30 September 2009

going to the dogs

Mabry had a blast up in Pennsylvania playing with all the dogs.

First there was Betsy and Sven's new dog, Gunner. They have only had him for a week. He is a good puppy and makes the funniest expressions.

There was also my Gramma's dog, Molly. If she isn't licking you to death she is usually laying right by Gramma's side.

Then we had Frieda. She is my Granny's dog. Not only is she about the size of a small car, but she has enough energy to power Rhode Island. In other words, she is a force to be reckoned with.

When we were outside all you would see is a big black blur as she would race by. I started playing a game of hide and seek with her. Can you find her in the landscaping there?

Then I chased her all over the yard. Granny said she must have been worn out because she went down into the pond to escape me and stayed in there for a good 10 minutes or so just panting and cooling off.

She is a good dog with a lot of love and patience.

Not to mention she is good for a laugh. Just check her out going down the street:

It was so much fun to watch Mabry with all of them. She would laugh and clap and try to pet them. It made me want to get a dog for our family. Almost.

29 September 2009

happy birthday betsy, a little late

I know I had promised posts while I was gone the last few days and I wasn't lying when I said I would have Internet access all along the way. What I didn't take into consideration is that I would not have any time to process a single thought let alone type up a blog post while I was away. It was pretty much a jammed packed six days. Hopefully I will be making it up in the coming days with several posts.
On our travels I managed to take literally hundreds upon hundreds of photos. I won't bore you to tears with all of them. Instead over the next few posts I will try and pick out some of my favorites to share, starting with this grouping here. While in Erie my little sister, Betsy, celebrated her 25th birthday. My grandmothers and two aunts met us for breakfast to help celebrate.

I think it is funny in the last photo how Mabry and Granny seem to have the same expression. Oh and if you ever happen to be in Erie, Lori's makes a great breakfast and the log cabin atmosphere is fun.

prayer request

A good friend of mine has a youngest sister who was diagnosed with bone cancer yesterday. She is currently on her way from IL to TN to get treatment from St. Jude's. Lexi has a long road and a hard battle ahead of her and could use all of the love and support we can give her to get through this. She is a strong girl who has already endured quite a bit in her life and she will conquer this too.
Please take a minute and sign her guestbook on her Caringbridge page and let her know she has a lot of people all over the country/world thinking of her. I know it would mean a lot to her and her family.

knock knock

Hey Internets, are you in there? We haven't forgotten about you! Mama is just drowning in a sea of laundry and other odds and ends she brought back from our trip. She has a whole lot of photos she can't wait to share. They will be up soon, I promise to be good and let her get her work done so she can put together a good post later tonight.

Mabry Grace

28 September 2009

while driving back home from pennsylvania

*Phone rings*

Me: Hello?

Dan: Hi Hon. How are things going?

Me: Good. Mabry is watching Peter Pan and being really good. What's up?

Dan: *Hesitates* Um...promise not to freak out?

Me: (Immediate thoughts of him eating in bed and destroying our white comforter that took me over a year to find; the house burning down; him telling us we are being relocated.) Sure?

Dan: I want to say up front we are not going to sell this house.

Me: *Now really worried.* Ok?

Dan: The next door neighbors found a 7 FOOT SNAKE IN THEIR GARAGE today. Animal control said it wasn't a pet, IT WAS WILD.

Me: *Mock calm voice* Oh is that all? No big deal. *Frantically looking for a place to pop a u-turn on a major interstate and put as many states between me and our house as possible.*

I am now looking everywhere I go when I walk not only outside but in the house. Toilet lids are opened and throughly inspected for anything that could be lurking. Cupboards are checked before reaching my hand in to grab anything. The best part is Dan said the neighbors told him that they had to call a whole bunch of different places before they could someone to come out and catch the snake. My plan is to call 911 and report shots fired if I find one, I figure that means I will only be screaming like a little girl while hanging from the chandelier in the dining room for about a minute before help arrives.

That is if I don't just drop dead from total fright first.

23 September 2009

my happy place

This is Mabry taking her nap yesterday afternoon. Having been up for approximately 9 hours already today (that would mean a 4:30AM wake up call for me) and having been on the road for approximately 5 1/2 hours, I can't tell you how good a nap sounds right about now.

