never forget

i have read this before, and i just came across it again recently.  had to share.



cousins teach you how to play dress-up.

they also teach you all their moves.

in return, you teach them how to act like a t-rex.

they can flatten you like a pancake.

 together, you are brave,

and silly,

and so, so stinkin' cute.

thanksgiving greatest hits

{first of all, i would like to start by thanking all of my sweet readers for your encouraging and honest responses to the post about my ben woes.  it truly made me feel better and was one giant reminder that i am loved and just another parent going through the things parents go through. i promise to keep being honest, if y'all promise to keep reading.  y'all are the best.  i mean it.}

i stayed home from work today due to this coughy, sneezy, drippy, headachy, congestion thing i've got going on.  not excited to be sick, but excited to have a reason to stay home, upload pictures, and blog.

this week's greatest hits takes place primarily in rome, georgia.  and for that, i am thankful.

1) i am also thankful for this picture.  see those cute kids on the stage?  that is ben's class ready to perform in the thanksgiving program at his school.  see ben?  he's refusing to participate because his daddy is in the audience and he only wants to sit by him.  screw singing.
2) i am thankful that (although i had to work) my dad and chris attended ben's thanksgiving feast and "performance".  when i was a little girl, my dad and my pawpaw would come eat lunch at school with me on special occasions.  i felt incredibly special.  i hope ben did, too.
3) i am thankful that our family from all over the country can reunite for a few days to make memories that will last forever.
4) i am thankful for our very first niece.  she is a born care-taker.  she is a true first-born.  sweet, serious at times, and beautiful.  a ballerina and a big-sister.  she makes sure ben is well-taken care of.  and as you can see, he adores her.
5) i am thankful for this little girl.  she sparkles.  she loves to laugh, dance and be silly.  a sensitive communicator.  she sounds like a 3 year old scarlett o'hara. 
6) i am thankful for this hug.  {look at that smile}  ben has NO regard for other people's personal space.  thank goodness caroline doesn't mind.
7) i am thankful for the perfect fall weather that graced us during our trip.  the cold front may have caused this cough, but it complimented the colors of the leaves perfectly.
8) i am thankful for our ONLY and most perfect baby nephew.  he is the type of baby that allows you to kiss and snuggle him to death.  he doesn't mind his personal space being invaded!  he is observant and gorgeous.   look at him.
9) i am thankful for family traditions.  cookie decorating is serious business during the holidays.
10) i am thankful for restaurants with creative decor and an equally creative menu.  this chandelier is made out of spoons.
11)  i am thankful for ben's fun aunt.  you know, the kind of aunt that squirts reddi-whip straight out of the can into your mouth.  that's how memories are made.
12) i am thankful for this gorgeous bed and breakfast.  staying there made us feel very southern, in more of an elegant way (and less of a hillbilly way).
13) i am thankful for these siblings.  although they don't get to see each other often and when they do, they are busy chasing after children, they are best friends.  i wish we all lived a little closer to each other.

i hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving!

until next time,

thanksgiving pictures here.

will travel for food

my side of the family has a history of driving hours in any direction for a meal.  in fact, we have been known to plan vacations around where we are going to eat.  some may consider this a problem, we choose to see it as delicious.  i didn't realize i was looking for that same quality in a husband, but i certainly found it.  on our way to spend thanksgiving with our family in georgia, we chose to make an indirect pit-stop in memphis for some barbeque.  we arrived too late for any of the touristy goodness that memphis has to offer, but we did get there just in time for dinner.  conveniently.

you just can't beat a hotel bed.
our dinner destination.
hungry never looked so cute.
that meal didn't stand a chance.
thanks for the memories/bbq, memphis.


the faces of ben

{jules- your post about avery inspired this one}

a few gems from ben, 30 months:

"i love you so very much."
"i miss him so."
"momma, what happened to your hair?" (thanks a lot, kid)
"i have a hypothesis!" ( i knew we watched sesame street for a reason.)


