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December 21, 2015

Star Wars + Christmas = Magic

It's the most wonderful time of the year! I've never been so excited about Christmas. It's so true that it's even better as a parent. AG is downright giddy with all the anticipation of what Santa will bring. I have a feeling he might go overboard but of course we will have to wait a few days to know for sure. She's still asking Saucy to let Santa know she wants lots of makeup like mommy and barbies. Real barbies. With a Barbie house. 
Hubby and I had a date night this past weekend. It was much needed and so fun. We had dinner at Bonefish followed by the best movie experience I've ever had. We saw Star Wars in IMAX 3D! I won't spoil anything and just say it was awesome. So awesome. Well written, great acting, I hope Abrams does all of the new ones. There were storm troopers at the theater when we arrived but we had to hurry in to get good seats and after the movie they were gone so no photos. But we might have to go again and see what it's like in 2D so maybe they will be there then. Everyone in our theater was so pumped up. The energy was fantastic. I loved being a part of something so special. We ordered tickets in advance from Fandango and you should know that you have to wait in line at the theater just like everyone else when you do that. I would not recommend it unless you're trying to get tickets for the opening weekend of a huge movie that'll likely be sold out. Or if you have a good coupon. Otherwise the convenience fee really isn't worth it. 
Speaking of convenience, you know what's great about three year olds (or at least ours)? They love to help. AG has learned to vacuum fairly well and it is awesome. 


She was a big helper with decorating the tree too. 
I haven't let her help with wrapping because when I showed her one of the things I got her daddy she woke up the next morning and the first words she spoke to him were "Daddy! Mommy got you Christmas shorts!" No kidding. I heard her over the monitor. I used the talk feature and told her not to tell him what his presents are. Thankfully that's all she saw and I won't confirm exactly what they are. I told him they are sparkly red and green with glitter and a grinch on the bottom. He might not believe me. 

December 10, 2015

Meet Saucy

I am so excited to say that we've started a new tradition. Meet Saucy!
She arrived this past Saturday with a book and a pair of jammies for AG. She was so sweet and fixed the elf ornaments that had been broken even if she dumped out all my glue sticks in the process. Silly elf. 
After reading the book, we spent some time discussing name options and ultimately left it up to AG. She went in her own direction and proclaimed that her elf's name is Saucy. Seriously? Where did she come up with this? She's so funny. So Saucy it is. It was a little more clear when a few days later she named the boy elf on her new "saucy jammies" Basghetti. So Saucy and Basghetti. I believe we have a foodie on our hands. As if that wasn't already obvious.
So my elf game has been pretty strong thus far. And I might've peeked early with the one where she rode the remote control helicopter into the Christmas wreath. You'll see. AG is loving the elf and she's so excited every morning to go find Saucy. It makes my mommy heart so happy. 
I love when she talks to Saucy and tells her what to tell Santa. She has asked for "lots of makeup like mommy", Cinderella and Ariel dresses, barbies and a barbie house and a barbie sink (you can't make this up), and a big barbie house. She's very specific which makes me nod my head and think "yep, that's my kid."
Here's most of what we've caught Saucy doing so far...





this is AG's own personal tree upstairs in her "puzzle room" - I think its important that you know she decorated it by herself.

the helicopter was stuck in the tree this morning

this is right now - disregard my messy kitchen #reallife
*Not pictured is a bubble bath in AG's extra sink in cotton balls. It was super cute but I never have my phone or camera upstairs. I'll do better. Maybe. Probably not.

Do you have an elf friend? I'd love to know what your little ones have been most excited to see your elf doing. Leave me a comment with some ideas!

