to respond to, emails to send, other blogs to read, and-if you get into it-advertising and reviews to do. It's work. But it's something that I love and enjoy and never do I allow it to take priority over  my husband, our marriage or my son.

I do my blogging when I don't have other things to do. Though I strive very hard to have a new post up every day, Monday-Friday, if I have other things going on, then this is the area in which I have to give a little bit. Usually I manage just fine. I get up every morning between 5:30-6:00 when the Hubby gets up to go to work, after he leaves at 6:00 is when I check the blogs that I frequent several times a day and work on my post. Little Man usually wakes up about 7:00 or 7:30 and when he does, I give him breakfast and let him watch Handy Manny, Special Agent Oso, and Mickey Mouse. While he does that, I finish up my post and hit publish and that's that. If I have time at night, which is rare, I try to schedule posts for the next day. But since Little Man goes to bed at 7:00 and the Hubby and I go to bed at around 9:00 [yeah, we're early birds], we try to squeeze in some 'us' time at night.

So you see it's all about time management. And that's something I didn't have a lot of before I had a baby. But you learn. And I try not to ever spend time online when I know there are things to be done. There are days when I give myself a break and Little Man and I spend all day playing and watching movies and I do a lot of blogging when he goes to sleep. But usually, I stick to what I routinely do. The woman who asked this question seems to set on the idea that just because a mom blogs, that she doesn't take care of her children or her home. Like she simply sits at the computer all day long. Honey, that couldn't be farther from the truth. It's like anything have to want to find the balance. You have to want to still be a good mom and a successful blogger. It makes me wonder if this woman is a stay at home mom herself, because I think that if she were she would know that that is simply not feasible. And for that I ask what the difference is between a blogging mom and a WAHM? Is there? And does that mean that the mom who works from home is a 'bad mother' as well?

Later on in the discussion it is brought up about what is okay for moms to blog about. Everyone knows about MckMama and her son Stellen, and almost everyone has opinion about it. I'm not turning this into a discussion about her, their finances or their personal life but I do want to comment on the fact that she blogged about Stellen's illness. In my opinion, you are responsible for your own blogging decisions. Period. I personally may not agree with everything, but that's up to you. What you do with your blog is your decision and your's alone. My husband readsd everything that I post. And if he decides he doesn't think it's appropriate, then it's removed or edited [which, we've never had to do, but would if need be.] I post things about Little Man that I don't care if people know. I post things that our family and friends would like to know; I post my sometimes heavy opinions on things, and I vent. But the fact of the matter is, I pay my domain fee every year to host my blog, I write the content, I own the copyright. My writing. My blog.

It's no different than agreeing or disagreeing about politics or religion or parenting or marriage preferences. You either support it or don't support it. And to me that's part of what makes blogging so interesting. The ability to branch out of our own norm and into the minds and homes of people who may not think the way that we do. There are things I would never post on my blog...but again, whether you or I agree with it, that's the choice of the blog author. Period. And for the record, if {heaven forbid} Little Man were to ever get sick or another baby down the road were to ever get sick, I would probably blog about it. For the outlet, for the fact of keeping family and friends posted on what was going on, and for my own self therapy.

As for the idea of making money off of a blog. The way that I look at it, if you are able to make money doing something that you love, then power to you. If you've turned your blog into something that successful, then who's to stop you. Who cares?! It's no different, to me, than someone making money as a photographer or a blog designer or a teacher or a doctor. To each his own.

So what are your opinions on this? Can you be both mommy and blogger? Where do you draw the line between managing your time? Is there a limit to what "should" be blogged about? What about paid advertisments? Let's get a discussion going here, ladies. I'd love your opinions :)

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February 23, 2010

You know you're moving when...

You know you're moving when you wake your 16 month old son up at 11:00 pm to go to Walmart and gather up boxes to pack your stuff in.

You know you're moving when you start throwing perfectly good towels, blankets or whatever other items into the pile of stuff to take to the Goodwill...just because you don't feel like packing it.

You know you are moving when you have to wait until your son goes to sleep to pack up the toys he rarely, if ever, plays with. Because if he saw you packing up his toys...he would suddenly decide that those toys were his favorites. And that they must not be packed away.

You know you're moving when you start piling up the clean laundry on the banister just because you don't necessarily have to fold it up. I mean, you will be throwing it all in boxes and suitcases soon enough. Does it have to be hung up and put away?

You know you are moving when your bar becomes the thresh-hold and holding place for all of the junk that you can't decide what to do with.

