Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bones got a new playmate

A couple months back, my Sister and Brother-in-law, along with my VERY cute little nephew came to have lunch with me. The girs were in school. They drove all the way up here to eat lunch at Poppy's with me. It was wonderful and soooo much fun! We met at my house to drive over to Poppy's together. Hayden loves all things furry, so he had a great time. Sorry the lighting wasn't so great. (P.S. The meowing in the beginning of the first video is coming from Hayden, not Bones.)

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Cesar to the rescue...we hope...



The title is referring to Cesar Millan...the dog whisperer. Our canines are out of control! We are recarpeting the bedrooms at the first of the year, so we have decided that the dog's have to live outside permanently. This is going to be a feat. We have one with anxiety and aggression problems and one with territorial problems. One seems to be well adjusted, if not a little depressed having to live with the aforementioned two. David and I agree we are 100% to blame for their behavior problems, so we are taking action. I purchased Cesar's book and we will give it our best! Bryant is getting the nip it surgery the first week of 2010, so hopefully that will help. Our plan is to attempt the construction of dog houses this weekend. Wish us luck! We are going to have such good doggies in the end....we hope....please pray! I'll leave you with a few photos of our babies...Wasn't Holly such a cute puppy!?!?

This is the reason we don't have many pictures of Buddy...they all turn out like this. :)



Holly and Bryant
He loved taking this picture...Ha Ha!



Bryant reminds me of snoopy in this one.


Buddy captured on his way to come sniff the camera and give Mommy kisses.


Holly relaxing on the patio.

Bryant's curious face.



Gracie with her usual "You stupid dogs" look on her face. She's not a big fan of the big furry creatures she has to live with.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bones...

...is actually in a good mood. Bones had the inevitable visit to the vet where HE became an IT. Poor baby, but it had to be done. It was pretty funny when I handed him to the vet assistant yesterday morning he was purring. I told her he didn't know what was coming. He was still a little disoriented when we got him home, but otherwise in a perfectly good mood. I don't know what will actually phase him. He takes showers, eats dog food, plays with dogs (one of whom is scared of him), drinks water from the Christmas tree stand, and is perfectly happy after THAT surgery?!?! Crazy cat!
I finally pulled all the data from my phone onto my flashdrive, and I found this random video. This is some bagpipers playing at a UA Football game. My Mom and Grandparents will definitely get a kick out of this. Sorry the sound quality is not so great. Can't expect too much from a cell phone.

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I will eventually get the data off my camera, then we will be in business!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas is almost here...

I can't believe Christmas is next week. Christmas seems to come and go faster every year. What am I talking about...the year in general seems to come and go faster every year. I guess everyone was telling me the truth when I was younger....enjoy your youth....time flies when you get old.
We went to get our Christmas tree this weekend. We got a heck of a deal....$5! We picked out the perfect tree and I loved it. It was perfectly symmetrical. There were no bare spots in the middle. It was a beautiful deep green. We got it up the register and the trunk was cracked. We got a $45 tree for a steal. I don't care, I love it!
As I thought about the Christmas tree, I couldn't help but notice the symbolism. Everything may be beautiful and perfectly balanced looking on the outside, but what does the inside look like? Nothing is ever perfect, we are are all broken in some way. We all have faults. We are worthless, except for the love of our Father! We are valuable in His eyes! We are valuable enough that He sent His only Son to be the sacrifice for our sins. That is the real reason for this Season. In the hustle and bustle of the holiday, I am so thankful for a reminder of this.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Fearless

"Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try." -- unknown

I was reading something yesterday about God "showing himself". This person made the comment that "God is not hidden. He is ignorable". I have to say, I completely agree with this statement. He doesn't force Himself on us. He earnestly desires a relationship with us, but He steps back and lets us make that choice. He wants us to WANT to spend our time with Him. I find it funny how He strategically places Himself for us to see His work in our lives though. He doesn't stop spending time on us just because we stop spending time on Him. A devotion here, a bible study there, a comment from a friend, an email that touches my heart.
I was in a bible study yesterday at lunch and the speaker said, "Satan knows he can't have your soul, but he tries as hard as he can to make you miserable or to use you to make someone else miserable." He tries to steal our joy. My Mom has said that for as long as I can remember, but this morning as I read the quote above, something registered. I realized that Satan uses fear to steal my joy. He uses a fear of failure. For years I have avoided doing a lot of things because I feared I wouldn't be successful at them. I can't know the outcome if I don't try. I have to decide to try...to overcome my fear, and in doing so, kick Satan in the face and make it real clear that he has no place here. My devotion this morning had a link to Lysa Terkeurst blog. She just did a spot on 700 Club and she told a story about brownies (Oh, how I would love one, but unfortunately, they didn't make it to the diet list) and life's little mess ups. One comment she made resounded loud and strong. We are not defined by life's little mess ups. The mess ups don't define our role in life. We are defined by our Saviour. We are children of the Most High God. How special we are to Him! He has something special planned for each of us. How can we find that something if we are afraid to try? I have been challenging myself to step out of the mold and find what I truly enjoy...what is important to me...who I am inside...who I'm meant to be. It is quite a journey and with God's grace and mercy, I'm making big steps forward and only little steps back.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

SEC...BOUND!

Ok...so maybe David and I aren't SEC (California) bound, but our team is! Roll Tide!

