this week {10.25 to 10.31}

101026 Coleman at daycare with pumpkin

~ another crazy busy week at work ~

~ spencer had a baseball game. they won. ~

~ i wrote the team name and year on 16 baseballs ~

~ i designed and printed baseball certificates for the end-of-season baseball party ~

~ i printed and framed photos for the anniversary party ~
101028 Coleman at daycare doing puzzle

~ scott, cameron & baby xan came over for a visit ~

~ i watched (and loved) the rocky horror glee show ~

~ i shopped at target. and spent too much money (again) ~
101029 Coleman + Cheyenne baking

~ matt was under the weather and spencer stayed home sick from school ~

~ i shopped at party city, dick's and ulta ~

~ we all attended spencer's end-of-the-season baseball party at towne tavern ~

~ i shopped at wal-mart ~

~ i took friday off and spent the day getting ready for the anniversary party ~
101029 J&J 60th Anniv Party 05

~ coleman had a halloween party at aj's ~

~ coleman spent the night with aunt sherry and went to bo's cross-country race ~
101030 Coleman at Cracker Barrel

~ we surprised my in-law's with a 60th anniversary party. we had about 45 guests in our home ~
101029 J&J 60th Anniv Party 07

~ bo and his cross country team qualified for state ~

~ i slept late! ~

~ mom came into town ~
101030 Halloween 01 - Mom + Coleman

~ we watched and listened to usc beat tennessee ~

~ me, mom, sherry and coleman went to the monk house for a halloween party. matt joined us later. ~
101030 Halloween 08 - Colton + Coleman

~ we went trick or treating ~

101030 Halloween 16 - Holly + Coleman

~ mom, coleman and i hung out at sherry's house on sunday ~

~ we had birthday cake for mom's birthday and gave her a gift ~

~ we ordered dinner to go from fatz cafe ~


apology {m-i-a}

so, today is the day that i finally acknowledge that i've been totally *m-i-a* here in the blogosphere (by the way...i hate that word). other than the late {music monday} post i did earlier today, i haven't posted since october 16th. that's 10 days. a week and a half. ugh! but please rest assured that i have been thinking about you and my dear (lonely) blog.

in attempt to catch up, without repeating things that will eventually be captured on my (late) {this week} posts, here is holly's recent world in a nutshell:
  • after the big gamecock win over alabama, we lost to kentucky. it was utterly depressing. but we beat vanderbilt (though it shouldn't have been as hard as it was). we are now ranked #17.
  • coleman turned 20 months old
  • coleman and i spent a weekend down with my mom, sister and her crew (they had their annual pumpkin carving party).
  • work has been insanely busy

Product Image Infant Toddler Boys' Sleepwear JUST ONE YOU Made by Carter's® Puppy Footed Pajama Set
  • i bought coleman some more one-piece PJ sets. we put him in these as often as possible so he doesn't scratch his legs at night :( i was also able to go ahead and pick up christmas PJs for both boys while the selection was still good.
  • i've continued planning the upcoming 60th anniversary party
  • my husband started putting my camera in the kitchen cabinet. as a result, i've been taking less pictures. we need to have a little heart-to-heart on this topic :)
  • spencer received his first middle school report card (three As, 1 B). pretty good...especially since he's been struggling with math a little. very proud!
  • i have bought a few christmas gifts and i'm working to get my brain in that gear of gift shopping
  • we found my dream comforter at target (though it's actually a coverlet). of course this happened after purchashing another comforter elsewhere. trying to debate whether to splurge and get it.
Product Image DwellStudio® for Target® Mandala Coverlet 
  • i've continued doing HOA junk until we have our transitional board meeting next month. ugh.
  • i am almost a month behind on my {this week} posts, and photo editing process.
  • i'm putting together an order at Old Navy online and wonder if i'll actually hit the final "order" button. i'm always shopping online and never order!!!
  • i think i may have figured out a "master plan" for our family photo shoot this year. yay!
ok, let's say that's it for now...i'm sure i could go on, but i'm doubting anyone out there is screaming "no, please don't stop rambling! my day will be so incomplete!"...


music monday {dj got us...}

yeah, i know it's not monday.

