Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday Morning

 Abby's favorite thing about going to church is riding the bus.

There is a ton of construction going on, so they have shuttles set up from the parking lot to the building. She has to sit in the last row and put her seat belt on. 

I asked her if I could take picture this morning. She said sitting down on the steps would be the best picture. 


The other day we talked about birthdays, since mine is tomorrow. I asked her how old she would be on her next birthday. She said 20 - with her little attitude, I totally believe that!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Beautiful Saturday

 I Heart is my most favorite time of the year.

I should totally take a snapshot of my calendar as it so full. 

Kickoff started today.

 We started the day with underwear on the head. This is how we roll. 


Then after errands, went to Depot Days in Smyrna.

Met my bestie and her family there. Seriously, little conductor Spencer is the cutest baby ever. 

Abby was more than stoked to ride the ride the train with Nana as well. 

Abby was so thrilled to wave at me. She waved to me every chance she got. 

Face painting. Her first choice was a pumpkin, but when we couldn't get that, she chose a phone. 


After some resting at home, we went to the park. 

Abby kept yelling "I am driving the fire truck."

Going down the big slide. 

Abby riding her bicycle. 

Been working on Monday's post for on/off a month. Hope it turns out well....stay tuned.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Book Club Friday

 Where We Belong by Emily Giffin
The author of five blockbuster novels, Emily Giffin, delivers an unforgettable story of two women, the families that make them who they are, and the longing, loyalty and love that binds them together
Marian Caldwell is a thirty-six year old television producer, living her dream in New York City. With a fulfilling career and satisfying relationship, she has convinced everyone, including herself, that her life is just as she wants it to be. But one night, Marian answers a knock on the door . . . only to find Kirby Rose, an eighteen-year-old girl with a key to a past that Marian thought she had sealed off forever. From the moment Kirby appears on her doorstep, Marian’s perfectly constructed world—and her very identity—will be shaken to its core, resurrecting ghosts and memories of a passionate young love affair that threaten everything that has come to define her.
For the precocious and determined Kirby, the encounter will spur a process of discovery that ushers her across the threshold of adulthood, forcing her to re-evaluate her family and future in a wise and bittersweet light. As the two women embark on a journey to find the one thing missing in their lives, each will come to recognize that where we belong is often where we least expect to find ourselves—a place that we may have willed ourselves to forget, but that the heart remembers forever.


I know people either adore Emily Giffin or feel like all her books are the same. But honestly, I don't read her enough/frequently to have an opinion like that. 

I LOVED this book. I thought it was a great story and fun to read. I really liked Marian and the characters in her life. Kirby was so fun to read about, ah, those teenage rebellion years! 

4 out of 5 stars. 

On a side note, I read a fantastic book before this one that I was going to review. I have COMPLETELY forgotten the name of it and who wrote it. It was about a girl that had a dad with mental illness and it was written in her perspective at 30 and trying to find him. Also written from his perspective. If you know which book I am talking about, please leave me a comment!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Spencer's First Birthday

 This gorgeous weekend, I was able to attend Baby Spencer's First Birthday! 

Check out this adorable sailboat/whale cake. 

The birthday boy was infatuated with bald-headed "Uncle Stu".

Abby loved jumping off the porch.

 The birthday boy opening presents.

He quickly abandoned the presents, so Momma got to open the rest of them. 

One of his favorite presents was a lawn mower.

Eventually, Spencer's cousin Elizabeth got in on the action as well.

Abby being a ham. 

 Spencer and Elizabeth riding in the wagon.

 And the best part...the smash cake!

Spencer was pretty hesitant and just really wanted to pat it. 

Love him! Can't wait to see him get bigger and bigger!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Book Club Friday

Fireflies in December by Jennifer Erin Valent


Jessilyn Lassiter never knew that hatred could lurk in the human heart until the summer of 1932 when she turned 13. When her best friend, Gemma, loses her parents in a tragic fire, Jessilyn's father vows to care for her as one of his own, despite the fact that Gemma is black and prejudice is prevalent in their southern Virginia town. Violence springs up as a ragtag band of Ku Klux Klan members unite and decide to take matters into their own hands. As tensions mount in the small community, loyalties are tested and Jessilyn is forced to say good-bye to the carefree days of her youth. Fireflies in December is the 2007 winner of the Christian Writers Guild's Operation First Novel contest, and a 2010 Christy Award winner.


