Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas in Dixie

What Southern lady doesn't like to bake at Christmas time?!?  That is what I spent my Tuesday afternoon doing.  Baking is a favorite pastime of mine.  My mom and I used to do it every year growing up.  It was so much fun and I can't wait to start doing it with Paige.  So, in good tradition I bake as much as I can, with the help of Brad of course.  This year's menu includes chex mix, oyster crackers, red velvet cookies, fudge, chocolate mint cookies, oreo balls, white chocolate pretzels, white chocolate peanut butter crackers, and white chocolate oreos (everything tastes better with white chocolate!).

A sneak peek at the goodies...

Happy Baking!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Jingle Bells

While we were in NYC Nana and Papa Joe came down to keep Paige.  Going on this trip was a huge deal for me because this was the first time I had left Paige over night - and this was a 3 night trip! 

Knowing she was in good hands made our trip just that much more relaxing and enjoyable.

Paige has the sweetest teachers.  The little onesie she is wearing is one she made with her hands and feet - how sweet!

Friday was her Christmas party at school.  Here she is with Ella and Myles.  Myles is in the class across the hall and they spend a lot of time together, including the Christmas party.  I thought it was sweet that Ella got to come as well.

Paige with one of her teachers.

Enjoying a cupcake.  She looks so grown up eating at the big table!

Sunday was her Christmas program with school.  Nana and Papa Joe were sweet to take her to this.  It has been so cute to watch Paige enjoy the Christmas songs that she hears on TV.  One will come on and she will stop, listen for a second, and then either start dancing or clapping her hands.  I could tell Jingle Bells was going to be in the program because of the excitement she had when it came on TV.

Thank you Nana and Papa Joe for keeping Paige, Ellie and Madi for us!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Step Into Christmas

So I realized the post was getting really long and decided I should break the trip up.  Who knew a 3 night trip could need so many posts!

Sunday was our morning at Rockafeller Center.  We ice skated, went to Top of the Rock, and the guys toured the NBC Studios while Emily and I went to tea at the Four Seasons.

We loved singing and dancing along with the Christmas music they played for us.  I am not so sure all the on-lookers really enjoyed it...well, maybe we were good entertainment!

Yes, this includes a salmon wrap with caviar.  Neither Emily nor I ate this.

Aren't these snowmen cute!

Sunday evening we ate dinner in Little Italy and saw the "Christmas Spectacular" (Rockettes) at Radio City Music Hall.  Thanks Brad and Matt for waiting in the ticket line to get us half-off tickets!

Before we caught our late afternoon flight out we goofed off in Central Park, continued to walk through the Upper East Side, and visited Dylan's Candy Bar - amazing! - and Bloomingdales.

I had to take a run through Central Park like Phoebe on "Friends".

This concludes our trip to NYC.  Some funny side notes - none of our flights were on time.  Our first flight was delayed about an hour with us sitting on the plane waiting for the mechanic to show up to arm the inflatable slide button.  Luckily, our flight was delayed in ATL so we didn't miss it.  We got to the airport pretty early yesterday and were able to catch an earlier flight, which was delayed.  This was good because our original flight was delayed over 2 hours.  Another side note - we did wear clean clothes everyday.  It may not look like it from the pictures, because we are wearing the same coats, scarves and hats in like every picture, but I promise we had clean clothes on!

We had a wonderful time and thank you, Matt and Emily, for inviting us along.  We can't wait to do it again!

A New York Christmas

Where do I even begin with the last couple of days?!?  Back over the summer our friends, Matt and Emily, asked us if we wanted to go New York City.  We had been before and loved it so we thought, why not!  It was short trip but oh so fun!!!!

I figure it is easier to let our pictures do the prepared, there will be a lot of pictures!