I meant to update this weekend, but alas, I had too much to do. It's the story of my life. We did fit in a little fun though. Saturday, we woke up and headed out to a family friend's property to try to "Griswold it". At least that's what we called it all weekend. Our goal was to find a Christmas tree and cut it down. We didn't, but we had lots of fun driving around and looking at all the Christmas trees that were beautiful, but on someone else's property. Maybe next year.

We gunned it home so that we wouldn't miss kickoff for the SEC Championship game. We swung by Shelton for David to make some wings and fries and some other goodies for he and his brothers to munch on during the game. I am happy to report...I did not cave. I had a scrumptious (insert sarcasm) veggie burger for lunch. No greasy wings and fries passed these lips. :)

Sunday, David and I cleaned the house! I know it seems silly to put an exclamation point at the end of that sentence, but the house needed it so bad. We still have a long way to go, but we put a serious dent in the mess. We finished off the day with Family Dinner at Mary's house for Chuck's birthday.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Long time coming...

So I haven't actually forgotten about my blog, I've just had a lot going on. I am planning to update this weekend. :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Botanical Gardens


We have had a whole lot going on...and still do. I wish I could update and share pictures on everything that has been going on, but I just don't have time yet, but I am trying to get one up every once in a while. Maybe one day I'll catch up. These pictures are from my trip to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens with my sister and niece. Autumn had her art selected to be displayed at the Botanical Gardens. She was so excited and we were all so happy for her. We had a great time! We checked Autumn out of school a little early and headed to the Gardens. We were a little early, so we took a detour to Whole Foods Market. It was Bonnie and Autumn's first time in a Whole Foods. It is so much fun to look at all the different foods they have to offer. Lots of healthy and unique stuff! When we arrived at the Botanical Gardens, we found the art, ooohhhed and aaahhhed over Autumn's creation, glanced at the other pieces of artwork being displayed and enjoyed a cookie and a glass of lemonade. We then headed out to wander around in the Gardens. Although it is not Spring, there was still a lot of beautiful things to see. We particularly enjoyed the Asian section. We teased that we "got lost" on the trail because it was so long. Poor Bonnie and her heals....she didn't complain once though and she looked so pretty. :) All in all, it was quite a memorable experience and such fun to have girlie time with my sister and niece.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Weight Watchers Points

My sister called me this afternoon with a question..."Do you still do Weight Watchers?" she asks. "No, I should, but not anymore. Why?", I replied. Apparently, my VERY thoughtful brother-in-law, who works at a grocery store had spent part of his afternoon cutting "Points" of the yogurts for me...How Sweet is that! If only I could have 40 points a day! :)

Great Song

I heard this song on the radio and it blessed me, so I thought I would share...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A message from the littlest McMichaels...

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This was from a few weeks back. Sorry it took so long to get up.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Treasures

I saw a car on the way to work a catering job with my husband the other day. This was an epitome of beat up kind of car. Bad paint and loud. It only had one bumper sticker and that read, "Don't let the car fool you...my treasures are in Heaven." It floored me. Wow...how easily I forget. The bumper sticker promted me to find the verse that inspired it. Matthew 6:19-20NIV says, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal." It is so easy to forget that this life is temporary, but we have eternity with our King to look forward to. Don't get me wrong, this life is an experience like no other, and God has purposes set for us to complete while we're here, but sometimes I get so focused on the tasks at hand, that I miss the big picture. When all is said and done, the stuff you accumulate doesn't matter....you can't take it with you. What did I do to further the kingdom of the Lord? Was I kind? Did I help someone? Was I a good friend? Did I show the love of God?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Happy Birthday to my Mom!

Today is my Mom's special day. She may be far away, but she will always be near in my heart! And thanks to modern technology...I can say, "Happy Birthday" in a bunch of different ways! I hope you are having a wonderful day! I love you, Mom!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mini Vacation...Part III....Grand Finale

We finished off our exciting...rain filled day with a visit to "The Dixie Stampede". It was so much fun!!! It is dinner theatre at it's best!....at least at it's dustiest! You aren't supposed to take pictures, but I think it is more about not having your flash on because of the horses....anyway, I don't think Dolly will be visiting my site, so what she doesn't know will provide enjoyment to those who check my blog. :) The picture below is near the beginning of the show. The whole "plot" centers around the battle between the North and South in the Civil War. I won't say too much because I wouldn't want to ruin the show for anyone who may get to go see it.

The whole deal with dinner is that there is no silverware. I was totally ok with this until they proceeded to plop this big bird on my plate. I looked at David and asked, "How am I supposed to eat this?" He just looked at me like I was being silly. My problem is that I can barely eat with silverware without most of my meal ending up on the front of my shirt....now I was supposed to eat everything with no silverware and not be wearing it by the end of the show. You aren't even really paying attention to your food because you are watching the horses and riders. They are amazing!

I took a picture of this for those family members living out west. This reminded me of all of you! :)

And, last but not least....there has to be a patriotic ending and a reminder that we are no longer the North and South, but one Grand Country that, I for one, am very proud to be a citizen of....the United States of America.



