Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mr. Brodie Mills

I have been absent from the blog world both in physical form and in mind....However - I am back with lots o' photos!!

A couple weeks ago, my Brodie-Man had a TERRIBLE bump on his leg. Fearing the worst, I took him to the vet, praying it wasn't "the-big-C". Turns out, he was having a reaction to his rabies vaccination... I am such a worrier. (An advanced apology to my future children). Below is a picture of my froggy-dog at the vet.

Because he HATES the vet, and he did so well at his appointment, I took him to NaNa and PaPa's house to do his most favorite thing - swim! (Okay, his second most favorite thing. He likes sleeping more than any thing.)
And, after swimming, what beats laying out and catching some sun?? It combines Brodie's two favorite activities: being as lazy as possible and swimming. If you were wondering, Yes, Brodie is part duck. He has loved swimming since the very first time we put him in water.
After swimming with Cullen, Brodie was worn out, and needed to take it easy... so, he went and sat with PaPa in the rocking chair like a good granddog. Nothing Makes me happier than an afternoon outside with family. What a great day!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I love this boy -

Since June 8th, my life has been so busy; so busy in fact, I sometimes forget how lucky I am to be where I am. There are a handful of people in my life right this second that can keep up with my day to day life (and some of those are only because are are forced to deal with me - Thanks officemate.) However, there is a special someone in my life, who, no matter how mean/grumpy/stressed/mean/delusional/psychopathic I am being on any particular day, never questions his love for me.

More often than not, husbands don't get the credit they deserve. More often than not, I don't publicly praise my wonderful boy. Cullen truly is my rock. Thank you, my love, for being so steady during a very stressful summer. I love you, and look forward to forever - spending forever with you.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Frogs, Lizards, and Spiders - Oh My!

This weekend, I was sick as a dog. SICK, SICK! And, to top things off, my dear husband (who doubles as my protector, when necessary) was out of the state at a wedding in Colorado. Friday night, I was feeling restless/getting a little cabin fever from laying in bed for 36 hours straight. So, I called two of my girlfriends, and we went to see The Proposal. (A side note - LOOOVED IT!)
When I came home from the movie, feeling gross, sick, and overall "yucky", I met my demise...

**Please note, this frog/toad is not to scale. The one I encountered was FAR LARGER...At least the size of a small pizza. I walked up my front walkway into MY home, and there he was - staring me down, ready to kill. It was a scene out of a Western. (Que Western Movie music. Que Tumbleweeds) He was the biggest man-eating frog/toad I have ever seen. Frozen in fear, and knowing that frogs can smell fear - I quickly thought, "Well Erin, here you are; stuck. You can try to sneak around it. But what are the chances that this one frog has super-sonic jumping power and it lunges at you, sending you towards your death?? OR you can go into the house through the back yard door. But, what if there are lizards at the back door (which there usually are!)? Oh Erin, man up. Just walk past the frog/toad. GROW UP." With that pep-talk, I found just enough courage to sloooowwwwly, creeeeeepppp past the frog/toad as to not disturb him, lunged at the door to get my key in as fast as possible. And what do I see out of the corner of my eye???!?!? THE WORLDS LARGEST LIZARD KNOWN TO MAN!
**Please note, this lizard is not to scale. The Lizard on my house was FAR LARGER. At least 15 times larger, probably the size of a weenie-dog. The man-eating lizard ran down the wall to try to eat me alive (because they think humans taste better still alive). I tried as hard as I could to get my house key into the lock. ALL OF THE SUDDEN, THEY DO NOT MATCH UP. I can not get the key in the lock. With fear/vomit rising from within, I FINALLY managed to get the door open, get in the house, shut and lock the door - using the door lock and the deadbolt lock. I walked all around the house, locking the garage door into the house, the back door and all the windows. I shut all the blinds, (just in case there are frogs/toads and lizards peering in, planning my death). I wash my face, brush my teeth and crawl into bed. A deep sigh, and a hacking cough later.... I realize I forgot to take my medicine. Bummer.

