Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year to You!

For the gifts brought in 2009 I am thankful, for the losses I am wrought with sadness, for the memories, opportunities, and lessons learned I am indebted.

I wish for you the same wish I write in every birthday card: May 2010 be immeasurably greater than 2009, but not nearly as great as 2011. Celebrate what you have, strive for what you want, and really question if the stuff in the middle is really all that important.

Happy New Year!!
Greg and Avery New Year's Eve 2009

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Teaser

It sounds cheesy, but this really was the best Christmas ever. I don't have time to give the details, but I promise I will. So many presents, so many moments, so many memories. We really have been missing out, but I am so glad we waited. How lucky are we to have just had all of the firsts when so many people our age are done or have been done for years.

Just a few shots to keep you coming back for more!

My Sweet Boys


I love this SMILE


Did you say his belly shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly?


Does this shirt make me look fat? Is it velvet?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Yes, I Have Lost My Mind

So, I really started to feel bad that Avery didn't have a picture with Santa.... I started to get comments like, "What, you haven't? You have to take him to see Santa on his first Christmas!" It wasn't that I didn't want to, but working in Winston and living in Pilot Mountain, and having a husband in grad school at Wake Forest makes everything just slightly more complicated. Just slightly!

In an attempt to quiet the tightening feeling in my chest I planned to be at the mall at 10:00 a.m. Well, that would not be good enough. Not by a long shot. I stood in the line until about 11:40 when the not nice "elf" came around to tell us that if you weren't inside the gate at 12:15, it would be shut, and you would have to wait until Santa came back at 2:00. The girl behind me literally began weeping. There were 17 people in front of us and very little chance that we would make it in to the red gate.

12:15 came and I was three people behind the gate. Gate shut. Suck it kid, you ain't seein' Santa unless your mommy stands in the line for another hour and 45 minutes. I should mention that the very second I saw the size of the line I was ready to surrender, but Skylar felt it essential that he tell Santa what he wanted. I am a sucker for that kid. What choice did I have? I hunkered down, sent Mom and the boys to the food court and prepared myself for a long winters wait. I noticed that the line inside the red gate was moving with a quickness. I started to get very nervous. If they had time to get more people on the big guy's knee they would, problem was my bunch was MIA and my mom left her cell phone in the car.

A few minutes later comes the Christmas miracle. The "meanest" elf lady says to those of us in the front of the line that she is going to send some of us through. She asks the first three couples how many kids they had, and then she asked me. Before I could say a word, the weeper behind me says "ONE". Ummm, sweetheart you are precious, and I feel your pain, but I ain't about to let you pass me. Not on your life sweet cheeks. I hold up two fingers and she announces that the next 5 families can come through. Halle-freakin-lujah! As if on queue, Mom rounds the corner with three kids meals from Chick-fil-a! Suh-weet!

Needless to say, the rest was a mad dash. The pictures were ridiculously over priced, it was rushed, but it was over and I didn't have to worry about Avery someday thinking I was a piece of crap mother for not taking him to see Santa on his first Christmas.

Next year I will take a day off of work before Christmas Eve or I will participate in some activity that involves a Santa Visit. We are totally doing the the Gingerbread House session at the Children's Museum, hopefully breakfast with Santa at the Graleyn, and Leslie told me while I was in the Santa line that she went to some cool thing downtown with a Santa and you could take as many pictures as you wanted. What the what???

Water under the bridge. If I hadn't gone, I would have always regretted it, and imagined it much more glamorous than it was. Below are the fruits of my labor. They were too stinkin' expensive to get one of each of them and a combined shot. Ahhh, next year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

New Car

As you probably know, I love to take photographs. I really wish I could do it for a living, but I am not that good, and I hate getting paid by people that I care about. Over the years I have received some very creative "payments", but the best one to date is an almost new car. Can you imagine? It was so awesome. It has the quietest ride. You barely even hear it moving. I had an older one that sounded a bit like a covered wagon, but not this beauty and he handles like he's on rails (I have no idea what that means, but Julia Roberts says it in pretty woman, and I have been waiting on the opportunity to use it for years!). A low mileage car with less than a year on the title. I am in heaven!

I did Christmas pictures for the Wooten's and as payment, they gave me this car. As you can imagine, Avery couldn't be happier. This baby has logged many a mile up and down our driveway, in to our woods, and around our kitchen.

We call him BIG Blue. To Avery and to us, he is GLORIOUS!