You know you are moving when you're walls are a multitude of different colors....

And finally...if for no other know that you are moving when you find this in your sink.


Oh yes. That is a sock. In my sink.
Moving. Gotta love it.


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February 22, 2010

Nope. Not Me!

I am linking up today for the very first time with MckMama for "Not Me Monday." With the move going on and whatnot I have not done anything this week that is out of the norm for moms. Really. I've been the picture of perfection. Haha. Not.

This morning [ok, and last night] I most certainly did not give Little Man a screw driver and the container of wall putty [closed and sealed very tightly] to play with while I was trying to pack and move boxes. Nope. Not me.

I swear that I have not given Little Man Cheddar Cheese Pringles for lunch and supper for the past two days. With teddy grahams.  {Don't worry, he has eated pop-tarts. And steak and potatoes. These are just "side dishes."}

It was not me who was too tired to wash the dishes and just left them stacked up in the dishwasher. Without even bothering to to put any detergent in and press the button. Nope. Not me being lazy.

It was not me who threw junk items into a box without bothering to sort through them and organize the box. Just kind of, ya know, tossed them in. Closed it up, taped it down and shoved it in the corner.

It was not me who ate cereal out of a cup this morning because we packed all of our bowls up. Nor was it me who, last night, drank the last bit of Dr. Pepper straight out of the bottle because the few cups that escaped being shoved in a box, were piled dirty in the dishwasher.

It was not my son who was waiting for me in his crib yesterday morning without a diaper, bouncing up and down and soaking wet. Not my child!

And was not me who was so desperate for Little Man to take a nap this morning that I gave him a bottle full of....wait for it...chocolate milk-just to get him to go to sleep.

Oh well. No one is perfect. :)

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February 21, 2010

Oy Vey!

My house looks like a tornado tore through it. Literally. I wouldn't dare invite anyone I liked to my house right now. Not at all. The TV & the DVD's still stand in order [for now], but everything else is disheveled, out of place, thrown around and laying in the oddest of places. The wall is currently 3 different colors [the teal of our accent walls, the tan that is on the main walls, and the white that we are painting over it with.] Oh yeah, and there are polka dots. Pink polka dots...where we are covering the holes in the wall. Haha. It's really kind of funny. And can I tell you secret? Promise you won't laugh or judge me? Swear?

I like it.

Why? Because as long as we are in the middle of moving, as long as we are packing and painting- I. Don't. Have. To. CLEAN.  :)

Sigh. Atleast that's one thing I can mark off the 10 mile long list of "to-do's" over the next 4 weeks or so. We went and rented our storage unit today. We went through U-Haul and they gave us the first month for free. Which worked out good because we can finish getting the last set of bills paid down here before we have to give them any money. We got the Climate Controlled Unit because there is no way I want to leave our stuff locked up in an enclosed room in the middle of the Florida heat. Nah. Oh yeah, and they gave us a military discount every month.

We are going to Walmart tonight to get some boxes so I can start putting all of the junk we aren't using and won't need anymore into boxes and put them in storage and have them out of the way. I think we are even going to box up most of our dishes and eat off of paper plates. Why not? Save ourselves some last minute time and get it all done with so we can enjoy as much of our time as we can. I'm going to jump on the paper work first thing Monday morning and get the ball rolling with the medical records and the changing of the doctors and making all of those last minute appointments.  Going to go ahead and start checking on Airline Tickets & hotels in the San Fransico area for the summer so I will atleast have an idea.

Does anyone know anything about flying with a toddler? What can I take, can't I take? What do I need? Not need?

This southern gal has only flown twice...and that was in High School. Never with a child. So I will need help. And probably lots of it. I would greatly, greatly appreciate it if any of you who have would either comment me with any sort of advice or send me an email.

Oh yeah. Before I forget! Any of you going to Bloggy Boot Camp in San Fran on August 21?! That's hubby's last week of A-School and I was thinking about going, but I want to see if any of my favorite bloggy friends will be there :)

Ah...I love you guys. Have I mentioned that? I love the strong network of friends that I have here. I know you guys will be here for me and that you guys care about what's going on. And even just the simple 'hello's" I get make my day. Lastly tonight, I leave you with photos.


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February 19, 2010

California, here we come...