Contemplating whether or not my medicine is worth it (hearing my mother inside my head telling me to get out of bed and take my medicine...) I crawl out of bed and walk towards the kitchen. THANK GOODNESS I watch the ground when I walk because there was a man-eating taranchula directly in my path. **Note: Tarachula pictured is not to scale. The one in my house was FAR LARGER.

Now, I am not one to exaggerate. This spider was HUGE, maybe the size of a quarter. However, unlike the toad/frog and lizard-the-size-of-a-weenie-dog, I can kill spiders. Oh Yes, I can! And, I did. Yes, I did! I killed that little spider, with a smile on my face.

I felt like I could regain control at my home, which clearly has become a breeding ground for all things awful. While there were several other events with gross bugs this weekend, this all was in the span of 15 minutes. It possibly made the top 5 worst 15-minutes-of-my-life list. Gross.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More Flags, More Fun.

Saturday: This past weekend, was great. After my EC-4 Content test (WHICH I PASSED!!!!), I came home, took a MUCH NEEDED nap and woke up rested. Late in the afternoon, I met with The Hamners at the pool and caught up with my sister while watching the kids in the water. **Sister time doesn't happen near enough. I always walk away feeling so good and so loved after talks with her. Britt, oh my, she is such a great swimmer (which seems only natural since she is 8. In my mind, she is still 4 years old.) And, boy that Hayden - once he gets used to the water - is just a hoot. Here a few pictures from the great afternoon!

Sunday: Courtney and the kids, TJ, Cullen and I spend a wonderful day at Six Flags. Gosh, I can not remember the last time we did something where the kids were all together. The only one missing, was my brother-in-law. Before we got to Six Flags, I asked Hayden to put sun-screen on his face. Like most 4 year olds, "He doesn't want any help! I can do it!" Eventually, he gave in, and I helped tranform him from "sun-screen beard" to perfect angel.
I also cannot remember the last time I went to Six Flags - or any amusement park for that matter. I love roller coasters, and I love Carnival food. This is like Fat-Kid Heaven. Surprisingly, I managed to drink water all day, and only share nachos with Cullen - Don't all shriek at once, there were no dippin dots, or frozen lemonades, funnel cakes or peanuts consumed! We started the afternoon off riding rides, and taking turns staying with Hayden, (who still is too small for rides). As a group of us would ride a ride, the leftover adult would ride with Hayden on a small ride. My favorite image from the day: Cullen stays back with Hayden AND Brittany. Hayden wants to ride the "Fruit Bowl" (which is equivalent to the Pool Balls, (You know, the carnival ride that is enclosed - you sit inside and spin the wheel to turn faster, while the ride spins on the outside.) Now, exchange the pool balls for various fruits, and cut the size of the actual fruit you sit in, in half. Add Hayden and Brittany AND Cullen. What do you get??? Two hyper children and a tall man, curled up like a fetus inside of an apple, spinning. HAHAHAHA! One of the other rides we went on for Hayden, was the Merry-Go-Rounds. Courtney, Hayden and I sat on horses...which Hayden named. On the first ride, Hayden's horse's name was "Cowboy". On the second ride, his horse's name was "Geppetto" as in: Geppetto, the Disney fictional character, father to Pinocchio. Please take a very close look at this child's face. What a cute little stinker!
After our horse riding, we walked over to "The Boardwalk", where we got caught by a train. Doesn't Cullen look like such a natural!? Once at The Boardwalk, We went on a few big kid rides - which left Hayden out. (Of course.) The first ride is one of my favorites...although I can not think of it's name.
---Let's stop there and visit a side subject. This trip to Six Flags proved to be a struggle with heights... We had to figure out what to do with Hayden at each stop for being too little. However, did you ever think we would have to figure out what to do if your rider is TOO TALL??? What in the good world is that about? Luckily, they let him ride...but, my sweet little brother is TOO TALL! It says so, in writing: We sat and prepared for the ride for a while. As someone who loves roller coasters, I would like to note, I love to get on and get off roller coasters, not wating ON the ride. There is no thinking involved. The second I have to think about it, I get less excited - and, enter this ride. Being that it is one of my favorites, I was SLLLIGHTLY more patient than usual, but not much.
...and while we waited for the ride, Hayden and Brittany had a photo shoot with their Momma. I have many pictures in a row on the camera. However, this one is by far my favorite:
Yes, that is Hayden taking a picture, of his mom, taking a picture!
As it became hotter and hotter, we found ourselves wanting to be in the water faster and faster. Indeed, we did just that. We ended our day at the water park attached to Six Flags. We played in the lazy river for quite some time, and called it a day.

