Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for...

  • the grace, love, guidance, and forgiveness of the good Lord
  • my family and friends
  • my health, and the health of my loved ones...enjoy it every second ya got it, folks!
  • news that Uncle Robert is semi-conscious after falling and getting a brain bleed yesterday...he's still in the ICU and his prognosis is pretty up in the air, so if you're a praying person, please pray for him (and Mimi and Grandad, who are his caretakers)
  • prayer
  • tough times, because they make you appreciate the happy, easy ones much more
  • a nice, upbeat chat with Mimi this evening...she sounded very positive and even if she was putting on a happy face for me, it set this granddaughter's mind a bit more at ease
  • that nearly all of my friends and loved ones have someone great to "do life" with...that makes me very happy and as for me?...well, me and God make a pretty good pair of our own :)
  • summer break, and the fact that I have a wonderful job to return to in August
  • the farmers market starting up this weekend
  • getting to watch the Hatfields & McCoys movie on History Channel this times it was very hard to watch, but I thought it was very well done and it taught me about something in history I didn't know much, the guy who played Johnse Hatfield was pure hotness, so I looked forward to a little eye candy every evening :)
  • some VERY nice, cool temperatures this evening when I went walking...quite an anomaly this time of year, and I enjoyed every second!
  • the chance of some much-needed rain this evening and tomorrow
  • a lunch date with LA tomorrow...we have SO much to catch up on
  • getting my classroom completely totally gutted, sorted, organized, packed up, and ready for the big move
  • the fabulous book that I read today...the entire thing...293 deserves a blog post of its own (thanks, Nicole, for letting me borrow it!)
  • a roof over my head, clean running water, food in my fridge, a paid-off car, shoes on my feet, clothes in my closet, a brain that works, balance that keeps me standing on my feet
  • getting to visit with the 'rents this afternoon...what a fun treat!
  • Daddy finally getting all the packing out of his ear today...his surgery was 3 weeks ago so I know he was beyond ready for it to go
  • successfully postponing my jury duty until next month
  • a lovely dinner out with Bubba and Olivia this week...they are so stinkin' excited about getting married, and I'm so stinkin' excited for them!
  • the fact that The Farm is coming soon


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ladies who lunch

Many moons (aka, several weeks) ago, the women's group at Mimi and Grandad's church held their annual tea party. I've been going to the tea party with Mimi since I was wee, aside from some years in college when I was too far away to make the trip.

Helping with something like this really makes you appreciate all that goes into it. Packing up your finest tablewares, carting them to the church, setting them up, packing up all the dirty dishes to wash at home (ick), hoping and praying that you make it home with all of your mama's silver and your great-grandmother's teacups...yikes. This is high stakes stuff, folks!

It's such a lovely event. Every hostess is in charge of her own table: inviting people, decorating, providing place settings, serving tea and dessert. China sparkles. Big hats abound. It's a fun time.

This year's tea party was especially crowded. Since Mimi and Grandad's church was destroyed by the tornado last year, another local church has offered them a temporary church home. This year's gathering served two churches...about 150 ladies. That's a lot of tea! And chicken salad...don't forget the chicken salad. Fact: you absolutely cannot gather a group of Southern ladies for an event such as this and not serve chicken salad. I can't even imagine the riot that would result if you tried.

Cousin Sarah and I kept each other company since Mimi was serving as one of the head hostesses. I love these two girls!

{Meems and me}

What a fun day! This girl loves any excuse to wear a gigantic hat. :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for...

  • the good Lord and the patience and grace He has extended to me lately...maybe someday I won't require so much from Him!
  • my family and friends
  • my health, and the health of my loved ones...never take it for granted, folks!
  • my job, my coworkers, and every single one of the 128 little people I've had the privilege of teaching
  • another school year under my belt...I can't believe I've been doing this for half a decade now!
  • the towering pile of boxes in my classroom, because that means I have a room to move them into this summer
  • a mind and body that can handle nearly 14 hours of sorting, organizing, cleaning, and endurance test for sure
  • the fact that I'm nearly done in my classroom, because I'm the slowest packer in the history of creation and the dust in there is trying to kill me...seriously
  • a respiratory system that has (so far) refused to give in to the onslaught of dust...don't let me down, lungs! I've got things to do this summer!
  • summer break
  • a change in pace
  • plans to see the fam this Memorial Day weekend
  • a roof over my head, clean running water, food in my fridge, clothes in my closet, shoes on my feet, literacy, a car that gets great gas mileage, a teeny little bit of money in the bank, hair on my head
  • vitamins
  • summer break
  • Pandora radio
  • FriendshipFest 2012 in the works...I hope we can make it happen because I miss my friends in a large way
  • getting to spend some time talking to/visiting with my dear sister-in-law-to-be excited to finally have a sister!
  • a chance to rest and relax...much, much needed
  • summer break
  • the nice breezes we've had this week...I'm glad I stopped to notice them, because it seems like they're gone for the next 5 months
  • summer break


