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Showing posts from August, 2012

I Think It Was Culture Shock Part 1

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This week my in-laws watched Hopson's & my niece and nephew, Claire & Briscoe, while Hopson's brother and his wife went to the Republican National Convention.  Claire & Briscoe are from Virginia.  Now, I know a lot of people think Virginia is a southern state, because they sided with the south in the war of northern aggression, (hehe ;) aka The Civil War)  but when you listen to their accents, they don't sound southern.  Maybe they sound so northern because we live in the deep south, but I don't think anyone would mistake one of my kiddos as being from Virginia, and I know no one would mistake C or B as being from Alabama.  I think they had a little bit of a culture shock. 

Something very important happens tonight:  high school football begins.  And you know what's almost better?  My favorite college team plays tomorrow:  War Eagle to all in the Auburn Family!

Football is not big in the school Claire attends.  It may not even be very big in Virginia.  I…

Just a Stay at Home Mom

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One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone criticize and/or belittles say at home moms.  You may be wondering why I'm bringing this up today.  Last night, after Ann Romney spoke at the RNC, Juan Williams had the audacity to criticize her.  He said she had never really struggled.  He called her a corporate wife. 

Uh huh.  Juan, have you ever raised 5 children?  Have you ever 'held down the homestead' while your spouse worked long hours and weekends?  Have you had to mold and shape lives, and mold those lives into kind, productive citizens, and gentlemen of society while society is telling them differently?  Have you ever had to coordinate homework, sports schedules, doctor/dentist visits with multiple children.  Have you been diagnosed with MS?  Have you had breast cancer?  

Juan,  until you've experienced all these things, do us all a favor and shut-up.  I know shut-up is a not nice word...but I just said it.  And I mean it. 

The Romney's did not start off wealth…

I Must Do the Dance

I love it when I hit one out of the park.  Sometimes mommies just need to know that we have done well.  It may not happen very often, but when it does, I must do the dance.

Last night, as usual, I was scrounging for dinner.  What to cook, what to cook, what to cook.  "Hey mom, I'm hungry..."  "Hey mom, what's for dinner..."  "Hey mom..."  "Hey mom..."  "Hey mom..."  Hey fam, don't call me mom right now.   Hey fam, trying to figure out what we're having for dinner.  Hey fam, I know you're hungry, got it & am working on it.  Just give me an hour, I'll have something for you soon, I promise.

I have chicken, now what to do with it.  I don't feel like baking it.  Bleh.  I don't want poach it.  Meh.  Ok, I'll cut it up and saute it.  But with what spices?  Just sauteing it is boring too.  Oui.  What makes chicken taste yummy?  White cooking wine...Paul Prudhomme's poultry seasoning...kosher salt...…

A Wonderful First

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I had a great experience with Hoppy today.  Considering that I haven't seen him in two days it was nice to spend 30 quality minutes with my very busy oldest child.  You know, as a mom, I love precious moments I have with any of my children.  It seems so many of those moments center around being in the car.  That's ok because I'll take the good ones any way I can get them!  I usually have the best conversations in the car anyway because they can't get away from me.  :)


Turning 18 is a pretty big deal.  It's that age that is such a real step towards adulthood:  a young man has to register with selective services; they are, in the eyes of the law adults; and they can register to vote.  Hop took care of everything by himself.  I tried to be minimally involved, because at some point he will not have me as his personal pop-up reminder.  After you register to vote, it usually takes about two to three weeks to get the little piece of paper saying you are officiall…

Less than Four Months 'Till Christmas and other thoughts...

Hey, I realized yesterday is four months until my birthday!  Happy 8 month anniversary to AYITL!  I feel like a teenager with her first boyfriend.  It's our 8 month anniversary, I love you sweetheart.  Gag me!  We'll talk when you've been married for almost 20 years.  Sorry, confusing the blog with a boyfriend.  ;)

A four year old asked me yesterday if I was four.  I said that my age started with a four.  She proceeded to tell me that since I had a four in my age that I was four.  You know what, four is a pretty good age.  You have someone else do a lot of stuff for you; you have to take naps; you get to color, play with puzzles, play dress-up, and  have great snacks at school; everything is fresh and new.  At 40, you get to do everything yourself; you want to take a nap, but can't; the closest thing to coloring, puzzles, and dress-up is when I write my name on a check or debit slip, balancing my checkbook, and going to the gym.  I don't get to eat snacks, too many…

Lookin' at the Calendar

Well, I'm looking at my calendar for the week, and I can feel my blood pressure going up.  No really, I can.  I all of a sudden have a very big headache and I think I'm going to hyperventilate.  You know that moment when you just realize that you have too many things to do & not enough time to do them in.  Yeah, I'm there.

