Monday, August 26, 2013

Busy, Busy

Y'all.  Summer is over and life is all sorts of busy. There's barely time for breathing right now, much less blogging.  Between me going back to work, B's  classes and band gigs in the evenings,  Aniston, and life in general, there's not a minute to spare around here. In fact, the only reason I have time to blog now is because I'm at Aniston's first fall dance class--which, by the way, isn't going so great right now. She has told her teacher "no" at least 15 times (I'd like to say that's an exaggeration but I'm afraid it's probably a really conservative estimate) and is currently refusing to do anything. Meanwhile, I'm sitting in the waiting area blogging, cringing, and pretending like I'm completely unaware that my kid is the only one just standing there. It's a good time.

Bless that child. And her dance teacher.

In other news,  teacher workdays started last Monday, and the first day of school was today. I've been working like crazy to get my classroom ready and plan lessons for my new group of sweet second graders. B and I spent yesterday afternoon at school putting the finishing touches on my room and doing a few last minute things to make today a little easier. Have I mentioned how great he is? I'm so thankful for a husband who doesn't complain when I ask for help in my classroom (even on a Sunday afternoon), rarely mentions how much I spend on said classroom, and doesn't mind (too much) the printing, laminating, and cutting station that always ends up on the dining room table this time of year.  I'm a lucky girl for sure. :)   

After all that preparation and planning, I'm happy to say today went really well. I had a fabulous first day of school, and I'm looking forward to a great year!

Now, if only we could master these shuffle steps.  ;)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Confessions

Dear Friday,

My confessions this week are for you. 

I have to be honest--I haven't cared much about you this summer.  You were just another day, really.  I didn't look forward to you.  I didn't spend my week waiting for you and wishing you would hurry.  It was summer break, and you didn't matter.  Every day seemed like the weekend and so you lost your luster.  You just didn't seem as special as you once did.  As time went by, summer made me careless with you.  I didn't appreciate you for who you are and--shamefully--I forgot what you mean to me. 

I'm sorry, Friday.  I know this is all hard to hear. 

You can rest assured, though--we'll be back to our regular relationship next week. 


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Favorite iPhone Apps

When smartphones first became a major thing, I wasn't impressed.  I thought it was kind of crazy, honestly.  I just didn't see the need for them.  I mean, really, did people need constant access to the Internet?  To email?  To social media?  Those people depended on their phones like they were lifelines. 

Fast forward a few years, and I'm one of those people.  Bradley gave me an iPhone on my first Mother's Day (he also bought himself one for Mother's Day too, but that's another story), and now I can't live without it. (Well, I'm sure I could.  I just don't want to, and that's practically the same thing, right? ;))  I use it constantly, and for--well--everything.  There are so many apps--including lots I didn't even know I needed!--and I'm always looking for new ones to try.

Here are some of my favorites:

1)  Cozi

I am in love with this app and website!  Once you've created an account for your family, you can add adults, children, and even pets.  Everyone can download the app on their iPhone or iPad, use the family account name and password, and--ta da!--you instantly have a way to share a calendar, to-do and shopping lists, and a journal (not sure about that one, but whatever).  It's an easy way to keep up with what's going on during the week.  It's really helpful for us, and I know it would be even more helpful for families with older kids.

2)  Instagram--This is one of my favorite social media apps.  The filters are fun, and I like keeping up with people this way.  I rarely use my "real" camera anymore--it's just easier to use my phone.

3)  Pic Stitch

I love Pic Stitch for before and after pictures.  Or to make collages. Or to compare ages.  Or really anything.  (Side note: That's last summer vs this summer in the pic. Good grief!  Aniston has grown so much in the last year--and gained a whole lot of sass, too.  Ha!)

4)  Flashlight--So this one might seem boring, but it's one of the apps I use most often.  Can't find your keys in your purse in the dark?  Flashlight app.  Sneaking out of a sleeping toddler's room?  Flashlight app.  Power goes out when you don't expect it?  Flashlight app.  The uses are endless.