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Stick a fork in me

I'm done. Done, done, done. My fifth year of teaching now resides in the history books. I've had the honor of teaching 128 wonderful little people over the course of my career, and I can't thank them enough for how they've helped me grow as a teacher and a person. I pray that I've taught them at least one teeny, tiny something during their time with me. To say that I was choked up seeing them walk away from me today is definitely an understatement.

Now, let the fun begin! This is going to be an incredible summer...I can feel it!

  • finish packing up my classroom (far, far less than fun, but completely necessary for summer break to begin)
  • farmers markets
  • trip with Mom to Tunica
  • trip with Kate to Charleston
  • sewing projects
  • quiet, lazy nights listening to the crickets chirp
  • sleeping myself silly
  • lounging under an umbrella at the pool reading a fabulous book (or twenty)
  • trips to the library
  • FriendshipFest 2012
  • early morning walks before the world warms up
  • the Olympics (LOVE the Olympics)
  • Whole30 adventure (to start after the Charleston journey and the 4th of July, of course...haha)
  • anything I want, or nothing at all, or maybe both at the same time...I'll decide when I get there :)
Bring. It. On.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thankful Thursday

I don't want to say that today was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, but if I said it wasn't, that would be a lie. Merciful heavens, what a mess of a day! I mean, the whole thing wasn't awful, but about 7 hours of it sure was. Good grief.

I got a jury summons yesterday (my first), scheduled for the day before Mom and I were planning to travel out of state. I'm so bogged down with end of the school year/moving classrooms stuff that I've been staying up late and getting up early, and I'm just dadgum tired. My students were off the CHAIN today. I lost it with them, which I try really hard not to do. Then I felt bad, so then I had to suck up my pride and apologize. I forgot about our guest speaker (who does that????), so I had to scrap my afternoon plans so she could do her presentation. I reserved the laptops for us this afternoon, only to find out that 4 of the 30 were working. Thankfully, Tami provided a quick fix but by then, I was done. D.O.N.E. I came home and promptly spilled an entire cup of water all over my mail. In my haste to mop up the water, I knocked over a brand new box of Cheez-Its, spilling half of them on my desperately-needs-to-be-vacuumed floor. Right now I'm trying to be really still and quiet, in the hope that I won't mess anything else up today.

Upon reading this, I've determined that I'm acting like a brat. These are all what I like to call "first world problems". Laptops don't work? Spilled my Cheez-Its? Boohoo. There are people all over the world who don't have shoes. Or clean water. Or food. Or homes. Or families. I need to get over myself.

Today I am thankful for...

  • the grace, forgiveness, and never-ending patience of the good Lord...He gets to use all three with me on a very, very regular basis!
  • my family and friends, who love me literally just the way I am
  • this wonderful fella, who is celebrating 71 years of life today...I cannot even express how incredible I think he is and how much he is loved
  • my health, and the health of my loved ones
  • a positive post-op checkup for Daddy today...I'm glad he's healing up nicely
  • my job, my wonderful coworkers, and the energetic little people I spend my days with...I can't believe those kiddos and I only have four more days together!
  • four more school days
  • students who are very eager and excited (and able) to help me pack up the classroom...sometimes it pays to teach fifth graders!
  • a roof over my head, food in my fridge, clean running water, clothes in my closet, shoes on my feet, a car that carts me around, money in the bank, a brain that thinks and remembers, eyes that see, ears that hear, strong arms and legs and hands and feet
  • four more school days
  • some fun trips to look forward to this summer! Woohoo!
  • great ideas for next school year already swirling around in my head
  • a date Saturday to help Olivia pick a bridesmaid dress
  • a nice breeze during my walk this evening
  • my dishwasher and washing machine
  • patience, and I hope to exhibit much more of it tomorrow
  • peace and contentment
  • the pep talk dear Kimberly gave me today
  • getting to see a lovely rainbow this week
  • a sweet hug from a student as she left today... I needed that
  • the little robin I saw earlier with a worm dangling from her beak...such a good mama
  • farmers market season coming up!
  • hot showers and feeling clean
  • my new Island Luau candle that makes my little home smell exactly guessed island luau
  • some not too terribly hot weather to enjoy before the summertime sauna arrives
  • the realization that this time next week, my fifth year of teaching will officially be in the history books
  • getting in touch with nearly all of my cousins this them
  • Pandora radio
  • sleep and the promise of a new day!
  • four more school days


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Thank you letter to my mama

I am beyond blessed to have my mama and my Mimi in my life. I wrote a post for precious Mimi on her birthday, but neglected to write one for my mom's birthday only 5 days later. My bad, Mom! Your slacker daughter will attempt to make up for it today since it's Mother's Day and all.