I have been a Dolly fan my whole life. I had a cassette tape (I know, I'm showing my age here) of Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers that I played into the ground. I knew every word to every Dolly song. I watched her movies. I loved her then and I still do. I think she is an amazing lady with an amazing story. I didn't know this until we visited Dixie Stampede, but Dolly has arranged for every child born in her county to receive a book a month from the month of their birth until they are five years old as part of her Literacy Campaign. Cool, huh?

We had a wonderful trip...made lots of memories...had fun together....and got some much needed down time. Hopefully we can do it again real soon.
The End.


Mini Vacation...Part II

Well...it's been a while...I've been otherwise occupied and pretty darn busy, but here is more narrative on our fun trip to Tennessee. I don't know why, but I always feel the necessity to take a picture of the entrance gates to just about everywhere we go on vacation. True to form...here is a picture of the entrance gates to Dollywood.

The rides were actually very fun! I knew that Dollywood was known for their shows and the artsy craftsy spots where you can watch stuff being made the "Old Fashioned Way" and there were tons of shops and eateries, but the rides were nothing to sneeze at. The one in the picture below looks scarier than it was. It was raining, so we decided to ride as many rides as possible in the beginning, knowing that if the weather worsened, we could still do other things, but they would probably shut down the rides. I was pretty sore the next day from the roller coasters...I'm not as young as I used to be.

The picture below is from the show "Sha-Kon-O-Hey". It was a really good show. David enjoyed it also....I think he was surprised that he actually liked it. They had a lot of tumbling and acrobatics and they were pretty good singers.


After the show, we were starving, so we headed out to decide which one of the million places to eat we would choose. We found a place along the way selling pork rinds. As true southerners...we had to partake. They were YUMMY! and we were very glad we bought them on the way to eat lunch because they line was so long for food that we ate the entire bag before we even ordered. I know...that makes us sound like pigs....Ha Ha....I did that one on purpose. :)

You can't really tell from this picture, but David chose this HUMONGOUS sandwich for lunch. Of course, we had eaten an entire bag of pork rinds, so he couldn't finish the whole sandwich. He was excited about trying to though.

David loves 50's-60's cars. There was a part of the park that was dedicated to the 50's-60's. David had seen a Food Network show about this apple pie that was something like a foot in diameter...they bake it in a big cast iron skillet. He was determined that we would find the shop that sold these pies. We found it in this area. The ladies in the bakery were so proud that the pie had been featured on the food network show. David's eyes (and his smile) got huge when he saw the slice that this ENORMOUS pie makes. You would think we would have tried the pie, but no, we settled on a cinammon roll?!?! It was VERY good. Here is a picture of David checking out one of the old cars.

I did convince David to see one more show while we were there. It was called "Dreamland Drive-In". I can't say too much for the plot, but the music was great! Everybody was "Jumpin' and Jivin'".

We wandered around for a little while longer. We found this great little Irish shop. We looked all over the store for things saying "Ryan". We found a mug that we bought. I brought it to work with me so I can use it everyday. They also had a bunch of Heather scented items. They are very concerned with patriotism and helping the environment in Dollywood. They had an amazing Eagle sanctuary. There were a bunch of different kinds of eagles that for one reason or another needed to be cared for temporarily, or permanently in some cases. All in all, we really enjoyed our day in Dollywood. The day wasn't over yet though....more to come.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Lessons Every Day

"Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." I Peter 5:7


I'll admit I had to "Bible Gateway" search to find the reference for the above verse.

God has been dealing with me about worrying for quite some time now. (The bold is my opinion of how God is viewing my progress in the lesson He is trying to teach me.) I'm stubborn and hard headed and I think I can do it all by myself. Anyone that knows me well can attest to that...and then some. I think I'm finally getting it though. I freely admit that I teeter on the line the crosses over into "Burn Out" most of my days. Is it my fault that my plate is too full? Yes. Can God use it for His glory? Absolutely. I am slowly weeding out which items that I have taken on that are expendable. In the process, I am learning about my limits and most importantly about my priorities.

I have ALWAYS been a worrier....I am talking from the beginning of what I can remember. It has taken it's toll on me emotionally, physically and spiritually. I don't believe that God wants me to worry anymore. I actually don't think He EVER wanted me to worry, but what's past is past and all we have is our future. I want to make the best of my future.

As I write that, I am reminded of the old saying, "This too shall pass". I think of it mostly when I am having a hard time with something and I want it to pass quickly, but it has a flip side. The good stuff passes too. Nothing lasts forever. I too often find myself having to enjoy a moment in history in my memories because I didn't embrace it fully as it was happening.

Do I think this is going to be an easy road? No way! I am trying to alter a personality trait that I have lived with for over a quarter of a century. Can I do it alone? That would be another No way....but I believe that the Lord will carry me through. I will be victorious through Him!

TWICE in the New Testament, the same story is told regarding worry. This is what Matthew says:

Matthew 6:
25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[b]?
28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.



Then the story is told again in Luke 12. It's like God is saying, "I know My people are going to have a problem getting this....so let Me say it again." Obviously I'm not the only obstinate person that God knows.

My new motto is going to be this: "Work like your working for the Lord and He will take care of the rest." I will do the absolute best I can, and then I'm going to let it go. I will hold strong to the fact that He knows the plans He has for me and I can trust in Him.

