Nov 29, 2010


One year gone.... hopefully many more to come! My sweet little angel will be one on the 30th so we went ahead and celebrated at our family Thanksgiving get together. All went wonderfully and MC seemed to have a great time! Although - she didn't want anything to do with eating her cake! She stuck her hands in the icing a little but that was it! She got so many wonderful gifts (we looked like the beverly hillbillies driving back to Starkville!) and loved being able to see everyone! :)

The Birthday Girl! (In her oh-so-sweet Thanksgiving dress made by my dear friend, Jessica)
"Hi mommy! Did ya know its my birthday??!!"
My beautiful family :)
Told you she wasn't too thrilled with the cake...
Yep, thats her spitting it out
But she did have fun playing in the icing ;)
We also had our photo session with Tabitha and, as usual, the pics turned out great! Here are a few of my favs! Happy Monday!

Nov 23, 2010

30 day blog challenge - Day 21

Day 21 - Picture of yourself

Even at at 3 or 4, I had it all figured out. Sprawl out in a lounge chair by the pool with a cold drink in hand....

While I don't really get the opportunity to lounge poolside anymore, I DO get to spend tim with my AMAZING family (which is even better than some stinkin' pool). So here's one of my most fav pictures of myself because I'm with the two people I love the most in the world :)

Nov 22, 2010

30 day blog challenge - Day 20

Day 20 - Nicknames

Sadly I don't have any super fun, creative nicknames to share. My name is Jessica. People call me Jess. (I know, the originality astounds me as well.)

And there you have it. Shortest blog post ever. Maybe the next topic will be a little more interesting...

30 day blog challenge - Day 19

Day 19 - Something You Miss

1. No worries - I miss being carefree. Man, we had it SOOOOOOO great as kids and didn't even know it! Now we get to deal with bills and jobs and laundry and just generally un-fun stuff. I want to run through the sprinklers and eat ice cream and be skinny and take a nap; anyone else with me on this?

2. Sponteneity - While Maggie Claire is one of the best things to ever happen to me besides marrying my husband, I do miss the opportunity to be spontaneous. Now, I'm not talking crazy spontaneous here - that gives me panic attacks. I'm talking about running errands around town and saying "hey, ya wanna go to a movie?" Not possible when you have kids. If you're out on a Saturday, the car ride consists more of turning around in the seat to peek-a-boo with a burp cloth while the kid is screaming and your husband is quietly planning his escape through the open sunroof. Not exactly "hm, wonder what good movies are out" thoughts. You just want to make it HOME before someone dies.

3. Being thin - I feel this is pretty self explanatory.

4. Coloring - This is odd, I know. However, I seriously feel like this kid....

I got to color a lot while teaching which was awe-some. I'm hoping MC is a big fan of the coloring thing so I can do it again without looking like a freak.

5. Food - No, we aren't so poor that we can't eat..... yet. No, I miss eating awesome food without having to be the one to cook it. Aka - mom. I guess I should just change this whole subject to mom. I miss being carefree - reason for being carefree? Mom. I miss not having to do laundry and clean - reason for not doing it? Mom. I miss eating great food and not cooking it - reason for having it? Mom. I miss my mommy.....

And finally, I miss MC. She's only been gone an hour and a half and I miss her. And that my friends makes me NOT miss not being a mommy ;) Happy Monday!!!

30 day blog challenge - Day 18

Day 18: Something You Regret

Again, sorry for stinking at this blog challenge.... to say that things have been hectic would be an understatement.

So lets see here, something I regret huh? To be honest, I do regret a lot. Being the perfectionist I am, I imagine I will always look back at things and wish I hadn't of made whatever "mistake" it might be. However, as far as CHANGING things - I wouldn't do it. I really feel as though everything happens for a reason and if certain things had happened differently, I might not be at the place I am today. Which would stink cause where I am right now is a great place ;)

As I embark upon this new career path, I often think about all the past career choices I made and wonder why I didn't just chose real estate in the first place. Then I think about all of the positives that have been gained in each and every job experience and how they will benefit me to some degree, whether it be professionally or personally. As I've said before, I've been on one windy road and hopefully each turn is taking me to where I am supposed to end up.