We were on the first flight out of Pensacola and made it to NYC by early afternoon.  We spent the afternoon walking around and taking in the shops on 5th Avenue, with stops including the Apple Store, Tiffany's and H&M.  No trip to NYC is complete without seeing a Broadway musical.  So, Friday night we saw "Wicked" and absolutely loved it!  I think Brad even enjoyed it (these are normally really expensive naps for him).

Saturday we did a walking "tour".  We started our day by taking the subway down to the Staten Island Ferry.  We then rode the ferry over to Staten Island to get some good views of the city. 

After that, the real "tour" began.  Matt had mapped out where all we were going to make sure we got to everything - it was great! 

We started in the Financial District, seeing the Trinity Church and Wall Street.

(Posing with George Washington where he took his first oath of office)

We ventured through Chinatown and Little Italy, making one stop at a cafe to get a cannolli and coffee.  They claim to have the "Best Cannolli on the Planet".

Next was a stroll through the Christmas Market at Union Station.  Then lunch at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill with dessert at a cupcake shop.  On up to Macy's and on back to our hotel to let our feet rest.  There is no telling how far we walked but I think we all loved it.  I really do believe this is a great way to see the city.  Each block was different gave you a little insight to the people that lived there.

Bobby Flay's version of grits...more like really good lumpy mashed potatos if you ask me.

Saturday night we went to a comedy club.  We had great seats - 2nd row right in the middle.  This was great so we could see but we didn't get picked on by the comedians.  The headliner for the show was a guy from "Last Comic Standing".  He was funny, but I don't remember his name...oh well!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Here Comes Santa Claus

Monday night we ventured over to the Bass Pro Shop for Paige to meet Santa. You are probably thinking Bass Pro Shop???  Yes, Bass Pro Shop.  Their Santa is there all throughout the week, not just the weekends like the one at the mall.  Plus, our mall is outdoors and who wants to stand outside in the freezing cold!

Poor baby was not a fan!  I do not think it was Santa's fault.  I think it was more of a 'I don't want a stranger to hold me' kind of thing.

The nice people at the Bass Pro Shop let us get in the picture also so at least we have one where she isn't crying.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Baby Changes Everything

Happy 10 Month Birthday Paige!

My sweet little angel is 10 months old!  It is so hard to believe (I think I write this every month).

You weigh 19 lbs 11 oz, wearing 12 month clothes, and are still in size 3 diapers.  Much to your dismay, socks and shoes have become apart of your wardrobe.  In your mind, socks are toys and shoes are in the way of getting to these toys.

During this month you had your first "injury report" at home and at school.  I guess it is because you are all about going everywhere and are pulling up on anything you can get your hands on.  You also had your first sick visit to the doctor for an ear infection.  This was the first time we had seen you act pitiful and puny, poor baby.

Your third tooth has started to come; it is the top center right tooth.  This round of teething has been a little more difficult and it has somewhat affected your appetite.  You are all about some soft foods.  You still try the crunchier foods like veggies straws and puffs but after a few it starts to hurt and you don't want any more.  You no longer eat baby food - it is all real food.  In fact, we are starting to order you something off the menu when we go out.  Funny story about eating - I had made some blueberry muffins while Daddy was out of town for us to share.  I start to eat mine and you start to cry because you want it.  I couldn't get you in your highchair with a muffin in front of you fast enough.  People have told me that parents start to lose weight when their child starts eating table food.  Not so much for us; I find myself eating bits and pieces of your food - ha!

You are a momma's girl.  I guess there is just something between a mom and daughter!  Don't get me wrong, you love, love, love your daddy.  It is funny to me because when Daddy comes home you light up and want to see him, but you say hi and want to go back to Momma and look at Daddy from there.

You love other little kids.  If other kids are around, it doesn't matter if momma and daddy are around.  You just are just mesmorized and want to get in on the action.  You love to play - anything and everything is a toy (hence this picture, the pillow became the toy) - I love it!

