Monday, November 29, 2010


Finally. I have a few spare moments to finish this one. I mean, it was a milestone of a birthday so of course  this post could not be rushed. 

Without further adieu, let's begin. 

We kicked off the birthday festivities the Friday night before Bethany's birthday with a whole basket of fun gifts from Country Girl, complete with some of B's favorite grub (Reese's cups, Dr. Pepper and Cheerios), a homemade pink and green Auburn blanket, and this:
Some fun and very thoughtful gifts!

Saturday morning we were all up bright and early to officially kick off the birthday celebration.

7:47 a.m. - officially 15

You see, I'm a procrastinator. Always have been. Probably always will be. It's my nature. I work best under pressure. So this is the look on the birthday girl's face when she thought (because I tricked her into thinking it) that I had waited too late to try to get what she really wanted for her birthday - a David Yurman bracelet to start her collection. I printed a copy of the bracelet, enlarged it, slapped some glitter on it, and wrapped it up with a note saying that would have to suffice as the "stand-in" until the original made it here - that I had waited too late to order it to get it here in time for her birthday.
Which totally made sense because I AM Procrastination Polly. But Grant and I had a plan all along that after she opened that one I would ask Grant to go get what he made her for her birthday and in he would walk with the real present.
See? Now that's the look I was going for. :)

Sorry, Umby. But it's so hard to surprise you, I had to try to throw you for a loop. I think I succeeded.

I fixed one of her favorites for breakfast - a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. We sang, she blew out some candles, and we were off for more birthday celebration.

Mary Lou Grace had a gymnastics meet that day in Montgomery. Most of her meets are further away, so we were so excited to be there and see GaGa in action. Oh my nerves. So much adrenaline for such a short time on each apparatus. She did a great job. AA's so proud of you, Grace! Now she's off to State!
(Thanks for the pic, Mayree. I stole it from you.)

By the end of the meet we were all famished so we let B pick the restaurant. Her choice?? Hooters for "hot chicken." For her, the hotter the better. The day wouldn't have been complete without a phone call from Dawnie. We kinda felt like she was there with us. And her timing couldn't have been more perfect!

She had plenty of help opening her gifts. 

She is IN LOVE with Kindle.

And when you're blessed to have the RaRa we do, Sissy isn't the only one gettin' the goods. 
I even got a "happy" myself.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, RARA. YOU'RE THE B-E-S-T! (Although I still should be kicking your butt). We love our Cam Newton jerseys! WDE!

Mmmmm... Liger's

Thankfully the opportunity presented itself for a few snapshots:

All good things must come to an end, though, so we said our good-byes to Uncle Keith, Martha and the girls, Mimi and Granddaddy and headed home for one last item on the agenda:  Gathering around the TV in Reid's room to watch Bethany's birth video (it's G rated, Granddaddy recorded standing by my head). :) That video is priceless to me. Absolutely priceless. It's so hard to believe that was 15 years ago. It's so hard to believe those baby cheeks I was kissing in the video are the same sweet cheeks I kiss today. We laughed. Oh did we laugh. I was HUGE. And young. And clueless. Bethany was beautiful. And perfect. And she kept letting us know how cute she thought she was. I believe in this picture she was saying something like, "Oh my gosh look how cute I was."

It was the perfect end to a perfect day. 

THE PERMIT TEST (insert dramatic sound effect here that I cannot figure out how to phonetically type): 

In Wetumpka there is one person who administers tests at the Public Safety office. One. She takes only so many per day. It's on a first-come first-serve basis. If you're there in time, you take the test. If you have too many people ahead of you, you miss the boat. We were advised to be there around 30 minutes early, and boy am I glad we took that advice. 

Anxiously waiting. Can you tell that's a nervous smile? And I'm surprised I could even take the picture I was so nervous for her. My poor mother. That's all I have to say. 

Take a number and be seated. Who says 13 is an unlucky number? We don't believe in superstition. Besides, Bethany recalled to mind that 13 is Taylor Swift's LUCKY number. Guess it's Umby's too.

Trying to pass the time:

Country Girl was able to snap this one of B taking the test. I couldn't watch.


Not that I doubted for one second that she would pass but that was pure excitement!

Time for her to take the keys. Enter my nervous smile:

I asked the officer as she was printing Bethany's temporary permit, "Um, ok, so she's just ready to get behind the wheel? Just like that?"

"Yes, ma'am. If YOU'RE ready, she's ready."

I have to say it's been challenging giving up that control. It's a strange feeling putting everyone's lives in the vehicle in the hands of your own child. But she's surprised me at how well of a driver she is, especially parking. The girl can park. Experience is all she needs. And she's getting plenty of it.
Every one of her birthdays has been special, but this one has been extra special. She's my heart that girl!


What am I thankful for???

A dear sister who knows when a mama needs a break and offers for the boys to come to her house for a night. That's what. 

Kidding. Sorta. Not really. I'm thankful for so much more, I truly am, I was just really thankful for that fact that day. :) 

The day before Thanksgiving Martha and I met at Chik-Fil-A in Prattville so I could do the hand-off. We ate lunch and let the kids play - the same idea just about everyone else in that area had that day. It was packed. We enjoyed some girl talk amongst the craziness that is kids in a jam packed fast-food joint then it was time for them to head back to Selma. As we got ready to leave Claire said, "AA, are we taking ALL the boys? Like all three of them?" To which I replied, "Yes, honey. Yes you are. ALL of them." :) I loaded them in RaRa's car and sang Zippity Doo Dah all the way home. Or maybe it was Prince since Rachel let me copy her Best of Prince CD. 

Again, kidding. Sorta. Not really.