Nov 18, 2010

Makin' Popeye Proud

So, I know spinach is not exactly an American family favorite. However, put this tasty concoction in your mouth and I promise you will be scarffing down spinach in no time. Yeah. It's that good.

PS - If you try it, let me know! I'd love to hear how ya like it!

Crunchy Topped Creamed Spinach

-2 pkg (10 oz each) froen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
-1 container (8 oz) Philadelphia Chive & Onion cream cheese spread
-1/2 cup Kraft ranch dressing
-2 eggs, lightly beaten
-1 1/2 (thats one and one half) cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided (I used Colby and Monterrey Jack and think it tasted better...)
-1 cup crushed Ritz crackers, divided

Preheat oven to 375. Mix spinach, cream cheese spread, dressing, eggs, and 3/4 cup of the cheddar cheese (or Colby and Monterrey Jack) in large bowl.

Spoon spinach mixture evenly into greased 2 qt. ovenproof casserole dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup crushed crackers and remaining 3/4 cup cheddar cheese.

Bake 20 to 25 min. or until heated through and cheese on top is melted.


Nov 17, 2010

30 day blog challenge - Day 17

Day 17: Something You're Looking Forward To

Besides my beloved Christmas, there is something that I am DEFINATELY looking forward to. MC talking. I know, I know. If you are a veteran parent I can only imagine what you are yelling at your computer right now ("Are you serious?! I PROMISE you will regret saying that!! Once they start, they never stop!!!") And I get that. However, MC has issues. As I have discussed numerous times before, MC has poop issues. (This is where you stop reading if you are not interested in reading about my child's poop. I'm sorry to discuss it, however if you're a mom, poop just isn't as controversial or quite so disgusting anymore...) MC has had constipation issues for as long as I can remember. We've been struggling with it and now we've reached another dilema. Since she went so long with painful poop, she's now holding it in. Being that I google EVERYTHING of course I googled the situation. It seems odd after my research that she would be doing this at such a young age, but its quite obvious that's what she's doing (yes, I'll spare you a little and not go into details) Now, why on earth did I share this information with you? Well, its because this is just one of the many reasons I want MC to talk. I want to know what's wrong with her or what's hurting her. She has been sick the last 3 days with a fever and when the child cries, I have NO idea what's wrong with her. Is she hot/uncomfortable from the fever? Is she hungry (she hasn't wanted anything to do with food or formula since she got sick)? Is she constipated? Does her throat hurt? Is her nose too stuffy? I mean YOU NEVER KNOW. I want her to be able to walk up to me and say "mom, listen. My poop will not come out. A little help here?". But no. I just get WAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH.

Now, most often when this occurs I go into "I'm-a-horrible-good-for-nothing-mom" mode. I feel like I am supposed to know what her cries mean. I mean, we've all heard that moms are able to decipher the dynamic code that is our child's cry - however, I was apparently not endowed with this gift. Even when MC was little. I never knew what her cries meant. It all just sounded like waaaaaahhhh to me. Anyway, I still to this day just look at her like a confused dog watching a ceiling fan when the wails begin....

Now, I mentioned this point on facebook and I got responses about baby signing. When I had MC I knew I wanted to use signs. I got the Baby Signs book and began reading when she was a couple of months old. We even began using a few signs when she was about 7 or 8 months. I had every intention of sticking with it, however, you know how that goes. Everything got crazy and sadly the baby signs were abandoned. Now I'm wondering now if she's too old for me to try to pick it back up. I would LOVE for her to be able to communicate with us beyond "ball" and "bye-bye". (Especially since she still hasn't grasped the whole "bye-bye" concept yet. We'll be sitting on the floor of her room playing and she'll look at me and say "bye-bye". I'm like, kid, where are ya goin? We're in a room with the door closed and you're about 1 foot shy of being able to reach that shiny brass doorknob. You aint going "bye-bye" anytime soon.) I digress. Back to the signs. Has anyone ever used signs with your baby? Did they pick up on it quickly and was it useful? I'd love to hear about your experience with it and how easy/difficult it was for you as a parent.