the back story:
last night, i sat at the computer and started writing a {music monday} post about my current obsession with zac brown band. i was totally uninspired (most likely caused by exhaustion) and gave up. at that point, my intent was to just skip {music monday} all together. then, on the radio this morning, right as i'm nearing our office, this song started to play. i turned it up loud. really loud. and then decided i'd just do a quick post about the song...nothing elaborate. no stories. just to share a fun song. but, in the few minutes of that song, as i danced and sang in my car, i realized i did have a few stories to tell (yes, i know everyone is shocked at this point).

the random story:
i love usher. i have for a long, long time. i actually remember when he was on the bold and the beautiful. yes, there was a day and time when i actually watched soaps...a lot...all of the ones on CBS. i was in high school and apparently had nothing better to do with my time. but, i digress. i don't own every old usher album, but i do have the my way and confessions CDs. my iPhone currently holds 9 favorite songs.

the pointless story:
while looking up pictures for this post, i learned that usher and i are actually the same age. i did not realize that. he looks much better for his age than i do :)

getting to the point:
now, for the actual song...this is one of my favorite usher songs in a while. probably the best since his confessions album. so fun!!! after you watch the video, read my last tiny story below...

the obligatory *cute kid* story:
coleman likes this song too. (you shouldn't be surprised. he has very good taste in music.) see those cool dance moves usher has going on? particularly the *side to side* thing? coleman does that when he watches the video. now i'm debating whether he's going to be an MLB pitcher, NFL quarterback or a white-boy R&B singer...

in case you haven't had enough of me yet...here are the songs on my iPhone:
  1. Confessions Part II
  2. Caught Up
  3. DJ Got Us Falling in Love Again
  4. Love in this Club
  5. My Boo
  6. OMG
  7. Red Light
  8. Yeah!
  9. You Make Me Wanna



this week {10.18 to 10.24}

~ spencer had a baseball game. they won. ~

~ i picked up more cards for the invitations for the party ~

~ matt picked up stamps and printed items for me ~

~ i finished addressing envelopes; assembled invitations ~

~ i attended the lowe's marketing summit in uptown charlotte ~
101019 Marketing Summit 01
~ i stuffed envelopes and finalized invitations for mailing and got memory cards cut out ~

~ super crazy busy week at work ~

~ scott, cameron and baby xander came over for a visit ~

~ i shopped at target. spent too much money. lots of good clearance finds, though ~

~ i took friday off from work ~
101022 Conway Visit 01 - Coleman in the car 02
~ coleman and i spent the weekend in conway at my sister's house ~
101022 Conway Visit 16 - Holly + Coleman copy
~ we shopped at michael's and target ~

~ my sister had a pumpkin carving event at her house ~
101023 Pumpkin Carving 18 - Coleman
~ we watched usc beat vandy 21-7 ~

~ gamecocks were ranked #17 ~

~ i unpacked from my trip ~

~ coleman turned twenty months old ~

{savings tracker}
spent = $77; saved $22
ytd savings = $4,064
4wk avg spend = $134; ytd avg spend = $156


this week {10.11 to 10.17}

~ i worked on updating the HOA e-mail database ~

~ spencer had a baseball game. they won. ~

101011 Coleman in bath 01

~ i worked on my photo process. i'm two weeks behind ~

~ i made my first groupon purchase ~

~ i uploaded documents to the HOA website ~

~ i shopped at michael's ~

~ matt, coleman and i went for a stroll and delivered newsletters ~
101012 Coleman at daycare playing
~ i shopped at kohl's ~

~ i shopped at walgreen's and rite aid ~

~ i posted to this blog using windows live writer for the first time ~

~ aj's nephew was in a horrible car accident ~

~ i finished the book of isaiah ~

~ attended HOA annual meeting (and my replacement was elected!!!) ~

~ the monks watched coleman for short bit for us ~

~ spencer had junior cotillion ~

~ i scrapbooked with tara ~

~ the four of us went to two pumpkin patches, ate mexican for lunch and shopped at hibbett sports ~
101016 Pumpkin Patches 71 - S+C copy
~ we watched usc lose to kentucky ~
101016 USC v Kentucky 01 - Coleman + Xander
~ i grocery shopped at bi-lo and harris teeter ~

~ i had the anniversary party invitations printed at a local print shop ~

~ i addressed thirty envelopes for the anniversary party ~

~ the boys and i hung out on the back patio while matt grilled up supper ~

~ i helped spencer with his math ~

~ i lectured spencer about some responsibility issues he's having ~

~ i decided to go see family next weekend ~

~ i downloaded glee music from episodes 2, 3 and 4, and some more zac brown band ~