Dearest Mama,

Thank you for calling me every December to ask me, "Do you know what today is?" I always do, but I act like I don't so you can tell me your story again. Thank you for birthing me and for reminding me that, despite the hours and hours and HOURS of excruciating pain, I was worth it. {Did I tell the story right? I couldn't remember if it was hours and hours and HOURS of pain, or if it was days of pain, uphill both ways, and on the hottest day of the summer. Please advise.}

Thank you for being such a faithful prayer warrior.

Thank you for sacrificing many of the things you wanted so that Bubba and I could have such wonderful childhoods.

Thanks for loving me through my teenage years, when I was very often not a joy to be around.

Thank you for helping me to set my priorities, and thank you for the frequent reminders to keep them straight.

Thank you for going with me to get my makeup done at Dillard's on the day of my junior prom. Thank you for telling the lady it needed to be redone when you knew I was on the verge of tears. Thank you for never once mentioning that I looked like a drag queen, even though I knew I did. Thank you for letting me wash it all off and helping me redo it when we got home. Thank you for holding off on pictures until I no longer resembled like a drag queen. I will be forever thankful that there is no photographic evidence of that makeover gone wrong.

Thank you for driving three hours to sleep in my dorm room at Auburn, just to keep your freshman daughter from being lonely on a roommate-free weekend.

Thanks for making me feel like the most beautiful, most talented, most incredible creature that ever walked the planet. It's nice to know there's at least one person on the planet who thinks I hung the moon.

Thanks for teaching me to be good to my skin.

Thanks for reminding me you love me every, single time we talk.

Thank you for being such a lovely example of a wonderful wife and mother. If I ever get to take on either of those roles one day, I'll be using your example as my guide.

Thank you for not slapping me silly all those times I rolled my eyes at you.

Thanks for letting me go my own way, try new things, and make my own mistakes, even if you don't agree with what I'm doing.

Thank you for introducing me to gardenias. Thank you for always picking some for me to take home since I'm gardenia-less here. Because of you, they're my favorite flower.

Thank you for being my gardening guru. I'm only just now developing my green thumb, but it's thanks to you and your love of plants.

Thanks for bringing the Golden Girls, Steel Magnolias, and Agatha Christie into my life.

Thank you for never saying, "I told you so", even though you've had 718,530 opportunities to do so.

Thank you for helping to mend my broken heart on more than one occasion and for reminding me to keep on keepin' on.

Thanks for putting together the world's best Easter baskets and Christmas stockings.

Thank you for teaching me that a little goes a long way when it comes to makeup, perfume, and laundry detergent.

Thanks for encouraging me not to settle, ever, in anything.

Thanks for not being afraid to tell me NO during my growing up years. It made me very grumpy at the time, but I sure am thankful for it now.

Thanks for being a goober, so that I feel more comfortable being a goober myself. We're two peas in a weirdo pod.

Thanks for refusing to pay for me to have that awful dye-in-a-box color stripped out of my hair when I was 16. You warned me not to do it, I did anyway, and I was stuck with it. Good call...lesson learned!

Thanks for rubbing my feet and shoulders without ever being asked.

Thank you for mailing me funny cards. My love of snail mail comes honest!

Thank you for fighting like you do every day, just so Bubba and I don't have to be without our Mama.

Doodle Bug

Friday, May 11, 2012

Thankful Thursday, Friday-style

I am very weary. I literally have nothing left to give anybody today. Nothing. Done. The end of the school year does this to me every time. That, on top of some things I'll mention below, has left me completely and totally drained. Thankfully, it's nothing a glass of wine, some peace & quiet, and a good night's sleep can't fix!

