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I am a recovering student, finally free from the grasp of higher education

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Random photos from November

So here are just some random photos from out trip to Branson... decorating the tree, watching Bama Roll over the Gators!!! (and some other cute shots.)

Fishing with Auntie Katie when Katie came 'home' for a weekend.


I finally have a few minutes before Mike takes the computer again...

We were able go to Tuscaloosa for Thanksgiving this year and we loved it. First let me start with the Tuesday before, that was a fun day. We had taken our car in to get the oil changed on Monday, turns out our brakes, (not pads... brakes) were shot, so are the rotors, and our suspension is gone. They wanted $850 to fix it but no one in St Louis had the struts in stock for the suspension.... so it wouldn't have mattered anyway. We decided to rent a car for the trip. Tuesday I pick up the car and it seemed to have a bit of smoke smell.... well Mike is severely allergic to cigarette smoke and he was in the car for 5 seconds before he mentioned it. We tried to exchange but the place we picked the car from had no more, neither did their parent location, we had a few errands to run and in the process called 4 other locations and finally wound up at the air port location. Turns out Enterprise will not exchange unless the car is not drivable... well for us it wasn't but the airport people were AWFUL about it (I'm writing a letter today) so the manager called and a location 25 minutes away had one they JUST got in. We we had to back track another 25 minutes to finally pick up a different car, that wasn't fully cleaned... at a gas station in TN we found a ring and a retainer behind the back seat head rest.... GROSS. So our trip that was supposed to start around 11am didn't until 2:30.

Isabel was a champ during the drive, as usual. We arrived at the Barr Bed and Breakfast (aka Marcus and Courtney's house) about 11 o'clock. Isabel was out but was so startled by the dog Peanut that she peed her pants... it was a bit funny. Wednesday started the fun times of our vacation. Courtney had given us a tour guide type packet with tons of brochure and pamphlets of stuff to do. You would think since I lived there for 5 years I'd have an idea but nope, so this info was great to have. We went to the Jemison mansion. You know Mike and I are always suckers for a good historic house we loved it and talked about what we would do with it if we could own it. We stopped by Capitol park... I had seriously never been there, just seen everybody's family pictures that were taken there. Then we drove around and look at some beautiful homes off University BLVD, we were house hunting for ourselves. A quick trip to Mid Towne shopping center and then home for naps. We headed over to Cheyenne and Aubrey's that night for dinner. The kids played and of course the boys wound up in one room and the girls in another. It was so great to see them. Price is adorable but I couldn't hold him, I had gotten sick and was coughing so I didn't want to infect him. Plus Aubrey may not have ever let me see Cheyenne again. So I was good.
Courtney and I went home and started baking for the feast the next day. Or rather she baked and I just watched for most of the time. I did make my awesome Pecan pie.... it was so good but under-baked by about 5 minutes... it kept it extra moist though... :)

Thanksgiving was full of football and baking. We loved it. The food was awesome but there is nothing less to expect from Courtney. That night Mike and I went and saw The Blind Side. LOVED IT! Black Friday came and went with Courtney and I getting up at 3:45 am to head to Target... still not sure how she ended up with her wanted purchase but then we spend an hour at the store... not shopping mind you, we lost one another in the chaos couldn't find each other. Let me clarify that, I took off without my phone and I couldn't find her. I finally had to borrow some random ladies phone. Court had called mine and was listening to it ring in the cart... I think some people thought she was bordering on psychotic. We made it home by 7 after another stop and I just downed herbal tea the rest of the day. Then of course there was the IRON BOWL!!!!! holy cow, we couldn't hardly stand after that game and Isabel was scared out of her mind with the screaming that started on 'the drive' and continued thru the end of the game. ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!

I should insert that because the Iron Bowl was the day after Thankgiving that is why we decided to have Thanksgiving in T-town. There was no meaning to slight my family but Mike and I wanted a vacation that we could just relax for a while, not that we couldn't with family, but we there were no worries at the Barr B&B. And of course to be in Tuscaloosa for the game regardless of where is was played was much cooler!