See you in just a few more hours Betsy and Sven!!

a little bit goes a long way

Mabry and I are on our way to Pennsylvania today. The plan is to stop in Lancaster overnight then keep heading further north to Erie for the weekend to attend wedding of a dear friend of mine.

I hope Mabry and I do OK driving such a distance by ourselves. One can only imagine the amount of times that I am going to have to pull over to change DVDs, give her food, change diapers, pick up toys that have fallen on the ground, put a pillow under her head because she has (hopefully) finally fallen asleep.

There shouldn't be a lack in posts as I will have Internet access all along the way.

Today I thought I would share some different things that I have been doing around the house to keep myself busy.

We all know that the living room in this house has turned into the bane of my very existence. I have tried several different things with the room since we moved in. I would live with it for a little while and then try something else. Nothing felt right. Sunday while Dan was at work I cleaned the house from top to bottom. Then I went through some fabric that I had in my leftover bin and made some new pillow covers for the living room. Then I took down the photo collage from the wall that just never felt quite right and shopped the house for anything that I might have laying around that could be of some use. I arranged and rearranged all over the place.

I am FINALLY beginning to feel like this room might just come together after all. I still want to put in some shelves somewhere. For now though, I am really happy with the progress I am making.

Next on my list is to come up with something to put on the ground near the fireplace and to find a blanket for the edge of the couch.

I made this little rosette pillow following this How To. I modified it a little so they aren't really rosettes on the pillow, they are more like waves. I think if I had to do it over again, I would follow the pattern a little more closely and actually make the rosettes.

Over the weekend Dan's cousin, Lindsay, and I went to a few antique stores in town. Oh my goodness it was like walking right into a little brick warehouse version of Heaven. It was so much fun and I found some really great things. Including the best 100 year old AM radio for only $10!!! I also bought several of these blue jars. I am going to start a collection I have decided. Aren't they cute? I love the way the blue works with my kitchen wall color.

Our bedroom still needs to be painted. It is a project I plan to tackle in the next month or so. I think I have myself talked up enough that I can do it on my own and don't need to call in a professional. I do plan on calling my Mom and begging her to come up for a few days and help. Keeping my fingers crossed she will say yes.

I did take a baby step in the direction of decorating this room last week though. I took some scrapbook paper and took a few pictures of Dan and myself and turned them into silhouettes for on either side of the bed. I used two different types of paper that complimented each other. The background on mine has little polka dots. I don't know what happened but Flickr wouldn't give me a larger photo to post for you to get a good look.

There you have it. Some little things that I have been doing around the house that have made a big difference.

22 September 2009

a mabry minute

This post is a little late going up today. Last night I was so exhausted I actually fell asleep on the couch watching TV with Dan. Which is a problem, because usually in the evening after Mabry has gone to bed is when I sit down to do any blogging.

I had a request a little while back for another Mabry video. She is picking up new words all the time it seems like. She has reached an age where it is just hard to understand a lot of what she is trying to tell you.

This afternoon before going down for her nap I tried to get her to talk to me. Even just one little minute of talking would have been great. About the only thing she wanted to do was make silly faces though.

Well I am off to see about getting my hair cut. Fun, fun!

20 September 2009

playground blues

Friday I took Mabry to a park we hadn't been to before to meet a little girl and her mom from church. Only the mom forgot about the date and never showed up. (I don't hold it against her because I forgot about the church play group earlier in the week and loaded Mabry up to leave at the same time it was ending.)

The playground was meant for 2-5 year olds and there were several children playing on the slides and tunnels while we were there. I was excited for Mabry to have some kids to play with. It seems like since we moved to NC she has spent the majority of her time with adults. All of the children happened to be two-years-old (I asked), just like Mabry. The biggest difference between these two-year-olds and mine was their ability to navigate the jungle gym with ease.

Maybe I should stop right here and tell you a little secret about Dan and I, in case you have never met us, in which case it isn't a secret at all. I am only 5'2" and Dan is only 5'3". In other words we gave birth to a child more likely to be the mayor of Munchkin land than a Harlem Globetrotter. Know what I mean?

