Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hello Spaghetti Face.

You know those pictures that every mother owns?? Yes you do. If you have children, you have them too... 

  • The one with the newborn infant is asleep on their sleeping, bare-chested daddy
  • The one where the one-year old is slamming cake in their own face on their first birthday and
  • The one where the kiddo is eating spaghetti and gets it all over their face? 

Well, I  am now the proud owner of all three pictures. Yep. Collection complete. Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I Love You, Noah.

Noah is talking non-stop. Even if Cullen and I are the only ones who can understand every bit of it, he makes noise, mimics your every move and attempts it all!

Yesterday afternoon, Noah and I are in the car driving to JSL. I gave him an animal cracker and said, "Noah, say thank you." "Tans." (That is how Little Bit says thanks.) I followed up with, "I love you, Noah."

From my review baby mirror, I see him follow my "I love you" with big blowing kisses. As if he is saying, "I love you back."

Be still my heart.

I am the proudest momma. My heart is overflowing. I am proud that he communicates so well, and more, I am blessed he said "I love you" back....even if he didn't say I LOVE YOU.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Uh Oh -

Guess what Noah found??? 
Momma's apron...
...and he loves wearing it. 

Cullen thinks he looks like the guards from The Wizard Of Oz. I don't see it... I think he looks precious.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Surviving Week One -

School started back this week... hence the absence of blogging. I think this year is going to be amazing. I have a SUPER co-worker who has an undeniable passion for students with special needs. She is going to be a breath of fresh air around my portable!!

I only have a few new kiddo's on my case load this year (so far) and they are so special to me. I have one little boy, a third grader, who has won my heart already - and he isn't Special Ed, through label. I bet he is soon though. Little stinker has a SERIOUS anger problem; I get the privilege of working with those kids too.

On a home front, Noah has really grown up all of the sudden. He can mimic almost anything we do. He holds conversations with me, even I can only make out about 1/10 of the noises he says. I ask him a question and he answers me with 8 or 10 words, all of which have different tones and inflections - none of which can be made out. It is amazing to me that he "talks back". He also will say something and then laugh, like he thinks he is soo funny.

Part of night-time routine, is a bath.  Cullen sits on the outside of the tub and plays with Noah while ensuring his safety, of course. When Noah gets squirrely and starts to act like he is done with bath time, I hear Cullen say, "Okay, time to get out? Tell the tub "Night Night." Then I hear Noah say "Night Night" and pull the plug under the water. It is so sweet.

Okay, you have been updated on school and updated with Noah... what more do you want from me!? :)

I will blog soon. Promise.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Be Encouraged.

**Note, this is an emotionally heavier than usual post.**

Recently, I have been approached by friends with heavy burdened hearts. Something in their life just isn't right. One's husband is having heath concerns, another's sister is moving in because of heartbreak. I have a friend who is struggling with family matters - deep, painful family matters. Do you want to know the commonality? They asked me for words of encouragement. 

A side note, I was sitting in church this morning, surprisingly not interested in what our guest preacher was preaching about. Instead, I opened my Bible and had a mini-lesson of my own. I turned to several verses in the Bible and read about strength, friendship and encouragement. When church was over, Cullen and I picked up Noah from the nursery and went to lunch. I told Cullen about my non-attentive bible study of my own and didn't about it much after. As it turns out, God was preparing me for a conversation later in my day. I was asked casually by a friend to keep her encouraged. Pass along words of encouragement regularly was her request...possibly even hourly; don't let her get discouraged at a time that it would be all too easy. Thank you God, for letting my ears be open to your words. 
I read this verse earlier today, and want to share it with a mini, but heavy, message. Be encouraged; stay encouraged. Lift yourself up and boost others.

Philippians 4:6-7 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things...

Recently, my dear friend Lauren bought an Erin Condren Life Planner for my birthday. The one I ordered included on the cover page, a list of my favorite things. This prompted me to go back and read a blog entry I wrote years ago! 60 Facts. I am going to do it again. However, I am only going to do 30 - let's get real here, I am fighting time too....