Six Flags was so fun - for so many reasons. It reminded me how fun it is to be a kid, how fun it is to be with family, and the importance of making time for things that do not involve work, school or stress! Love you all. Thanks for the great day!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Six New Friends

About two months ago, there were two tiny birds building a nest on my front porch stoop. With all of the stress in my life (finishing school for the semester, trying to put the house on the market, overall planning of life for the next couple of months), I was quite annoyed by these silly, pesky little birds. They don't pay rent; they just hang around, like bums. BUT, they eat lizards (which is payment enough). However, no matter how cute they may/may not be, they are pooping off the stoop...right onto the front porch. If you walk into my house, you literally are stepping around the mess from these little boogers. NOT ACCEPTABLE.
After a long discussion about what to do with our new flying friends, Cullen and I decided to knock off their semi-formed nest, in hopes they would get the hint that they are unwelcome under our current situation. Sure enough, they got the hint - weeks went by, and not a single bird.
All off the sudden, we notice we have a bird back - but only one bird. (inner monologue: WHAT HAVE WE DONE??? Have we somehow, inadvertently caused the death of this birds friend/sister/brother/loved one? How would I feel if someone came and knocked my house over and inadvertently killed my loved one!?!?! (Let the guilt sink in deep......))
Well, as the saying goes... pay back is a --- well, you know the rest. We now *happily* have six NOT TWO, BUT SIX birds living on our stoop. I have become kind of fond of these little birds. Even though I dodge them when I come into the house, I often open my front door (which as a screen door also) just to watch them.
Welcome home, little ones. Now could you please stop pooping off the stoop; we could be much better friends.

** a side note, yes, I know there are only 5 birds in the picture. The other is in the corner, asleep. He/she didn't want to be bothered.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Let the Countdown Commence

I need a break from studying...

You know that feeling - that one that feels like your stomach is going to jump out of throat? Yes, that one!! The one you get just before something MAJOR happends.... Yep, that one. I am there. I have been studying and will continue to study through tomorrow morning for a test 8:00 a.m. Less than 24 hours from now, my fate as teacher will be sealed (Okay, that makes it seem a little on the rediculous side...).
I take the EC-4 content test in the A.M. I have major test anxiety - however, I can hear my momma's voice in the back of my head, "take a deep breath, don't get wiggy. You'll do great." Check back tomorrow. I will let you know.

...and back to studying.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

October Weddings Brings May Showers

This past weekend was spent showering my friend Terra. Seven ladies hosted a Kitchen (shout out to June Cleaver) themed shower in the beautiful back yard of Mr. and Mrs. John Stafford (some of you know them as my parents).

Two of the creative hostesses found table clothes and created center pieces to match. Aren't they adorable and colorful!?
Here is a view from afar:

The hostesses each wore cute aprons...

...and of course we found the perfect apron for our bride-to-be.
We had such a great time! Terra, I am already so excited about being a part of your special day! I love our friendship and feel blessed to stand with you as you become Mrs. Terra James! Below is a picture of Terra in Coral (center, top row) with her hostesses and their hand-made hostess gifts.