December 4, 2015

Sometimes Real Life is Hard - Ectopic #2


I've written this post about 16 times in my head. And no matter how many times I mentally write it, I can never figure out how to start so I'm just doing it. I don't like it but thankfully this isn't a post on "how to write a world class intro". Honestly, this whole thing reads a little choppy to me and I'm just going to be ok with that. I'm not trying to write a deep feelings-y post that'll go viral. I really like having this blog to look back on over the years and I look forward to sharing it with AG one day when she's older. So let's just get to it.
I had surgery one week ago. It was definitely the worst Black Friday I've ever had. I'd rather stand in line at WalMart with the crazies. About a month ago we had a wonderful surprise in the form of a positive pregnancy test. (Don't get excited, this doesn't end well.) To fully understand this you need a bit of history.
Before AG, we had 3 failed pregnancies. Two miscarriages and an ectopic (located in my right tube) which was removed via laparoscopic surgery on the same date as the flood, 3 years prior. April 29 is not a good date for us. With AG, I was on clomid, estrogen, and progesterone and obviously this led to a healthy pregnancy. In the course of trying for number two, I've taken these medications (the "fertility cocktail" is what my midwife calls it) for quite a few cycles with no results. We discontinued the meds for several reasons. The main one being, they make me an actual crazy person. I called them my crazy pills. I believe progesterone is the main one that helped sustain our healthy pregnancy with AG so that's the one I kept on hand in case I became pregnant. I also use Progessence Plus from Young Living daily. This helps me maintain a normal level of progesterone. It's a fine line between lethargic and having other low progesterone symptoms and being a hormonal crazy person.
So after trying for months unsuccessfully then finally giving up we actually got pregnant. Just like people always say, which by the way, if you're talking to someone who's having fertility struggles, do not tell them that "it'll happen when you stop trying" or "it'll happen when you least expect it." We hate that. So we were both so surprised to see that positive test. When I told hubby he said "what? how?" Despite how this ends I still think that's really funny.
I felt good at first. We were cautiously optimistic. We told AG right away and she was delighted. She so wants to be a big sister. I want this for her too. So bad. Because of my history, I have blood work done immediately. My first test came back at HCG of 30. Which is extremely low. But, 72 hours later it was up to 91. That's a doubling time of 44ish hours. Which is perfect. We scheduled an ultrasound and carried on. The numbers were low but they were rising appropriately.
A week after that I was at work one day, a Wednesday, and I started feeling some discomfort. Then it rapidly evolved into pain. It became so severe I knew I needed to go home. At one point on my way out I was in the bathroom fighting the urge to get sick and I was literally on the bathroom floor because the pain and nausea were so severe. In hindsight, driving myself home was probably not my finest decision. The pain peaked as I was driving and arriving at home. I had some bleeding that seemed to correlate with the peak of the pain. The pain, nausea, and bleeding all tapered off. I spoke with my midwife and she told me to go to the hospital for stat lab work. My wonderful mother in law came to my house and drove me to the hospital for lab work. The results came back at HCG of 726 which was spot on for doubling every 48 hours. Based on past experience I know that with a miscarriage the HCG drops off rapidly and with an ectopic it doesn't double correctly. I felt normal again for the next couple days.
Over the weekend, I had more light bleeding. I went in Monday for more stat blood work and my HCG was 1134. Which means it was not doubling correctly. I knew right then. Ectopic. But without further testing we couldn't be sure. The next step was more bloods after 48 hours. That one came back at 1400ish. This pretty much sealed the deal. Plus during the ultrasound process we saw what looked like a gestational sac right beside my left ovary. That pain from the previous Wednesday, was radiating down my left leg. Ugh. I knew. I knew it had to be ectopic. A phone call later from the doctor who had performed my previous ectopic surgery made everything very real. I told him I didn't want the methotrexate shot. Last time my tube was very close to rupturing and if I'd taken the shot I would've lost my tube. That put a fear in me. I'd rather risk general anesthesia and laparoscopy than risk losing my tube. Plus with the MTX shot you have to wait at least 3 months to conceive again due to the risks to a future baby. While I have my doubts that we would conceive that quickly anyway, that risk just scares me.
So the day after Thanksgiving, my sweet doctor came into the hospital on his weekend off and did the laparoscopy to remove my ectopic pregnancy. It was a rough couple days. I hate the whole process. It's a tough pill to swallow when you've been trying to conceive for about a year and you finally do as a surprise and then it sticks in the wrong place and has to be removed. And no, there is no way to relocate it. Trust me, I asked the first time we went through this.
This past week has been a thankfully uneventful recovery time. AG and hubby have been great helps. My mom came for surgery day and again on Sunday when hubby had to go to work. She was a wonderful help and even made us a delicious pot roast. It's Thursday night now and I'm finally off of my strong pain medication. At this point I'm only sore when moving and not so sore that I need to take anything. I am however, so so itchy. Instead of stitches, he used some kind of magic medical glue to seal up my incisions. And as a bonus, when it's healing, it's crazy itchy.
So now I've had an ectopic in both my right and left tubes. According to my vast internet research this puts me at a 50% chance for future pregnancies to be ectopic. We will know more after I have a dye test done in 5 weeks. It's called a hysterosalpingogram or HSG test. Should be tons of fun. Or invasive and uncomfortable. But I'll be glad to have the answers it provides. From there we will know if it's even safe for us to try and conceive naturally or if we need to explore IVF. IVF would be the only way for an embryo to avoid the apparently dangerous journey that is my tubes. It's both scary and appealing. Now that I've gotten this first post out there I'll continue to keep you updated on our journey. This will be a good outlet for me and a way to keep everyone updated at the same time.

