With all that said, I'm looking forward to sweet baby girl being able to talk. Mommy's tired of the guessing game.

Nov 15, 2010

Gotta Love A Freebie

Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly...sign up:

So I'm sure several of you have heard about this, but I'm all about some free-ness. I've never used Shutterfly before, but almost all of my friend's have and they rave about the experience so consider me onboard! I figured their free offer was a great way to get started and find out for myself why so many people love their holiday cards, photo Christmas cards, and invitations. I can't wait to make our first family Christmas card this year using one of their cute holiday designs. I'm thinking something that has LOTS of spaces for pictures to show off our precious Maggie Claire :) (98) It will also be great to actually have my family together for Christmas since Adam was deployed for the last one :( Our first Christmas together as a family - who wouldn't want a Christmas card celebrating that?

I really hope you can all take advantage of this super awesome offer to get some free goodies for yourselves! Happy Monday! :)

30 day blog challenge - Day 16

Day 16: Your Dream House

Dream house.... hmmm.... do you think this is too "out there"?

Nov 12, 2010

I Just Don't Get It...

We all know that I love my husband dearly. However, this I just don't get..

Yes. Those are my husband's clothes IN FRONT of the hamper. Can someone please explain this to me? I mean, is the lid too heavy? ITS WICKER! It weighs as much as a paper clip for goodness sake. I just don't understand. If anyone has any insight into this oddity, please feel free to share.

30 day blog challenge - Day 15

Day 15: Bible Verse

Man do I ever need to remember this one more often...

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowladge Him and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

Nov 11, 2010


30 day blog challenge - Day 14

Day 14: A Picture You Love
This was a really hard assignment. It was beyond difficult to choose just one pictured I loved. Because when you have a child, you LOVE every single picture of your child. Why? Because naturally they are the cutest little person that has ever been born.

The reason I chose THIS picture was the emotion behind it. As you all know, Adam was deployed during my pregnancy and the first 3 months of Maggie Claire's life. This picture was taken when he was home on leave right after she was born. Everytime I look at this picture, I remember all the emotions I felt when it was taken. There I was, holding my newborn baby and kissing my husband who I hadn't seen in 6 months.... and who was about to leave again for another 5. I was a joyful wreck. I say joyful wreck because on one hand I was overcome with elation at having my husband and child together beside me. However I was a wreck knowing it would all too soon end.

When this picture was taken I remember experiencing a flood of gut wrenching emotions and then looking into his eyes, feeling Maggie Claire hold my finger, and knowing it would be ok. I kissed him then. It wasn't scripted, I just kissed the man I loved who helped give me this most precious little gift we both held in our arms. If you can't tell, he is holding back a smile in that kiss...

This photo represents the strength, love, and commitment that is my family. We are all in this together - whatever God throws our direction... and we'll make it.

Nov 10, 2010

30 day blog challenge - Day 13

Day 13 - Goals

I have a lot of goals. Some of which I have already acheived and some of which I am still working on. These are the ones that are still in progress...

1. Be the best wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend I can possibly be.
2. Find a job I love doing and that I do well.
3. Follow God's path for me (On a side note, I do wish he would be more explicit at times. Seriously - I have been on a crazy, windy road and sometimes I wish he would just slip a note in the mailbox or something. "Hey, Jessica, just do this - k?")
4. Help as many people as possible each day of my life
5. Die with no regrets
6. Write a book
7. Drive a racecar (No, I am not a NASCAR fan. No, I do not like watching races. But do I LOVE driving fast? OH YES!!!!)
8. Live at the beach
9. Be the person people want to call when they need someone to listen

And finally (because there has to be ten... nine is just a weird number to stop at ) This one is HUGE...

10. Go just ONE day without falling, tripping, hitting, knocking, burning, slamming, sliding, smashing, scratching, banging, slipping and ultimately injuring some part of my body. That's right, I am a walking disaster. And for someone who bruises like a peach - this is not good. Most people probably think my husband beats me.

