Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sick little snuggles


This afternoon I had to go to the doctor and I had to take Margaret Anne with me. When I picked her up from daycare, I thought she felt a little warm, but I wasn't sure because I was hot from being in the car. When I was leaving the doctor, I got a wild hair to call and see if I could get her into her pediatrician's office because I could just tell she didn't feel good, she was MUCH more whiny than usual. I am glad I was able to get in and that I decided to take her, because her fever was 101.3 and she had double ear infections! Poor thing. She is so sweet even when she is sick that you can hardly tell when she doesn't feel good. Her eyes have been a little puffy too, which the doctor said was from her little cold. She didn't seem to mind her bath too much though, as you can see in the picture!

Wednesday Randomness

Today I officially feel like crap. I don't know if it is the common cold or allergies, but I am tired, my head hurts, my face hurts, and my eyes hurt. And poor little Margaret Anne seems to have the same symptoms. We DID have a great time on Monday night, as Hays told you. I really enjoyed the concert, but I think most of all I just enjoyed being out of the house with ADULTS! Dinner was wonderful and good conversation was had by all!
This weekend I am helping to host a couples' wedding shower for a good friend of mine... I am so excited because it will be another night with adults. It is also my first "dress up" shower, and the theme is "famous couples." Hays and I will be going as Clark Kent and Lois Lane. I hope we can pull it off! Fran and Phillip are coming up again, and they are staying with us, which will give us lots of time with sweet little Lucy. I am planning on using my fantastic new camera to take some pretty pictures of the girls, maybe at the botanical gardens. Actually I am planning on using my camera a lot this weekend! I have been looking for excuses to take pictures.

For an update, both my mom and Sandi are doing well. When I talked to Sandi last night she was home and resting, and sounded good! Mom also sounded good, but was sore because her doctor who she so lovingly referred to as "the Torturer" made her go to therapy on Monday and she also has to go back today and Friday. I want both Mom and Sandi to get better as fast as possible, so please continue to pray for them.

Now, because a post is boring without pictures, I am leaving you with this beautiful sight of Margaret Anne at her very first doctor's visit when she was 4 days old. Can you believe how much she has changed? It is hard to remember when she was ever that little. Time has just flown by, and I wish I could slow it down.
**Wow, I didn't know it would post that small. Oh well, it still looks precious to me!**

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Good Times



Doesn't this guy look like someone just dug him out from under a tree stump??? Ray LaMontagne was terrific! Meredith and I had dinner with friends at 26, which is a cool retro-stlye restaurant beside Ocean, and is owned by the same family. I won't tell you what we had because you'd have to wipe drool from your keyboard! I knew that the tickets i had bought were in the balcony, but what I didn't realize is that we were on the.very.last.row. Seriously, the wall was behind us!!! Not to worry, there isn't a bad seat in the house, and we enjoyed the birds-eye view. I tried not to get my hopes up about what I REALLY wanted to hear, but in the back of my mind I was thinking I'd be disappointed if I didn't hear this or that. Much to my delight, he played some of my favorites in the first 5 or 6 songs. I was mentally prepared for the opener to be upbeat and a bit of a rocker, but he walked out, just him, a guitar, and a harmonica, and played probably one of his slowest, gentlest songs. I won't give the song-by-song review (even though I coul), but overall I give it an A. He has to start over one verse into his second song due to the fact that he wasn't happy with the tuning of his guitar, and rather than being frazzled by that, he was actually very funny about it, and jokingly made the comment to his setup man, "You're _______ fired". No need to guess what he said there. Earmuffs! For such a seemingly reclusive guy, he had a great stage presence and had the crowd mesmerized the whole time. But WHY is there always that one fool in the crowd that screams unnecessarily during EVERY quiet moment. At the end, he actually screamed "'Dega baby!", which prompted everyone around him to almost jump him. Completely unnecessary, and I wonder why these people even go. There is definite concert ettiquette that must be followed, and drunken screaming is NOT an approved behavior. Meredith and I had a wonderful time, and I have such a blast when we can do things together that we will always remember, even if we were missing that baby!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Concert Time!!!

I have been waiting for this day for what seems like a long time! Meredith knows that I am like a kid in a candy store when it comes to seeing live music. If it's any good, that is. We are going to see Ray LaMontagne at the Alabama Theatre, which is a spectacular venue. I have been to many places to see music, and AL Theatre probably ranks right behind Radio City Music Hall as my favorite venue. No denying the history of Radio City, that's for sure. We also had a fantastic date night there(AL Theatre) a few years ago when we saw Jamie Cullum. That little guy can put on quite a show. Until then, and since then for that matter, I have never seen anyone jump off of a piano. I guess that's what happens when you watch a 5'6" Englishman consume a half-dozen Monster energy drinks during his performance. My heart would have officially exploded after energy drink #3.