November 3, 2015

Freezer Meal Prep Night

I'm realizing today that staying up until almost midnight cooking is probably not something I should do regularly. Getting out of bed this morning was so hard. But on the up side, I do have 6 meals in the freezer. So that's a pretty big win. And I made homemade pita chips. Where have these been all my life?? 
They are so much more affordable and better than store bought. And so easy to make! I just cut up pitas and painted them with some olive oil that I'd mixed various spices into, then baked for about 10 minutes. AG helped paint them and she loved it. I even made some special for me that I painted with a mixture of melted butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. They did not last long. 

Part of this cooking extravaganza was making pizza crusts. AG was a bit helper with this. She loved getting her hands (and nose?) dirty and helping kneed the dough. 
Then she sat in front of the oven and watched it rise for several minutes. I had pita chips baking in the top oven so I put the dough in the lower oven (turned off) to rise because it was slightly warmer than the rest of the kitchen.
 
All in all, it was a long process but I was really energetic and the cooking was fun and oddly soothing so it felt like it flew by. I watched some Friends and The Office on Netflix while I was cooking and that made it even more enjoyable. If only I had a cleaning crew to follow me around, it would be perfect. 
Having the kitchen and living room all one big open space sure was nice when I was the last one awake and I could use the big TV while cooking instead of the iPad. 
My quest to remove unhealthy things from our food is going well. Baby steps. One baby step at a time. Today I have officially left coffee creamer in my past. I now use natural raw cane sugar and half & half. I do intend to slowly cut back on both of those as well but this one step is a big one. I loved my creamer but reading the ingredients made me cringe. I love the Coffee Mate Natural Bliss kind but it's so expensive and it's basically cream and sugar anyway. This new method is both healthier and less expensive. Win win. OH and it tastes good too! Win win win! 
I thought of something exciting while surfing Facebook yesterday... I'm a "blogger" (the quotes are because I don't feel like I am in any way a "real" blogger, but in this case I need to pretend.) so I have an actual excuse reason to decorate for Christmas early! Like, before Thanksgiving! However, I do have standards and if it doesn't cool off and get to a temperature that I deem "downright chilly" then I can't in good conscious decorate for Christmas. But you better believe that once it happens I will not hold back. We are going to be in full on deck the halls mode. The blogger reason for this is that I might have Christmas decorating ideas that you (my loyal readers - Hi Mom!) would like to emulate and you'll need ample time to do so. This is probably more applicable to "real" bloggers with lots of readers but I'm going to take full advantage and just go for it. 

Have you ever prepped several meals at one time for the freezer? I'd love to hear about your experience. I'm always looking for new ideas. 