Well, after almost exactly 2 years, the Coast Guard finally cut Hubby his orders to go to A-School-exactly two months before he has to report. He got the email today saying that he will be leaving his station and heading out to California on April 19 {our anniversary, of all days}. It's a bitter sweet kind of emotion for me. I am more than ready to leave Florida. Really. Living in Florida is very over-rated and there hasn't been a whole lot here for us, to be honest. There will always be fond memories here because this was where we had our first home as husband and wife, and this is where our Little Man was born, but other than that, I really won't be sad to go.

I am slightly overwhelmed at the sudden urgency of getting things done. We have exactly 6 weeks until Hubby as to be in California. And he's taking 2-3 weeks of leave before then to go back to Alabama and visit with family before he has to head out. Which gives us between 5 and 6 weeks to get everything done. Since Little man and I will be going back home to Alabama to stay with family, we have to get everything packed up and put in a storage unit. That really isn't that big of a deal for me because when we moved into our new house last March, I had everything packed in about 3 days. I can get it done easily. We do have to repaint our living room and one of the walls in Little Man's bedroom. Hubby bought some paint tonight and we're going to go ahead and start on all that this weekend.

Then there's the process of contacting our landlord and getting the house back in tip-top shape so they don't try to charge us for a bunch of junk that they claim needs fixing. I have to find Little Man and I new doctors in Alabama because he'll have to have one for insurance purposes while we're there. And I have to make one last round of appointments for myself with my Ob/Gyn & my primary doctor to gather up medical records and all that garbage. Then there's all of the cleaning to do, the boxes to move to storage, the things to pack up to take to Alabama, figuring out living arrangements and sleeping arrangements while we're there, going through stuff that we really won't need once we get moved {like all of Little Man's baby bedding that he will have outgrown, toys that we won't really needs, etc.}

It's exciting though. It's like New Years. I feel like we are getting a fresh start to things. It's not everyone that gets to just pick up and move where ever at the drop of a hat free of charge. There are down sides to it, like all of the things we have to try to cram into such a short time frame and the fact that hubby will be gone for almost 5 months. But there's good in it too. We get to move into a bigger house. Hubby will make rank while he's at A-School, which means a raise. I get to buy new furniture and redecorate. Little man and I get to spend the summer in Alabama at the lake and back and forth at the waterparks and the beach with family we rarely see. I'll be home when my very best friend Tori has her baby and I'll be able to take her maternity portriats and do some other work on building my photography portfolio. Little man and I will get to fly to the west coast ourselves several times to visit. It's exciting. And once we get moved I'll finally be able to start back to school and we'll be ready to start trying for another baby {in early 2011...not immediately after hubby get's back}.

There is so much to look forward to. Once the initial shock and sense of being totally and completely overwhelmed goes away, I'll be able to kick my butt into gear. I'm the kind of person that thrives under pressure and time limits. That's when I'm at my best. I'll have all of this junk with the house and the packing and the paperwork done way before it's time to say goodbye to Florida. Which will be the end of March, by the way. Holy cow! It's almost the end of February already and we'll be leaving in March. Geez. That really isn't a long time, is it?!

Hubby's mom is coming down in March anyway to visit and take some things back to Alabama with her for us, and I think she's going to take Little Man with her so we can finish the last minute details a little bit easier. Like giving the house that final scrub and handing over the keys and all of that whatnot. Then hubby and I are going to just rent a hotel the last couple of nights here before we head to Alabama. It will be fun. That will give us some time to be alone before he leaves {sniff sniff}. And we're planning to spend the weekend before he leaves for school in Panama City to celebrate our anniversary and, again, get some alone time.

I didn't do to well with him being gone to Pit-stop right after we got married, but I think that was because we had only been married 2 weeks and we had just found out [literally days before he left for NJ] that we were having a baby. My hormones were all kinds of out of whack and I didn't have a whole lot going on then. Now that I have Little Man and there will be so much to do during the summer, I think I'll be better able to handle the seperation. Plus, I'll be able to visit every few weeks, which I couldn't do the first time. It'll be hard. No doubt about that. But technology is a wonderful thing and we'll have Skype and all of that to talk to him while he's there. And Facebook and my blog and text messaging. That was the biggest thing about him being in NJ. He couldn't have his cell phone so we rarely even got to talk, and when we did it was literally only for minutes at the time. It won't be that way this go around.

And the biggest thing about all of it is that Hubby will finally be doing what he loves. He'll be ready to really start his career doing what he enjoys. It just feels like things are finally about to take off for us. All of the waiting and sitting around and not knowing is over. We have orders. We have a destination. We have a path and a plan now.