I have some mighty prayer warriors on my side and I know they have played an essential role in my keeping a semblance of sanity all these years. Thank you to my Granny, Grandad, and Mom. I love you.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

We're back! Mini Vacation Part I

I say "We're back!" with an exclamation point, but I don't really mean the exclamation point with all my heart. We could have stayed in Tennessee for much longer! It was beautiful. Most of the trip the weather was rainy and overcast, but that kept the temperature down. It was a WONDERFUL trip. We weren't rushed at all. I felt weeks and weeks of stress melt away. David and I REALLY! needed this trip. It was such a blessing that God worked everything out for us to be able to sneak away for those precious few days. We made lots of memories and enjoyed just being together with no one and nothing calling for our attention. Can I just say again that it was WONDERFUL!

We left at a reasonable hour of the morning on Saturday and grabbed breakfast on the way. It took us a while to hit Tennessee because the weather was pretty nasty for a little while on the interstate. Our plan was to try to make it to a magic show in Pigeon Forge before we checked into the hotel in Knoxville, but because of the time difference (Pigeon Forge and Knoxville are Eastern Time Zone), I realized we weren't going to get there early enough. No biggy. As we were driving I noticed the famous "See Ruby Falls" and "See Rock City" signs along the interstate. We decided we would "See Ruby Falls". We both had been as children...but let's face it. That was a long time ago. This is a picture of us in this cute little spot they made in the line for you to take a picture while you wait to get tickets.

As you can see, it was Saturday and our BIG appointment that had to be kept was the one with the television to watch the Alabama vs. VA Tech game. Just in case anyone missed the game.....we WHOOPED them! Well maybe not whooped, but we won just the same. This next picture was our favorite rock formation in the cave on the way to the falls.
Roll Tide...no matter what state we are in! We had fun investigating the cave on the way to see the big attraction...with the help of our hilarious tour guide. His humor was so dry and I found him absolutely hilarious. I know everyone else, including David thought I was nuts. Maybe I was just tired. :)
Finally....the big finale....it's hard to take a good picture of the falls because they have this crazy light show going on, but it is really amazing to see one of the wonders of God's creation.
I feel very small when I look out over God's creation because it reminds me of just how BIG our God really is. He created this amazing planet with all these anomalies and uniquenesses and each of those differences were on purpose. Reminds me that when things don't always go quite as planned, that maybe it was on purpose.


Well, I have to get back to my crazy daily grind, but this is not the end of our trip...more to come!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Adventures on the Bama Belle

Just a few pictures from our recent catering adventures on the Bama Belle Riverboat Dinner Cruise...












My neicies are growing up too fast

For the family far away....I got these from Bonnie. I think this was the last day of their first week of school. They are adorable! I remember holding them the day they were born. They were so tiny, now they are walking and talking and growing up entirely too fast! Both girls have such different, but wonderful personalities. I love them with all my heart!



Bonnie's interviewing them on how school was going. Too cute!



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Five years later

Five years later and we're still going strong. I can't believe it's already been five years since they day I married my best friend. David has been my rock. He has stuck with me through thick and thin, good and bad, fun and hardships. He is loyal and patient and I don't have enough words in my vocabulary to describe his amazing personality. We balance each other perfectly. He's quiet. I'm definitely loud. He's creative, I'm realistic. On the outside we appear to be polar opposites, but on the inside we share the same values and goals and as such, I think we compliment each other. We've had our ups and downs, but I wouldn't trade a single day and I look forward to sharing what our lives have in store for us. I'm reminded of the song (I don't remember who sings it), but the lyrics say something like...When God made you he must have been thinking about me. I thank God everyday for the wonderful man that he introduced to my life. I couldn't imagine a more perfect person (for me) to spend the rest of my life with.


August 28, 2004


August 28, 2009
We had a wonderful dinner at Red Lobster to celebrate our anniversary. I wanted Snow Crab! We got to spend much needed time together. We even had dessert and it was free! Poor server must have been having a rough night, she spilled the drinks off the tray and onto our table. I told her not to worry, I lost count of how many drinks I spilled on people when I waited tables. I've even spilled food on people...now that takes talent. She apologized and said dessert was on the house. David and I got to relax and have fun together....that is what we love to do, so the evening was memorable.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The unamed post...

I'm too tired to think of a name for this post. It's just a random update. I just finished updating Quickbooks for all of Poppy's transactions and I am modifying an invoice template so we can use it for Poppy's. Sounds like real fun stuff, doesn't it! David and I have, of course, been working a minimum of ten hours a day this week. Tuesday I went to the Tuscaloosa Chamber of Commerce's Annual Women in Business Awards Luncheon and Conference. I really enjoyed it. There were three workshops before the lunch that were very informative. The guest speaker at lunch was Sarah Patterson, the gymnastics coach at UA. She was a great speaker. I think it was the lady that introduced her that made a comment about having an "additude of gratitude". That really struck a cord with me. Since that comment, I have been consciously making an effort to have an "additude of gratitude". That sounds like an easy task, but when you are operating on no sleep and things just aren't going your way....that is a very hard thing to do.

Saturday, David and I had a surprise visit from my Uncle Richard and Aunt Jane. I haven't seen them in quite a while and it was a wonderful surprise. We visited for a little while and caught up on all the happenings of the family. I really wish I could make it to Huntsville and the surrounding areas to visit family more often, but time just doesn't permit.