I loved this book. And I normally don't like books that are set in a different time. But this was such a sweet book written by a 13 year old girl in the Deep South that has an amazing relationship with her black best friend. Her innocence was lovely to read. I love being from the South, but am amazed at the level of prejudice that happened only 80 years ago. But the strong characters in this story just showed that not everyone was like that. 

Linking Up Here:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Playing Hooky

 I had some extra vacation time saved up at work and took a few days off to clean my house for a much anticipated "Girls Night In" I have planned for Saturday night. 

But first, Abby and I needed a girls day to hang out and have fun. 

We started the day out with our favorite girl, Ali. 
She needed an annual visit to the vet. 
$200 later, we left the vet with all her shots up to date and lots of medicine for an ear infection. 
Let me just say (again), I am so squeamish. But I have to put drops in her ears and wash them out every day. Ugh.


Then we were off! To the zoo!

Somehow we have never done the carousal there. 

But we did this time and Abby loved it. She got to pick her animal and wanted the monkey/gorilla. 

I love this picture! 

Not happy about a picture with the giraffes. 

One of her favorite places there is the reptile exhibits. It gives me the creeps, but she loves to "find" all the creepy crawly bugs. 
And loves the butterflies as well. 

The highlight is always the train though. And I even talked her into going by herself this time. 

I was so proud of my big girl. 

She was so excited to wave at me every time it came around. 

Since we went on a Thursday, it was not crowded at all. Loved it!

When we first got there, she told me "I am really tired, so I am going to sleep in the stroller. But if you see any cool animals, can you wake me up? Don't wake me up if they aren't cool."

Hahaha - she never slept, but she says the funniest things!


Then we went to my parents to celebrate my sweet Momma's birthday. 

I bought my mom a new picture frame and wanted a picture of them to put in it. 
This was the best that I got. 
I think she was tired of all the pictures. 

Abby talked the whole way to my parents about spraying Daisy (the dog). 

My parents have an insane dog that loves to eat water. They are far away (as Abby kept trying to spray me), but this dog leaps in the air to drink the water out of the hose. It was so freaking funny. 

We had a great day and are both completely exhausted. 

On to house cleaning tomorrow!

Book Club Friday

Book Club Friday - Gingerbread Cookie Murder


"Gingerbread Cookie Murder" is written by Joanne Fluke. When Hannah Swensen finds her neighbour Ernie Kusak with his head bashed in and sprawled on the floor of his condo next to an upended box of Hannah's Gingerbread Cookies, she discovers a flurry of murder suspects that's as long as her holiday shopping list. "The Dangers Of Gingerbread Cookies" is written by Laura Levine. Jaine Austen has been enlisted to help with her parents' retirement community's play The Gingerbread Cookie That Saved Christmas. Playboy Dr. Preston McCay is playing the role of the gingerbread cookie when he 'accidentally' falls to his death during the final act. Now Jaine must figure out if one of the doctor's jealous lovers was capable of murder. "Gingerbread Cookies And Gunshots" is written by Leslie Meier. When Lucy Stone discovers the body of Rick Juergens, whose five-year-old son Nemo disappeared, she senses foul play. Crumbs from a gingerbread cookie Lucy gave to Nemo are found in the back seat of Rick's car. With the hours quickly ticking till Christmas, Lucy races against the clock to find a killer before he strikes again.

I have read a few reviews of Joanne Fluke's books and decided to give one a try. Unfortunately I wasn't paying enough attention and grabbed one that was three authors in one. All stories about murders involving gingerbread men. 

I am now in the mood for Christmas. 
I did like my first Joanne Fluke book short story, so will probably try another. 

The other two stories were silly. 
One was kinda funny, but the last one had way too many characters in it.

Linking Up Here:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mid Week Ramblings

 I really need to take more pictures. I only have 4 from the past week. 

But we have a big day planned for tomorrow, so hopefully I will have some to post. I took 2 days off work to spend some time with Abs and get stuff done around the house. Yay for a 4 day weekend! 

Saturday we went to her cousin Evan's 11th birthday.

The only picture that I got was Abby smoking everyone on the air hockey table. It was decorated so cute in Orioles theme. 


I am seriously kinda obsessed with our Disney vacation (90 days!). 

We have two Mickey and friends meals planned and one with the Disney Junior characters. I'm still waiting on a Princess meal to open up as well. 

I know one little girl that is going to have a crazy week!
(and two exhausted parents)


Abby loves to go to the park by our house. I am loving this nicer weather so I took her and Ali for a walk there on Sunday. Good to be outside and great exercise for me.