We'll find out in probably June or July where we will be moving. That's what I'm looking forward to. Hubby will get a list of what's open, get to fill out a dream sheet, and then they'll give us the place. We've talked about moving up north to Boston or Staten Island or DC, but the more we talk about it the more we think we would really like to stay down south for now. Maybe go to Savannah or Elizabeth City, NC. Then when Little Man gets older and can really enjoy living somewhere like DC, we may move farther away. But for now, if it's where we can, we're probably going to stay closer. Our families have a hard enough time coming to visit when we're 6 hours away. They surely won't come if we live somewhere where they have to actually fly.


I'm excited [have I said that?] Really. I've started my list of stuff to do and we begin tomorrow...well, probably Monday because some things I can't do until then. One thing at the time. It'll get done. And you guys will be here for me every single step of the way to offer the encouragement that I look forward to. And to listen to me rant and vent and let out frustration.

On a last note, hubby is excited too. If for no other reason than because he'll be back at home [wherever that may be] on August 27. Alabama football kicks off the first of September. So he won't have to miss a day of it.   :)

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February 18, 2010

My "I don't like" soapbox

{This post is somewhat a continuation of my Happiness is not an Gaurantee post. If you haven't read it, head over and do so and then come back. Pretty please.}

I am afraid I may be about to jump up on my soap box. But I think that a lot of you may identify with what I'm frustrated about.

I really, really, really don't like fake people.

I don't like people who think they are better than me, or my husband, or that their kid(s) are better/cuter/smarter/whatever than mine.

I don't like people who act like their 'position' in life makes them better than me. I don't like people who think that their talents/abilities/fact that they almsot have a degree/have travleed the world/whatever make them better than me.

I don't like when people act like they are friends with me [or with anyone, for that matter] and then turn around and act like I/they don't exist.

I don't like people who think that they know how to raise my child better than I do. I don't like when people tell other people that the way they are raising their child is wrong.  Especially since they aren't the ones who carried the child for 9 months.

I am an honest person. I love as deep as I can, give as much as I can, go as far as I can. And it really totally and completely ticks me off to be taken advantage of. I think I've fallen into that trap dozens upon dozens of times before. I try so hard to go the extra mile and just do for people without expecting anything in return. I don't ask for anything. I don't expect anything. I don't want anything. Seriously. I give just for the sake of giving. I enjoy doing for other people.

Maybe because I didn't meet a lot of people or know a lot of people growing up that just did for anyone else because they wanted to. I do remember my parents stressing to me growing up how important it is to do for people because we can. Growing up having been literally homeless on more than one occasion [our house burned down-4 times-not homeless due to lack of money] I remember a handful of people giving to us and helping us get back on our feet just because they wanted to. But I remember a heck of a lot more people giving and then alter expecting us to give it back. That isn't the way that it works.

Anyway. The whole giving thing isn't the point. I digress.

I am a good person. I am one of the most loyal people you will ever meet, and if you take them time to get to know me...the real me, you will find that out. I am a whole-hearted person. Ask my husband. Everything I do, everyone I love, I do it with every ounce of my being. I throw everything I have into friendships, relationships, work, hobbies, this blog. I feel like if I have the desire to do it, then it needs to be done right. If I am going to have a relationship or friendship with someone, then the time and the effort needs to be put in to grow that relationship.

I guess this post is just my way of ranting and venting a little bit. I needed an outlet to let out some frustration. People just frustrate me. Maybe that's why I'm better in the blogosphere. Because I don't feel like I am being judged, looked down on, or dealing with a bunch of totally fake people. I can read people really well. I can look at someone during a conversation and tell when they are actually concerned with what's going on or if they are just putting up a front...pretending you are worth their time. And I don't like when people judge me. Or judge my husband. Or especially judge or compare my son with their kid.

I think I'm more touchy about someone judging my husband than I am when they judge me. Not that hubby can't hold his own, because he can. But it's a respect thing. My husband is no better than yours [ok well, I think he's the greatest ever...but most of you probably feel that way about your husbands too]  But he's a good man. A man who owns up to his mistakes, admits flaws, works harder than most anyone you will meet and still manages to balance marriage & being a kick-butt daddy. My husband isn't perfect. He never said he was. But yours isn't either. Just because he holds a 'title' or 'job position' doesn't mean jack. Not to me, not to a whole lot of anyone, and especially not to him. Hubby & I are happy and in a healthy, communicative relationship. He never, ever doubts what I want to do, and he encourages everything I do each step of the way. Hubby has been all over the world, served 6 years in the Navy, overseas away from his family, worked for everything he has and never takes a handout. STOP acting like what you've got is so much better.