  1. I love my hats, both physically and metaphorically. I have a handful of hats (some fun and silly for "Crazy Hat Day" at school, some that are worn to Kentucky Derby parties) that sit in the top of my closet - waiting for the perfect occasion. I also love the metaphorical hats I wear: Wife, Mother, Teacher, Friend.  Homemaker, Maid, Community Servant, Christian, Mentor, Daughter, Sister, Boss, Errand Runner. 
  2. I married my husband on September 15, 2007. He makes me smile every day. 
  3. Speaking of marriage, I welcomed my son to our family on May 12th, 2010. He is the light of my every day.
  4. I live life according to my agenda. 
  5. My agenda is color-coded. The color codes have not changed for years. It helps me glance at my week and see what is going on quickly. 
  6. My favorite writing utensil is .5 mm lead mechanical pencil OR a contour pen, just like this one. I hoard them.
  7. I prefer salt/savory to sweet tasting anything. I can resist a fresh baked pan of brownies all day long. Put Ritz crackers or Pringles chips I literally will eat them until they are gone, regardless of how full I am.
  8. I buy school supplies in bulk. Even if there is no reason for them, I will buy them and keep them for later use. 
  9. I have a bachelor's degree in Rehabilitation Services, with minors in Addictions AND Social Work from The University of North Texas. I have a Master's of Education degree from The University of Texas at Austin. For the record, my loyalties are to UNT - forever. 
  10. I dislike the color purple, unless I am using it to write. If that is the case, I find that I write with it, a lot.
  11. As an incoming freshman, I joined the sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma. (Beside Cullen, it was the best collegiate decision I made.)
  12. I love dogs. All dogs. One day, I would like to have a sanctuary for abused dogs to come live and rehabilitate - and learn that all humans are not bad. 
  13. I want three children. Cullen wants two. 
  14. Water is my MOST favorite beverage. There is not one single situation where I would choose something else over water, if given a choice. 
  15. I hate, let me reiterate, I HATE, lizards. All shapes. All sizes. I hate them all. I hate all animals even remotely related to lizards. I hate lizards. 
  16. Noah. I love my chubby, perfect, bald, little Noah. While I could make a list of 60 facts that I love just about him, I wont. I will only list a few: I love the sound of Noah laughing. You know those deep down belly laughs?? His are my favorite. I love his smiles and ever-changing attitude. His undying affection for his family is admirable. I hope it is a continued quality he possesses. I anticipated what his voice would sound like when he was a tiny infant. I smile from ear to ear when I hear him talk. I vividly remember when he chained two words together, "Bye Mom." I melted. From head to toe. I melted.
  17. I consider myself extremely lucky and know that I fall into a rare category that I have both sets of parents, mine and Cullen's who are in loving, successful marriages. Cullen and I have FAITHful, devoted role models to model our lives after. 
  18. I have a Bill Miller BBQ 32 oz. mug that I refill multiple times a day with ice cold water. I love drinking water. I never feel filled up enough to stop drinking. 
  19. I love trashy TV. My current TV lineup includes such horrible shows as: Drop Dead Diva, Secret Life, Switched at Birth, The Bachelor/Bachelorette, The Food Network, etc....nothing I am proud of. 
  20. Speaking of The Food Network, I love cooking. I love baking. I am not great. But, I am always willing and wanting to find something new to cook/bake. I appreciate that my hubby will try anything I cook/bake. AND, he manages to eat his plate, even if it is terrible. Bless his heart. 
  21. I am a movie critic. Unfortunately, I only really see comedies and romantic comedies. However, I will gladly sit through any movie falling into the above categories and tirelessly critique it until there is nothing left to critique. 
  22. I love my long hair. I long to have a short, cute, bobbing haircut. BUT, when I go to get a haircut, I only allow the minimal amount to be taken off. In the long run, I would rather have long, half-up/half-down hair than a styled look that actually takes patience to accomplish. 
  23. I have two Boston Terriers, Brodie (6) and Millie (5). Brodie and Millie joined our family while Cullen and I were dating and in college. They make us laugh on a regular basis. Sadly, they have become secondary since Noah joined our family. But, we still love them so much. They are the dumbest smart dogs I know. 
  24. My parents live in Austin. I like that I love close enough that I can see them whenever I want. Even if our meetings are brief, I love to meet them for dinner in Georgetown just to say hi, and for Noah to hug is Nana and Papa. 
  25. I love dressing up...I mean really dressing up. Like ballgown and big jewelry dress up. Give me a reason to dress up and it is done. 
  26. Let's dissect the last statement. I love being outside. 
  27. I love natural light. I would far rather have no lights on in the house with all the windows open and natural light beaming into my home. 
  28. I love the smell of fall and everything that is incorporated into the fall season. (Don't let Cullen read this too close BUT, I love football season, hot chocolate warming my hands bundled up with good friends at a UNT football game.) 
  29. Thanksgiving is hands-down my favorite holiday followed closely by Christmas and birthday celebrations. 
Try it. It was fun. I realized once I got to 30, I could easily keep going. See how far you can go. I would love to read YOUR lists. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