Ok...got too tired and had to go to bed. I am at work now and lunchtime is just starting. David is going to come pick me up from work so we can eat lunch together. Not sure where we are going yet, but that is the case more often than not, that we have no idea where we are eating until we end up there.
I guess that's about it for now.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bored...

I'm pretty bored right now, so I thought I would post a blog. It's not that I'm bored because I have nothing to do...I just don't want to do any of it right now...just not interested enough. My brain is taking a mini vacation. :) Not much new is going on in my world. I am focusing on not stressing out about every little thing...like I usually do. Everything gets done...eventually. It's ok if everything isn't done right the first time. This is something I am learning, slowly, but surely. Unfortunately, you learn this lesson by messing up and having to correct it. No, I haven't been royally screwing things up, but anyone who knows me, knows that I have a difficult time with making mistakes. I am learning to deal with it. I feel like I am finally growing up and learning what makes me happy and content. The twenty's are a hard decade I think. At least for me they have been. I've made a whole lot of changes in the last ten years. I find it hard to believe I can say that....ten years....I'm starting to feel old. I remember being 18 and thinking I knew it all. Don't we all think that? Then by 28, we figure out we still don't know a darn thing, but I'm thinking, if me and mine are happy, then I'm doing something right. Some people may think my husband and I are workaholics, but we have very high aspirations and to reach those goals, this is the price we must pay. I'm not complaining. I know I do sometimes, when I get really tired and stressed, but I am so grateful to have the opportunities that we have. My husband is finally his own boss. That is what he has wanted for as long as I have known him. I truly enjoy all the people I work with. I am relatively good at what I do. I am so blessed! Well, back to what I do best....work. Good night, all!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Curiosity killed the cat...or at least got him wet...

Our new little baby is a very curious creature. It doesn't matter what it is, he thinks its a toy. I don't know how appropriate it is to post these videos, but they are too hilarious not to. Bones found the bubbles quite interesting. The second video I captured by accident. I was using my phone to video these to show David when he got home from work. We have been astonished that Bones has no qualmes with water. He will stand in the middle of the shower with the water on full force and lick up water. He is quite unique. Hope you get a laugh.

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Momentous Occasions...

Have you heard the Miley Cyrus song "The Climb"? You can laugh, I'm a Miley fan...Hannah Montana too....and pretty much anything else that comes on Disney Channel. But anyway, I love that song. The concept is really simple, yet so many times, I find that I have looked too far ahead or spent too much time in memories and I've missed today. One thing I've learned through the years is that the grass is never greener on the other side. I am focusing my energy on finding the good things in each day. There is always something to smile about...to appreciate....to commit to our memory, even on the worst days. I thank God for the blessings he has given to me and my family. We have been so blessed for so long, that sometimes we take it for granted. I know he holds our future in His mighty, capable hands and I thank Him that he causes doors to open. I also thank Him for the doors he shuts. For all the shut doors I recognize now as a bad idea, I'm afraid to think about how many I simply looked over.

Speaking of memories, I finally scanned this picture my sister gave me of my youngest neice Shelby. She looks so much like my sister when she was a child. Even more than Autumn, I think. This is her first lost tooth. She lost is several weeks ago, but for the next three of my visits, she smiled just like this and asked me if I saw her lost tooth yet. I oohhhed and aaahhhed each time. She is so funny. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Change is hard

I have always had a difficult time with change. It makes me incredibly uncomfortable. It is that pulling, stretching feeling inside of you...you feel like the world is spinning out of control. At least I do anyway. Small changes within a day, such as, having to swap things around on the calendar on a crazy day sometimes drive me batty. Recognizing this as one of things that adds to my stress level in situations helps me to deal with my stress more effectively. Well, we are going through crazy changes right now, so I am super stressed. I am trying to get the hang of balancing all my different hats. It is hard. If I focus on one thing, another suffers. I will get the hang of it. I know I will. I always do, but in the meantime.....eeerrrgggghhhh. My Mom sent me a sweet letter and enclosed a slip of paper with the following typed on it. I'm not sure where she found it, but it touched me when I read it. It was what I needed to hear.
"We complain about the cross we bear but don't realize it is preparing us for the dip in the road that God can see and we cannot. Whatever your cross, whatever your pain, there will always be sunshine, after the rain...Perhaps you may stumble, perhaps even fall; But God's always ready, to answer your call...He knows every heartache, sees every tear, a word from His lips, can calm every fear...Your sorrows may linger, throughout the night, But suddenly vanish, by dawn's early light...The Savior is waiting, somewhere above, to give you His grace, and send you His love. May God fill your day with blessings!! Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."
Thanks Mom! I love you.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Finished with my book...

I'm just sitting at the hotel, about to get started working on the financial statements for my job at UA. I spent most of the morning finishing the rest of the book I've been reading. Surprise, surprise, I'm reading a vampire novel series. Ha Ha! Anyway, I thought I would update the old blog before I started multitasking.
We had our first catering job on the Bama Belle last night. It started out a little rushed, but turned out pretty well. We know exactly what to expect now and what kind of time frame we need to get set up. David's brothers helped him with the cooking and helped him get the buffet set up on the boat. Joe stayed on for the duration and Richard just met us back when the cruise was over. The guests were very nice and complimented the food. A lot of them said they planned to come back. Hope so! I helped clean tables off and then headed home because I had to be back at the hotel at 7am. David, Joe and Richard handled the rest. I needed sleep in a bad way. My head hit the pillow and I was out cold. I feel much better now. Amazing how sleep can fix all ailments, including, (excuse my french) bitchyness. :) Guess I better get back to work now.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Finally Friday....yeah, right.