{savings tracker}
spent = $185; saved = $187 (50%)
ytd savings = $4,043 (42%)
4 week average spend = $166; ytd average spend = $135


{gamecock wear}

on monday of this week, my boss made the comment that he was surprised i wasn't wearing gamecock colors. i think i had on teal. a few minutes later, i decided i would wear gamecock gear/colors the rest of the week. i had already worn it on saturday and sunday. so, when i got home on monday night, i changed into a steve spurrier ladies' clinic tee and jeans. for the rest of the work week, i pulled off some combination of garnet/black/white.

i'm not sure if it's scarier that it was so easy to do, or that i could probably keep going for a few more weeks and not run out of clothes! anyway...i didn't remember to snap a photo every day, but i did capture a few.

i wore this on friday...felt ok going a bit more casual. i've always been torn on how much i like or dislike this shirt. this is the first time i've worn it in a while. it's much busier than most things i wear.
i forgot to take a photo on thursday. i wore a gray shirt, which is technically not a carolina color. but i wore garnet & black jewelry.

this was wednesday. black top with a garnet tank underneath. gamecock necklace. see the pocketbook in the background? carried that all week.
 this was tuesday... black shirt with garnet/black scarf.
not very exciting, but kind of a fun challenge! it would've been super easy to do if i could wear casual clothes everyday, since that's what most of my gamecock stuff is.



{and she feels like rambling...}

at the risk of sounding cheesy and cliche...tgif!

my zac brown band playlist isn't long enough. only six songs. it's on my to-do list to download more.

i'm drinking coffee and eating an (incredibly fattening) breakfast from mcdonald's. a friday treat, i suppose (whatever excuse works, right???). i love when they have monopoly. i have no idea why. i've never won anything. which is crazy considering how much mickey d's we eat (shhhhh..don't tell the "mom of the year" judging panel).

i'm wearing new black heels today. i love them. they are super cute and comfortable. a little piece of footwear heaven (oh, and they were only around $30 on sale!). i've been looking for new black heels for a long time. probably close to a year! i knew i wanted a mary jane style and it's been pretty hard to find. then *boom* they were everywhere. i guess i just needed to wait until fall. this picture is similar to mine, but not identical. mine don't look like a dead animal.

spencer has junior cotillion tonight. he totally flopped at doing his "homework". we need to figure out a better way to explain the demons of procrastination to a twelve-year-old. or we could try flying around the moon and would probably be more successful.
100910 Junior Cotillion 08 - Spencer before

what did you think of the duet-themed glee this week??? i liked it (you're shocked, i know). my favorite was definitely the sam/quinn duet. what's up with puck not being on? i didn't even get the heads up about that happening! is anyone keeping track of how many barbra streisand songs have been done? two upcoming issues. first of all - it's not on next week, GASP! second...not sure how i feel about the whole rocky horror thing. but to get in the spirit, matt and i may rent it sometime before the glee episode airs because i've never seen it, DOUBLE GASP!

i'm super excited about the weekend. why? i'm supposed to be scrapping tonight with a neighbor. the weather is supposed to be gorgeous and we are planning on visiting the pumpkin patches. then, of course, there is gamecock football. good stuff. but mostly...because i actually get to see my family!

{burden lifted}

remember how i alluded to a burden being lifted yesterday when i took a deep breath? well, i thought i might elaborate.

you may know that i have been serving on my neighborhood’s HOA board of directors (particularly if you read my this week posts). last night, we had our annual meeting and my replacement was elected.

i felt like a thousand pounds was lifted from my shoulders. i think i may have floated out of the building.
please do not misconstrue my words, though. looking back to this moment one year ago… i had no idea what i was getting into. none of us did. but i wouldn’t trade it. i would still do it all over again.

i wholeheartedly believe that our community needed a strong board to get things started. i am by no means perfect, nor an expert…but we had a fabulous group of five serving…and we were each there for a reason.

i am so proud of what we accomplished. truly.

my heart literally swells when i think about what we’ve done in the last twelve months. the hurdles. jumped. the obstacles. overcome. the naysayers. silenced (well, maybe not all of them).

but it was a lot more work than i had ever imagined. and there were too many times that family or work was pushed aside so i could do “just one little thing” for the HOA.

i am happy to end this chapter of my life. but i am so glad it was written. so glad it was part of the chronicles of this southern scrapper.

huge thanks to les, jr, leo and wendy. my fellow board members. and equally huge thanks to my committee members bonnie, shelby, aj and bobbie. we rocked it this year!

i now look forward to kicking back and enjoying the neighborhood as a homeowner and not a leader. (should be interesting for a control freak like myself).