Before I forget.. Isabel and Peanut, well they played and played and played.. Isabel had Peanut wore out and she still insists that she loves him and that Peanut likes funny jokes!

Saturday we were supposed to go see my mom's college roommate in Birmingham and hopefully see my family from GA but my family was sick and so was mom's friend. Cheyenne did take a ton of family pictures for us Saturday morning, see last post for a few, then we went around campus, tried so see some old ATC's but the building was locked up, ate and went back to Courtney's and hung out for a bit. Cheyenne had invited us over to watch the Florida/State game so we headed over there and Jodi Stockman was there with his daughter. Chey and I of course wound up upstair talking for a few hours and I loved it. There's something better about having all the conversations in person vs phone... or texting.

Sunday was church and more familiar faces... I miss church down there. Don't get me wrong I have an amazing ward here but you just don't get good football references thrown into our meetings in MO like you do in Alabama!
Here are pics from dinner Sunday night... Isabel started out helping Courtney then she just realized she could eat the cheese...

And Me and Courtney after dinner was in the oven...

Watching Christmas movies on Sunday, we did an impromptu photo shoot.

This might be my favorite photo to date...

Monday we picked up 100lbs of chicken to bring back and started the long drive home. It was such a great relaxing, easy trip and I loved it! Next time we might need to work in a reunion trip so I can see EVERYONE else that I missed.

Thanks again to Marcus and Courtney for being amazing hosts and keeping us full of butter, sugar, sausage balls and oreos!!!
I'm off to get ready for the SEC Championship game... ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I know I have been so behind on blogging for the last few months... however thanks to my awesome neighbors who gave me their password to their internet access so now I just have to fight Mike for computer time. I Have so many things to finish, blog awards still... I have some cute new family pictures to post, thanks to the lovely Cheyenne Martin! I want to tell everyone about my trip to BAMA... it was so great to be back home and see everyone, unfortunately there were some people I didn't get to see or talk to for long *Sara and Caroline* but our family had a great time with... well family..
I'll do another post hopefully tomorrow...Mike wants to watch The Pursuit of Happyness so we're off to stay up way to late again watching a great movie. I will at least attach some cute pictures! (and Isabel never looks at the camera....)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I stole it!

So Mike and I are on a mini vacation and I stole the computer to finally get to post. I have a couple of pictures that show ourselves before and after our diet. Mike looks so good! We have a free weekend to Bransnn... Branson you say, it may not sound so exciting but we did go see a great show our first night called the Duttons we noticed during their Christmas section they had scenes from a Christmas movie we own. They are members of our church and the presentation was so nice! We ate half a carton of ice cream last night... I love butter pecan, and we added chocolate and toffee I haven't eaten that much ice cream in years and I loved every minute... the best part, I still feel as skinny as I did before I ate it! So back to our trip.... the shopping has been great. Mike only had 3 shirts that fit him and no pants to we finally bought him a few things so when he works.... he doesn't look sloppy now! Our lives have been... well normal for us lately, meaning they've been chaotic. I have so much to catch up on. I have a blog award I need to pass on, a store on ETSY to open, fundraising for my friend who is raising money for leukemia and lymphoma society.

Oh our camera was finally fixed... we seemingly, although it doesn't want to work if you zoom in, it's still completely blurry so I'll have to send it back in. And it a was all free! I'm so glad that I can actually take pictures of my family again! Of course I took some cute ones of Mike last night but I forgot my cord to download!

We leave today to get back home and see our cute daughter... yep this great weekend was all without Isabel, I do miss her but it's been so nice to get away for a couple of days and leave her with a super great friend. Mike and I have just gotten to talk, laugh and share in quiet moments with just the two of us. I love my husband so much and am grateful he came to this 'moral vegas' with me for our little weekend.

So here is our BEFORE picture from Last winter...