October 27, 2015

Football makes me sad and my work organization strategy

Let's just get this out of the way right off the bat... If you know me at all, you know I'm an Auburn University alum and darn proud of it. I LOVE my tigers. I bleed burnt orange and navy (I have to be specific because I accidentally married into a family of Gators, but it could be worse, at least we both hate crimson/garnet.) Well, we are not having the best season. It tends to suck the fun out of football in general when your team has only won one conference game by late October and your toughest opponents are still ahead. I look forward to Fall all year for three reasons - the cooler weather brings my favorite clothes, pumpkin spice everything, and seeing my Tigers return to the field! It hurts my heart (and stomach and head) when we go into quadruple OT and lose because we couldn't catch perfectly good passes throughout the entire game. I mean really. As a receiver this is your job. When the ball lands in your hands, you hold onto it.  *Deep breaths* Ok. Let's move on. 

I work full time outside the home and like everyone who does this, my job takes up most of my time. In the past, I've struggled with time management and organization of priorities. I have realized that I'm a paper and pen kind of girl. I like my electronic devices and I definitely need my iPhone to "ding" at me with a 5 minute warning that I need to be somewhere but to really succeed, I need to write things down. On paper. Apparently I'm not alone. I've recently realized there is a crazed community out there of planner people. If you haven't seen them just google "life planner" and you will see what I mean. These people are passionate. And for good reason. The life planners I've seen look really nice and well organized but they are also really expensive. I knew that price tag wasn't something I could swing so I started brainstorming and I think I've found a solution in the form of a planning binder that I've put together for approximately $0. 
I already had a binder that I cleaned out and printed a new cover for. I found the cover here: http://chicfetti.com/monograms/free-printable-monogram-binder-covers/. Seriously it's so cute and was so easy to do, I actually printed a second one for the back because I couldn't make up my mind. I printed monthly calendar pages from here: http://www.iheartnaptime.net/2015-free-printable-calendar/ and a daily docket from here: http://theartofsimple.net/daily-docket-2-0/. After using this system for about a month I can safely say, I love it. I have three divided sections in my binder. When you open it you see the current day's daily docket with blank ones behind it, next is a divider that says "calendar" with the monthly sheets for the rest of this year and all of next, then another divider that says "daily plans" and in here I put my previous daily dockets with the most recent on top. That way I can refer to them to see what I've done or need to add to the current day. I use the pockets of the binder for loose pages such as event posters for upcoming events that I've requested to be printed or floor plans for upcoming projects or plans for projects and events currently in the works. After the project or event is complete I can file these papers away in a nice labeled folder in my filing cabinet. This makes me feel so efficient and I can rest easy knowing that I'm not forgetting anything. This makes the whole work-life balance thing much more attainable. 

October 25, 2015

Five Things - A Quick Update

There are so many things I've wanted to write about over the last month that it's been more overwhelming than anything. I've realized that I have 2 choices, I can either jump back into blogging and just write and get the words out there OR I can quit. While it would be mighty easy to just quit and leave this blog behind, that's not what I want. I love looking back on where we were a year or so ago and I know that in the future I will be so very thankful that I took the time to write about our lives. As an added bonus, I really enjoy the process of blogging. So here I am! I don't expect that I'll be following any of the helpful blogging tips or rules but I'm going to keep writing and that's what matters most to me at this stage of life. I have so many words and I look forward to using them here - I would venture to guess that hubby will be glad I'm using them here too. So to make jumping back in easier, here's a quick list of what all you've missed.

1 - AG was the most beautiful flower girl ever! On September 26 we celebrated as my last cousin on my mom's side of the family married his perfect match. We were honored that they chose AG to be their flower girl. She did great at rehearsal but she kind of froze when she walked out and there was a large crowd watching her. She did throw some petals but she wasn't really keen on walking by herself. The wedding coordinator walked her most of the way to the aisle and then her new buddy, the junior bridesmaid, met her and escorted her the rest of the way. It was precious. She stood so still and quiet like a perfect little lady during the whole ceremony and afterward she did great smiling and posing for photos. Hubby and I couldn't be more proud of her.