I get this way at the start of every school year.  Too much to do and it's my fault for agreeing to it.  I'm serious about becoming a hermit.  I'm going to quit answering emails & my phone.  I'll be that parent that people ask "I don't know her, help me place her".  They'll say:  "you remember her, she's the one who went crazy trying to be and do everything; she's a control freak, and it drove her literally crazy".  They'll catch glimpses of me like I'm Sasquatch.  I'll become a legend.  ;)

Maybe I'll just a legend in my own mind.  LOL.  I complain, but I like it.  (most of it an…

If You Have to Run...Run with Friends

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Every Saturday there are many 5Ks/ fun runs all over the country, and thousands of people who run in them.  Elizabeth, Henry & I participated in one today.  It was a lot of fun.  We saw tons of friends and had a great time supporting our city.

But...you knew there was a but coming...I really don't like to run.  As a matter of fact, I can't stand it.  I've tried to like it; I really have. But in reality, I just don't.  I don't get that runner's high.  I just really hate life when I'm running.  Now, if you want me to do Zumba for several hours, or go on an elliptical rider, or walk a really long way with my friend Ashley, OK, I'd be happy to.  My endorphins get kicked in & I could go, and have gone for hours.  :)  In my world, running bad, everything else good.  If you see me running, for almost any reason, please, for the love of all that's good, call the police.  If I'm running, someone will more than likely be chasing me. 

You'll …

Something I Really Hate

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I hate very few things, but what I do hate, I hate with a passion.  There is one hatred that I want to talk about because it's something I've dealt with way too much.  It's the "C" word...cancer.

Cancer is a horrible thing.  I think it was invented by the devil.  I'm not saying this glibly, I know what cancer does; I've seen it with my own eyes.  Cancer is something that steals, that kills, that destroys.  (sounds like a familiar bible verse doesn't it:  John 10:10.) 

In June, we went to visit my brother, sister-in-law & my sweet nephew.  Yes, he's mine.  :)  While there we went to Busch Gardens, and while there I met a very nice lady, Lori, who Cotton sends all the monogramming business to from his company.  Lori is married with two children, 15 & 3, and she was just diagnosed with cancer.  As of today, Lori has made it through her first week of chemo & radiation.

Her cancer is aggressive and has a high recurrence rate.  She is sche…

Sometimes Beauty Is Painful

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Guys have it so much easier.  They don't have to worry about fixing their hair.  No make-up. (I hope)  If a guys clothes don't really match no one really cares.  But, if a girl doesn't have it all together, she may want to check her back to see how many knives are stuck in it.  Not all girls are hateful, but there are enough of them out there to make you feel bad about yourself.  Don't believe me?  There is research to prove that prettier people get hired more often and make more money.  I think this is true to some degree.  I know that we have a child that responds to pretty teachers more than average looking ones.  Is it right?  No, but sometimes that's how life is.  Some like to judge the outside before they take time to know the inside.

Our family can grow hair like nobody's business.  I had to start having my eyebrows waxed at age 11, and before that my mom would hold me down and pluck them.  Ouch!  Hopson and I have passed this wonderful ability to grow …

Has Anyone Seen My Caffeine

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Oh.my.goodness...I need some caffeine.  I start getting sleepy around 3 in the afternoon.  I am a natural early bird, but I'm probably tired because I've been waking up between 4-4:30.  That is AM and not PM.  Yuck, I don't want to be up that early.  That's morning radio host early, and I'm not a morning radio personality. 

I am usually my most tired right at carpool time.  I've fallen asleep in carpool before.  You know what?  NO ONE stopped to make sure I was alive & just sleeping.  They all just drove around me; heaven forgive if they had to stop to help someone.  Thanks guys.  Not.

I am so tired right now that there is a good chance that I'm going to falllllllllllll...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.  Just kidding, I didn't really fall asleep while typing this, but I know if I closed my eyed I could. 