{take a deep breath}

i have one of those minds that goes a mile a minute. it rarely stops. i think. i worry. i plan. i recap. i obsess. i speculate. i analyze. then i do it all over again.

in most cases, this is all fine and dandy. my brain is geared this way and i have 32 years of experience dealing with it. i’m at home and comfortable in my exhausting world. but sometimes, the spinning can get out of control and my body can’t quite keep up with my brain.

that happened this afternoon. a whirlwind day of thinking. planning. stressing. problem-solving. and i realized that my body was starting to act like my brain. it would have been interesting to know what my heart rate or blood pressure was at that moment.

but i took a deep breath. and i prayed. i asked God to take my stupid over-reacting self and kick my butt into gear. yes, i sometimes talk to God that way. no one really ever taught me how to talk to Him so i just treat him like a buddy. i mean, i figure if he’s put up with my crap for this long and still loves me, he must be a pretty cool dude. so i’m thinking he’s ok with us just chatting. or at least i hope so. but i digress.

part of my ‘mile a minute’ issue stems from wanting to be constantly doing something. i have a perpetual need to learn and absorb  information. i’m always on the hunt for new knowledge, a new project. i spend 2+ hours in the car everyday. instead of using this time for quiet reflection or prayer or whatever, i find ways to fill my head…plenty of which are probably dangerous, but let’s stay on topic here.

today, when i realized that my poor little brain was spinning out of control, i put my phone down, and prayed the little prayer mentioned above. then i picked my phone back up…but only to put on some music. i sought out a calming song. for me, this was lee dewyze’s version of hallelujah. i turned it up loud. i held on tight to the steering wheel and i soaked it up. gradually, my breathing slowed. my grip on the wheel loosened.

i forced myself to NOT feed myself my brain more *stuff* for the rest of the drive home. i just listened. calmly. to the music.

i’m not even going to pretend that i have some grand purpose for this post. i don’t. but you know what else i do to relax myself? i write blog posts in my head. a lot. today, in the car, i scripted this one.

a few hours later, i sit here on the coach with the a huge burden lifted from my shoulders (more on that tomorrow maybe). so i wrote.


photo challenge {becky higgins style}

a while back, becky higgins started posting occasional photo challenges on her blog. they were simple and doable...yet still intriguing. i've had the posts *starred* in my reader for a while and need to play catch up. however, i did do the very first one…

set your camera down

original post and results post

this photo was taken with my camera sitting on the kitchen counter (near the sink) pointed toward a corner area. we were having breakfast at lunch time. french toast and bacon. i love how it captures several *everyday* aspects of our world: orange and red kitchen utensils, labeled powdered sugar container, favorite dish towels from crate & barrel, colorful salt & pepper shakers, fun striped bowl.

this photo was taken with my camera on the kitchen counter, but pointed toward our kitchen table (which is counter height). it shows my personal laptop and my work laptop. a coffee cup. my work bag tucked on a chair. my pocketbook on the table. my "don't make a move without it" notebook. and a tiny peek at my hubby's work uniform.

neither of these photos is very good from a composition standpoint…or really any photographic standard. but they provide a slightly different view of our world. and i like that.

interestingly enough, this second photo is a perfect example of capturing the everyday, mundane pieces of your life because they can change so quickly. the photo was taken less than two months ago on a day when i was working from home. just another *normal* day. but now…i no longer work from home. i’m guessing one day i will be glad that i have this photo and it will bring back memories of the many hours spent sitting at that spot.


gamecocks {history is made}

if you know me, or just read this blog, and own a television...you probably know what this post is about. and you are wondering why it took me so long to do it! i've pondered what to write, and sometimes there just aren't enough words to express something. in this case...to express the level of excitement.

in case you live in a (sad and lonely) bubble, let me fill you in: saturday night, the university of south carolina gamecocks (ranked #19), BEAT alabama, the number one team in the country (and defending national champions).