And the AFTER

and that's what a hundred pounds gone looks like!

Friday, November 6, 2009

one day

One day I'll have more time to update my blog again, one day we'll have two working computers again, one day this will serve as my journal entries again... until then... This is all I have time for, off to clean the church.. oh! and no pictures from Halloween our camera was sent into the shop because my little Belle princess broke it. One day....


Here is a link to the contest that Courtney is hosting... I'm so excited!


Courtney pick me pick me!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

why, why, why

Would it really be that hard for Heavenly Father to let just one good thing happen? Really, how many times can He help us get our hopes up just to let them crash back to the ground. I hate it when you really feel like you're doing everything you can to live your life correctly, trying so hard to listen and follow His plan and well...... NOTHING. I have no idea what else we can learn from all this, how many times we have to face the same crap and yet we're still supposed to be super happy go lucky... yeah it's crap. (not worries, I'm not losing my testimony, I'm just frustrated at life)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The wonder diet

In a nut shell, the HCG forces the body to utilize the stored body fat for energy so you burn fat that you don't want or need for your energy. It rids the body of toxins there by making you healthier. These drops also have other components in them to add ALL of your organs so they function at a higher capacity so again, not only are you healthier, with out toxins but your body is actually functioning at a higher capacity keeping you healthy. Many people are getting off their blood pressure meds, diabetes meds, etc. Please call me or email me if you need anymore info, I would write more but my husband needs my help moving a car right now! There are other drops out there but many of them can be synthetic and they quit working then you break out in hives... not pleasant. Also get the book "The weight loss cure" by Kevin Trudeau and it all makes sense.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Baking my way out.

The last month or so at our house has been a bit boring on the food side. Mike and I are both on this diet and he lost 35lbs in 40 days and now weighs less then he did when we were married. I have lost 11lbs in 14 days and have 6 left to go before I'm where I was when we were married. I love it but you don't get to eat much of any exciting food. Since we can't cook with oil, butter or sugar is limits what we can eat to an extent. Now I have a cookbook that follows the diet so I will have better luck.
However since I miss eating yummier foods I have taken to baking and giving the food away to friends. Isabel and I made snickerdoodles and I did not ONCE like my fingers or eat any dough. Those that lived with me in college know what a feat that is for me. The next day I went to Joann's craft/fabric store and bought mini personal sized bundt pans and make cakes, those also were given away, I did keep one for Isabel. The I went back to Joann's and bought these totally cute silicon bakeware that are muffin sized and each pan has three pumpkins and three leaves on it. So I can't wait to make rolls that shape, brownies, pumpkin harvest bread, baked alaska, so many great ideas! I've stopped cooking for a couple of days to give my neighbor time to eat his 2 dozen cookies and his 4 mini cakes (it's just him and his brother) then I think I'll make the harvest loaves. I'm loving this baking and can't wait until I can actually eat this stuff! I guess by the time I get to eat this not only will my body be able to handle the influx because of the drops I've been on but I should have mastered the homemade frosting/icing. I've never been good but I'm getting there now!

Mike gets to start normal eating on the 28th of Oct. I'm going to be closer to the middle of November but in time for Thanksgiving which I'm super exctied about!

Until then I'll keep baking my way out of this diet...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My life the last few weeks

Once again my life refuses to be dull and boring. Most of you know that I had a miscarriage a week ago, that was awful. Apparently my body does not like being pregnant for any real length of time. Hopefully we can find some way of fixing that. I was only 9 1/2 weeks along when I found out last Monday. I went in for a viability screening and 2 things were apparent the minute they started
1. There was no heart beat
2. the baby had not grown since my 7 week Ultrasound