We love you sweet baby girl!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Memories

Flash Back - Year 2000

So, back during my senior year in high school I had this terrible dream - Brad showed up to my house for the prom in a half "homecoming," half "prom" outfit.  He was wearing the vest and bow tie with a navy blazer and the pants were khaki with a black stripe down the side.  Some how he got word of this dream and surprised me with the outfit below!

Flash Forward - Year 2010

Imagine my surprise when I go to the Old Navy website and see these pants advertised!

Yes, you can buy some of Brad's fashionable pants in the women's section at Old Navy!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Silent Night(s)

While Daddy is away, the girls will play!

Brad just spent the past 4 nights in Anaheim, CA for a pharamacy convention.  While he was gone us girls had a great time!  There was a lot of playing, a little bit of shopping and a little bit of sickness.

We started our girl time together with another parade.  Paige was such a trooper and had a great time.  We didn't get hit this time, thank goodness.  In fact, we didn't really try to catch anything and ended up with a bag full of candy and 7 stuffed animals.  I think the kids had a good time trying to aim for the stroller since I was holding Paige.

It was great to be able to lounge and not have any where really to go.  We did get about half of our Christmas shopping done.  My sweet little shopper has decided that sitting in the buggy at Target is not as fun as it used to be.  We made 2 trips there and each time ended with Paige standing in the buggy (my big clue it was time to go!).

Our time together ended with her first ear infection.  I think we have done great to make it this long without having one, especially since she is in daycare.  In fact, we made our very first "sick" visit to the doctor.  I took her to the doctor late Tuesday afternoon, which meant we got to spend all day Wednesday together at home - wahoo!! 

While we had a great time together, it was so nice to hear the dogs barking as they heard Brad coming in late last night!  We missed our Daddy and are glad he is back!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Go Tell it on the Mountain

"Go Tell it on the Mountain" was one of my grandmother's favorite songs.  So, I thought it would be a fitting blog title to celebrate my mom's birthday.  I had all of the intentions in the world to actually post this on my mom's birthday, but I couldn't find the picture I wanted.  I was searching high and low for a copy of a picture from Christmas 2004 of me, my mom and my grandmother at my grandmother's house.  For some reason I thought the only copy we had was a print copy (and I was going to scan it in).  Anyway, I had given up and found another picture to include (from my graduation in 2003, same concept with some additional loved ones).

I had even written my post...then I went to get another picture from our digital picture library and low and behold was the picture.

Ok, so, I have rambled long enough, Nanny ~ Happy Birthday!!!  We love you!!

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Cam Newton, Auburn, let out a deep sigh of relief but also pay attention. It is the Auburn family against the world. You don’t believe me? Turn on the TV, scan the internet, listen to the radio. You will see and hear an overwhelming majority of the country with an apparent agenda to bring down Auburn University and Cam Newton with regards to the Cam Newton saga. I am never one to believe in conspiracies, black helicopters, or the us vs them attitude; however, the Cam Newton saga has opened my eyes and I can say that I have lost a LOT of respect for a lot of media personalities. I have no problem with someone voicing an opinion and I believe that opinions should be voiced, however the words, actions, and outright lies and venom I have seen the past month has never been rivaled in the history of sports.

The NCAA ruled on the Cam Newton saga this week. On Monday Cam was ruled ineligible for breaking NCAA rules. AU petitioned for his reinstatement and on Wednesday this request was granted. The NCAA stated Cam was eligible moving forward and had not played in any games while being ineligible (indicating that Auburn will retain their first 12 wins). Instead of considering the case closed I have actually seen the whole saga reach a whole new level.

I for one believe the NCAA got this one right. Was this an easy decision? NO. Should Cecil Newton be punished? ABSOLUTELY, I agree with Mike Slive that his actions should not be tolerated in The SEC or anywhere in college athletics. Has Cecil been punished? Yes, he has been punished with “limited access” to Auburn, the football team, and most importantly the starting QB, his son.

Let me highlight some discussions and arguments I have heard and why I believe they are absolutely wrong.