here's the thing...i am a good fan. really, i am! i am not a fair-weather fan and i will support the gamecocks through their good times and their (numerous) bad times. i have suffered through the heartbreak losses and the quarterbacks that make you cringe and the plentiful bad, off-field publicity. but, i am also a realist. so here is my confession: i never, in a million years, thought we could win that game. i was just hoping we wouldn't be embarrassed. but, then there's this: while grocery shopping that morning, i picked up a bottle of champagne. i hid it in the back of our fridge and never mentioned it to a soul. later i found out matt saw it, knew why it was there and (like me) kept his mouth shut. apparently we are big believers of the *jinx* factor. when the clock hit zero on saturday night, i pulled out champagne glasses and told matt about the champagne (that he already knew was there). so...maybe, just maybe, i had a little faith in them?

the guy in the photo (#21) is devonte holliman - rock hill native!

as i sit here, typing this, thinking through the night again...i get chills. the first half was great but i kept saying (both to myself and outloud to our guests), "this is how auburn started. it's far from over". but there was something there that wasn't expected - hope. the slight possibility that we could pull this off. or that we were at least going to give them a run for their money. after halftime when garcia made a very (odd) safety, i thought "oh no. here we go." but it turned out ok (obviously). as the end got closer, it was unbelievable...we were really going to do it. and we did. wow. every gamecock fan in the country finally got the *moment* they've been waiting for...for so long. we have awesome fans. i wish i could have somehow captured the spirit of our home at that moment. spencer went absolutely ballistic. i had to sneak away at one point so my non-gamecock friends wouldn't realize that i was about to cry. it was truly awesome. i can not even imagine what it would've been like to be at williams-brice at that moment.

now, here are some important notes/highlights.
  • alabama was undefeated for 19 games before we beat whooped them.
  • this was the first time in school history that we beat a #1 ranked team in football.
  • in 2010, carolina's baseball, basketball and football teams have beat the #1 team in the country (arizona state, kentucky and alabama, respectively). we're only the 2nd school to ever do that (the other was texas).
  • a guy on espn said we played a nearly perfect game. seriously, people don't say that about us.
  • we are now ranked #10 in the AP poll, #12 in the Coaches poll.
  • if the BCS poll was out, we might be in the top 10. the computers didn't put us there, but some of the *experts* had us around 8th, 9th or 10th. lots of folks think we should not be ranked lower than alabama (which we are).
  • marcus lattimore was 7 yards away from breaking a record
  • spurrier won his 107th SEC victory, now in 2nd place to bear bryant.
  • we sacked their quarterback SEVEN times
  • we could actually win the SEC east. maybe, just maybe!
  • we put up more points against alabama than any other team since 2007!
  • mcelroy (alabama's qb) told garcia after the game that he'd see us again (implying that it will be us against them in the sec championship game!!)
i could go on, but that will have to do for now. the point is that we kicked some serious 'bama butt and i hope we get to do it again later this year. but first...we have to plow over kentucky, tennessee and vandy to clinch the sec east. we also need to bust down arkansas and get them out of the top 10!! we have a lot of work ahead of us. and for the first time in a LONG time...clemson is not what gamecock fans are looking forward to most.


music monday {best days of your life}

today's music monday is about much more than just a video. at some point recently, i realized that i have not yet shared the story of this very important song.

while i was on maternity leave with coleman, we'd often pass the time listening to music, which sometimes lead to spontaneous dancing in the den. i didn't realize it then, but i was probably setting the tone for music in his life.

looking back, it's quite strange how i even came to realize the effect of this song. but when coleman was about six months old, he and i were in the car and he was not happy. i was trying everything i could think to soothe him from the driver's seat, which is pretty difficult, as most moms know. for some reason i thought to put on some music and i honestly don't remember if the song choice was random or purposeful. as kellie pickler's voice filled the car, singing her hit the best days of your life, my tempermental infant went silent. a sigh of relief and i didn't think much of it.

a short while later (i don't remember exactly how long), coleman and i were in the car with my two sisters (leaving a cross country race and headed to ikea...as if you care). he was, once again, not too happy. i said "hmmm, not sure if this will work, but let's try it" and i put on kellie's song...sure enough....silence in the back seat.