Random Thoughts

  1. I am super pissed that my mailbox was plowed over. No, it wasn't too close to the road. No, I cannot move it back any further. Yes, I thought of that. Did you think I secretly enjoy having my blood pressure sky rocket, so I purposely plant my mailbox too close to the road? The next thing you know I will be getting a bill from the state becuase they dented their snow plow. GRRR....
  2. I saw a sign at Movie Gallery several days ago that said "FREE KIDS". I didn't get quite the shock and awe I was expecting, so here is a picture to validate my point:

    This sign is for real. Someone thought it was a good idea. Hmmm
  3. I also saw a sign at the storage place on University Parkway that said, "Ho, Ho, Ho, come put your junk in our trunk". Really? Wow.
  4. Avery hasn't seen Santa yet and I am freakin' out. Do I suck? Would it be insane to take him on Christmas Eve? Do you think if I was there at 10 a.m. I could get in and get out in a reasonable amount of time?
  5. We got snow!! Real life snow. Avery didn't love it, but I made him a snowman and it made him smile! I was in a hurry, so I forgot arms and his eyes were made of Tums!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Our Christmas Tree: A Reflective Analysis

After Ginger's insightful breakdown of their Christmas tree, I found myself inspired. It feels a little like 5th grade and I am copying the pretty girl's outfit, but then, that really is just what it is. So, credit to Ginger, what a great idea. Here's our tree, and a little of it's history:

First of all, we have a white tree. Why you might ask. Why indeed. Have you noticed that we never get any snow anymore? Really. When I was a kid it snowed all of the time, and it snowed a LOT. So, climate change, global warming, I don't care what you call it, it just plain doesn't snow as much as it used to. Just ask the polar bears if you don't believe me!

So, I decided I would bring in my own snowy tree, and that is what I have done. Over the years I have had all purple lights, last year all blue in honor of Avery, and this year multi since I thought Avery would like seeing all of the colors. Turns out Avery is more like his Father than I realized. He's not very impressed with the Christmas tree. Oh well, I like it, and since all of the effort that goes in to putting it up (other than Greg lugging the boxed up and down the steps) lands on me, isn't that what really matters?I have no idea where this little guy came from, but I think it might have been in a Ziploc of ornaments I bought at the Junior League Rummage sale. He has a sticker on the back of him that says handcrafted in Japan. I think he is so cute. I love his rosy cheeks and his Christmas tree in his hand. I sure hope he wasn't hand made by a child laborer!

I have a bunch of these and they are so precious to me. They are some of my mom and dad's original ornaments. I am not sure if my mom realizes it or not, but if I keep smuggling them out, she won't have any left. Mom loves to tell people how dad busted in from work, snatched one off of the tree, and proceeded to eat it thinking it was a cookie. Not a cookie, Styrofoam. Lesson learned!


This is a bell Mom made for us the year we were married. I love it!

Greggie is a drummer, so I try to find drummer ornaments. He is one of my favorites. Cymbals count as a percussion instrument you know!


I also smuggled this little lady from my Mom's tree. She is as old as me. Poor old girl!


Hmm, she is also stolen. I wonder what my Mom put on her tree this year? I just love these old ones. They take me back to a time when my hair was down to my butt and I had a house full of family at Christmas. My teeth were as big as Chiclets and I didn't have a care in the world. I miss those big family gatherings full of Grandparents and Cousins.

Crap, also stolen. In my defense, Mom asked me to bring her home and glue her ski back on. Can I help it if I forgot to return her?


Ok, this is one of my favorites, and she can't count as stolen because she was mine to start out with. No one besides me likes her anyway!


In an effort to endear Greg to Christmas, I buy things that I think would make him excited about the Christmas tree. It doesn't really work, but it does land me with lots of footballs on the tree. This Santa is tucked back in the limbs wearing his old school football uniform and holding the pig skin. I heart him, but don't tell Greggie!

This little guy and the green one in front are both "borrowed" from Mom's. I am sorry, they don't make ornaments like they used to!

Ah Ha!! I bought this one myself and two others just like her. She's retro, but new. Remember Rhonda Reindeer? You could get them at Hardees. Her boyfriend was Rodney. Dig back, you remember. I recently found an old one at Goodwill for 50 cents. She lives on my desk at work!

This is Avery's first ornament. Hand made by my mom. He put it on the tree himself, and then ripped it down, stuck it in his mouth, and threw it. Gesh!

I like to call these guys the love birds. They were in the arrangements at our wedding and I saved them all. I put them on the tree every year. There are all different colors. How's that for tradition?

Greggie loves owls and we have incorporated them in to Avery's decor as much as we could. Amy got us this one last year. Isn't he cool?

The newest member of the family. Avery's very first Hallmark ornament. I do love it!


While I am in the mood let me also show you just a couple of my decorations too!