5)  MyFitnessPal--Everyone knows counting calories isn't much fun.  This app makes it bearable.  It's easy to use and has lots of foods in the database.  Best part?  The barcode scanner.

What are your favorite apps?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Lake Chatuge, the Cabbage Patch, and a Loooong Drive Home

My parents, Chelsea, Aniston, and I made it to Hiawassee, GA and gorgeous Lake Chatuge just before the weigh-in on Thursday afternoon.  (B had band stuff, so he didn't go until Saturday.) 

We stayed in a house near the lake, and the view was gorgeous.  I couldn't get over it.

After day one, Eric and Shane were in 29th place. There were 64 teams, so 29th wasn't too terrible, but they weren't very happy.

They did much better on Friday. Their combined weight from the two days landed them in 13th place. The guys had hoped to place in the top five, so they were pretty disappointed. Still, it was a great accomplishment to make it that far, and they have lots to be proud of! (That's my big-sister-'the glass is half full'-speech, in case you're wondering.)

Instead of going home after the tournament, Eric checked out of his hotel and came to stay with us. There's nothing like a little family vacation time to make you forget your troubles, you know.  Ha! ;)

Hiawassee is about fifty minutes north of Cleveland, GA--home of Babyland General Hospital, where Cabbage Patch Kids are born.  Chelsea and I decided it would be fun to take Aniston on Saturday, and, as a sign of just how much he loves Aniston, Eric went too.

These huge cabbages were everywhere.  We tried to get Eric to sit in one.  He wouldn't.  I have no idea why.

After we were welcomed by the nursing staff (not kidding) at the front desk, we took pictures in the giant fluffy cabbage inside. 

Eric did participate in this because who wouldn't want to sit in a giant fluffy cabbage? 
Aniston loved all the babies. There were rooms and rooms of Cabbage Patch dolls on display, and she was in baby doll heaven. 
After wandering through the different nurseries, we made our way to the center room, and there she was. 
Mother Cabbage. 
She was surrounded by babies in--you guessed it!--cabbages.  Some of them moved. 

At this point, Eric started muttering something about the place being creepy.  'Ridiculous' may have also been thrown in there.

 We were lucky enough to be there when Mother Cabbage gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.  Dr. Cody (again--not kidding) delivered the baby, after performing a sonogram, giving Mother Cabbage a shot of imagicillin, and getting the crowd to coach her through breathing exercises and yell, "Push!".  (Every bit of what I just described really happened.  There are no exaggerations here, because, y'all, I can't make that stuff up.)

Eric videoed the birth so we could show B later.  It was one of those "you have to see it to believe it" things.  Words do not do this justice.  At all. 
The three of us laughed a lot, and Aniston had a great time.  She picked out a baby and a shirt, and talked the whole afternoon about being "so happy!" 

It was definitely an experience. 

B arrived, we all had dinner together, Aniston went to bed, and the rest of us got in the jacuzzi or sat nearby on the porch.  Eric turned the temperature too high, I got 671 bug bites (not really, but it seems like it now), and we spent the night laughing and talking. 
We came home today.  Aniston cried and fussed constantly about being in her car seat.  The drive was only a little over three hours, but I swear it felt like twelve.  I've never been so thankful to see our house or get out of the car.
Home sweet home...

Thursday, August 1, 2013

On the Road Again

After being home for a day, we're leaving again this morning.  Eric and Shane (his fishing partner) will be fishing in the Bassmaster College National Championship in Georgia today, Friday, and (hopefully!) Saturday, and we're going for the weekend.  As far as fishing goes, this is a pretty big deal.  Eric and Shane won the Eastern Regional Championship back in April to qualify for Nationals, and since then they've been featured in magazines and ads.  It's an exciting time for them, and I hope they do well this weekend.

At Regionals

Good luck, guys!