It's Over.

I can't believe this night came so fast. It feels like just yesterday I was telling students "good-bye" for the summer. Tonight is my last night before I start back up full time. As of tomorrow at 7:30, I start two weeks of school related activities. Three Mondays from now, I have students greeting me with smiling faces, anticipating sharing their summer stories. This is bittersweet. 

This summer has been such a joy. I shared it with my babe. I made so many memories. I watched Noah go from a silly little crawler to a bouncing, talking, little toddler. We traveled to and from more than we should have. Nothing held us down! 
But, back to the grind tomorrow. Noah goes back to Mrs. Brenda full time. I go back to Mt. View full time. Bring on the beginning of school, small children and routine!  
Photos courtesy of April Skinner at Almost Impatient Productions.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

My Affair Is Going Public...

I am starting to realize I may have an unhealthy desire to use my muffin pan for all meals. Next week, all of our dinners are going to be made in a muffin pan. Here is our menu:

Monday: Muffin Pan Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes
Tuesday: Muffin Pan Tacos
Wednesday: Lasagna Cupcakes
Thursday: Crabcake Cupcakes ...yumm. I am especially looking forward to this!
Friday: Grilled Chicken with Broccoli Cheddar Biscuit Bites.

That's it folks. That is dinner next week. I am super excited about this challenge. We will see how it goes.... hope it goes better than the crock-pot recipe week.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Today is my best friend's birthday!! She is 27 today...officially in her LATE 20's...yikes!! Practically over.the.hill.
As a tribute to her, below is a few youtube clips of things that make me A) think of Kelly, and B) laugh or sing LOUDLY!

Wilson Phillips' Hold On
GWH: Bar Scene
GWH: Don't Forget the Coffee
GWH: Therapists - Kel, this one makes me laugh the loudest, but...
This one makes me think of you the most: GWH: Double Burger!
Salt-N-Pepa: Shoop
Warren G (feat. Nate Dogg): Regulators
The Blonde
THIS movie
Oops. Here are a few more:
You Know What He did?
We're Doin' Business Here

I really could go on forever. I LOVE YOU Kelly Jean. I hope your birthday is as spectacular as you are!

The Muffin Tin -

Recently, I have found that I cook a TON of food in my muffin tin. A muffin tin, you ask? YES. And, often, it is not muffins that I am cooking! So, I challenge you to look at the following recipes and try to cook dinner in a muffin tin.

Brisket Biscuits: Okay, I can't find this recipe online....maybe it was passed to me. Here you go.
Ingredients: Grands Biscuits (any kind but the flaky biscuits), leftover chopped beef from a BBQ, cheddar cheese. THAT'S ALL!
press one biscuit into the bottom of each of your muffin tins, scoop chopped beef until level with the top of the muffin tin, top with cheddar cheese. Bake according to directions on the biscuits. Serve with chips or baked beans!! Enjoy!

Mac n' Cheese Muffins: SO.GOOD. You will not be disappointed. I DO NOT care much for dijon mustard, but it adds just a touch of pizazz!

Mini Lasagna Cups: These will CHANGE.YOUR.MIND. on how you eat lasagna!

Jiffy Blueberry Muffins....but these are just as they sound. Open the box, follow the recipe!

Mini Meatloaf Cups: How annoying is it to make a whole meatloaf and have to throw half out because your family hardly ever eats left overs?? Problem solved. I add mashed potatoes with this...

** All of the above recipes I have personally cooked and eating. I give them the stamp of delicious approval!

Also: while I cannot vouch for any of these personally, I did find this website, and plan on making many! Do you know the Muffin Tin?