so the MD on call talked briefly with me about my options but since I already had an appt to see my OB the next day I could talk it over in more detail with him. So I went home and 5 hrs later... well it all happened. And it sucked. The odd thing was I was completely fine with it Monday and Tuesday because lets face it, it was not as hard as what we dealt with September a year ago and of course I have a great testimony of eternal families so I didn't worry. Then Wednesday hit... My friend Lori from UT said it best... I had posted on my facebook that regardless of what I had said before today it was not ok. and Lori's response was ...
"I never believed you anyway".
Although I have 'recovered' from the rock bottom I have learned a few things. Heavenly Father trusts me way to much, I sometimes wish he'd love me a little less and they way I grieve makes people think that I get over things really fast when I don't. I've found that I put up walls that are invisible to everyone... including me. At odd times, they start to come crumbling down and I find myself trying to hold it up for some unknown reason.
I would however like to make a list of things NOT to say to people who lose children, whether by miscarriage, or pre-term or thru some accident.
1. You can always adopt. While that may be true it does not make people feel any better to hear it when they are going thru the chaos
2. You know you'll get to raise them/or see them again in the next life. Again this may be true but if someone like me doesn't know this by now they never will. When they are grieving, they know this but that does not mean that Heavenly Father doesn't expects me to be fine and not be sad. Sometimes I just want to be mad and sad for a bit.

However I realize that some people just don't know what to say but a simple "I'm sorry" is sufficient. They try to help you thru and figure they need to say something and often times they put their foot in their mouth and I need to be polite and just say.... thanks not "oh does that taste good?"

So my next list is my top two favorite things said to me last year when I was going thru a grieving process...
1. After her surgery on a Saturday we went to a reception for 30 min to say hello and we missed the sealing due to the surgery.. a nice lady who mean well put her arm around me and said... "so is your baby still alive?"

2. After our first day back at church after the funeral a lady came up to me and said.. "my dog died last year"
Really, really because I'm supposed to equate your dog with my child... OK

and recently I've heard the adoption thing a few times.
Again I know people try and most people thankfully don't know what it's like to go thru what I have. I truly don't wish this on my worst enemy.

So to end this rambling post... Thank you so much for the thoughts, and prayers and comments of support I really do appreciate all of the love we've received. So thank you if you actually got thru this whole rant. LOVE YOU ALL!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Brooklyn's Birthday

So I know this post is a couple of weeks late but I wanted to let people know what we go to do as a family this year for August 24th. Last year we had this cute, but very little baby....

This year we really wanted to celebrate our family so we and bought eleven balloons, one for every day she was with us and had fun...

After we left the cemetary we headed to a customer appreciation day our bank was putting on and just played and played.

and to top off the day we and made cookies and took them to the nurses at the NICU at the ...... look closely at this picture... closer... closer...
we went to the MIRACLE (sp) center.... we thought it was a cute and fitting picture..

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The long awaited

I know, I know many of you have been "frothing at the bit" waiting to hear about our trip a month ago. Oh sad we've been home for over a month!
June 11-23rd we traveled to Kent to see my awesome sister get married! The whole trip was crazy. We got out there on Thursday, about 3.5 hrs after we were supposed to, had a long layover in Minneapolis/St Paul. Isabel was awesome on the plane rides, so happy to look out the window and give narrations of what we saw. During the layover she was so great being entertained, we took the golf cart guys up on their offer for a ride to find dinner since our 45 min layover turned into 3 hrs. She rode a couple of times, played nice and didn't hardly make noise until I told her our plane came in. She wanted to get on and I told her that we needed to wait for everyone to get off before we could board... "hurry up people hurry up, get off the plane" were the next words out of her mouth! Then while we were sitting on the plane it turned into "hurry up and get on the plane so we can leave, hurry up everyone" we got a few laughs from nearby people. She turned around to the lady sitting behind her and asked her "what are you doing?" that sweet lady kept up a nice conversation with Izzy.