At the reception AG had so much fun dancing! She is still talking about it. Eventually I changed her into her jammies to send her home with my parents and she couldn't help herself but dance more.

After they left to take her home, it was time for hubby and I to party the night away. And we did just that. It was so much fun! We stayed out way too late, went to a questionable country themed *ahem* establishment in downtown, and danced the night away. It seems fitting that the groom and I were the last cousins standing. We've always been so close. We are only 6 weeks apart in age and he's always been more like my brother than cousin. I couldn't be happier for him and his bride. She's a wonderful addition to our family and they clearly know how to throw a party!

2 - I made a really yummy brunch one Sunday morning after hubby's cousin stayed the night with us. The boys deemed them "momelettes" because they are basically little omelettes baked in muffin tins lined with ham. I'd like to post a real tutorial with a printable recipe and everything but I'm realizing that's not where I'm at with blogging at this point and that's ok.

3 - Before the wedding, AG had her first mani/pedi with my mom (Nana) and me. She seemed to really enjoy the pampering but got a little bored waiting on us to finish. She got to curl up in an empty pedicure seat and watch Netflix on my phone so she was content but wasn't really enthusiastic about doing it again. Maybe next time we'll do it after nap time.

4 - This is probably deserving of it's own post but I did mention earlier that I'll be making my own blogging rules so I'm adding it here... I've been selected as a member of the Chick Fil A Mom's Panel for this year! I'm so excited to be a part of this great group. They sent me a welcome gift a couple weeks ago with some goodies including coupons to try the frosted lemonade and Greek yogurt parfait. Spoiler alert: They're both yummy! I've gotten the frosted lemonade 3 times so far. I'm addicted.

5 - I went yard sale shopping with one of my best friends. We do this every year for the first Saturday in October. We get an early start and hit up as many neighborhood yard sales as possible. This year we struck out in the clothes-for-ourselves department so we grabbed a bite to eat and headed to the best consignment store in town. We each got a few items there and then we went next door to Chick Fil A for a couple frosted lemonades and a Greek yogurt parfait. The coupons were burning a hole in my wallet, and I like my wallet so it was the decent thing to do. And you know what, they were so so good! I would totally go out of my way for a frosted lemonade on a warm day and the parfait with cookie crumbles would be great with breakfast, brunch, or just a snack.

6 - oops make that six things.  
I had a great opportunity to join Tyndale Blogger Network with Tyndale House Publishers. The first book they sent me to review was "Blessed, Blessed... Blessed" by Missy Robertson. I could NOT put it down. It was so inspiring to read about all that they have gone through with their precious Mia. It really opened my eyes to what parents of special needs children go through. I had no idea there was so much to a cleft lip and palate. I stayed up until the wee hours reading 2 nights in a row and laughed and cried through the whole book. I can't even imagine going into an ultrasound toward the end of my pregnancy and finding out that there's a problem with my baby. They were so strong through the whole process. I don't want to spoil anything so I'm just going to suggest that you get your hands on a copy of the book and cozy up to read it when you've got a good chunk of time because you won't want to put it down.