SO, Ray LaMontagne tonight, then on May 18th we will see Coldplay again. I think it will be hard to beat their show that we saw at the Philips, but it has been years since I have seen a show at Oak Mountain, which is ridiculous I might add!

I got a text message from my Ronnie and Dad saying that Bruce Springsteen was awesome last night. Nice early B-day present, right Ronnie?! I imagine that was a check off of things to do in Ronnie's lifetime! She was super-excited. Not sure about Dad, although I have heard him sing Bob Dylan. Ha ha! I'll be sure to post a review of the show tomorrow

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Weekend Update

Sorry you haven't heard from me in a few days, it has been busy around here! Saturday was our annual yard sale, so that took the majority of the day. We had a great time, saw some good friends, and got rid of a LOT of stuff! My mom had shoulder surgery on Friday, so this morning we headed up to Gadsden to see her. THEN we went and got a present for the family... something that we are excited about and will get a LOT of use out of! I have been playing with it some already this afternoon! Here is a little taste!




Oh yes, we got a new camera! There went our yard sale money and then some, but we wanted to be able to take good pictures of Margaret Anne. Happy Mother's Day, Father's Day, and Birthdays to Meredith and Hays!

Tomorrow night we are going to see Ray Lamontagne and we are pumped! I heard he is great live, so I am excited about dinner with adults and a good concert with my hubby.

On a more serious note, please be praying for a speedy recovery for my Mom's shoulder, because she is tired, sore, and missing being able to pick up her grandbaby! Also, please pray for Sandi as she goes in tomorrow morning for another reconstruction surgery. We are excited about it because it is one big step in a positive direction. Please pray for a speedy recovery for her as well!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

She's got skills, people!

video

It seems like Margaret Anne learns something new every day. I have been trying to get her to wave on command for a while. This afternoon when I picked her up from Granvon's, she smiled her big beautiful smile and stuck her pretty little arm up and waved! I thought you all might like to see it... ignore the crazy lady talking in the background. Don't forget to scroll down and pause the music if you want to hear the sound!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Margaret Anne has a new friend!




Fran and Phillip are in town, and that means sweet little 6 week old Lucy is here too! Since they live far away now (well, 4 hours away), this is the first time that we have been able to meet her. Margaret Anne was VERY interested in her... she wanted to pull her hair, grab her face, and hold her hand. I am babysitting Lucy right now while Fran and Phillip are out on a date. She is as sweet as she can be, and it is hard to imagine that MA was ever that small! It will be so fun when I can hang out with Fran and MA and Lucy can entertain each other.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Google Analytics

For those of you fellow bloggers out there who aren't using this tool, I highly recommend it. Google Analytics is a website that gives you lots of fun data on your website, such as number of hits per day, whether those hits are random or if they are repeat visits, and what websites are referring to your site the most. For instance, most of our visits are direct visits, followed by Google searches, followed by fellow blogger links. Ben & Anna Barron are the leading referral site. Props! Then Facebook, then Lauren & Ben Beck. Fun stuff to know! Also, Tuesdays appear to be our highest traffic day, and Saturdays are our lowest traffic day. Don't worry, for you blog stalkers out there, we can't tell who you are, so I won't be able to reserve-stalk you :). If you are interested in getting this data, the website is analytics.google.com, and you simply log in and enroll your blog to start getting data. I am a data hound (so nerdy, but true), so I love this stuff. Let me know what you think, or if you are already using it, gimme some tips!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Latimer Look-alike Meter



The experts say that "Mini-Hays" is more of a "Mini-Meredith!" I am sure most of you don't agree!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Praise be to God!

Yesterday Sandi, my sister-in-law, had another round of tests done to see how her cancer treatment is holding up. She got news that everything looks great! That comes after many, many prayers, and many, many chemo and radiation treatments. I do not know God's plan, but I do know that Sandi is a strong woman and she has a very powerful story to tell. You can read about her story here, and a little bit here and here.
I want to invite all of you locals to participate in the 2nd annual Champions of Hope Race in Dothan, AL on October 10th, 2009. I will be there, and I hope many of you will be there too. Last year Sandi was the chairperson of this race, and they had a great turnout. The proceeds will benefit women in the area who either cannot afford cancer treatment or do not have enough insurance to cover the VERY expensive treatments that most breast cancer patients must go through. Here is a picture of the survivors from last years' race:

Sandi is on the bottom right of the picture. Please keep her in your prayers, as we want to continue to get news like this! We love you so much Sandi!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Lots of First Birthday fun!