The steps just to get onto the jungle gym were too high for her, as were the steps all throughout the thing once you were on it. Which meant her Mama had to go everywhere with her to give a boost.

(I took the next two pictures this weekend when Dan and I took her back to the park so you could see what I mean.)

The children showed little interest in Mabry. Especially when their mother's referred to her as a "baby" and told them all to be careful with her as they approached her. I wanted to yell at them all, "No she is 2. Just like your kid. Please just let them play. She doesn't ever get to hang out with kids." So for the most part she was avoided.

Mabry would do her best to follow them and try and play what they were playing. I did my best to blend into the background, while not being too far off to help with all the steps. At one point she went down a slide and then shook her head at me and pushed me away as I tried to help her climb back up.

Instead she hung her head and just walked slowly around the playground. I knew her feelings were hurt and, Internet, I have to tell you something. My stomach was in knots and I didn't know if I was going to cry or throw up it pained me so much to see her being hurt by other kids. I just quietly tried to keep it together and let her decide what to do next.

Thank goodness a little girl, S, showed up and wanted to play with Mabry. She led Mabry over to a pile of dirt and they dug around and had a good old time. Then they went down the hill to the swing set and played there for awhile. On the way back up to the cars they even held hands walking up the hill. S, you have a special place in my heart.

Here I sit two days later and I can't get that image of Mabry, head hung low and feelings hurt, out of my mind. I need some advice, Mommies. How do you deal with your child being hurt and upset by other kids? How am I going to keep it together for at least the next 16-17 years and beyond????

18 September 2009

this is for jessie

My very good friend, Jessie, has been checking out the blog at work during her downtime. So I thought to brighten up her Friday I would put up a whole bunch of random stuff to help her day pass by just a little faster.

If you happen to like giveaways, there is a great one happening over at Songbirdtiff. Click here to find out more details.

Meals have become a huge production 'round this house now that Mabry has decided to accessorize with whatever it is that we give her to eat. Case in point, yesterday's lunch:
That yogurt you see isn't just on the table, the bib and her face. Oh no, that area of matted hair on her head--yep that's yogurt there too. I love my two-year-old and her need for three baths a day.


Now for a little bit of link love. Just click and enjoy!

Purple Balls: One of the funniest posts of all time.

Pretty Pictures: These just brighten my day when I look at them. They are like a virtual hug from across the Internet universe.

Craft of the Day: Because Martha Stewart's website was mentioned in our phone conversation last night. This is one that I check every day for ideas.

Office Workout: Since Jessie is in her office bored out of her mind (you too Dana!) I thought I would include some of these exercises. You know, just to spice up the day. If you don't like those or want to expand your workout you can also try the ones found here. Of course you could always buy a Hawaii Chair. Look, Ellen even tried it.


I must find someone who will compete against me in ghosting. This has to be one of the best ideas. Please won't someone ghost with me??


While searching around You Tube I found another video that made me laugh. As someone who sometimes "plays" with her food (you should watch me eat a Pringles sometime), I would love to be able to ask him what in the world he was doing.


I am beginning to rethink the whole bookcases surrounding the fireplace idea. Mainly because after talking with Dan and really looking at all the detail work on the fireplace and the marble on the floor surrounding it we think it will be too big of a job. So now I am thinking about something smaller on one of the walls. Maybe something like this:
Photo courtesy of remodeling center

What do you think? Any ideas?? We just need something to display/store some of the things that we have.


When we were living up in Washington so many people went crazy for the small town of Forks. The Twilight book series was meant to have taken place there. I thought people were so silly that they would travel all the way to the Washington shore to check out the town where a fiction novel was set. I mean seriously, don't people have better ways to spend their time?

But then Patrick Swayze died and it was brought to my attention that Dirty Dancing was filmed HERE IN NORTH CAROLINA. Only 4 hours from where I live. Oh how I want to go check out Lake Lure. To walk where Swayze and Baby walked. (Maybe even dance a little??) What do you think, Jessie, would you go with me to Lake Lure one Saturday??