once was lucky. twice was coincidence. but then it happened again, and again, and again. no matter where we were, no matter how upset...that one song always worked. i downloaded it on my iPhone, and Matt on his iPod. then Matt was really smart and DVR'd the video on CMT (see photo above). over a year later, we still have that video DVR'd. and yes, it still works. i have no explanation, but i know it was a very popular song during my maternity leave and it was one to which we often danced around the den. maybe he remembered? maybe it was a comfort because of that history? and it's not just kellie's voice. i can even sing the song and have the same outcome (and trust me...i am NO kellie pickler).

over time, he has grown to enjoy a lot of music and there are other songs that have *captured* him. but when push comes to shove, if we truly need some help in settling him down...it's kellie to the rescue! i'm still baffled by the power of this song on him and always wonder how long it will last. when he's 18, will he remember this song or will he just laugh at our silly story?

so, in honor of kellie and all the comfort she's provided coleman (and our famly)...



this week {10.4 to 10.10}

~ matt, spencer and i did lots of trivia ~

coleman's art:
101006 Coleman's art - fish

~ i woke up tuesday with a killer migraine and had to call in sick to work ~

~ finished (my last) HOA newsletter ~

~ worked on stuff for (my last) HOA annual meeting ~

~ started putting up fall decorations ~

~ talked to sister-in-law about plans for anniversary party ~

~ typed minutes from HOA board meeting ~

~ watched letters to juliet ~

~ got a free upgrade from *grande* to *venti* at starbucks ~

~ ordered two free 5x7 photos from rite aid ~

~ ordered mini photo book from walgreen's as a gift ~

~ ordered 75 (free) 4x6 prints from snapfish ~

~ shopped at rite aid and actually made money ~

~ the four of us went to belk. matt bought a shirt. ~
101008 Spencer at Belk
~ the four of us ate dinner at a new asian place called amber ~
101008 Amber 03 - Spencer
~ i grocery shopped at harris teeter and bi-lo ~

~ i ran to wal-mart for a couple of things...including a new fry daddy ~

~ we had a few friends over to watch the football game ~
101009 USC v Alabama 13 - JM + Gryffin + Megan
~ the gamecocks beat #1 ranked alabama!!!!!!!! ~
101009 USC v Alabama 22 - newspaper
~ we all went to my in-laws' house for sunday lunch ~

~ i hung out at tara & warren's (neighbors) for a short bit ~

{savings tracker}
spent = $131; saved $124 (49%)
ytd savings = $3,855 (42%)
four week avg spend = $125; ytd average spend = $134


{planning to plan}

today, i seem to be in a mood that is lending itself to both planning and being reflective. over the last few weeks things have been different, and changing. change can be good, change can be bad. but ultimately, life is what you make of it and when things change, you must adjust. i'm at the point where i need to shift, once again finding my balance. with an anal quirky personality like mine, you can only function out of balance for so long before you fall off your rocker completely. today, i've decided that it's time to realign. with that, comes the need to plan for some planning (yes, you know you are truly type-a when you have to plan to plan).

No Little Plans [Day 146/365]

if you read the chronicles regularly, you know i was pretty obsessed with the maximize your mornings concept introduced at inspired to action. i still am, but i've fallen off the bandwagon a bit lately due to the changes i mentioned...partially the changes in my work schedule, definitely due to my toddler who has decided to rise at the butt-crack-of-dawn, partially due to spending as much time as possible wrapping up HOA details so that i can let go. i've been able to stick with my daily Bible reading (usually with aforementioned toddler *helping* me). but i haven't really been using my weekly planning sheet and the other parts of my morning routine have fallen off. when i don't do these things, i can tell. i can really tell.

planning to plan:

weekly planning
begin using my weekly planning sheet again. the meal planning and blog schedule really take the pressure off and i've missed them.

daily planning
spend a few minutes in my morning "quiet time" to think about the day even if coleman is already awake. it's still totally feasible. i need to work on going with the flow, instead of caving when my "quiet time" is interrupted.

party planning
lay out a detail plan of execution for the anniversary party (oct 28) and make additional progress on the invitations. continue brainstorming ideas for coleman's party (in february...yes, you read that correctly), and a possible un-birthday party for spencer in the spring.

blog planning
i've done a good job of documenting blog ideas in evernote but i need to increase the level of execution on some of the stronger ideas. one of the things that has suffered in this few week period is this blog. though i've still posted somewhat regularly, the quality of content has been less than i'd prefer. for those of you that are hanging in there with me, it's greatly appreciated. it'll get better. soon. i promise.