So on that note, I'm not going to drink any caffeine, I'm going to get ready for bed.  :)  Yea!!!

Y'all have a great night!
Celebrating Life!

Boom Goes My Calendar

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Hello school time schedule.  I didn't really miss you all that much.  I really enjoyed hanging out with the fam & not worrying about who needed to be where, or what homework/projects needed to be completed.  But, now you're back.  Now when I look at what needs to be done, the list is a mile long.  Yeah, you're kinda a drag and you're making me grey.

I think I've bitten off more than I can chew.  I have a tendency to do that.  Everything I am helping with are great things, but when I say yes to someone, I may not be thinking about all the prep work that goes with it, or at the time I may not be doing a whole lot, so adding one more thing is not that big of a deal. 

**Note to self ~ It's a big deal, flex your 'No' muscles.  Some times I just wish I wasn't a joiner.  I like to feel needed, what can I say?  I think I'll move into a cave and become a hermit.  No wait, caves don't have electricity or running water.  I'm kinda spoiled and…

Great...That's Just Great

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Well, I had an interesting day today.  Yes, the children started back to school today & I was going to talk about them going back to school & how I was so excited for them.  But today was another chance to prove what a dork I am.

I had just finished exercising for the day.  I'm feeling great.  I'm running some errands, one of which takes me by my friend Tahara's house.  I jump out of the car get what I need (Thank You T!)  and I'm off to get home, take a shower, and get some work done before I have to drive carpool.



You know what I did instead?  I was able to spend some quality time with the mailman after I run into his mail truck.  Yep you read it right.  I backed into the mailman's truck; put a nice big dent in the door; and shattered the window all the way down inside the door.  Nice grace.  I wasn't worried about me, because I can work later tonight, but I made the mailman get off his timing of delivering the mail.  With it being the first day of…

It's a Great Laugh

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I have to put this video on the blog.  It is one of my all time faves.  I remember the first time I ever saw it I laughed so hard I cried.  I love the look on the dad's face.  I love the look on the children's faces.  They are so not amused.  It's just a great classic commercial.

Click the picture to go to the commercial

I have to say, for the first time ever, I am not looking forward to school starting.  It has been the easiest summer we have ever had.  Everyone got along...for the most part.  We had some great family bonding, but not too much where we wanted to kill each other by the end.  It's just been easy.

I just wanted to share the commercial.  I hope it makes you giggle.  I have to get dinner on the table, it's the day before the first day of school & everyone needs to get to bed early, because after 8 is too late.  :) 

Celebrating Life!
~ashley

End of One Era & the Beginning of Another

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It's the end of an era for the fam.  We "graduated" from the K-3 school & now have moved to the Central school that has 4th and 5th graders.  It's a big deal, we've been at the other school for 12 straight years.  Now, is the beginning of the next era.  This one is short, it's just two years.  Friday we met the little Worm's fourth grade teachers.  Of all the children in the fam, Henry is the last one to find out who he will be spending his days with.  The other three have known since the beginning of August.  So, as you can imagine, Henry has been a little excited to find out who he will have. 

You know that feeling you get the night before something big?  You get butterflies in your stomach & you can't sleep.  That's how I was for Henry.  I know, I'm a dork.  I get excited.  I get nervous.  I really pray Henry has teachers who will appreciate him.  Is he quirky?  Yes.  (the whole apple doesn't fall far from my tree thing applie…

Yes, At Times It Can Be Shocking

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Friday the fam went out to lunch.  Yea!  I don't have to worry about what to feed the peeps today.  Of course the children chose to go a local Japanese steak house.  Yum.  Sushi for me.  :) 

Yes, there are a lot of us, and yes, we're loud.  We've been known to haze each other and pile on while someone had been knocked down.  You need fairly thick skin in this house.  (It's all done in fun & we do love each other very much.)  We arrive at our table, and there were two people already sitting when the six of us fill in the rest of the table.  The man's eyes about popped out of his head.  I looked at him & said:  "yes, we're a pretty big group".  He gave me a totally smart aleck smile & started talking to the woman he came to eat with.

So the orders are placed and they begin to bring out each course:  soup, salad, rice, and meat.  I don't think the people sitting beside me had ever eaten Japanese before.  The guy looked at the onion brot…

Shark Week, Honey Boo Boo, Toddlers & Tiaras, and the Hatfields and Macoys

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Oh my goodness...someone should just turn off the TV.  No wonder on of its nicknames is the boobtube. 