I just despise pretending. I don't pretend. I never have. What you see, what you hear, what I say, what I's me. The real me. I don't do controversy. I left stupid, petty, insignificant drama behind in Junior High. I don't need it, want it, or have time for it. I'm not going to argue or fight or even bother with discussing it. I'm just done. Period. Completely and totally done. This is me. This is who I am and I don't care if you like me or not. I don't care what you have. I don't care if you think I'm a good mom, or a good photographer, or crafty enough, or smart enough, or organized enough, or a good wife, or a good cook,  or a good whatever it is that you think I have to be to fit into your little 'realm' of living. I am me. That's it. :) And now I'm done ranting.


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February 17, 2010

Care if I spill?

Hello my favorite bloggy friends! I hope you are all having a fantastic week! I have had a case of the "Monday's" and been dealing with a nasty little sinus infection that I can't get rid of, so I've been a bit 'out' of it lately. I apologize. I've been reading your blogs, even if I haven't been commenting that much. I'll catch up soon! I promise! Since I've been so vacant lately as far as my writing is concerned, I thought I owed you guys a little bit of a random brain dump. :) I know you love it, so here goes:
  • I am totally and completely in love with my new camera! I am determined to learn as much as I can, as fast as I can so that I can do more with it. I've never liked being mediocre and I refuse to sit around and just be 'okay' and photography. Just like blogging & writing, this is something that I really, really enjoy and I want to exceed the norm. {If you would like to see my progress, check out my other blog, devoted to nothing but photography}
  • I also ordered my Shey [B] camera strap today! Hopefully it will be here soon because I am more than excited about it. There were soooo many cute ones to choose from, but me being an Alabama girl, I special ordered one with Houndstooth & a Crimson Accent. Can. Not. Wait.
  • I received my first paying advertise on my blog today. :) You can check it out in the left sidebar!
  • I have felt like absolute garbage the past 2 days.Really. Total and complete crap. My head is stuffy,, resulting in a much unwelcome headache. My sinuses are attempting to drain, but obviously aren't doing it properly...resulting in more sinus pressure. Yuck. I hate being. It ruins my week. I was able to catch a 3 hour nap today when Little Man layed down. Which was absolutely glorious.
  • I did up the good wife thing today, just because I was feeling exceptionally thankful for my wonderful husband. They've had some kind of inspection thingy at work this week and he's been late 2 nights. I had supper on the table {or near about it} and ready when he walked in the door. Last night was Baked Fish & Grits...tonight I did Chicken Taco's [his favorite]. Yay me :)
  • I am at 176 blog followers and I couldn't be happier! I can not express how excited it makes me when I see someone new has stopped by, liked what they saw and decided I was worth reading. I try so hard to get around to each and every blog and especially everyone who comments me. Just know that you guys are appreciated! Very, very much!
  • I am so ready for the weekend. The weather is supposed to warm up and we are taking Little Man down to the beach so I can take some pictures. I've been reading and studying like a nut case during the day time, so I'm hoping to catch some really great photos. Also, hubby is already talking about buying me my first additional lense either the 1st or the 15th when we get paid. I love that man. He's so great! :)
  • I've had Monica and her sweet little boy on my heart all day today. He's been having a really hard time getting over that nasty stomach flu that everyone had here a few weeks back. They are having to put him under and use a camera to look at his stomach, so if you guys would head over and let her know that you are thinking about her. Her little boy is such a doll and I hate it when kids are hurting.
  • I'm not really getting too into the Olympics. I used to watch the Figure Skating growing up, but I'm not too concerned anymore. Whatever. Just something else to take over my television at night. Hubby is digging that "Curling" stuff...I've never seen it, but he watched it last night and it's on TV right now as I speak. Never even knew what it was...never even heard of it...not too into it now. Yawn. LOL :)
  • Is anyone out there watching "Grey's Anatomy?!"  I read all of these posts on Tuesday about "The Bachelor" and I'm kinda bummed that Grey's isn't getting any love. I think I'll write my own recap post on Friday. Maybe even add a MckLinky if anyone thinks they want to post their own and join in. I felt so bad for Mark Sloan last week. Poor guy really wanted to be a grand-dad and then Sloan has to go screw that up. Not happy. Not happy at all. And I'm a little concerned that Meredith and Derek may be heading for rough waters with him being chief now and all that. We shall see...
Ok. For tonight, I guess that's all. I'm about to go grab myself a bowl of Special K for a snack. I wasn't hungry at supper, so I'm going to try not over indulge myself and eat cereal instead of a giant piece of Oreo Pie. Good night everyone!