Gone are the days of living for the weekend break. Ha Ha! My "week" is really just starting. The funny thing is that I get to sleep later during the week, than on the weekend, and for all that know me, you know that is really all I care about. I would work 365 days of the year, as long as I could sleep until 9:00 or 10:00 am all those days. We've had a VERY busy week and busy weeks (and weekends) to come. David's first week running Poppy's went really well. We progressively increased our sales each day of the week. I think David's anxiety is diminishing a little since he can actually take action and work towards his goals instead of just thinking about them. He and Jamey have booked a few catering jobs already and we are all really excited. We have all but one Saturday for the rest of July and August booked to cater dinner on The Bama Belle Riverboat, as well as other jobs booked and in the planning stages. For anyone who wants to check out the boat, the website is http://www.bamabelle.com/ It will be a fun job for me and David, since we LOVE riding on boats.
My week has been a little overwhelming and I don't expect it to stop anytime soon. I technically have four jobs now. AAAHHHH. Who in their right mind needs four jobs? I guess that just proves, I'm not, nor have I ever been in my right mind. Ha Ha! I have my career job at UA (you know the one that pays the mortgage...the first priority one). In addition, I'm hanging on to the job at Candlewood Hotel. It will be a little easier when they drop me back down to three days there, but for the time being, since they are going through some staffing transitions and vacations and all, I'm there a whopping four days a week. I am keeping the books for Poppy's and a tavola (and our house) and I will be doing banquet serving for a tavola. So pretty much every waking hour is spent working on something. I guess I took the old addage "Idle hands are the devil's workshop" to the extreme. David is putting in just as many hours running Poppy's, running around for a tavola, and he has taken to helping out A LOT around the house. We are hoping all this hard work will pay off and we can retire early and travel. :) It's a dream anyway. We would love to cruise the world. No planes for David though. Plane seats and a six foot five men don't agree with each other. Well, I guess that's all for this break. More to come. :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Autumn's Visit

We are thoroughly enjoying our visit with my oldest niece, Autumn, this weekend. I went to get her Friday evening. After some tears from the little ones because they didn't want their big sister to go (heartbreaking!), we headed towards T-town. We had a pretty uneventful trip until we were almost home, when, all of a sudden, traffic was at a standstill. Autumn and I commented on how it looked like Christmas lights up there and we enjoyed those pretty Christmassy lights for 45 minutes. When we finally saw the source of the backup, it was construction. David reminded me that progress comes at a price when I expressed my, for lack of a nicer term, frustration at sitting in traffic for so long. It's not really that I mind traffic backups, it's just that my car is a stick shift and by the time I make it through a 45 minute jam, my leg hurts from shifting so much. I'm thinking my next vehicle will be an automatic! Saturday I had to work so David and Autumn hung out for the morning. We are currently in the process of getting Poppy's ready to go. Monday is David's first day running it, so Autumn and David's brother, Richard went to work at cleaning and organizing the place. I joined them when I was finished at work. Here are some pictures of them:
Autumn "working" in the office.
Chef David and Niecey Autumn
Richard scrubbin' something. He has been so much help!
"What kind of chips would you like with that, ma'am?"

Autumn and I took a break to go get her hair cut. They have this really fantastic kid's haircutting place close to my house. They have toys to play with while they wait their turn, then video games to play while they get their hair cut. Autumn was very pleased with her hair cut. We took before and after pictures.
Before
After

Autumn was a little scared of our biggest dog Buddy. I kept telling her that he was the sweetest dog we have and he just wanted to give her kisses, but honestly, he weighs more than her and likes to jump. All of a sudden, I remembered that Buddy is terrified of Bones, the little, tiny, black cat. I told Autumn to just carry the cat around and Buddy would leave her alone. It was quite entertaining....and it worked. Here is a video of Autumn and Bones fighting Buddy off. :) I promise no children or animals were harmed in the filming of this.

video

We'll see what adventures today holds for us.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

At least it not still Monday...