 Some stuff is really great.  I love the history channel.  You can learn some interesting things.  (of which you will need to research to make sure it is correct)  I love Shark Week.  I think everyone loves shark week.  Who doesn't want to see a 16-18 foot Great White Shark breaching the water to try to eat a faux seal with a camera attached.  That's good stuff right there. The Hatfields and McCoys is another documentary that is well done, and is somewhat close to the truth.

Then we have Toddlers & Tiaras and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.  What a train wreck.  Oh wow.  It's like when you get an ulcer in your mouth & you have to keep touching it with your tongue because it hurts.  That is what I equate watching those shows to.  Not only is Honey Boo Boo's mom a pageant mom, she is also an extreme couponer.  It's nuts.


Hoppy & I were up late watching TV.  …

Henry, There's a Small Village Living Under Your Bed

To say that I haven't really inspected the children's rooms all summer would hit the proverbial nail on the head.

It's summer; I didn't want to be nagging too much, I have been somewhat lax in that area for the last two months, and I didn't want to ruin our time together by becoming the clean room nazi.  I love it when everything is put in its place.  I'm this way because nothing is ever put where it belongs unless I come behind the fam & point what I want them to pick-up & where I want them to put it.  Second verse same as the first.  :/

I should have been tipped off about Henry's room when he couldn't find his favorite orange collared shirt one Sunday for church.  I mean, it's his favorite shirt, so I would assume (you know what they say about assuming things) he would put it in the dirty clothes hamper if it was dirty, or hang it back up if it was clean.  He only wore it to church for a few hours, so there's a 50/50 chance it's st…

Noticed Something Funny

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So I'm driving today, trying to get things done before I have to take Harry to the doctor's office & I notice something funny on my arm.  I'm very freckly, but this is not a freckle. 

Having a mother who passed away from melanoma, I'll give you one guess as to what I thought it was.  Since we were going to the dermatologist anyway I asked them to fit me in. 

I'm glad I did.  As Becky, the nurse practitioner, looked at the spot she for sure wanted to biopsy it.  They pull out a needle that's at least a yard long to numb the area they are going to cut on.  I hate needles so much!  I would rather be sick than have a needle stuck in my arm.  Yes, I know you get stuck a lot when you're pregnant, and you know what?  Every time I was jabbed in the arm, I passed out.  Needlephobic, in a major way.

I can't watch them cut on my arm.  Just the thought makes my flesh crawl.  I would make the worst doctor or nurse.

Becky told me that she wasn't worried ab…

Incredible is the Only Word I Can Use

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During the Olympics, NBC was promoting a new show called "Stars Earn Stripes".  I have been looking forward to seeing it since I saw the first commercial.  What a great concept.  You take some huge stars and athletes; pair them with real men of the arm forces (Navy Seals, Delta Force, Marines, SWAT commanders, CIA, the sniper with the most documented kills in US history); give them a mission with live explosions and ammo; and you know what you get?  Incredible TV. 

It now becomes appointment TV.  This was so amazing.  Each celebrity has a charity that centers around the military that they are playing for.  Great is what I'd call it; it's just great.  Now there will be a group celebrities who know what so many of us already do...that the US military, all branches, is the most amazing selfless group of people ever.  They place themselves in danger everyday so I can do stupid things like blog.  They leave their families to go to a forward position.  They think about da…

The Olympics are Over :(

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Well, the summer Olympics are officially over.  Now we have to wait another four years for them to come around.  I have to say it was a great Olympics.  The US has the most medals overall and we lead in every category!  Love it!!  Go Team USA!

I'm going to spin this, so get ready! 

In the US, our athletic system is set-up that if a person is interested in a sport, they can, if they want, choose to pursue said sport to the level they want.  If they want to drop out at any point, ok, no problem.  We not only love the athletes that medal, but all our athletes, and especially the ones who overcome great obstacles to even go to the Olympics.  For example, there was a 37 year old American who ran the men's marathon.  You know where he placed?  4th.  He placed 4th & he's 37!  He was running against guys who were 7-15 years younger.  Now, I'm not going to lie, I wish he had won a medal, but I'm not going to rebuff him because he didn't.  He put in years of trainin…

Don't Need Clouds, Need Sunshine

Ugh, I really need some sunshine.  It has been so cloudy and dreary this morning.  Does it make you sleepy?  It does me.  I wanted it to be a pretty day.  My sister is here visiting and we were going to go float in the water for a bit.  I know we could go float even if it's cloudy but it's not as much fun.