holiday planning
we are in the holiday season. in my mind it all starts now with pumpkin patches and carvings, trick or treating and fall hikes...gradually leading us into the thanksgiving season and then the craziness of christmas! i just read a christmas planning e-book that emphasizes planning out your entire holiday season (starting now) and that's what i plan to do (seriously, as if my arm had to be twisted to spend time with a calendar and some lists). this includes thinking about december daily.
  • quick digression: as part of the "reflective" mood i mentioned...for the past month or so, i've been sad that summer is gone. by this i mean, school started again and our extra time with spencer is over. i had a list of wonderful, fun ideas for our family to do this summer. we didn't do them. seriously, none. it makes me sad. so, this holiday season, i am committing to making the most of it with my three favorite boys. i'm not talking about over-scheduling a season of craziness...i just mean making the most of everything the season stands for - faith, family and making memories. planning will make this much more feasible...i think this is where i fell short this summer. and summer 2011...watch out! i'm coming full force next year!!!
planning to write
i'm not sure what happened but for a while i was able to journal daily in my "quiet time". but i have been struggling to fit that in now. i haven't written in a while. and my blog posts haven't been of the quality i'd like either. i want to change both of those things, plus i have a guest post to write for publication at marta writes in november! exciting!

so, that's my plan to plan. interestingly, we have a very busy weekend ahead and i don't know how much time/energy i will actually have to accomplish any of this...but i'm hoping to stay inspired and motivated. knowing a plan is in my future is my *light at the end of the tunnel*.



{random ramblings}

i began this post on monday, when i just felt like rambling. but then i forgot to post it. and yesterday i felt like nothing. so...here is the post, which i've edited somewhat so that it makes sense :)
  • glee came on last night. i almost forgot (gasp!!!). enjoyed this song preview, which i've never seen for an episode before! thoroughly enjoyed the britney/brittany episode last week. haven't downloaded the music from it yet, though.
  • this past weekend i got a taste of having to squeeze in grocery shopping, errands and laundry into the weekend, rather than into my work week. it went fine because we had no plans. on a busy weekend...could be a problem. definite adjusting to the "real world" ahead. (yeah, i know...cry me a river, right???).
  • coleman has been waking up at ridiculously early hours lately. monday was 4:45...the second time in less than a week. crossing my fingers that my sister doesn't read this because she has agreed to keep coleman overnight and might change her mind!
  • i'm wore my brown cowboy-ish boots monday. brown ankle boots today. i love that it's cool enough to do this. not ready for winter, but glad fall has arrived.
  • we need to decide when we are going to hit the pumpkin patches...this coming weekend or the following. right now, we are thinking saturday morning...supposed to be a nice weekend (weather wise).
  • i'm still totally obsessed with these two zac brown band duets.
  • i'm also totally obsessed with gray right now. my favorite ankle boots are gray. one of my favorite fall shirts is gray & black. our new comforter is gray & black (so is spencer's new one too, but it looks totally different than ours). spencer is considering having his room painted gray. when i get around to my "blog makeover", i want gray to be incorporated. the fabric i chose for my apron is gray.
  • speaking of spencer's room, i need to take some photos of the "makeover"
  • and we need to sell his old furniture. craigslist, maybe?
  • the gamecocks play alabama this weekend. i'm scared. we are ranked 19. they are #1. undefeated. college gameday will be there. i hope we aren't embarrassed. they slaughtered florida this past saturday.
  • jesse mccartney has a new song. i'm not sure if i like it yet. i've only heard it once and it annoys me that there is a telephone ringing in the background that sounds like my iphone ring.
  • i've really enjoyed "window shopping" at etsy lately. i've been looking for party ideas and art for our bedroom, random things for the laundry room...just whatever!
  • i actually liked my hair on monday. that never happens...even liked it all day which never happens.
  • i woke up yesterday with a killer migraine and had to call in sick to work. it was a long day. ugh!
  • i'm sick and tired of HOA stuff and so ready for my obligations to be over and done!
  • spencer has turned into a girl-crazy, texting maniac. wow.
  • time out is now a regular occurence in our home. i think it works. sort of.
  • i'm enjoying having the fall shows back on tv. i watched 2 dvr'd episodes of criminal minds last night.
sorry for the wordy, non-visual post.