I missed them but it was good for the hubs and I to have a night to ourselves. We didn't do anything but cook dinner here, watch Y & R, and enjoy a quiet house. Meems and Granddaddy were also thoughtful enough to keep the boys for us Saturday night as well. I'm so thankful for my family. We actually did go out to dinner that night, but Chris dubbed me "Granny." After one adult beverage and dinner, I was DONE. It was after 9:00. As in p.m. As in we may even catch the 10:00 news. AND THAT IS SO LATE. 

Pathetic but true.

Thanksgiving morning we were up as early as if the kids were here, probably because they weren't. We missed our little fellas. We got ready and headed to Selma to pick up the boys. After that it was on to Chris' parents house to spend Thanksgiving with them. His brother Donnie and Rae were there with Grey. His brother, Kevin, was also there with his three, Anna Louise, Sophie and Jackson. We don't get together nearly enough. It was lovely. The food was wonderful, and Grandmama Norton doesn't let me lift a finger while I'm there. Even lovelier! 

We picked up Sweet B on our way back home and that completed my Thanksgiving.

So blessed. So much to be thankful for. And still so stuffed from all the food I've eaten over the past week I feel like I need a colonic. If I were into that sort of thing. 

But I'm not. Eww. Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Time for our elf, Jasper. Sissy read the Elf on the Shelf book for us Thanksgiving night to get us ready for Jasper's return this year:

Silly little elf tried to string some lights:

Possibly my favorite decoration this year, my tree topper :)

We're so very thankful for Meems (and Cracker Barrel)  - otherwise we wouldn't have many decorations. 

I still have a full birthday and Thanksgiving recap in the works. With all this fun there's been no time to blog!

Monday, November 22, 2010


She's 15.

And legally permitted to drive!

Will you join me in a moment of silence (for my nerves that is).

Details of the birthday festivities, learner's permit, etc., coming up. Right now I'm busy changing my pants letting Bethany chauffeur us around. Kidding! She's been doing great. I'm actually quite impressed!

Be back soon...

Saturday, November 20, 2010


My life was forever changed. I became a mom to my only daughter, my Sweet B. My angel. My first true love. I've said before that I was very young and her sweet life wasn't exactly planned. But that's not true. Maybe at that point in time she wasn't yet MY plan, but her life is no doubt part of a divine plan. I love her more now than the day she was born - and I didn't think that was possible. I'm proud of her for reasons and in ways I could've never dreamed of. I truly don't know why I was chosen to be blessed with such a gift, but I'm thankful for her life every day.

I posted some "through the years" pictures in last year's post. I did some digging and found some more of my favorites I want to add.
Meeting "Aint" Dawnie for the first time:

Martha, where in the world are all the pictures of Bethany with her RaRa? I cannot find any here. Please tell me you or mom have some. Pictures or no pictures I will never ever forget the times you came home from Troy exhausted from the college life yet still letting B sleep with you so I could have a full night's sleep.

Meems and Granddaddy, I think it goes without saying Bethany and I both couldn't have made it without you two.
Shea meets Bethany. 
I still feel like I need to thank you for bringing mom, Paula and I McDonald's that night. :)

B's Second Christmas but it was really like her first because she was so teeny her first Christmas. She got a Tickle Me Elmo - oh Umby if you only knew what we went through to find that thing! It's when they first came out and they were ever so popular. But I wasn't going to stand for you not having one.

Almost every morning we ate breakfast at the Graystone Restaurant. I think they feel like they partly raised her. Every year on her birthday the "Other Mimi" always made orange cupcakes and had a little party.

Cheesing it up at Little Friends:

Because that's how she rolls on her first trip to Disney World:

Oooh, Martha, there you are, pushing B in the stroller. :) 

Spoiled at Christmas - not much has changed about that. :) 

 Body language - she wasn't too sure of Santa:

 Kindergarten Graduation:

One of my favorite pictures of all time:

Here's to you, Umby! 

I love you, baby girl. Happy 15th Birthday! 
Now let's go get that permit!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Let's don't even go as high as 5th Grade because apparently I'm not even as smart as a 1st Grader.

The boys are home from school again today. They've been up since about 5 a.m. So by 6:30 a.m. the Motrin had fully kicked in breaking those fevers and making them feel good enough to drive me crazy think it's a full day of play. Motrin really is a wonder drug. Other than the cough that sounds like they've been a smoker for 30 years and makes me think I'm going to turn around and see a lung in their hands (well, that and the fact that it's quite possible to go through an entire package of Boogie Wipes around here in a matter of a day or two), it's hard to tell they're even sick.

Until the Motrin wears off. Then the fevers go back up. You know the cycle.

We sat down to eat breakfast and decided we would make out a little schedule of what we would do today so as not to have a repeat of yesterday. Whipped cream anyone?

First on the agenda while he was feeling up to it was for Grant to do some schoolwork. I got Grant started then Mac chimed in saying he wanted to do something too. Reid, by the way, couldn't have cared less. As long as he had sausage to eat and could lick the leftover icing from the cinnamon rolls, all was right with the world in his mind.

I'm working with Mac on letter recognition and how to write his name. His "M" needs some work so I drew a single-line homemade handwriting worksheet for him just to practice his M's. I wrote the first one so he could see how to do it.

Let me say that again. I wrote the first one so he could see how to write it the right way.

I gave Mac the paper and said, "Now Mac I want you to write those M's just like Mommy did all the way across, okay?"

Grant was watching and said, "Um, Momma that's not right. That's not how you write it. It goes like this."

And shows me how to correctly write the M on the handwriting worksheet.

Thus another reason (other than the obvious) I won't be homeschooling my children.