Aside from driving all over the Pennsylvania countryside back in 2002 the morning after the Quecreek Miners were rescued with my friend Suzanne to "hug a miner" I have never really been compelled to travel to a famous setting.

How about the rest of you? I'm really curious, have you ever gone some place just because someone or something famous happened/was there?


Enjoy your Friday everyone!

17 September 2009

a happy valley kind of weekend

Nestled amongst the hills of central Pennsylvania rests Happy Valley.

Home to the sleepy little college town State College and Penn State University.

Last weekend we made a very last minute trip up to visit Dan's family and for Dan to go cheer his beloved PSU Nittany Lions and Joe Paterno on to yet another victory.

Mabry spent quality time playing with her Grandma and many of her aunts and uncles while Dan and his dad were at the game. Uncle Jared is a favorite, because he not only asks her if she wants to take a nap but listens to her when she tells him no.

While all this was going on I took my camera and wandered around campus and downtown.

On the way home I spent time reading my camera manual and practicing taking photos of anything I could. I am preparing for the class I am taking that starts in a few weeks, Get Off the Green Square. (There are a limited amount of spaces left, you should check it out!)

Mabry wanted in on all of the photo action. From the backseat I could hear her little voice yelling, "Cheese." Of course I had to oblige and take at least one photo of her chubby little face.

They are calling for storms later today. I think I might go spend some time on the porch trying to get at least one picture of a lightening bolt. Stormy days are the best!

15 September 2009

the worst room in the house

When we were looking for houses this past spring I had some very specific criteria I was looking for. I wanted an older home. I wanted built ins. I wanted character. Lots and lots of character.

After hitting several roadblocks I realized that there were going to have to be things that I would have to give on. Tight time constraints do things like that to you. So we started looking at newer houses and trying to figure out how to add a little character of our own.

Oh a built in bookshelf would go perfect along this wall. We could add bead board along here. This would be perfect to add crown molding. You get the picture.

The house we ended up with, well it isn't so great in terms of adding character. Aside from bead board in the dining room, every idea that I come up with has turned out to be a huge challenge. It is frustrating.

Hands down the worst room in the house is the living room. I HATE my living room. Actually hate doesn't seem to be strong enough of a word to describe how I feel about this room. I have so many photographs and other interesting tschokies that I would love to display. Only I can't, because there isn't a single place to put anything.

So now I am thinking very seriously about a built in bookshelf on either side of my fireplace. Keep in mind that the fireplace is ridiculously tall because of the huge cut out that holds the equally ridiculous in size TV. This is the best picture I could find of the fireplace. I am too lazy to get up and grab the camera to take a picture.

So these are different bookshelf ideas I have come up with:

I just don't know how tall I should make them. Do you think it will be weird if the fireplace is actually set back slightly from the bookshelves. You see our fireplace (not counting the mantel that the TV sits on) doesn't even stick out of the wall a foot. I will want my bookshelves to be deeper than that.

Has anyone ever made a built in bookshelf? Any other suggestions on what I could do in here to be able to display things?

14 September 2009

links and tutes

50 Things Every Mac Owner Should Know: Sadly after owning my Mac for a year now I learned a few things from this. I should really learn about the things I own sooner.

101 Ways to Tell Your Husband You Love Him: Some really cute ideas to show your one and only how much you love and appreciate him.

Headboard Inspiration: DIY Headboards, number 4 is my favorite.

5 Hard To Kill Houseplants: Seeing as I have been the kiss of death for two mums and two succulents in the last few months, maybe I ought to invest in one of these.

10 Stunts of Modern Times: The part about Phillippe Petit made my palms sweat just reading about him on the Twin Towers. You can find more information on Petit here and watching this video here.

AMAZING Nursery: I love this nursery so much. If we ever have another baby I am going to use this as my inspiration.

Pinhole Tags: These would be fun to try and make. Anyone know where to find these type of tags? I think that they would look great on Christmas packages wrapped in brown paper with festive ribbon.

Know Your States: I may have linked to this recently, but seriously this is addicting. I wonder if they have this as an app for the iPhone?!