1. Auburn broke the rules and got away with it. Wrong, Auburn never was accused of breaking any rules. No money exchanged hands between AU and any recruit and no discussions regarding money and Cam Newton ever took place with AU officials or boosters. The only rule AU could have possibly broken therefore was playing and ineligible player and per the NCAA ruling the player in question has never been ineligible. Therefore no rules were broken.

2. Cam and Cecil Newton broke the rules by soliciting for money and are not being punished. Wrong. First, no one has said Cecil solicited for money, only that he was involved in discussions with an “agent” and money was discussed at said meetings. Secondly, Cam and Cecil were found guilty. He was declared ineligible and Cecil was punished based on money conversations. All this makes it seem as though Cam was not punished for a couple of reason. First, no one released info regarding the initial ruling and the decision to make Cam ineligible. Secondly, Cam was reinstated quickly. When you look at the NCAA process they first rule on the eligibility based on if a rule was broken and then they look at punishment and reinstatement of the player. The punishment and reinstatement, per the NCAA, takes into account multiple factors not just the rule. The factors that worked in Cam’s favor are:

  a. Cam did not know about the discussions. Many don’t believe this is true and have used this argument to describe how the decision is wrong, however it really doesn’t matter as this was the least important factor.

  b. No money exchanged hands. Read that again and let it sink in. Does that seem like a minor detail in all this?

  c. ALL discussions regarding Cam and money took place with Mississippi Sate and MSU boosters. Cam plays for Auburn. No discussions took place at Auburn.

3. This decision has opened a HUGE loophole within the rules and allows any parent to shop their kids to various schools as long as the kid doesn’t know. Wrong and just plain stupid. I have heard this argument all week. Here is why this is wrong. As soon as said parent, player, aunt, uncle, agent, dog, anyone accepted money for said players signature then the player is ineligible. So ask for money all you want but as soon as you accept it you are done. What is the benefit of running around asking for money and not accepting it? Am I missing something?

  a. The other point here is the opposite side of this argument. If said discussions deemed players ineligible and put schools on probation then what would stop opposing teams from just claiming that during their recruitment of said players, parents asked about money? Example – I could easily call the SEC, NCAA, Pac-10, ESPN, Fox, etc and say that I offered LaMichael James money. Now he is ineligible. That should make the national championship game a little easier!

4. The timing of this decision shows favoritism to Auburn because of championships and the Heisman. Wrong. This matter has been under investigation since July and quite possibly since January. It is possible that the NCAA released the ruling with thoughts about the SEC game and the Heisman. However, I would also throw this out there. Auburn, the SEC, the NCAA, and many others did not want this information public (it is an ongoing investigation). The information was leaked by someone and I have a hard time believing it was the SEC, Auburn, or the NCAA (did anyone hear anything about the ruling Monday?). Therefore the need for this decision was brought about by the “Wizards behind the curtains” who released this info and created mass chaos.

Overall this is a great thing for Auburn and Cam Newton. War Eagle and see you in Glendale!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

A game for the ages. This year’s Iron Bowl will go down in history as one of the greatest games ever. Step aside 1972 Amazins, the 2010 team led by one Cam Newton may have just pulled off the greatest comeback ever in the history of this great rivalry. In case you were in a cave last weekend let me recap the game.

Alabama came out ready to play and had a plan to stop Cam Newton. Alabama scored several quick touchdowns and field goals and before we knew it Bama was on top by 24. AU scored before the half and then began an amazing comeback. As the sun came out and drenched the AU section in an Orangle glow, Cam connected with TZac for a quick score coming out of the half. Auburn scored 2 more touchdowns with the last coming early in the 4th quarter as Cam connected with Lutz who then proceeded to do the funniest little endzone dance ever (It will now be referred to as the “Lutzie”). While the offensive performance was great the defense was even better as they held Bama to just a field goal in the 2nd half.