Today I am thankful for...
  • the grace and patience of the good thankful He's in charge and not me
  • my family and friends
  • the health of my family and friends
  • Daddy's ear surgery being OVER and knowing that he's finally at home glad that's over and that he's doing okay!
  • Mimi being able to keep Mom company at the hospital while Daddy was in surgery and Bubba and I were at work
  • being asked to be a bridesmaid in Bubba and Olivia's, SO excited for them and that I get to be a part of their big day!!
  • being employed, having a job secured for next year, and the feisty little people I get to teach for eight more days
  • eight more school days
  • my dear's nice to know you've got a strong group of people who have your back ALL the time
  • a roof over my head, clean running water, food in my fridge, shoes on my feet, clothes in my closet, a well-functioning car that gets great gas mileage, a bit of money in the bank, strong legs and arms, hands that work, eyes that see, ears that hear, a brain that thinks, a heart that beats
  • summer break right around the corner!!
  • the safe arrival of little Charles Davis Aaron last Friday...he was in such a hurry that his mama birthed him without pain meds, left the hospital the next day, and hosted Elizabeth's 2nd birthday party the next day...Kira's middle name is Superwoman. Can't wait to meet that new little man!
  • the arrival of beautiful Ella Cate excited for Brody and Haley! It's strange to see friends I've known since elementary school holding their newborn girl, but I know they'll be wonderful parents!
  • a cute haircut yesterday...throw in a free hand, scalp, neck, and shoulder massage and I'm a happy camper
  • an overnight guest named Kate...getting to spend time with my sweet friend has absolutely made my week!
  • deliciously cool weather this week...I know summertime is on its way, so I'm enjoying this while it lasts
  • some very lovely, very thoughtful gifts for Teacher Appreciation Week...every now and then, it's nice to know that you're important to somebody
  • a sweet mama bringing me lunch today...I needed a pick-me-up so much today, and she was just the ticket! Thanks a bunch, Heather!
  • the banana pudding cupcake my darling coworker Angie brought was like a party in my mouth and I was just glad to be invited. When I found out she MADE that banana-y goodness, she was elevated to a new position of admiration in my book. Merciful heavens, Angie. You may have changed the course of my life today, and for that, I thank you ;)
  • the precious student that made me this pretty little ice cream sundae cupcake (her "signature cupcake")...this girl loves to bake and puts my baking skills to shame. She's amazing!

  • one of my wonderful students showing quite a bit of initiative yesterday...she brought me flowers for Teacher Appreciation Week, but I was out at a workshop all day. Instead of leaving the flowers to dry out or asking the sub for help, she made it work. She found a vase under the sink, trimmed the stems, filled the vase with water, added the plant food, and put the flowers in my windowsill so I'd see them this morning. She's 10 years old. Get it, girl!
  • a good workshop yesterday
  • patience
  • letting go of a long-held dream, for now...I'm planning to just ride things out for a while and see what God has planned next for me
  • contentment and peace
  • fun plans for my upcoming summer break


Monday, May 7, 2012


I saw this over at I Hate Green Beans and watched it four times, so now I'm sharing it here. Absolutely beautiful. I know this song and have liked it for years, but I just adore this version. I also had no idea it was based on the story of David from the Bible...very cool. Apparently these three girls are just friends who like to sing together and wanted to make a video. Pay special attention to about 4:10 on...that's where they really get me.

Note to my friends: I am very sorry I lack the vocal skills to sing with yall and make cool videos like this. I'll be happy to go fix yall something to eat for when you're done singing together; that's about the extent of my talents!

Aren't they great? What a lovely way to wrap up a day...happy Monday, yall!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Journey to the capital: Arlington, WWII Memorial, the Capitol, and various randoms

Last trip post...I promise!

{standing guard at Arlington National Cemetery}

{fun fact: Up to three people can be buried under each headstone at Arlington.}

{Tomb of the Unknowns}

{changing of the guard}

{saw quite a few of these pretty the rough texture}

{Capitol dome with scaffolding around "Freedom" on top}

{Looking up into the Rotunda takes my breath away every. single. time.}

{intricate detailing at the top of the columns outside}

{This painting circles the entire Rotunda and illustrates the history of of my favorite details in the Rotunda}

{America the beautiful}

{I think the WWII Memorial is spectacular.}

{We took nearly 300 people to eat here...5 floors of mall, 6:00 PM...try not to be jealous.}

{While at the Jefferson Memorial, we saw three green and white helicopters headed our way. We knew they were the Marine One helicopters since those never fly alone. They swooped right around us and headed straight to the White House. The first one veered off to the right, and this one landed on the lawn. See the people waiting at the bottom entrance of the White House? We're pretty positive President Obama was in this helicopter and that those people were waiting to greet him. Very, very cool moment.}