Just kidding. My day is actually going pretty smoothly...so far...keep your fingers crossed. I busted my rump yesterday trying to whittle down the infamous TO DO list. I really made some headway too! I did take a break to watch a video that we had rented last week. Here's the story. We ate at Subway and got one of those type the code into the website and see what you won cards. I did and we got a free month subscription to the online Blockbuster thing where they mail you movies. I thought, "Hey, it's worth a try. It's free." I have been wondering if something like that would fly with me and David. Well, it doesn't. I ordered one that I knew Lindsey and I could watch when she was in town. Then, after she left, I turned it in for an in- store exchange to get something David and I could watch. It sat on the counter at home until it was two days late. We are the kind of people that get in the mood to watch a movie, go get it, watch it that night, and return it the next day. So anyway, I cancelled the subscription before they started charging me. Yesterday I figured if I was going to have to pay all those late fees, I might as well watch the movie, so I popped it in. It really wasn't very good and I wished I had just turned it in and paid the fees. I took it back to the store, prepared to hear, "That will be $6 and some odd cents" but surprise, surprise, it only costs me $.98. I was happy to hear that, but honestly, if I had known that it would only cost me $.98, I wouldn't have been so intent on wasting my already limited time watching the movie. Oh well. :)
Nothing too new going on. I did get to go to my sister's house on Sunday evening. They cooked dinner. We had Steak Salad and Starbucks Mocha ice cream for dessert. It was very yummy. We spent the rest of the evening kicking the kids out of the kitchen, over and over and over, so that we could have adult conversation. They would run in every 20 minutes or so and blurt out their made up reason for why they needed to be in the kitchen and Bonnie and I would scoot them back out to go play. It was funny...or at least I thought it was....I don't know that Bonnie thought it was so funny, but, of course, I get to go home to the peace and quiet of dogs barking and cats meowing. She gets to keep scooting kids to whichever place they are supposed to be. We ended the evening with Aunt Heather telling each of the three children their Aunt Heather's version of the night they were each born. Shelby asked me when I was done telling Hayden his story if I would now tell her the story of when she grew up. I told her that she wasn't done growing up yet, so she would have to wait for that story. What I didn't tell her was that I have learned that you really never finish growing up. There is always something new to learn or experience.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Goings On



As usual, I've been pretty busy the last couple weeks, so blogging hasn't been an option. Happy Belated Independence Day. David actually got off early on the 4th, so we took the opportunity to have some fun. We ate dinner at Five Guys Burgers and Fries. They really know the burger business! I have never eaten there and been disappointed. We then headed out to Sokol Park. The city put on a fireworks display at the park. We wanted to make sure we got a spot, so we headed out there pretty early. We parked at the far end of the park, where the model airplane field is located. There were several people out there flying their miniature aircrafts. David and I walked into their fenced area and watched them. They were incredibly nice and gracious, offering us food and answering David's questions. Yes, I do believe David has decided on his next hobby. We agreed to let our lives settle a bit before he embarks on any spending sprees, but he has been searching the internet and gathering information on all the stuff you need to get started. He is so funny. :) This is a video I took with my phone of one of the airplanes.





video




This is a picture of us at the field.


We've spent the rest of our time working our regular jobs and getting all the details ironed out for running the new businesses. You never really know how much work goes into starting a new business until you try it. WOW! It is a lot of work. We are excited though and anxious to be completely on our feet and running. Please keep us in your prayers that we will work hard, make good business decisions and find favor in the community.


Last night, I went with my "David's side of the family" to a family barbeque in Greensboro, AL. David's Mom's cousin is moving to Virginia, so David's Mom's sister through a going away get together. We had a good time. David's Mom's sister has owned a couple Bed and Breakfasts and is a pro at throwing together parties. There was delicious food and good company. Here is a picture of Richard goofing off with David's Step-Dad's glasses. He is such a goof. I think he looks a little like Mr. Magoo. Ha Ha!


Today I have tons of work to do. I have GOT to clean my house. We have dust caked an inch thick on everything and Bryant needs a bath so bad you can smell him a mile away. Tomorrow, I have plans to go see my sister in Birmingham, so that is my incentive to work hard at getting everything done today. Next week, Autumn, my oldest neice is supposed to come stay the weekend with us. I will pick her up on Friday and take her back home Monday. I really enjoy having her around. She is a great kid. Plus, I get to have fun doing kid stuff and people don't look at me funny like they would if I didn't have a kid with me.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Facebook post I came across...

I came across this story as a note posted on a friend's facebook profile. It brought tears to my eyes and more understanding to my heart.