I also added a ton of new how to's in my tutorial section. Lots for Halloween! I also added a new area called download and print. Be sure to check it out.

survey says...

This weekend Dan and I took Mabry on a very impromptu, very whirlwind trip up to Pennsylvania for a Penn State game and to see some family and friends. In the last 72 hours a little more than 20 hours were spent driving in the car and only about 10 of them were spent sleeping.

I think it is safe to assume that my brain is pretty much useless in terms of coming up with a thought provoking post for you all to wake up to on Monday morning at this point. So I figured why not a little bit of random survey fun to start the week off?

Renee over at My Special K's did this survey the other day on her blog. So you enjoy the survey while I finish unpacking and then start editing all of the photos I plan to share with you.

1. What time did you get up this morning? 7AM, unfortunately I am NOT a morning person so this was not a good thing

2. How do you like your steak? Well. As in charred to a crisp. Dead. Dead. Dead.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Dan and I took Mabry to see Up at the dollar theatre on Thursday. May have been the sweetest love story I have ever watched. LOVE that movie!

4. What is your favorite TV show? Grey's Anatomy, How I Met Your Mother, America's Got Talent, Survivor and the Amazing Race.

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? It would be a toss up between the English countryside and Key West in a little old house

6. What did you have for breakfast today? Dan's Dad made scrambled eggs and toast. He makes the best scrambled eggs I have ever eaten. Yum!

7. What is your favorite cuisine? You mean there are other cuisines than Mexican? Nah, couldn't be!

8. What foods do you dislike? Seafood, mayo, zucchini

9. Favorite Place to Eat? Little hometown Mexican places

10. Favorite dressing? Vinegar (no oil) or Newman's Own Southwest

11.What kind of vehicle do you drive? Honda Pilot

12. What are your favorite clothes? T-shirt and jeans kind of girl, though I do want to start dressing up more

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? England and the Philippines oh and of course Ireland

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? Really it is on a case by case basis

15. Where would you want to retire? At the moment Key West is probably at the top of the list.

16. Favorite time of day? 8pm. Mabry's in bed, I can just relax and hang out with Dan

17. Where were you born? North Carolina

18. What is your favorite sport to watch? Hockey is the only sport I enjoy watching and even then it has to be live

19. Are you a morning person or a night person? Night person

20. Do you have any pets? None.

21. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? I'm thinking about joining a Zumba class on post. Other than that, I am totally lame.

26. What did you want to be when you were little? The president and a teacher. Mainly I just wanted to be the boss.

27. What is your best childhood memory? Riding bikes in both my Gramma Wanda and my Granny's driveways. Seeing Crocodile Dundee at the drive in with my parents. Sleepovers with my best friend in Kindergarten, Karen.

28. Are you a cat or dog person? Probably more dog because cat's make my feet itch. Though my friend Jessie has the cutest cat named Goose.

29. Are you married? Yes!

30. Always wear your seat belt? Always.

31. Been in a car accident? Yes. Sigh.

32. Any pet peeves? Chewing with your mouth open is a big one.

33. Favorite Pizza Toppings? Cheese and if I am feeling wild, extra cheese.

34. Favorite Flower? Magnolia

35. Favorite ice cream? Bubblegum

36. Favorite fast food restaurant? Moe's

37. How many times did you fail your driver's test? The written part once, the driving part none.

38. From whom did you get your last email? Tricia

39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? None. Not a fan of the credit card.

40. Do anything spontaneous lately? Drove up to Pennsylvania and back this weekend.

41. Like your job? Yep, it isn't a bad gig being the munchkin's Mama.

42. Broccoli? Cooked is ok but I love it raw!

43. What was your favorite vacation? New York City

44. Last person you went out to dinner with? Nicole, Paul and my Danny

45. What are you listening to right now? Dan typing on his computer checking all of the ESPN scores.

46. What is your favorite color? It used to be orange. Now I am really into browns and reds.

47. How many tattoos do you have? Two.

48. Coffee Drinker? Not really. I did try my Mom's mocha latte from Starbucks a few weekends ago and it wasn't too terrible.

09 September 2009

will my thoughts ever stop bouncing from one thing to another?