September 18, 2015

Friday Favorites :: Food - Purple Potato Salad

Well this has been an interesting week. I left work early sick on Monday. I worked all day on Tuesday and totally overdid it which led to my taking Wednesday off to go to the doctor and then rest. I have a sinus infection by the way. AG insisted she needed to see her doctor too and by Wednesday night I agreed. I went to work Thursday morning for about an hour and then left to take her to the doctor. She has an ear infection and angry sinuses due to allergies. It's a rough time of year for us with the weather changing so abruptly. But she's in good spirits and seems to be doing much better today. She even slept good with no coughing last night thanks to some excellent medicines and essential oils that I rubbed her down with, diffused, and put on her stuffed animals and pillow. It seemed excessive but whatever works to help my baby get the rest she needs I will do. 
All that being said, I think you'll understand why I needed an easy dinner last night. We had pork chops (DIY Shake 'n Bake), squash with onions, and purple potato salad. 
A few years ago I made a potato salad that hubby deemed the BEST potato salad he'd ever eaten and insisted I write down what I did. It was so simple so I agreed and now feels like a good time to explain why I don't do a lot of food posts. I'm the kind of person who cooks with no recipe or when I do use a recipe it's just as a guideline and I tend not to measure things unless I'm baking. Cooking is an art, baking is a science. Both appeal to me for different reasons. I only recently realized that my ability to know how ingredients will taste together by smell is a gift. I just thought everyone did that. 
Cooking for my family is such a joy but my time is limited so I try and keep things simple. I'm going to make an effort to pay attention to quantities when I cook so I can share my favorite go-to meals with y'all. Let's start with potato salad. This time it was fancy because I found these cool little purple potatoes at "Plubix" (as AG says.)
As I mentioned, I wrote this recipe years ago. Thankfully my beloved family cookbook was up high on a shelf during the flood so it was perfectly fine. This recipe was hanging on the fridge with several others until shortly before the flood when I pulled them down and tucked the best ones into that notebook. The fridge flipped over so I'm very thankful I did that. Anyway, here's the recipe in all of its handwritten glory.
I did tweak it a bit because I try and avoid posting my family members' real names or AGs current face on here. I'm afraid of internet creepers.
Can you see how dirty that paper is? I have a theory that the dirtier the recipe, the better it is. This is totally true if you flip through my family cookbook. The persimmon bread recipe is barely legible. But that's one for another day. 
I first made this with baking/russet potatoes because it's what I had on hand. This time I used the whole bag of the purple potatoes because it really wasn't much. I just doubled the amount of dressing I mixed up. Probably a cup of mayo, a big squeeze of mustard, a squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper. (I told you I don't measure) I put those in a big bowl and mix them up with a whisk and just add more of those ingredients to taste as needed. I want it a little strong because it's going to be spread pretty thin. 
While the potatoes are boiling (in salted water) I mix that dressing up and chop a bell pepper and the green onion. These potatoes took about 20-30 minutes to cook fully. I add my egg (2 this time) into the boiling water with the potatoes for the last 10 minutes or so. 
I figure the boiling water kills any nasty egg shell bacteria and I don't see the need to boil another pot of water when I've already got one in use. I've been doing this for years and I've never had a problem with it. 
I don't have any other pictures of the process because it got messy. I drained and rinsed the potatoes and eggs with cool water and poured them out onto my cutting board. I let them cool a few minutes then quartered the potatoes. I noticed quickly that the skins were papery and falling off so I couldn't just leave them. I would quarter 5 or so at a time and then remove the skins and throw them in the big bowl with the dressing and other ingredients. These little purple potatoes are cute but they were sticky like glue when I would cut them while warm. That didn't last long and thankfully the texture of them in the potato salad was just like russets except these held their shape better. Hubby actually requested I mash them some next time to make it creamier and more "potatoey".  I think he's absolutely right and I will. I saved the eggs for last so they could cool extra. After I peeled them, AG came and helped me cut them. I gave her a little kid butter knife and she did great! She even tossed them in and helped me stir. She insisted on using her own special little spoon. Here's our finished product, complete with AGs little spoon.
Looks weird right? That's what we thought too but it tastes just like normal potato salad. Those purple potatoes are packed with antioxidants just like other deep blue produce which makes them a big win in my book. I'm going to try making them mashed next time. With their texture so similar to a russet I think they'll work great. 
Have you ever used purple potatoes? Does your local grocery store carry them? Yesterday was my first time seeing them outside of a cooking show so when I saw they were buy one get one free, I couldn't resist. 

September 14, 2015

Seven Years of Choosing Love

This weekend hubby and I celebrated seven years of marriage.



I just couldn't help the Friends reference.
It was a fabulous beach getaway while AG and Gauge had Camp Mimi time. I wasn't at all concerned about leaving AG because I knew she would have a blast. I was, however, concerned about leaving my very indoor dog in their backyard with their dogs. Yes, he's about 70lbs of crazy but he's my boy and I've spoiled him rotten. They claim he did great and had fun "being a dog". But I really can't wait to get there this evening and see his reaction when I open up the back of my van. I have a feeling when he gets home he isn't going to want to go outside for a long while.
We really had a great weekend. Our condo had the best view! 