It's a Wednesday night and you are at a church prayer meeting when somebody runs in from the parking lot yelling, "Turn on a radio, turn on a radio!" And while the church listens to a little transistor radio with a microphone stuck up to it, the announcement is made: "Two women are lying in a Long Island hospital dying from a 'mystery' flu." Within hours it seems, this thing just sweeps across the country. People are working around the clock trying to find an antidote. Nothing is working! California , Oregon , Arizona , Florida , Massachusetts . It's as though it's just sweeping in from the borders. And then, all of a sudden, the news comes out. The code has been broken. A cure can be found. A vaccine can be made. It's going to take the blood of somebody who hasn't been infected, and so, sure enough,all through the Midwest , through all those channels of emergency broadcasting, everyone is asked to do one simple thing: Go to your downtown hospital and have your blood type taken. That's all we ask of you. When you hear the sirens go off in your neighborhood, please make your way quickly, quietly, and safely to the hospitals. Sure enough, when you and your family get down there late on that Friday night, there is a long line, and they've got nurses and doctors coming out and pricking fingers and taking blood and putting labels on it. Your wife and your kids are out there, and they take your blood type and they say, "Wait here in the parking lot and if we call your name, you can be dismissed and go home." You stand around, scared, with your neighbors, wondering what in the world is going on and if this is the end of the world. Suddenly a young man comes running out of the hospital screaming. He's yelling a name and waving a clipboard. What? He yells it again! And your son tugs on your jacket and says, "Daddy, that's me." Before you know it, they have grabbed your boy.. Wait a minute! Hold on! And they say, "It's okay, his blood is clean. His blood is pure. We want to make sure he doesn't have the disease. We think he has got the right type." Five tense minutes later, out come the doctors and nurses, crying and hugging one another ... some are even laughing. It's the first time you have seen anybody laugh in a week, and an old doctor walks up to you and says, "Thank you, sir. Your son's blood type is perfect. It's clean, it is pure, and we can make the vaccine." As the word begins to spread all across that parking lot full of folks, people are screaming and praying and laughing and crying. Then the gray-haired doctor pulls you and your wife aside and says, "May we see you for moment? We didn't realize that the donor would be a minor and we need ....... we need you to sign a consent form." You begin to sign and then you see that the number of pints of blood to be taken has been left blank. "H-how many pints?", you ask. And that is when the old doctor's smile fades and he says, "We had no idea it would be little child. We weren't prepared. I'm sorry sir, we need it all!" "But but .. You don't understand." "We are talking about the world here. Please sign. We need it all!" "But can't you give him a transfusion?" "If we had clean blood we would. Can you sign? Would you sign?" In numb silence, you do. Then they say, "Would you like to have a moment with him before we begin?" Can you walk back? Can you walk back to that room where he sits on a table saying, "Daddy? Mommy? What's going on?" Can you take his hands and say, "Son, your mommy and I love you, and we would never ever let anything happen to you that didn't just have to be. Do you understand that?" And when that old doctor comes back in and says, "I'm sorry, we've GOT to get started! People all over the world are dying. Can you leave?" Can you walk out while he is saying, "Daddy? Mommy? Daddy? "Why, why have you forsaken me?" And then next week, when they have the ceremony to honor your son some folks sleep through it ... some folks don't even come because they go to the lake or the seashore ... some folks come with a pretentious smile and just "pretend" to care. Would you want to jump up and say, "MY SON DIED FOR YOU! DON'T YOU CARE?" Is that what GOD wants to say? "MY SON DIED FOR YOU. DON'T YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I CARE?" "FATHER, Seeing it from YOUR eyes breaks our hearts. Maybe now we can begin to comprehend the great Love YOU have for us."

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Our Newest Addition

We got this little baby a couple weeks ago. His name is Bones. My step-sister, Lindsey, named him. We were very concerned that our cat Gracie would try to make Bones miserable. We've previously had two other cats with Gracie and she drove the other cats close to insane. The aforementioned were female cats, so we had hopes that since Bones is a little boy cat, Gracie might take to him. He is growing on her. Bryant, one of our dogs, on the other hand, is a whole 'nother story. He pretends like he is going to make nice and play with Bones, then he goes crazy trying to eat him. We have to be very careful when they are together. Gracie, Bryant and Bones' behaviors have improved over the last couple of weeks, so it is getting better, slowly, but surely. Of our other two dogs, Holly could care less about him and Buddy, our 75 lb mutt is absolutely terrified of a 1.5 lb cat. He gets this really scared look on his face and runs the other direction the second he sees him. It really is quite funny.

I know David doesn't look like a big fan of the cat in this picture, but he was just tired from work. He and Bones have lots of fun playing together. This picture just shows how tiny he is. He is such a cutie pie. I love kitties. :)
Doesn't he look so sweet?!?! We are having fun with our new addition to the family. What's one more tiny little change when our whole lives are morphing.
David gave his official notice to work today. He will begin running Poppy's on the 20th of July. David and his partner have been working very hard to get everything running for a tavola Catering. We have a job booked for the end of July, so keep us in your prayers that we will get a lot of jobs and do really good work so that we get good word of mouth advertising.
I really should be in bed by now, but I actually get to sleep late tomorrow. The University is closed in observance of Independence day. YEAH! I really don't care that much if I have to work just about every day of the year, as long as I have a day every once in a while that I can sleep late. If I can sleep until around 10:00am, I'm a happy camper. David is replacing the water/cleaning the saltwater aquarium while I'm updating our blog. He is so proud of his aquarium. Sometimes he goes to check on his aquarium before I even get a hello kiss when he gets home. It looks beautiful. I will have to post a picture soon.
I guess it is time to call it a day. Goodnight.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Crazy Two Weeks!

This has been a CRAZY two weeks for me and David! We are happy to announce that we are now business owners. We finalized everything this past Thursday. David will give notice at his current place of employment and very shortly will be running our company. The company is a cafe inside of Shelton State Community College called "Poppy's Cafe". We are definitely excited that everything has worked out so far, but we know we have a TON of work ahead of us.


In addition to running Poppy's, David and his friend have gone into partnership to start a FANTASTIC new catering busines. If you know anyone who needs a good caterer, you know one now. :) The name is "a tavola Catering" and we are all really excited to get going.
This weekend I went to Birmingham to pick up my step-sister Lindsey. She is staying with me and David for the week. I will take her back on Friday (my first off day since we went to the beach). I got to hang out with my sister, Bonnie and the fam. I always have fun with her and her kids. The picture below is one from a couple weekends ago. Aren't those the cutest kids ever! I know, I'm biased. I can't say there is much more in the world that I love more than having all three of those kids in my lap. They are the best!




This is a little video of the slip and slide fun. Sorry the feed is a little slow. Kids crack me up!

video

Update on the car: My poor baby had major surgery. She now has a brand new clutch. She is happy, but my wallet is not. She drives like new now though. I guess I'll keep her around a while longer.