Anyways, those are my little goals. Today's goal? Make it through the 8 remaining tests I have to complete my 60 hours of real estate pre-licensing course work. I have taken 38 tests so far so I just have the 8 left. After that I will be sending in my application for the state test. Wish me luck! :)

Nov 8, 2010

30 day blog challenge - Day 12

Day 12: What You Believe

1. I am blessed beyond measure
2. My husband is my soul mate and the most amazing man I have ever met. I would never be where I am today without his love and support
3. Our world would be a much better place if everyone let God in a little more
4. When you grow up, no matter what you do, you will have AT LEAST one moment where you sound just like your mother
5. Nothing feels as good as helping someone
6. Everything should close at 3:00 so everyone can nap
7. We would have world peace if women were in charge
8. There is no sacrifice like that of a soldier
9. We should take more time to stop and tell God thank you
10. It's o.k. to cry
11. Raising a child is the most challenging, but most rewarding experience you could ever have
12. You need family - not matter how looney-tooney you think they might be, you need them
13. Everything happens for a reason
14. You should always tell the people you love that you love them - especially when you want to hate them
15.You can never have too many friends... or too much macaroni and cheese
16. Teaching is one of the toughest and most underappreciated professions there is. Just saying "thank you" to one would make their day - try it.
17. This is the day the Lord has made and we should rejoyce and be glad :)

Happy Monday everyone!

Nov 4, 2010

30 day blog challenge - Day 11

Day 11: Favorite TV shows

1. Grey's Anatomy: I'm sure there's no argument with anyone on this one. Its fabulous.
2. Biggest Loser: Love it. It's so inspiring - however not QUITE inspiring enough to make me put down the bag of cool ranch Doritos I usually scarff down while watching it. 3. Project Runway: Hate the season is over :( On a side note, I think since it's Heidi's show, she should get the final say in who wins. Mondo got shafted for the crazed 70's bohemian skeleton? Not right.
4. America's next top model: Don't judge - I don't like the WHOLE show. If I cute mute Tyra Banks but hear everyone else that would be a bonus. I really just like watching the actual photo shoot and seeing the girl's finished photos. Oh, and staring at Nigel.
5. House Hunters: I am so the person they have in the commercial that sits there and argues with her husband saying "no, no! House number 3!" Obsessed with this show. Especially the international episodes.
Those are really the top ones. Of course I enjoy reruns like Everybody Loves Raymond, America's Funniest Home Videos (yes, the commentary is about as cornball as can be, but lets face it - some of those videos can have you rolling on the floor in laughter), and Reba. Since no one comments on my blogs and I feel unloved (not helping #9 here people) I will copy Laura T and ask YOU a question in hopes of getting maybe just one comment :/ hehe. What is YOUR favorite TV show??

Nov 3, 2010

H - A- double L, O, W, double E, N spells Halloween

Happy Halloween (a few days late!)

30 day blog challenge - Day 10

Day 10: Something You're afraid of

Well, since I've already gone into depth about the paranormal stuff, I've decided to make a list of things I'm afraid of. I also realize it's quite sad to have enough fears to even make a list, but that's just me - scaredy pants.

1. FAILURE: I often have nightmares about this one. As I have also mentioned before, I am a complete perfectionist and if I don't live up to my (most often, unattainable) standards, I freak out. If I make a mistake, I usually cry and dwell on it for at least 2 weeks. Wow. Are you sure you want to continue reading all this?

2. Something tragic happening to someone I love: Is it normal to think the worst when someone is late getting home? Its sad really, but I end up imagining all these worst case scenarios when Adam isn't home when he says he's going to be home. And don't even get me started on Maggie Claire. After all the horrible things in the news and movies, this kid will be lucky if she's EVER allowed out of the house.