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February 16, 2010

Super Secret Craft Project: Revealed!!

I am finally finished. Actually, if you want me to be really honest, I have been finished with this project for several days. I just now got it hung up on the wall. And, since buying my new camera, I've just now slowed down with it long enough to blog about this. Oops. I am finished with that super secret craft project I have been working on that I've been making you wait for. And now....I give you:

The Family ABC's:

Ta-Da! This was super fun to make, but it took me a long time to do. Lots of detail work.

I actually had a step by step fun photo tutorial for you guys, but my computer crashed {again} and I had to delete my hard drive {again}.Which resulted in the loss of all of my pictures. But, none the less, I will provide a tutorial on how I did this anyway.
  • I started out with a 36x28 canvas and painted in one solid neutral color. You can see here that it almost blends in with my wall. I didn't do that just happened. Haha.
  • After applying about 6 coats of base color, I used maskin tape to outline my boxes. I did some boxes wider than others, but that's up to you. Matter of personal preference.
  • Then I started coloring boxes. I used colors that match my living room rug because that's where I knew I was going to put it. I tried to mix it all up so there weren't 2 of the same colors side by side.
  • I applied 3-4 coats of paint in each box, let it dry and went to the details.
  • I used a black sharpie and paint pens to do all of the writing. Just a teeny tiny hint: if you're going to use sharpie marker, I recommend applying a layer of mod-podge first because it doesn't wear the tip of your marker and it goes on so much smoother.
  • After all of the details were done and everything looked like I wanted it, I applied 3 thick layers of mod-podge and then hung it up :) {ok, well I had hubby hang it up.}
  • Our Family ABC's are:
D-Dream Big
E-Enjoy each Day
G-Give it your all
H-Home is where your heart is
I-"In all things give thanks..." 1 Thes. 5:18
J-Just be you...that's who matters
L-Live, Laugh, Love
M-Music & Movies
N- Noah
O-Others before Self
P-Pray, Pray, Pray
Q-Quick to listen, slow to speak... James 1:19
S- Sports
T-Today is a gift
U-hUg and snUggle
V-loVe is patient
W- Work hard, play hard
X- Set an eXample
Y- Say "I love You"
And Z is just Z because I couldn't think of anything.

I had a  lot of fun coming up with pictures for each letter. Some don't have any, but a few do. I put a cutout of the State of Alabama in A, drew a cup of coffee in C, drew a football for F, drew a book on Read...just a few tiny little details that make it stand out. I would have liked to have done this on a bigger canvas, but I wasn't paying that kind of money for one. I bought this canvas for $14! It was on sale for $30 and I had a 40% off coupon. Anywho. I will try to take some more pictures tomorrow and add to this post so that you can really see the boxes. Hope you guys like it. I'm super excited. It looks so good hanging above our couch. :)


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February 14, 2010

Our Build-A-Bear Valentines Day :)

Yesterday we celebrated our Valentines Day {thanks to the fact that the Daytona 500 comes on today and the world stops for Nascar...haha. Kidding. But, no seriously}. We took Little Man to the International Plaza in Tampa to the Build-A-Bear workshop. We took him when he was 6 months old, but he really didn't get it. We were going to buy him an Elephant, name him Big Al and put Little Man's Alabama football jersey that he's outgrown on him. BUT...they didn't have the Elephant. Turns out they have discontinued the Elephant in all 50 states except Alabama. Surprise, surprise. So instead, we settled on a monkey. We named him George. Original, right?

Lunch time at the Mall

Giving the heart a kiss before we put it inside the monkey...
 Putting in the stuffing...with Daddy's help of course
The look of amazement...he was really excited.

Did you know that they make tidy-whities and panties for teddy bears? Yeah. Me either.

Looks like he is laying down some ground rules for his new toy. Haha. 
Setting him straight right from the beginning.

Anywho. We had a great time. We met up with one of the guys that Hubby works with, his wife & their two little girls. Little Man made fast friends with his 2 kids. They provided high quality entertainment for him all afternoon. Surprisingly enough, Little Man didn't really get ill until halfway through supper last night. He didn't nap all afternoon, so it was a big shock that he was so well behaved. We ate steak at Longhorn, took lots of photos with my new camera & spent the day with the loves of my life. What more could I ask for for Valentines Day?


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