Abby is an extremely smart kid (every parents thoughts, right?) but she has been getting in trouble at school lately. Today, I got a note that she had slapped another kiddo in the face. They said she redeemed herself later in the day, but it still upsets me. We talk almost nightly about how to be nice to her friends at school. 

Fall evaluations are coming up soon, so I will probably schedule a parent/teacher conference to see what we can do to curb this behavior. We have been taking away privileges at home, but maybe more needs to be done.

I asked her tonight why she kept following me around (when I had repeatedly told her to put her pj's on). She said, "I am following you because you are my best friend".

What a sweetie.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Book Club Friday

Book Club Friday - Between the Sheets and Still Missing

I may be slacking on the overall blogging, but I still tune in for Book Club! I have been slightly obsessed with all things Disney, but I will get back to regular blogging soon.

Between the Sheets by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer


What happens when happily ever after…isn’t?
     Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular. Between the Lines may be a fairy tale, but it feels real. Prince Oliver is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah.
     And then one day Oliver actually speaks to her. Turns out, Oliver is more than a one-dimensional storybook prince. He’s a restless teen who feels trapped by his literary existence and hates that his entire life is predetermined. He’s sure there’s more for him out there in the real world, and Delilah might just be his key to freedom.
     Delilah and Oliver work together to attempt to get Oliver out of his book, a challenging task that forces them to examine their perceptions of fate, the world, and their places in it. And as their attraction to each other grows along the way, a romance blossoms that is anything but a fairy tale.


I have honestly not read "Young Adult" since I was well, a young adult. So when I first heard that Jodi Picoult (my fav author) had written a new book, but it was YA, I wasn't very interested. Then I read a review on this link up and was intrigued. I love fairy tales and since Abby is 3 1/2, I am having a blast watching all the Princess movies with her. 
I absolutely adored this book. I am pretty sure that I devoured it within a day. I thought it was incredibly well written, creative, and just a really fun read. The characters were all so likeable and you just rooted for Delilah and Oliver the whole time. 
I highly recommend it as just a fun read (and it will make you second guess your favorite books). Personally, I can't wait for Jodi's daughter (the co-writer) to write more! 


Still Missing by Chevy Stevens


On the day she was abducted, Annie O’Sullivan, a thirty-two-year-old Realtor, had three goals: sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever-patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van as she’s about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all. Interwoven with the story of the year Annie spent captive in a remote mountain cabin — which unfolds through sessions with her psychiatrist — is a second narrative recounting the nightmare that follows her escape: her struggle to piece her shattered life back together, the ongoing police investigation into the identity of her captor, and the disturbing sense that things are far from over. The truth doesn’t always set you free. Still Missing is a shocking, visceral, brutal, and beautifully crafted debut novel about surviving the unsurvivable — and living to bear witness.

The first 2/3 of this book were just downright scary as crap. Chill bumps scary. I literally screamed out loud on page 186. Did I mention that my hubs was out of town? I triple locked all windows and doors. 
This story is told in the present tense with Annie recounting everything to her psychiatrist, so that does make the present and past a little confusing. Especially as she isn't fully healed from her experience (but goodness, who wouldn't be?).
The ending was not at all what I expected and I was actually disappointed. Shocked, but disappointed. More for what Annie had to experience more than anything.
But another highly recommended book, just make sure you aren't home alone!

I had excellent books to read this week!

Linking Up Here:

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Baby Addison's Bday

 Saturday we went to Addison's First Bday. 

Abby has a friend in school named Addison, so I had to make sure that she knew this was "Baby" Addison.

The sweet family. 

Abby and Caden running circles. 

Opening presents. 
Brynn, the sweet blonde in the stripes, is in my Wed night class I teach at church. She was so impressed that I was there. I went to her house tonight as well and she kept calling me Ms. Ann.

Abby was like a little monkey on the spider web.

This was our first time at the Kid's Castle that was rebuilt and Abby had a ball. 

Brynn and Abby on the flying saucer swing. 

I just love those little girls! 

This little guy steals my heart as well. He just started kindergarten and is so freaking hilarious. 

These little boys just wanted me to keep taking their picture. 

Maybe a future beau for Abby??!!!

More monkeying around with a new friend, Jenny. 

I literally had to drag Abby away from this tunnel. 

She thought it was the best thing in the world to climb in here. 

We will definitely have to go back to this playground!!!

Happy Birthday Sweet Addison!