Yes, this is what the diva side of me looks like.  Can you hear my whining?  To take my mind off the weather I think I'll go cook a few things and pray the sun comes out in a few hours.  Oh well...

Celebrating Life!
~ashley

Drivin' Machine

I'm in the car all day today traveling, so there isn't a true post.  I'm just trying not to have too many dead bugs or bird poop on my windshield.  I'm also trying not to fall alseep.  I'm road weary & ready to be home.  :)

Celebrating Life!
~ashley

Hopper is Home!

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Today has been crazy.  You know those days where you're running around like a chicken with your head cut off?  Well, that is me & I have a feeling it will be me for the next 11 days.  (school starts the 20th)






But today was great because Hop came home from football camp.  Of course I was waiting with my camera, duh.  He was so happy to see me take pictures of him.  While I was waiting for him to be done unpacking the equipment truck, I strolled over & took some pictures of his friends who are on the dance line.  I love these girls! :)

He said camp wasn't as hot as in past years.  That's good.  He also said it wasn't as physically demanding either.  The state did away with 3 practices a day.  I think it's silly, but no one asked for my opinion.  I trust our coaches.  They watch the boys very carefully.  I mean they get weighed twice a day to make sure they are not losing too much water weight, and if you have cramps during the practices you get to sit a …

HaHa! Oh Yeah, I Forgot...

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...I hate to bake.  No really, I do.  Love to cook, hate to bake.  I'm so bad at it.  It's partly because I'm lazy, partly because if you mess up while you're cooking you can usually doctor it up and make it taste OK.  Not so in baking.  If you mess up what you're baking, just save yourself some time & throw it in the garbage.  I know some great bakers, and they make some of the best looking and best tasting desserts.  (my mother-in-law can bake like no body's business!) 

So, I tell you this because I told Elizabeth I would bake a cake...from scratch.  What?!  Who said that?!  Did I just say I would bake a cake from scratch?  I want to ask myself:  "Are you stupid or something?".  If stupid is as stupid does, then pass the dunce hat.  I need to wear it for a bit.  I tried to make a German chocolate cake.  Tried being the key phrase.  Looking at the finished product, that is not what I made.  I made a very dense chocolate cake.  My pride won'…

Well, at Least I Look Like an Olympian...Kinda

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You've seen all the different Olympic athletes with that funky tape on their backs, hamstrings, feet, shoulders, and anywhere else they may need it.

Well, you know who is wearing the ole' KT tape?  That would be me.  Can I tell you how cool I look.  OK, not really, but I feel like I look like an Olympian, maybe...in my own mind. 

I have to say though, it's hard to put KT tape on your own calf, especially when your leg is supposed to be in the stretched position while you put it on, and said calf hurts while you are trying to apply it.  Yesterday I put it on myself and I didn't do too well. It came off in the middle of me exercising.  Trying to get little people to help you doesn't really go well either.  Trying to tell them where to place the tape and how to stretch didn't go very smoothly this morning, but as of 4:30 it is still on.  :)  Yea!

Well, it has felt great to get back to exercising.  I was not even getting my heart rate up riding the bike.  (and I…

Geography & Breaking Down Barriers

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Have you ever had someone who sells books come to your house and try to get you to buy the equivalent of an entire library, and they won't take no for an answer?  Yesterday, thanks to a neighbor, I was able to meet a very nice young college student.  Her name was Elizabeth.

The fact that Elizabeth was a college student was not the big deal, the fact that she was from Estonia was.  I asked her how she was holding up in the Alabama heat.  She said everyone was asking her that.  Well duh, Estonia is located right under Finland & the daily high during the month of August is between 74 and 65 degrees.  It's a little hotter here.  I mean, Estonia is on the 60 degree longitudinal line.  That's on the same longitude the southern part of Alaska.  We're a little warmer down here than Alaska.