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for...
  • the grace of the good Lord and the fact that He loves me ALL the time
  • my family and friends
  • my health, and the health of my family and friends
  • my simple little is far from perfect, but I'm very grateful that I have been blessed in the ways I have been
  • a roof over my head, food in my fridge, clean running water, shoes on my feet, clothes in my closet, money in the bank, strong legs, eyes that see, ears that hear, a brain that functions like it should, hands that do what they need to do, curly hair to cover up my head, a car that runs and gets great gas mileage
  • my job, my coworkers, our lovely building, and the soon-to-be-sixth graders I get to spend the next 14 school days with
  • 14 more school days
  • the opportunity to move classrooms this summer...I adore my current classroom, but there's nothing wrong with shaking off the cobwebs and doing something different every once in a while...change can be a very good thing
  • sadness, because then you have much more of a reason to celebrate the happy times
  • hot showers and a comfortable bed
  • resilience
  • being able to bring some food to a sweet new mama tomorrow...can't wait to visit with her and get my hands on that little man!
  • Publix
  • a really, really long conversation with Kate this week...I miss her
  • my precious new sister-in-law-to-be
  • being included in Bubba and Olivia's proposal the way I was...that's a memory I'll hold fondly for a very long time
  • fun, fun plans for this summer
  • some really good people in my life
  • an absolutely incredible trip to D.C. last week...I still can't get over how smoothly it went!
  • Pandora radio
  • the much-needed rain we got last night and today
  • the fact that I set a cell phone alarm as well as my regular alarm clock...that sure came in handy when my power went out last night!
  • a great new book to read...thanks for letting me borrow it, Nicole!
  • my cute, stripey rain boots...they make splashing in puddles absolutely mandatory
{pic from January 2011...we haven't had much ice 'round these parts lately}
  • the chance to put on my best big, floppy Southern lady hat and attend a tea party with my darling Mimi and Cousin Sarah this weekend
  • my little handful of faithful readers and commenters...yall make my day every time I get on my silly little blog
  • Lauren's dad's guest posts this week about his fight with colon cancer...he tells his story so beautifully! Check him out here.
  • peace and contentment
  • 14 more school days...oh, I already mentioned that? I think it's worth repeating :)


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Journey to the capital: monumental

While in D.C., we visited nearly every monument and memorial in existence there. This involved lots and lots (and lots) of walking. Even though I've seen almost all of these sites before, they never fail to take my breath away. What a wonderful capital we have!

{Washington Monument reflected in the Vietnam War Memorial, love, love this shot}

{We must never forget that freedom is not free. God bless those men and women who serve or have served our great nation.}

{loved the geese swimming and the reflection of the monument in the water}

{By the top right window, you can see cracks from last year's earthquake. The sky truly was that blue this gorgeousness.}

{Lincoln Memorial...the columns are a bit large}

{Was Abe a humble man? I've wondered what he would think about this absolutely enormous statue of himself. Note to all: please don't commission a statue of me when I kick it. And if you must, please make it smaller than this one. I'd hate to be embarrassed in the great beyond; thanks.}

{Lincoln Memorial}

{sweet home}

{Iwo Jima Memorial}

{Look at all those beautiful details!}

{Jefferson Memorial}

{brand new MLK Memorial}

{at the FDR Memorial}

I just love America.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Journey to the capital: Mount Vernon and the National Cathedral

After our stop at Colonial Williamsburg, we made our way through lovely Alexandria, VA to George Washington's homestead.

The first part of our trip had been rainy...dreary...cold. I feared we were beginning to grow mildew.

Tuesday dawned bright and sunny, with blue skies, a nice breeze, and 60 degree temperatures. Glorious. I felt like singing...and I may have. You'll never know.

After doing a whirlwind tour of Mount Vernon on my first journey two years ago, I've been completely content to spend the majority of my latest two visits sitting in the sunshine on the back porch looking at the Potomac River. Absolutely delightful. Makes me feel like a Washington.

{If this were the view from my back porch, it'd be okay with me.}

{I like to think that we inspired those folks to sit and chill for a while, to be more like George. You're welcome.}

{Mount Vernon is very pastoral and farm-y. Right up my alley.}

{Bus 3's fearless leaders}

After wallowing around in as much springtime gorgeousness as we could stand, we drove on into D.C. I don't care how many times I see it...I think I'll always be excited to see the Washington Monument peek over the horizon. We have such a wondrous capital.

The National Cathedral was our first stop. It was as beautiful as ever, despite all the work going on to help repair the damage from last year's earthquake. 

{The entire building is made out of stone, as all good cathedrals should be. Just magnificent.}

{Netting has been strung up over the whole cathedral to catch any potential falling debris shaken loose by the earthquake.}

{Gargoyles are most unattractive. I'd be lying, though, if I said my hair had never looked like that when I first woke up.}

We did lots more this day, but I'm officially tired of working on this post. I've got things to do and sleep to get. More later!