Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hello From the Frozen South

Well the big “Snowmageddon” has come and gone in the Southland and left us with no snow just lots of ice. And things are drip, drip, dripping today. It sounds like it’s raining outside there is so much ice melting everywhere! It’s supposed to be in the 50’s today and 75 by Saturday. It was just 30 degrees yesterday. The weather is such a girl.

Any way a lot has happened since I last posted and I will try to quickly sum it up:

1. My computer crashed on January 18th.

2. My computer was restored to full working capacity on the 28th. It was a long time.

3. I started potty training Olivia on the 24th and so far we are doing very well. As long as I remember to tell her to go potty every 15-20 min.

4. We started working a little on our “new” house on the 25th to get it ready to paint and are very excited about moving out there. It’s gonna be great!!

5. James came down with a stomach virus on the 27th and was out of school for two days with it. He was pretty pitiful that first day.

6. Jon was honored with another award for Teacher of the Year at the Chamber of Commerce's yearly supper on the 27th. I was supposed to be his date for the evening and was sorely disappointed that I had to miss out. But a mama’s got to do what a mama’s got to do so Audrey volunteered to go with him. It was sweet!!

7. We had a snow day on the 29th. It was really a ice day since all we got was a large dose of ice and it was also a drive mama batty day!!

8. I got lots and lots of packing done last week but totally dropped the ball this week because of the sick child and then the great “snow” day of 2014.

9. I realized sometime during the last 2 weeks that my camera was not actually on it’s full RAW setting and so I switched it over. I sat down one day this week to edit some pictures to blog with and found out    that the Lightroom 4 I currently have does not read the fancy shmancy RAW files on my fancy shmancy new camera so I need to upgrade to Lightroom 5. **SIGH** At least I don’t have to pay full price for the upgrade!! Maybe I will get around to doing that sometime soon.

10. I’ve started watching Downton Abbey again. From the beginning. Yes, I have a problem. We already discussed this. However, it’s at a much more leisurely pace this time. In fact, I was watching the first episode on it while packing my office when my computer just went off and wouldn’t come back on. I was really scared that Downton had indeed killed my computer and that my husband might indeed kill me for it but it was "just a glitch" in the "motherboard board” and I am still alive! The motherboard….I don’t know…it’s what the dude told me was wrong with it. I don’t pretend to be a computer nerd. THANK GOODNESS I paid a little extra for that Apple Care warranty. Apple had to send someone to my house to fix it. They ended up having to come 2x to actually get it right but at least I didn’t have to haul this ginormous thing around.

So for today, since I am freezing cold and have been for the last 2 months around here, I thought it would be nice to make everyone wish they were on a warm and sunny beach somewhere with sand in-between their toes, by sharing some of the pictures from our trip with the McDaniels over the Summer that I never got around to blogging about….

Friday, January 17, 2014


Packing is going splendidly. I am now finished with the monstrosity of clothes that had built up over the years in our attic, kids closets and other random places. It only took me and entire week to do it. I will make my last delivery to a friend on Sunday!! And once I clear out this room that is supposed to be an “office” but at the moment looks more like a junk room, I will really be cooking with peanut oil. My sister offered to get my kids for the long weekend so Jon and I can hopefully knock out a great deal of packing (or sorting and tossing) this weekend. I take them to meet up with her after school today and then Jon will go fetch them on Monday from my uncle’s because he wants to go pick up a boat he’s been given by another one of my uncles. Great. We need another boat around here like we need another kid!!

I’ve finished my Downton binge. Well, almost. I have caught up to season 4 and I am almost finished with the season premiere. I hate spoilers especially when it comes to things like this; things that just aren’t as good if you already know what is going to happen when watching for the first time. So I won’t say anything about how I feel now that season 3 has ended for me but just know that it is eating me alive not to be able to spill my guts about it on here. Of course as with most television shows these days, there are 1 or 2 things that they could of left out but other than that it’s a very proper and respectable British show set in the early 1900’s. Again, if you haven’t jumped on the Downton Abbey train yet, please do so. You won’t regret it.

I was cleaning out the van this morning and the light was so pretty and decided that it wouldn’t hurt my schedule to terribly bad if I picked up my camera for a few minutes. I cannot describe the feeling I get when I pick it up (even if it is the new one!) and peer at my baby thru the lens. It was nice to be creative again for a few minutes. And I had just as much playing around in post processing. As you can see :)

Audrey (and James but mostly AG) has been picking me flowers since the time she(they) could walk and this is the little collection I keep on my dash board so I can see them every day.

How much does she look like my Audrey Grace in this one?!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Be careful for nothing

I am trying not to stress out. I am trying to be diligent and organized in my task of packing up this massive house before we start painting the little house next month. I am trying to focus on each day and what I can accomplish that day instead of always jumping ahead in my mind to “we have so many days to get this done” but the weekend really messed me up on that. We had church both mornings and then it seemed like one thing after another kept me from going back upstairs and finishing the attics. (Downton Abbey may have been one of those things...) So this morning I am feeling bogged down and wondering how in the world I am going to get all of this done. I have a dentist appointment later this morning so my morning is pretty much shot. Then James lost a part of one of his molars yesterday which is bizarre beyond words and I have scheduled him an appointment with his dentist for Thursday morning. So, Thursday is pretty much shot. That’s 1 1/2 days I’ve lost this week and it’s only 8:45 on Monday morning. Ahhhhh!!!! It will all get done in the end I know, I’m just concerned about “how” it will all get done! Perhaps if I wasn’t sitting down at the computer writing about my concerns I could be upstairs knocking a few more boxes out. And perhaps I should heed to the lesson from my husband yesterday in his sermon: BE CAREFUL FOR NOTHING; BUT IN EVERYTHING BY PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION WITH THANKSGIVING LET YOUR REQUEST BE MADE KNOWN UNTO GOD. I will admit that at the time I didn’t relate so closely to it (probably because it’s hard to really take something while you are constantly saying “shhhhhh” and enduring the constant gymnastics that a certain 2 year old tries to perform on top of you) but after sitting here blogging about my worries the verse came to mind. So, I will plunge ahead and be careful for nothing. It will all get done.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Muh Lady