Today was Emily's First Birthday party! Tomorrow is her actual birthday, but Amanda had a fun little celebration today! All of the babies (Emily, Ella Kate, and Margaret Anne) were able to get in on the party and even got some Puffs to take home as party favors! You can see that Emily wasn't too keen on her birthday hat, but as soon as it was off and the cake was in front of her, she went to town! She had so much fun eating the cake, and Margaret Anne and Ella Kate wanted in on the action too! Emily was so into it that she had icing ALL over her, and she had to go STRAIGHT into the bathtub. I snuck in there to take a picture of that too. The babies were definitely entertained by each other, and Emily got some very cute presents. It was a fun little party and I can't believe that Emily is already one! Time flies by too quickly. Happy Birthday Emily!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Blog Responsibilities!


Meredith insisted last night that I blog today, and her rationale was, "People will lose interest and stop reading if you don't write" to which I replied something along the lines of "Nobody cares to hear me ramble". OK, that's probably not even close to how the conversation went. Meredith has the uncanny ability to remember exact sentences from a conversation we had in 2004 while driving in the car, while I can't remember even being in the car at that point in time. I remember much more the feeling that I got during that conversation rather than what specifically was said. Was the mood tense? Did I feel warm and fuzzy? Was I quietly pissed? Was I even listening? I really wish I could remember exactly what was said, because that would make me much more effective arguer, but then again, effective arguers rarely have abundant friends! Meredith can also read at light speed, which makes me very jealous because I love to read and I love to learn, but I have never been a fast reader. It KILLED me on standardized tests. I would rock the math and science, but my reading comprehension score would just show a picture of a primate rather than an actual "score".

Holy Week is here, and this Lenten season has been a real eye opener for a couple of reasons. In a period that calls for self-examination, self-denial, and focused prayer, I have begun to realize the abundant blessings that God gives us. In a culture that gets their information from sensationalists in the media and is driven by self-preservation, it is refreshing to turn off the "noise" and listen to what is happening in your heart and in your soul. Wait, I'm pulling the plug on this thought process before it gets too "heavy"...

We have yet another busy weekend planned. I will be at the church at midnight tonight to keep the prayer vigil, and I am very excited about it! For some reason, I have always craved quiet time and solitude, and I really look forward to some time in silent prayer, and I wonder where my mind will take me! I often feel like the Family Circus comic, where the little boy wanders all over the place to get from Point A to Point B, when a straight line would have done just fine. I think the proper term for that is "scatter-brained" or "absent-minded professor". I am off for Good Friday, so I get a full day to play with MA! I am thrilled because I feel like I've worked late for a month straight, and we have some catching up to do. Alan & Sandi are headed up this way, and what seems like all of Meredith's family is going to church with us on Easter Sunday. Our poor little church won't know what hit 'em ;). Saturday, we have Emily's 1st birthday party, so Margaret Anne can get an idea of how she should be at her 1st birthday party. Happy Birthday Emily!! See you soon!!

P.S.- I have a major problem overusing the exclamation point. This blog post should not be yelled!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Palm Sunday







Today we went to church for Palm Sunday, which has always been one of my favorite services in the Episcopal Church. Margaret Anne wore her dress from Mitzi, and she wanted to show everyone!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hays, I LOVE YOU.


Yesterday, at the last minute, I agreed to help give the ACT this morning. Which basically consisted of reading instructions out of a book and walking around for 4 hours. None of which was a big deal, especially since I got paid a little extra :). However, this put a little kink in our plans to get up early and get the house cleaned. Well, I had a wonderful surprise waiting for me when I got home. Sweet Hays had done much of the cleaning by himself. Including scrubbing the bathtubs, which is my least favorite job. So Hays, I thank God for you every day, because you are such a blessing in my life and you give me time to be "me." You will never know how much those things mean to me!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Oh, what a day.

Is it bad that its early in the morning and I am already saying this? I am frustrated beyond belief and I wish that it wasn't so! Besides all of the calling of parents that I had to do because their children are failing my class, I also am frustrated because some people just don't take their jobs seriously around here! I feel like we are teaching these kids a lot more than whatever our content area is, and if we are not all consistent with enforcing the rules, how can we expect these teenagers to understand that they are in place for a reason? Things are so different than when I was in high school. Now we are battling iPods, texting, etc. Kids have multiple ways to cheat on tests. Now they all have to wear ID's so that we know that they belong here. It is not easy. But the more consistent we ALL are, the easier it could be. I feel like I am fighting a losing battle sometimes, and I hate that so much of my energy goes into enforcing the rules. But they are important and are ultimately in place to make all of our lives better and easier. So why can't some people understand that and see the bigger picture? Are they trying to be "cool" with their students? Who knows. My students may not love me now, but when they get older they will understand. And my job isn't to be their friend, it is to help them prepare for the life that we all know is MUCH bigger than high school!