music monday {the boys of fall}

we are in the heart of football season. in the south, football is often compared to religion (jokingly, of course - because even though the south loves its football, it loves Jesus more). most household saturdays are devoted to the boys of fall from september through november. and that's right...i said saturday. not sunday. in the south, we like our college football. and in much of the south, we like our high school football. it's huge. seriously. huge. do you know who justin worley is? nope, you don't. but if you lived in my city, you would. and he's only a high school quarterback. but you'd be hard-pressed to find someone here that doesn't know the name, or that he's verbally committed to tennessee. because his 'deddy' went to tennessee. and if you said, on a saturday, "did you see what doodoo did last night?"...chances are, you'll get an answer and not some strange look as to why you might be talking about feces. and then you'll talk about how you hope doodoo goes to south carolina even though alabama's defensive coordinator was at the south pointe game a few weeks ago.

now, i will get to the point. i don't like kenny chesney. i don't even really care that much for this song. but i love the *concept* of this song. obviously, being a girl and all (not to mention, the least athletic person i know), i can't relate to actually being a football player. but, the essence of the sport and it's importance down south is captured wonderfully in the lyrics of this song...
warning: it's a long video (8 minutes+), but it's worth it if you haven't seen the full version yet. if you don't care to watch the video, i've included the lyrics at the end of this post. i got chills just reading them. but the video is so much more than just the song so watch it :)

on a related note: coleman already *gets* the importance of football. when a game is on tv, he immediately starts clapping (sometimes for the wrong team...we're working on the details). he even makes appropriate sound effects of "ooooowww" and "ooooh" and grunts when players get hit, etc.


When I feel that chill, smell that fresh cut grass
I'm back in my helmet, cleats and shoulder pads
Standing in the huddle listening to the call
Fans going crazy for the boys of fall
They didn't let just anybody in that club
Took every ounce of heart and sweat and blood
To get to wear those game day jerseys down the hall
Kings of the school man, we're the boys of fall

Well it's turn and face the Stars and Stripes
It's fighting back them butterflies
It's call it in the air, alright yes sir we want the ball
And it's knocking heads and talking trash
It's slinging mud and dirt and grass
It's I got your number, I got your back when your back's against the wall
You mess with one man you got us all
The boys of fall

In little towns like mine that's all they got
Newspaper clippings fill the coffee shops
The old men will always think they know it all
Young girls will dream about the boys of fall
lyrics from elyricsworld


photos {coleman's fall portraits}

this past week, coleman was supposed to have some fall portraits taken at daycare. aj had gone "above and beyond" to set up a photographer to come and do all of the children right there at her home. i was excited to have new professional pictures of him! unfortunately, the photographer cancelled. but, as is normal for aj, she was bound and determined to find a way to make it up to us, the disappointed parents. so, she had someone help her take the kids pictures with cute fall decor. it really was not necessary, but much appreciated. i spent some time in PSE7 and was able to jazz up a few of my favorites. as you can tell, i used totally different effects on each one. some were done with actions, while others i just fiddled with (some were a combination of both). i believe all of the actions i used were freebies from coffeeshop.

i also realized that i never did a *19 month old post* about coleman. he turned 19 months just four days before these photos were taken, so i figured i'd just add the tidbits here...

100928 Coleman Fall Portrait 16 - edit

~ he is doing lots of head nodding and head shaking. he doesn't really *say* "yes" and "no" ~

~ he likes to throw things. maybe a little too much. ~

~ he figured out how to open the baby gate at the bottom of the stairs ~
100928 Coleman Fall Portrait 07 - edit
~ he's obsessed with the toilet...flushing it and putting toilet paper in it ~

~ you can tell him to throw something away and he will do it ~

~ he likes to help clean his high chair tray after eating ~
100928 Coleman Fall Portrait 04 - edit
~ he thinks one of the progressive insurance commercials is hilarious ~

~ he can occupy himself for a long while with a baby wipe or two ~

~ we added a 1/2 teaspoon of benadryl to his daily regime (at night) ~
100928 Coleman Fall Portrait 03 - edit
~ he was put into time-out at daycare for the first time ~
~ he used the potty at daycare for the first time (a fluke, not the start of potty training!) ~

~ he nods his head to music he likes ~

100928 Coleman Fall Portrait 02 - edit