I am such a fan of these two. They are pretty old. I bought them at a Thrift store with every intention of giving them as a gift. I always chicken out though. I don't know that people would appreciate such a gift. Would it just seem like you were giving them old junk? I would find them precious, but as we have discussed so very many times before, I am weird. I have several pieces that came to me in the very same fashion. One day I will get up my nerve and wrap up something that isn't brand new or priceless, but just adorable and thoughtful!



Paige and Jody gave me this Santa the year I got married and he is so beautiful. Doesn't he look so serious double checking that list? Hope you are on it! His furry friends came from Pottery Barn after Christmas last year. I want to live in the Pottery Barn!



My sweet Mom made these for me when I was tee-tiny. I can't remember a Christmas without them.



Now go make your own memories and write about them so I can stop reading the blogs of total strangers!

Got Christmas?

The time for talk is over, it is time to get serious. There are only 8 more days. EIGHT! And that is until Christmas. Only gas stations are open on Christmas, so unless your dearly beloved wants a Little Trees air freshener for Christmas, might I suggest you get your butt in gear. On the bright side, should you continue to procrastinate until this is your only option, there is a light at the end of your tunnel. With the purchase of only 6 Little Trees, you qualify for a free hat. Now that is what I call an incentive!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Things about Today that Made Me Crazy and that I LOVED

Today was a BEAR. Really, a bear:
  1. When I got home last night I had a message from BB&T on my machine. Hmmm, I know I payed the house payment and the equity line, so what do they want? It is NEVER good news when the bank calls. The last time they called I had written one amount in the box and a completely different amount on the spelled out line. Brilliant! Of course they called at home during the day. Curious? I am at work during the day. Tricky, tricky, tricky. Anyhow, we finally touch base, I remedy my error, and ask that they note my account to call my work or cell in the case that I do anything stupid again (as I am quite sure I will) and all is well. So, when I hear this message I am a superb mix of irritated and alarmed. I don't know why things like this unnerve me like they do. I wish, pray, hope, and long to be the person who says, "hmmm, wonder what they wanted, now, what was I doing?" I do. I so want to be her. She looks so calm and pretty and arranged, but she eludes me. Instead, I toss and turn, bite my nails, and worry. I can't stop thinking about it, so I call them and leave a voice mail, only while I am leaving the message, Avery drives his push car in to me and the handle hits me square in the middle of my back. Since I am distracted and worried it scares the living crap out of me. This is how my voice mail goes:

    hey, this is OL and you left a voice mail for me today. I am at work during the day, could you please call me on my cell........AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, good grief Avery you almost gave mommy a heart attack buddy........ the number is xxx-xxx-xxxx. Thanks!
    Can you imagine what Tiffany must have been thinking when she heard that message? I am sure she thought I was a total idiot, and let's be honest, she's not really that far off. Gesh. Anyhow, I don't hear back so I call her and this is how the conversation goes:

    OL: Hey, this is OL, and you called me yesterday
    T: Oh yes, can you hold or can I call you back?
    OL: I will hold. (Now I am panic stricken. My stomach is aching, my mind is racing, and I feel nauseous. She needs privacy to talk to me. CRAP!)
    T: I don't mind calling you back
    OL: Nope, I will wait.
    T: Quida, thanks for holding. How are you today.
    OL: I am fine.
    T: Great Quida, can you give me your social so I can pull up your account?
    OL: Sure, it's ###-##-####
    T: Well, you sound worried, I wanted to let you know that nothing is wrong.
    OL: Good, that's great news.
    T: Ok Quida, I see here that when you came in to the branch yesterday and paid your payment that you qualified for a free checking account. We have your mortgage and equity line relationship, and Quida we would really like to help you out with your checking too.
    OL: Ummm, my name is Ouida. There is no "Q".
    T: I am so sorry.
    OL: It's ok, but I didn't come in to the branch, I left my payment in the drop box.
    T: Umm, the teller told me that you came in.
    OL: I didn't come in, I left my payment in the drop box outside.
    T: I am sorry, but I thought you were in the branch.
    OL: I appreciate the call, but I have been with my bank since I was 16, and I really don't want to switch right now, but thank you.
    T: Quida, are you paying fees?
    OL: Nope, but thanks for the call. Bye.

    Tiffany was a lovely lady and she was just doing her job, but this exchange bugged me on so very many levels!