3. Spiders: I was bitten by a spider people. And I don't mean I woke up one morning and had a red place on my arm. I woke up one morning and had a gigantic welp on my cheek which continued to swell and was SOOO painful. They first told me it was a brown recluse - oh yes, I freaked. I was instantly swarmed with images of my face rotting off like some horrible Steven King movie. We drove to Vanderbilt for a second opinion. Thankfully not a brown recluse, but they weren't sure what kind of spider it was. I won't go into details about the ordeal, but needless to say- no spiders for me, thank you.

4. Any insects that jump or fly (i.e., crickets, grasshoppers, dragonflies, etc): You can't escape them. You move, they move - and land on you. Its unnatural.

5. Under the bed: Yes, I still get scared of something reaching out and grabbing me from under the bed. I back away and stare at my feet when I change the sheets.

6. Swimming in lakes, rivers, oceans where I can't see through the water: Now, this fear only applies to being in the water alone. If I am swimming with other people, I am usually ok. Not sure why. I guess if I'm in a group, I've got other people who could get eaten first- in turn giving me adequate time to make my escape. Nice, I know.

7. Putting my hand in the garbage disposal: Anyone else get REALLY paranoid while doing this? Quite often MC's bottle tops will fall down in there. I can just see the retarded thing malfunctioning and turning on the moment I stick my hand in there to retrieve it.

8. The Dark: Yes. I am still afraid of the dark. We have nightlights in almost every room in the house (In attempts to not seem like a 5 year old child, several of them are air fresheners... Its a lot easier to seem normal to your husband when you plug in a light up air freshener for the sake of smelliness than plugging in a huge light bulb while explaing that his 26 year old wife can't be alone in a dark room because SOMETHING will get her)

9. People don't like me: Yup. I guess this goes back to my perfectionistic attitude. I pretty much always assume people don't like me.

10. Squirrels: I was also bitten by a squirrel. I feel like Matthew McConaughey in "Failure To Launch" - nature rejects me.

I think I have let you in on quite enough of my crazed mind. Now I am going to go wrap up in a blanket and enjoy a good book - in a well lit room, away from all beds, spiders, bodies of water, insects, garbage disposals, and squirrels :)

Nov 2, 2010

30 day blog challenge - Day 9

Day 9: A picture of your friends

Yeah, I definately stink at this blog challenge. I'm going to do better...

Well, Adam and I are lucky to have been blessed with such amazing friends. However, sadly, we don't really see most of them anymore! Everyone has moved on with their lives and AWAY from Starkville :( Thumbs down. Anywho, here are some pics of our dearest pals

First is my BFF from college, Kristen. She is a hoot. Any girl that loves Nascar, doesn't know what year it is, and falls at least 3 times a day is someone you like to have around ;) I like to think this picture sums her up pretty well...
Then there's the odd couple - Andrew and Oliver. They aren't really a couple, but they were always together and lived together (and are COMPLETE opposites) so I like to call them that. They are nutso and we love them to pieces.
Next up are the Melvins. Pretty crazy story there. Adam and Jessica (yes, her name is Jessica too) were best friends in high school (and even dated a little while believe) and her hubs Chris and I lived in the same town growing up. His dad was actually my pediatrician. However, we never knew each other since we went to different schools. Anyway, we all met at Jessica's birthday one year and have been friends ever since. Wish they lived closer so we actually got to see them and their sweet kiddo, Clark.

You've also got the Harris clan - aka Matthew and Allyson, and James and Laura. (James and Matthew are brothers) Adam went to high school with the two of them and since I got to inherit the friendship along with the marriage I am super glad that I adore their wives and we have come to be besties as well.

Matthew and Allyson and their sweetums, John.

James and Laura and preciousness, Stelling

Then there's the soon-to-be Cole's, Jordan and Emily. Precious precious people that live MUCH too far away!! :(Speaking of people we love and don't see enough, you've then got Ruth and Preston. They rock.

And last, but not least, you have the Shaidnagle's. Man I hope I spelled that correctly. Chris just left for Iraq so we are really going to miss him this year. Hopefully we'll get some visits from Jennifer though! :)

So that's our clan. Of course there are others, but I've already been on this thing for over and hour and Adam will be home from class soon so I've got to get busy and act like I've been working hard... Happy Tuesday! :)


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