{teachers are reminded of this everyday.  especially at the schools where i have worked}

{this is basically my husband in poster form.}

{marcy, are you reading this?}

The Thing Is
to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.

 by Ellen Bass
(From Mules of Love, via The Writer’s Almanac.)

{brings me to tears.}


if my belly wasn't planning on growing exponentially over the next several months, i would rock these pants.  in this color.  (go ahead and laugh, sarah.....do these remind you of my red jeans circa 1993???)

instead i bought these.  maternity skinny jeans.
isn't that an oxymoron???


greatest hits

1) finding this boy asleep anywhere other than his bed.  most of the time it's frustrating, but sometimes it's just plain funny.
2) date night with my handsome husband.  diner AND a movie???  say what???
icing on the cake, we found a delicious thai place that is cheap and it delivers. (my panang curry pictured below.  it's o.k., be jealous....)
3) the most productive christmas shopping day with marcy.  we did some serious damage at the greatest christmas market we have been to in a looooong time.  we had her snap this classic family picture of us when she dropped by to pick me up.
4) laughing at this boy.  he was late to school the other day because he refused to get out of his "cave".
(and here he is another day {late again!} reading to his friend the elephant.)
5) snapping this picture because it captures some of my favorite things.  this room, those paintings, the lighting, and that precious boy.
6) a last-minute family dinner at my parent's house complete with my grandparents and my momma's delicious chicken tetrazinni.

7) channeling my inner martha, by making some really cute hand-made christmas presents.  i feel frugal, productive, and creative.  not too shabby.

8) rediscovering my fierce love for late 80's/early 90's country music while filing through my mom's out-of-control itunes music library.  i made a stack of oldie, but goodie discs.  my favorite being steve wariner's greatest hits.  i know, this small obsession wouldn't appear to mesh well with my intense love for a tribe called quest.  but so far the two are coexisting happily.

this might just be my favorite country song ever.  (close runners up: neon moon by brooks-n-dunn,  i'll think of something by mark chestnutt, anything by the judds or keith whitley.  and don't even get me started on dwight yoakum :)


i am in the weeds.  i need help.  i am having one of those bad mommy days that no one talks about.  an avid blog reader, i have noticed that bloggers rarely write about these days.  i could talk about it with my girlfriends, but often times when we are together, surprisingly, talking about our children is not at the tip-top of the list. 
lately being ben's mom has been especially challenging.  i'll spare you the details, but there have been moments where i feel completely out-of-control. i try to step outside of myself in the moment and not react in a way that i will completely regret. i find myself wondering if we have made a wrong turn somewhere when it comes to discipline.  i wonder if this is just part of being the mother of a two-year old.  i wonder if this too shall pass.  or is his recent behavior, especially toward me, something i need to worry about?  i feel like we have worked really hard to do the right thing as parents, yet lately it seems we are headed in the wrong direction.  am i being too hard on myself?  or as a parent, am i supposed to be this hard on myself?

geez.  they weren't lying when they said kids don't come with instruction manuals.  if they sold them for a million dollars, i would be at the bank filling out a loan application right now.

i know that on this blog, i post pictures of the best parts of my week, but rarely talk about my worst.  and by not doing that, things can tend to look picture perfect, which just isn't the case.  for anyone, i hope :)  right or wrong, i find joy in the horror stories of others.  i want to know all about other people's bad days.  i want to hear all about the tantrums.  i want to know that someone else's little boy missed the toilet and peed all over the bathroom.  i want to hear all about the poop nightmares.  i want to know if other toddler's have pent-up aggression toward their mothers?  anyone?  anyone???  i thought that problem was reserved for moms and daughters during the teenage years ;)  
i felt i owed it to this blog to be completely honest.  actually, writing about this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day(s) has made me feel a tiny bit better and a little less like packing up and moving to mexico.

thanks for reading my novel.