The weather wasn't always ideal but we definitely made the best of it. We started the weekend right with a coffee shop stop Friday morning and I had to snap this photo of my handsome hubby. I seriously can't stop looking at it. He's my favorite. 
Friday was rainy so I splashed in the water a little but it wasn't as fun in the rain and certainly wasn't fun alone so I came inside and joined hubby on the couch and we watched a documentary on Netflix because we are 100 years old. It was actually fun and very interesting. It's called Muscle Shoals and it's all about the music industry in Muscle Shoals, AL. I'm from AL and the only thing I knew about Muscle Shoals was that there was a sweet red-headed girl in my dorm at Auburn, freshman year who was from there. It was fascinating to learn that so many amazing and extremely famous musicians went there to make their best music. Did you know that? I didn't.
After the documentary we got ready to go out for the night, because we might be old but we like to party once a year for our anniversary. And I think we clean up pretty well. 

Friday
Saturday
We spent the evening at our favorite beach restaurant and devoured our seafood nachos. Live music starts at 9pm on Friday and Saturday nights and *usually* by 10pm all the kids are gone and the focus shifts to the stage and dance floor. It's awesome because the crowd is actual grown ups and we don't feel ancient. We always know we will have a good time there. When we got back to the condo we stayed up until almost 4am! This deserves the exclamation point because I typically want to go to bed about 9 or 10. I don't even remember what we watched on TV but it was a good time and a well deserved break from any sort of responsibility.
Saturday was cloudy but not as rainy so we did get to have some beach time. We started the day with coffee on the balcony and it was fantastic. After a couple cups of coffee we headed downstairs to the beach and played a little but it was overcast so we mostly hung out on the sand and looked for shells a little and pretended to be tourists to a certain extent. I draw the line at feeding the birds.

Attention tourists:
Unless you're alone on the beach, just don't feed the seagulls.
Sincerely, The Locals
I tried to catch a beach nap but then the nearby tourists started feeding the seagulls and I feared getting pooped on so it was time to wrap it up.

We changed and headed into town to do some anniversary shopping. We went to the golf course for him to demo some newly released clubs and hit some range balls. 
I got covered in dirt no less than 3 times. Three. I eventually moved so far away I couldn't even get a decent pic of hubby. 
I tried to read a book but then checked the score on the Auburn game and almost lost my mind. 
This was before I knew how bad my tigers were playing. It was a simpler time.
I downloaded the Watch ESPN app (in about 30 seconds, thanks Verizon!) and signed into our Dish account and let me tell you, the game was as clear as if I were at home watching it on TV. It was small on my iPhone but so clear. I was amazed. And then I was amazed at something else. How terrible we were playing. It was not pretty folks. We left the golf course at the end of the 3rd quarter and listened to the game in the car. As we were driving to the mystery store to pick out my gift it was called that we were going into overtime. I decided shopping could wait and we pulled into the nearest sports themed restaurant. I was too nervous to eat so I just drank water and yelled at the TV. It was an ugly win but at least it was a win.
Hubby had a surprise in mind for me but wanted my help in picking out the exact item. I was in full on suspense mode until he told me where to go and then I figured out why he couldn't tell me the store. It was a shoe store! I ended up buying the first and only pair I tried on. It was glorious y'all. I needed a nice pair of exercise shoes so bad. Aren't they pretty? They are so comfortable! And they were on sale. And I had a coupon. I was thrilled.

