Thursday, February 14, 2013

My favorite Valentine.

Dear Margaret Anne,

     I always write one of these posts for you on Valentine's Day, because Valentine's Day marks your half birthday. You were born four and a half years ago today, at the exact time that I schedule this to publish. I remember that moment like it was yesterday. Hearing you cry, and looking at you all over when I finally got to hold you. I couldn't believe how perfect you were, and that you were MINE.  I can't believe you have already been in my life for so long... and I also can't believe its only been that long. I can't imagine my life without you, sweet girl. You are the biggest blessing.
At four and a half, your personality and independence have really started to develop. You can be SO stubborn. Just like your mama. And your daddy, for that matter. Your pediatrician once told me that strong-willed children usually achieve their life goals. I believe you will, Margaret Anne! But even though you can be stubborn, those times are few and far between. You are the most loving little girl. You would rather snuggle up with Mommy and Daddy than do just about anything else. You love all of your family and your teachers so much, and you make sure you hug them and tell them. I love that so much about you.
These days you are still VERY into princesses and all things girly. You love your dance classes and you love playing dress-up. I have NEVER seen a child with such a good imagination. Maybe that is part of you being an "only," but you will come up with a scenario, give all of us character names, and STICK WITH IT for a whole day. It is funny and most definitely entertaining!

Recently, you went to see Dr. Powell for the first time. I have to admit, I was terrified that you would freak out. But you were so good and let them check your teeth and brush them. You left with lots of goodies and I think they liked you too!

It snowed a few weeks ago, and you were so excited. You didn't want to touch it, but once we put gloves on you, you thought throwing snowballs at Mom was FUN! You really just wanted to make footprints and catch snowflakes on your tongue. That was your favorite.

Little girl, you make us laugh so much! Just yesterday, you came downstairs before school with your Uggs on (courtesy of Uncle Bubba), and you put on your little rain coat (courtesy of your Grammy) and walked into the kitchen. You looked at me, popped up your collar, and said "Mommy, does this look stylish? Because I think these Uggs are VERY stylish." Your daddy and I looked at each other and tried not to laugh. Because you did, in fact, look very stylish. I think we laughed about that little moment all day long!

Margaret Anne, I never could have imagined that I could love another person this much. And every moment that I spend with you, I love you even more. Your Daddy and I are so grateful that the Lord chose us to be your parents, and that we get to experience your sweet spirit every day.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Day 9- Warriors!

Sorry I missed a few days, internets. This weekend was a whirlwind and things have been crazy in Latimer world. BUT here I am with pics from the weekend! My bro came to town to run in the Warrior Dash. It was cold and rainy and I brought my big daddy camera out there to take pictures of his Warrior skills.

This was before the run. They look so clean and happy. Check out the Warrior Poet in the middle. My bro is on the right. I like the warrior beards. (this one was from my phone, sorry for the lack of quality)

These are some of the costumes. Some people went ALL OUT. Can you find Waldo?

My brave bro jumping some FIRE! Look at that form.

Swimming through mud and under barbed wire. That's a warrior right there. Such INTENSITY in his face!

And here are our three warriors after. They look happy, but not so clean...

It was fun to witness all the warriors! Maybe next year I'll try to be a warrior too.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Day 5- TGIF

Can't wait for a weekend with family and hopefully cheering on my Auburn Tigers to victory over Arkansas. MA and I would like to leave y'all with a big War Eagle! I hope everyone has a fun, safe weekend!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Day 4- New York, New York

Last weekend I had the chance to visit New York City with some girlfriends. It was a spur of the moment decision to go on this trip and it required a LOT of budgeting on Hays' part. He gave me this trip for my anniversary present and I have to say that it was a pretty selfless gift. I needed this little getaway and I am so thankful that I got to spend time with these sweet friends.

We had SO much fun! Here are the pictures to prove it.They are all from my phone so please forgive the quality.

We went out dancing. We may have danced to "Gangnam Style" complete with some of the choreography. Don't be jealous.

We stopped at the Central Park Boathouse for some afternoon refreshments. From the left:
Me, Loren, Corrie, and Alison

We were going to the Met... but decided to just take a picture on the steps when we got inside and realized how incredibly crowded it was.

We had brunch at the Coffee Shop at Union Square and decided that the pay phones looked fun.
Please notice how gingerly Alison grips that handle. LOL!

We ate dinner at Beauty and Essex... complete with the Joey Box of Doughnuts that were AMAZING. Filled with Nutella and raspberry jam.

Alison and Corrie

Y'all, there is a champagne bar in the BATHROOM at Beauty and Essex. We hung out in there for awhile. Yeah, in the bathroom.

Me and Loren

We ate at Gramercy Tavern... possibly the best meal of my life. This was my drink, an Orange Blossom.

Our hotel was right by the 9/11 Memorial and the new Freedom Tower. This picture does not do it justice.

We stopped in this place with the cool name... then went dancing and ate at Katz's Deli, home of the famous scene in When Harry Met Sally. "I'll have what she's having."