I also loved what I found on Patricia Gray's Blog about white on white bedrooms. So combining some of those ideas with the color palette in the top left photo from above, I think I have a plan (sort of) for our master bedroom. FINALLY.

The plan is to either do the entire room white and then use silver, pink and navy accents. Or paint three of the walls white and the third a grayish silver.

I am just trying to decide if I want to be brave and paint the room myself or if I want to hire our painter guy to come back and do it hassle free. I also need to figure out if I were to paint three walls one color and then one wall a different color, what color do I paint the ceiling? The same as the three walls or the same as the one different wall?

After reading about and seeing videos on how Sarah paints, I almost feel brave enough to do it myself.

Opinions? Suggestions? Warnings of doom? Well wishes? Anything??


I am wondering how trendy are headbands? I saw this tutorial and these headbands are so stinkin cute. After Dan and I get back from taking Mabry on a little date to see the movie Up! at the dollar theatre tonight, I think I might try my hand at one or two.

because i am weird like that

On Saturday night I snuck into the room Mabry was sleeping in just before midnight and took a few pictures of the last minutes of my girl as a one-year-old. I also held her and tried to soak it all in. I hate that they don't stay little for long.

Girlie takes after her Dada, she snored the whole time.

After she had gone to bed and everyone had left her party on Sunday I realized that I didn't get a single photo of her on her birthday. So for the second night in a row I snuck into her room and this time had Dan take a photo of me with her.


Today is 09/09/09. Something that comes around only once a century. It is also my Gramma Wanda's 85th birthday. Happy Birthday Gramma! We love you!
I thought I would share a few facts I came across about the number nine. All of which can be found by clicking here.

1. It takes exactly nine minutes for light from the sun to reach the earth.

2. After traveling to the nine corners of the earth, it took Odysseus nine years to get back to Greece.

3. Nine multiplied by any one-digit number always yields a two-digit result. The sum of those two digits is always nine ((for example, 9 × 9 = 81. 8 + 1 = 9). The exception to this rule is 9 × 1, which results in a one-digit answer: 9.

4. Many superstitious people and psychics believe that if you dream about the number nine, a child will soon be brought into your home.

5. According to the Christian angelic hierarchy, there are nine choirs of angels.

6. In Norse Mythololgy, Odin hung himself on an ash tree for nine days, in order to learn the runes.

7. Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting and prayer, is the ninth month of the calendar.

8. A nine-pointed star is used to symbolize the Bahá’í Faith, which symbolizes completeness in the religion.

9. Nine monks are involved in almost every important Buddhist ritual.


One last thing. Today Dan is having Lasek eye surgery done. Apparently there are several different versions of this procedure and his is the Lasek with the "e." What exactly the difference is, I don't know. If you could say a prayer that things go smoothly I would appreciate it.

We were told the whole surgery would last no more than 15 minutes for both eyes. The doctor told Dan that was taking his time. I hope he isn't in too much pain and that his eyes heal the way that they are supposed to.

If you are curious to see what the procedure is like you can check out this video he and I found yesterday. Fair warning, this is not the video you really want to watch while eating your Wheaties kids. It starts a little slow and boring, but around 5:45 when they SCRAPE THE TOP LAYER OF SKIN back from the pupil it gets a little cringe worthy and interesting.

On that note, y'all enjoy your Wednesday!

08 September 2009

presents and other random pictures

I made the mistake of bringing out presents that had been mailed to Mabry early in the day Sunday. She wanted to open them in the worst way. So before her nap we decided to let her open up some of the ones from Dan's parents to pacify her.

They used wordle to create this cute picture.

Trying to be strong and rip the tape on her own.

Before the party really got under way Mabry invented a new game called UP! Basically she would yell UP! and whoever was holding her would throw her in the air. Everyone stood in a circle and passed her around. She loved it.

Just a few more random photos from the day:

Rubbing Gampa's belly for luck.

Sven loved this GelPro mat that I have in my kitchen. I won it in a Mother's Day giveaway. He vowed to do more dishes if Betsy would spring for the $100 to buy one for their house.

Scroll down for more photos from Mabry's birthday weekend.
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