So we get in and as we're walking outside of the airport Auntie Leslie came to meet us!!! It was very exciting and Isabel was so exited to see her. Leslie even gave her a red butterfly necklace to wear (which a week or so later she thru out the window of the truck at the mailboxes, Mike had to go pick it up. Friday morning Mike left for Boise to see his friend Cameron for 4 days. Isabel and I were left trying to clean and get ready for the shower I was hosting with Leslie's great friend Alexa. Saturday my Aunt Barbie came into town to be of service.. she was awesome! No matter how high tensions ran, especially the first 4 days or so she just kept her head down and went to work.

We had a great time at the shower, it was pretty subdued but when you have a Mormon and a pregnant lady hosting... well... however the food was great! Alexa made Leslie and wonderful sombero.. lil' Mexican theme (no relation to anything else.. the food just sounded great) it was covered in.. ahem... well themed products. My favorite had to be the "binkie"

After the shower is was work, work, and work. I did get to see Niki, Ray and Keegan ( Niki is my most long time friend from JH/HS) I even have a couple of cute pics with the kids, I just wish I had another day or so to spend with them. And at the moment I can't find my pictures of them so I'll post those later. The week before the wedding I also saw my friend Kate and her two cute girls. Isabel hit it off with them wonderfully. Kate was doing the flowers for the wedding/controlling- mediating the family and providing comic relief. She had probably the worst job of the week! On Tuesday we picked up all the lilies for the wedding, they were mostly closed so Kate was going to try and open them up. I managed to try and cut my thumb off while stripping the stems of them, so yea that was nice. Thursday we were to pick up everything else from the florist and get started on all the bouquets, center pieces, etc. Leslie wanted coffee beans in most of the vases so that was my job. I had a project for the tables I was working on with candles and such and managed to leave them outside the ONLY night it rained... they had been spray painted. SO that project was about scrapped. Mike came back on Tuesday morning I didn't get to see him until later that afternoon but it was nice to have daddy around again. Isabel did such a great job the whole time we were there. As long as she was able to see the horses everyday she was happy so during the afternoon and feeding time she went to pet the horses and ride the gator so she could help feed them. OH my child and her gator, she would just sit and play on it all day.... hilarious! I'll post horse pictures later, it's getting late.

The rehearsal dinner was great, Isabel practiced her flowers perfectly twice then decided she wanted to walk down the aisle banging plastic spoons together the 3rd time. Man did she practice hamming it up... she totally performed during the ceremony!

On to the wedding day. Leslie and I went out that morning while she got her hair and makeup done then out to lunch with Alexa and Leslie's friend Terri flew out from Hawai'i to be there for that day. She was out of vacation days so she flew out on Saturday and back on Sunday... that's friendship! Lunch was great them back to the house for more stress and getting ready! Alexa and I were scrambling to get our hair, makeup and into dresses while trying to get Leslie the same, oh and the groomsman were needing to kick us out also to get ready quickly. The ceremony went smoothly. Isabel was ADORABLE as the flower girl. WHen she finished and Leslie was behind as leslie went to stand on the flowers Isabel tells her "NO don't stand on those!". During the ceremony I had to read a quote and was so nervous but I think it went well. Leslie cried, very unlike her, but super cute! I handed Isabel Leslie's bouquet to keep her occupied and she immediately handed it back to Leslie, so she gave it back to me. It was like some weird game of hot potato! Jacob and Leslie's vows were beautiful, they wrote them individually and were perfect for them. The rest of the day was great, the weekend after that very relaxing. OH.. food how could I forget to mention the AMAZING food. the BEST wedding food ever! It was all Hawaiian, authentic and oh... what I would give to eat that all the time. And our party favors were dark chocolate covered fortune cookies. The tables were assigned, the tables were all the word love in different languages. Very cool. Oh and I had to give the toast... it was odd but I think it went well... Leslie started tearing up so my mission was accomplished!

I'm sure there's more to write but this post is long enough as it is.... so for those who made it this far... enjoy the pictures!

Sorry this ones so out of focus... but it's still cute!

I love this cute girl!

These two were SO CUTE!

My beautiful sister and her cute husband Jacob~

And we need to see the cake and what post is complete with out the one random pciture of Isabel!