I finally pulled out my new camera for only the 2nd time since coming home from our break. Life happens though. Light also happens. And sometimes doesn’t happen which has been the case around here this week which is the main thing that’s been holding me back. The sun was out for a little bit yesterday and Olivia was coloring away happily in here in the office with me so I stole a few moments and clicked away. Even though I haven’t used it much, I LOVE my 85mm lens. Just LOVE it. Can’t wait to get outside with it! And I love the new camera too but it’s still a foreign machine to me right now. I could use my old one with my eyes closed I’m so used to it so the new one is still outside of my comfort zone. But I will get there. Soon. My book came in the mail Tuesday and I FINALLY finished editing those wedding photos. Shew! Now I know why wedding photographers charge so much money; it is A LOT of work people! And I really know why some photographers only do a set amount of weddings a year and why some won’t go near them with a 10 foot pole!

I will start on my book just as soon as I get caught up with Downton. Yep, I finally jumped on the Downton Abbey train and can I just say WOW. I mean, WOW. It’s amazing. If you haven’t started it, you should. But you have to start at the beginning. It really is one of the best shows. Ever. Period. I’m only on Season 2, episode 2 so I have a long way to go. I had to apologize to my poor hubs in advance. For the last 3 nights I’ve locked myself away in the office for 2-3 hours at a time. I know, I could have a problem but it’s just that good. Once you start, you cannot quit.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


The day before school let out for Christmas break the twins had their party in class. It was pretty low key which I appreciated. No gift exchange they just watched a movie that I sent and then decorated graham crackers to look like presents. Presents that they could eat! But I must say that all those kids loaded the presents up with so much icing and sprinkles and al the other goodies we provided for them to decorate with that most of them could only eat about 3-4 bites before they tossed them. Typical!!

Then the day they let out for break the Kindergarten classes participated in the yearly program and they sang a song to the tune of B-I-N-G-O titled, you guessed it, S-A-N-T-A. It was cute and all those kiddos sang their hearts out at the top of their lungs!! But James was hidden behind somebody the whole time they were singing so I got no shots of him, mouth wide open. Fun times!

Sunday, January 5, 2014


Well hello and Happy New Year to all you readers out there. All 3 of you!! Christmas was a success and New Years went off with out a hitch. In fact, New Years Day arrived with a sweet little surprise for us: WE SOLD OUR HOUSE!!!!! Praise the Lord. We were somewhat expecting an offer around the 1st week of January but were not expecting the first day. And let me just say it was rather interesting wheeling and dealing from 500 miles away. But we got it all worked out and that’s all that matters. We sign the contract tomorrow and will have 60 days till closing. Yeah, it’s kind of a long closing but it at least gives us time to pack, have a yard sale and paint the other house. Paint, you say? Well, did you expect any less from us? Have we ever moved into a house that we did not feel the need to paint The good news is this house is much smaller so there won’t be a months worth of just painting 8 hours a day, 7 days a week to accomplish. And we are just renting this house for now so no other extreme makeovers are on our agenda. Just me, a paint brush, a few gallons of paint in various colors and a 2 1/2 year old running around saying “Mama, can I hep you?” Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

We will be in school during this time of course so the normal school routine will be in effect which always throws a little more stress into a busy, hectic situation. Olivia is at the prime of her little toddlerhood and I don’t want to miss any of it. I was blessed to be able to buy a new camera (which has a huge learning curve) and my coveted 85mm lens after Christmas so I have lots of reading (and as always practicing on my horizon.) I want/need to have a yard sale before we move. I’ve already mentioned the painting at the new house but first of all I have to decide on colors. And lets not forget the most vital part in all this, the PACKING of the boxes. Not looking forward to that but I am looking forward to purging our stuff. Something I like to do every January any way it’s just this time will be on a much higher level!!

2 months is a long time for a closing but it’s really not a long time in the grand scheme of things. I mean, think about how quickly November and December just passed??

I plan on making time for this blog like I did before the holidays hit cause like I said, I don’t want to miss a moment of Sassafras’s toddlerhood. And James and Audrey will have a few field trips and things coming up in school that I want record of. I intend to write about our Christmas break which was FABULOUS and I of course have tons of pictures to share. So, sometime this week I am going to be taking another hiatus from Facebook land that could end up lasting through the move. I know, I know. Laugh all you want but it’s seriously the only way for me to not somehow end up wasting much more time on there than intended. And I don’t have time to waste.

Here are a few pics from New Years in Hattiesburg. We stayed with Jon’s sister Emily and her husband Ryan this year (peeps over there are always fighting on who gets to keep us. It’s quite the ego boost!). We had a great time as usual and the kids had a blast. It was the perfect way to round out our magical holiday.

Uncle Ryan

SuSu and her girls with their matching American Girl gowns

Water colors

Somebody got a new camera for Christmas as well!

One of my favorite shots of the week

Sweet, precious almost grown Hughston “feeding” the "puppies"

Aunt Beck getting some quality conversation in

Poor Nenie was cold

 ***Just as a side note for any one who may be interested. I’m playing around with creating my own black and white conversions and didn’t see the huge difference in some of these B&W’s until I loaded them on here. And I didn’t feel like messing around with them any more to get them more consistent with each other. It’s all about those tones. Always learning :)