For hubby's present I adorned his Yeti hugger with a Florida logo. It was a last minute decision on Thursday and I got a friend of mine to cut the vinyl and I stuck it on there when he wasn't with me. He was surprised and he loves it. He used it Saturday night and several people stopped and asked him about it.
Speaking of Saturday night, we went to the sports bar and grill on the beach and had a great time. I even celebrated National Chocolate Milkshake day with a bushwacker or 2. We made new friends and hubby saw some old ones too. I'm not even kidding when I say he knows someone everywhere we go.
From there we went back to our favorite place to catch night two of the live band. By this point my sore throat had intensified to the point that I ordered two waters from the bar. Never a good sign. The wind picked up and I was freezing and started coughing and sneezing so we called it a night before midnight. It was still a pretty good night up until the full blown sinus attack.
Thankfully, I woke up Sunday morning (our actual anniversary day) feeling much better. My mother in law brought AG to us and she was beside herself to be at the beach and back with mommy and daddy. And we were thrilled to have her with us. She was in constant motion. 
The three of us had brunch and headed to the beach. It was a perfect day! The sun was shining but it wasn't too hot. The water was refreshing but not cold. It was beautiful. 
While we were playing in the water I noticed something dark in some seaweed that seemed like it was moving toward me but I wasn't sure because it just looked like goo. I scooped it up with our net and it turned out to be a weird sea creature that we'd never seen before. We have both grown up on the coast and spent a lot of time in the water. I thought it was odd that hubby didn't even know what it was because he knows what everything is that I find in the water. Our theory is that they are either very new here or they are just passing through and the conditions were perfect to be seeing them.
I get the heeby-geebys just looking at them.
After some later googling, we learned this is called a "Sea Hare" - google it, they disgust me. They are basically a sea slug and I do not do well with slugs. Because we didn't know what they were, we opted not to touch them but hubby caught a few and put them in a bucket of water and brought them on the beach to look at more closely with us. AG said they were hungry so she "fed" them sand.
The rest of our beach time consisted of going into the water and out of the water and into the water and out of the water. You get it. I got to teach AG to use the sifter toy to sift the sand and find shells. She LOVED this and did it for a while. 

I told her we also sift flour like this to bake some cakes and she was delighted to bake me sand cakes. I was filming her playing when all of the sudden she says "and you treat yourself (looks at camera and points right into it) with honey!" I have no idea where she got that. She went on to explain about some TV show she'd watched so I think it's related to that but regardless, it is one of my favorite moments that's ever been caught on film.
From the beach she asked to go swim in the pool so we did just that. As soon as we put her floaty back on she jumped and swam over and over again. 
Jumping in, but doesn't it look like she's just walking on the water
She wants to be a mermaid when she grows up and her method of swimming around looks like she's doing the butterfly
When we got back to the condo I gave her a shower then sent her in her towel to go get dressed and hang out with her daddy. By the time I came out of the shower about 15 minutes later, she was passed out on the couch. Hubby said she told him she was tired and when he suggested she could go to sleep she said "but I want to spend time with you and watch Netflix." It was probably less than 5 minutes after that when she fell asleep. Sidenote: She's been saying "I want to spend time with you" for the last couple weeks. It all started when I explained that she would go stay with Mimi for a few nights so mommy and daddy could spend some time together. Its so sweet and heartwarming when she says it.
She woke up on the way home when we stopped at Taco Bell so we got her a soft taco supreme just like I eat and let me tell you, she ate that whole thing then asked for another taco! At that point we were out of tacos so I promised another snack when we got home. We were all so glad to be back in our own home that AG was asleep before 9pm despite her late nap and hubby and I were in bed by 10pm, a rarity for the night owl I'm married to.
It really was another wonderful Anniversary weekend. I am so blessed. 


Update: I was right. When I let Gauge out of the yard and walked him to my van, he dragged me there. He jumped right in and wedged himself as far in as he could. I couldn't even drag him closer to me to remove his leash. He was beside himself to be home. He's been in his house for well over an hour and hasn't come out.

September 10, 2015

FREE Photo Book Deal



I don't normally post deals but I love Shutterfly so much I had to share this one!
Until September 16 all customers can get a FREE 8x8 20 page photo book! If you've never ordered one from Shutterfly now is the time. They are so nice. Shipping is about $8 for me and you do have I pay that. I'll be ordering one this time for sure! Go here to create your book and enter the code FREETREAT at checkout to redeem the offer. It's that easy. Happy creating!

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