  2. About a month ago I got a bill from Premier Medical Associates for $30. That is my co-pay amount, and I know I paid it. I call the doctors office and they say that they can't help me, I need to call the 800 number. Yipeee! That will be awesome. I call, and I hold for over 40 minutes. Then some JERK picks up and immediately hangs up. My blood is BOILING. I call back, hold for 20 more minutes, get a super sweet lady, and she fixes the issue. Bear in mind, I paid my co-pay at the time of the visit and spent one hour of my life holding to get the issue fixed. Imagine how badly I wanted to strangle someone when I got the same EFFING bill again today. I left a very stern voice mail. I can't wait to hear back from them. I don't even know if I will bother calling them back. At this point, I am almost willing to throw it in the trash and hope for the best. Why can't people try harder? Greg may be right, it would have been easier to have just sent another $30. Grrrrrrr!
  3. Without going in to too much detail can I just say that we live in a society with some real idiots. Several months ago sweet BT participated in the Tour to Tanglewood
    to raise money for MS. He was reading the article in the WS Journal and some idiot had written in the comments that if they had to choose between ridding the world of MS or cyclist, they would choose cyclist. This infuriated me. People got out in the pouring rain and rode bikes for two days to raise money for a horrible life threatening disease, and this is all someone could come up with? I kept my trap shut because I really had NOTHING nice to say, but this week when a horrible case of domestic violence left three children without parents and these same doe doe's made equally offensive idiotic comments I had had ENOUGH. Can we please start a campaign to stop stupid? Will you join me? If you are sitting at home reading the Winston Salem Journal and you feel the need to write something mean or insensitive about a story, do us all a favor, punish
  4. yourself. Hold your breath until you have a better idea. Be sure you are sitting. You will most likely faint!
  5. On a positive note Wachovia gave out the coolest Christmas presents to Greggie's group today! They got an awesome Old Salem ornament, a Moravian cookie assortment also from Old Salem, and gift card. How cool is that. I love Old Salem. You really should get over there if you haven't been lately. It is so beautiful! Their ornament was prettier than this, but I couldn't find a picture.

  6. Go and watch the Wii Video again. This is the last week and B's last chance and $5k, a Big Ass Chain, and ultimate bragging rights. You don't want to be the reason he didn't advance now do you? You need a laugh, take a break and watch the video ASAP, pass it on to everyone you know, and then watch it again!


  7. Am I too crabby? I am sorry!!




Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Little Something To Get You In the Mood

Thank you Hallmark. In my humble opinion these are the coolest Christmas items to come out in very, very long time. If you don't love them, you ears must be broken. Like badly broken. Like get thee to an ENT broken. There might be an ambulance at your door, you just don't hear it, broken. Get it?

video

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What the What?

It has been a weird month and I have MISSED my blog. So, what's been up?
  • I whined like a little baby because I forgot to return 2 movies I had rented, but when I took them back in and tried to pay the late fee the sweet lady at Movie Gallery waived the fee. That never happens to me. I think she partially wanted to get rid of me because she was on a personal phone call, but the end result was the same. Thanks Movie Gallery lady. Hope you had a good chat. I sure do appreciate your kindness!
  • I am puzzled by the actions of men like Tiger Woods. I won't even try to break down the age old question, "why do people cheat (not just men thank you very much)?" They cheat and how. Over and over and over, rich/poor, you name it. People plain old cheat. Gesh! Anyhow, that's not my point. I read that Tiger texted (sexted) this super worthy cocktail waitress the following message: "girl i am going to wear you out, when was the last time you were effed?" Wow! That is graphic. Let me make sure I get the entire picture here. You are worth $1 billion dollars and you think this is a text you should be sending? Really? It never occurred to you that this goofy girl might sing like a canary some day? You thought you were such a gift to this little twit that she would adjust her voicemail and protect you? Really? That was dumb. Dumber than dumb, that was my IQ might be lower than my handicap DUMB. I am not judging you Tiger, I just don't understand. Cheaters could you please be a little smarter in your cheating? I am bored of your stupidity. Those who are the "others" you disgust me. Don't date married people. They aren't supposed to be dating.
  • I have quit tv. I don't record anything anymore. Not even 30 Rock which is my most favorite. I miss tv, I just don't have time for it anymore. I do usually catch I-Carly when I am feeding Avery. I freakin' love that show. Yes, the show if targeted toward little girls, but I don't care. I am a kid at heart.
  • Avery's school pictures are still peeving me off. You have to buy school pictures. You have to. Its in the parent code right? Its required. I paid $75 for 5 digital images. In 2 of the 5 part of Avery's limbs are cut off. The package prices were $64.95, $54.95, or $44.95. For $44.95 you get 1 8x10, 2 5x7s, 4 3x5s, and 8 wallets. Buying the digital images was the only thing that made sense. The images were on a plain memorex cd and Avery's name wasn't even written on it. Bear in mind it took me almost 2 months to get them. Jerry put it best. He said the reason it took so long to get them was that this joker was busy counting his money. I concur. Why oh why didn't I get my degree in photography. AHHHH!
  • I am stoked about Christmas. I plan to embrace it Halloween style this year. Ho Ho Ho!!