Another barrier was language.  I couldn't imagine going to a foreign country and trying to speak the language.  Elizabeth, actually spelled, Elizaveta (Eлизaвeтa), is trilingual.  I…

110 on the Field and 5 Days To Go

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Today I had to rush home after church to get Hopson to the high school so he could leave to go to his final preseason football camp.  I am very surprised that he allowed Hopson and I to drive him.  Yes, I used the word allowed, he really didn't have a say which may be why he didn't fight the prospect of us going.  Each fall, the coaches take the team to a college campus for 5 days.  They do it to get the guys focused and to build team unity.  The boys hate it.  It is usually about 110 degrees on the field.  The boys have to get weighed twice a day to make sure they aren't losing too much water weight.  Coach gets them up at 5am for meetings, and they run drill after drill after drill, until they get it right. 

You may be wondering how I feel about all this?  I'll be completely truthful, I think it's great!  It's good for young men to work hard and be pushed.  It's good for them to get yelled at and be held accountable for their actions.  This world can be…

Thinking of My Friends

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Tomorrow a lot of my friends will be moving their college freshman out of their home, and into a dorm, apartment or house.  I'm thinking about my friends.  I'm praying that everything goes smoothly.  I'm praying for safety while their chicks are outside the nest.  I'm so thankful...so thankful, that it is not me, but it will be, in 365 days. 


Do you know how fast a year is?  If you ask a pregnant mom to be, it's like a turtle running a marathon.  If you ask a mother of a senior in high school, it's way too fast.  I wish I could slow down time.  I wish I could give my friends one more night with their children under their roof, because once they leave, life is never the same.  Home is just a place you visit, not really a place you call home.  I remember the exact moment I realized that, and I'm not ready for my child to realize that yet.  I like them all in the nest.  Even if they don't spend a lot of time here, they at least have to sleep here, an…

Check It Off the List

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This week was school registration week for the fam.  The sweet ladies who are in charge of registration have the patients of Job, and a true servant's heart.  They work all summer to make sure that fall registration runs smoothly, and that parents get in and out as quickly as possible, with as little hassle as possible.  Excellence doesn't happen as an after thought. It is intentional, and they are intentional.

I love to be a registration worker bee.  I love to have a smile on my face and do what ever job I've been assigned to.  I hope they think I do a good job.  I hope they think I'm not being a pain when I have questions that are above my pay grade to answer. 

My job at the high school was the easiest.  I sat at a table with one of Hopson's friend's moms and asked people to join the PTO.  Basically we smiled and talked to people as they came through the line.  We gave some encouragement and hugs.  We laughed and talked about how we couldn't believe how…

A Little Bone to Pick

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I have a little bone to pick with Team USA.  Hey y'all, will you please sing our national anthem when you win the gold medal?  I mean, you're standing there on the top level of the podium; the gold medal is hanging around your neck; our flag is being raised above all others; our national anthem is the one being played; and you are just standing there.  You are a citizen of the greatest country in the world.  Sing, please sing.  If you're not going to sing, then I want you smiling and/or crying like crazy.

I can't even imagine all the work you have done to get to the point where you are now.  All the years of training, and forgoing a 'regular life' to pursue your dream.  I'm just a random mom from Alabama, but my patriotism is deep.  When you medal, we all medal.  We love your spirit, love it when you recognize your competitors, and love your sportsmanship.  Remember that there are hundred of thousands of little children watching you and wanting to be just …

It's Your Day & I Became a Mommy

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This time 18 years ago I was very sick, and about to become a mommy.  11:01 pm Hopson was brought into the world at 36 weeks; 5 lbs 11 ozs; 19 1/2" long.  He was a little peanut baby, but he was all mine.

His birth story was a hard one.  If I had lived before the time of modern medicine, I would have died in childbirth.  That's a great thought to have 18 years later isn't it?  It's not meant to be morbid, just me being thankful for each day, and reflecting on my own mortality.

I had pre-eclampsia with the HELLP syndrome.  I went in for a typical non-stress test on a Friday.  No biggie.  The next thing I know, I'm being admitted to the hospital because they were afraid I was about to have a stroke.  Um, no, can't be admitted, have to go and clean my house and change my sheets.  It's sheet changing day.  They told me I had no choice.  Nice.  They were throwing all these terms at me that I had no idea what they meant.  I called Hopson & told him what was…