Was I worried in the first half? Yes, I’d be lying if I said no; however, I held out hope as this team of Amazins never lost their focus and continued to do what they do best. I told LeeAnn at halftime that if we came out and scored a quick 14 unanswered points we would win the game. In case the recap above wasn’t clear I called that comeback.

This team has something that AU teams in the past have lacked. The ability to comeback, handle the pressure, and the ability to stay focused on the task at hand. I have never seen a team in all of sports with the ability to focus like the 2010 Tigers. Others can argue that point and will but I stand behind a team that puts aside the nonstop total BS being spewed at them from every possible media outlet in the land to continue on a championship run. I stand behind a team that never get flustered and spots a great rival 24 point only to comeback and win in the hardest road venue in the conference and the nation.

What is different about this team that allowed for this comeback and the ability to live another week in the quest for a championship? One word – Leadership. That attitude starts at the top and look no further than Gene Chizik and the on the field leader – Cam Newton. If you want proof about how the attitude of those 2 was reflected in the team look at Mark Ingram’s fumble in the first half. Down early on the road in the second half it would have been easy for AU to quit, but they didn’t. Mark Ingram took off on a long run and Auburn fans began to see all hopes of a comeback disappear with each long stride down the sideline toward the endzone. However, Antoine Carter (a huge defensive lineman and no where near the fastest guy even on the Dline) chased down Ingram from behind to knock the ball out. Coaches continuously preach “never give up on a play” and Carter showed exactly how it should be done. His will to keep plugging and not give up is a direct reflection of the leadership on this team. This play was the biggest of the game and served as notice that the Tigers were not going to give up in this epic fight.

Now comes South Carolina in the SEC Championship game. This is a rematch of these 2 teams and AU won the first one thanks to USC’s 4 turnovers in the fourth quarter. This rematch will feature 2 different teams. USC is playing as good as anyone and Lattimore is again healthy. In the first meeting, Cam had a coming out party and AU didn’t know what he was capable of until after that game.

Some will tell you this is South Carolina’s game to lose if they turn the ball over in the fourth quarter. They also say USC gave that game away and as a result Auburn should be on upset alert. I agree that AU should be on upset alert. USC is a great team led by a great running back and an even better WR in Jeffries. However, lets not forget Auburns turnovers in the first half of that game that allowed USC to even be in the game in the 4th quarter.

This will be a great SEC showdown and a very close game, but I look for AU to win 31-27.

Friday, December 3, 2010

It's Beginning to Look Alot Like Christmas

Last night we went to the Daphne Christmas parade.  It was definitely an adventure!

Let me start by telling 2 little stories.  Paige's afternoon teacher was telling me how when her daughter was 4, they went to a parade at Disney World.  When it was over she was kind sad and asked, "why didn't they throw anything"?  How funny is that?!?  Only kids down in Mobile would wonder why stuff was not thrown at them during a parade.  Story number 2 - I was trying to find out information about the parade online and saw where it was supposed to be tonight.  This confused me because Jamie said the parade was yesterday.  After digging a little deeper I found where the parade was moved to Thursday night because the Daphne High School football team made it to state finals and their game was tonight.  Only in the South does a Christmas parade get moved for football!

Back to the parade ~ this was a really fun parade!  There were a lot of floats and most had lights of some sort on them.  And in true parade fashion, stuff was thrown off the floats.  We caught everything from beads to stuffed animals and lots and lots of candy.  This parade was little different than the Mardi Gras parades because kids mainly filled the floats and were the ones throwing.  I thinking "throwing" is a nice way of putting what they did; it was more like chunking.  I got hit in the head at least 3 times by peppermints.  Once was on the bridge of my nose and another left a tiny scratch on my forehead.  By the end of the parade, Ella was hiding behind me when a float came.  I think it was because I was so dramatic - ha!  Paige and Myles were so good and just stared in awe as the floats drove past us; it was too cute!