We rode the subway a few times.

Strolled through Central Park to Strawberry Fields...

And we generally just had a great time spending time together and laughing!!! We also ate some of the best pizza in NYC at John's pizzeria, had cookies from LaVain's, pastries from Rocco's, and we SHOPPED AND SHOPPED.

I am so blessed with sweet friends.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day 3- Don't Be a Bully.

Along with being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. I didn't know this until I saw a video yesterday of an incredibly brave TV anchor responding to a viewer email on air. Click HERE to watch...

Now, you may or may not think that this viewer was "bullying" this news anchor, but any way you look at it, that viewer's email was unnecessary and it most certainly wasn't uplifting.
As a high school teacher, this really hits home to me. Bullying has become a major problem in our schools. Some people say that kids need to develop a thick skin... but things are different now than they were when I was in high school. The internet and social media really are used as weapons to hurt kids who may be viewed as a little bit "different" by some. I wish I could talk to every one of those kids and tell them that their differences are what will make them stand out in life later on and that it really is SUCH a positive character trait to be able to stand out and be a little "different." But some kids have people kicking them down constantly, and all over the internet. They aren't equipped to deal with that kind of psychological abuse, and they shouldn't have to be. It scares me to think about what is in store for my own child someday.
Watching this video and listening to Jennifer Livingston's words made me really think about my own actions. Because if I stop and think about it, I'm guilty too. I know I've said mean things on Twitter about how someone looks that's on TV. And it makes me think not only about what I say in public, but what I say in my own home and especially in front of my child. I DO NOT want her to ever hear me say negative things about people based on something superficial, like appearance, and have her think it's ok to speak that way. I'm thankful to that news anchor for shedding light on an often misunderstood subject.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Day 2- Margaret Anne's 4 year check up!

Margaret Anne had her 4 year old check up today! Even though her birthday is in August, we had to schedule it for October since we were late getting it one year (not our fault, her doc had an accident and had to be out for awhile). Here are her stats:
-41 inches tall (75th percentile)
-33 lbs (10th percentile)

As soon as her doctor walked in, MA started talking to him and telling him "Guess what? When I get done here I am going to go to school!" and "Guess what?! I have a bug bite on my leg. It's from a BUG." She talked a blue streak to him! He said "Well, I guess I don't have to ask if her verbal skills are ok..."
She also had her blood pressure checked, hearing and vision screenings, and she got her flu vaccine! They had to check her bp twice, however, because the first time I think she thought they were trying to kill her and she was flipping out so it was high. When they rechecked it and she realized it wasn't scary, she was fine and it came way down. I can't believe she is such a big girl. We already had to talk about when to get her Pre-Kindergarten immunizations. YIKES! She was so sweet, after she ran up to the doc and gave him a hug before we left.  My girl is growing up so fast. I promised her some new shoes if she was a "big girl" at the doctor's office, so it looks like we are going shopping this afternoon...

Monday, October 1, 2012

31 Days of Blogging- Day 1 is for Breast Cancer awareness month and Sandi

Well, I have been way out of the blogging world and I am going to TRY to jump back in! Don't know how well I will do but it's time to shake off my year-long blogging funk. The truth is that Sandi was one of the main people that I blogged for and her absence hasn't been easy... but there are other people out there who enjoyed my blog so here I am!

Many bloggers are trying the "31 Days of Blogging" so I thought that I would too. I thought that since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month that I would start with that since that cause is close to my heart.
Most of you know that Sandi, my sister-in-law (a term she and I NEVER used since we were so close, we were like sisters) passed away from a LONG, hard battle with Stage IV breast cancer last year. All in all she fought stage IV cancer for over 4 years. But she was initially diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer at age 30, so she dealt with cancer in one way or another for over 7 years. She started a race called the Champions of Hope race in 2008 that has grown to HUGE proportions. She wanted a Susan G. Komen race in Dothan but they weren't willing to come down there and start one, and she realized that people needed more than just funds for research. Sandi, even though she had Stage IV cancer, always felt very blessed that she didn't have to work or care for children while going through treatment and she had the means to pay for things that she needed, such as someone to clean her house when she wasn't strong enoough to do so. She wanted a program in place to help those that did. She wanted to educate women on what they could expect while going through treatment and she also wanted to help those that couldn't afford mammograms get the service that they need. The Champions of Hope race has since raised over a quarter of a million dollars for the SAMC Foundation and for those purposes, along with many other services provided, and ALL of the funds stay in the Wiregrass area.

The race this year was renamed "The Sandi McCool Champions of Hope" in honor of her, since it was her vision that started it all. I have started a team for all of her friends and family to join called "Sandi's Breast Friends" and I would LOVE for any of you who want to join us on race day! The race is October 20th, 2012 and you can click HERE to register. If you can't participate in the actual race but you would like to help us honor Sandi's memory by supporting her cause, you may click HERE to donate to my team.

Unrelated, I have lots to update you on and several pictures to add. I hope that you will hear much more from me in October. 31 days of blogging, here I come...