Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Hello 2014!

W had a fantastic NYE.  We ordered some pizza, had Allie and Brandon over, and shot some fireworks!  A perfect night!

While the boys watched football, Annie, Allie, and I played.  Annie kept wanting to take pictures with the cameras.  She took pictures of me and of Allie, and then said, "My turn!"  And on it went. 

 She was so proud of herself when she finally figured out how to turn it on!

The best part of the night was when Annie climbed up in a chair, wrapped her little arms around both of us and said, "I have both!"  It melted my heart.  At that moment, I felt so happy to be spending my New Year's Eve with her. 

Then Anniston wanted to make cards.  By making cards I mean grabbing my stash of greeting cards and sticking little file tabs on them.  She would stick one or two in the card and then say, "Mommy, I made for you."  Of course, then she wanted me to make one for her as well. This sweet girl has the biggest heart already.  She loves making me things and giving them to me.  And when I gush about how much I love it, she just stands there and grins. 

A perfect night, if you ask me! 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Farewell, Kroger

After much contemplation, I have made the decision to leave my job at Kroger of 6 years and switch to a smaller, independent pharmacy.  This was a very tough decision, to say the least.  I love my job at Kroger.  I love my patients that have been with me for all these years and I love my co-workers.  But working until 8 pm 2-3 nights at week, having a 35-40 minute drive home, and working very long weekends is hard when you have a family.  We've made it work so far, and sometimes I haven't minded as much because I do love my job- but this was ultimately not what we wanted for our family in the long run.

I wasn't actively looking for a new job, but when a friend of mine called me and told me about the new job opening I just had to check it out.  After a quick phone call and an informal meeting the next day with the owner- the job was mine-if I wanted it.  I just couldn't pass it up- the hours and location were fantastic.  It's only about 10 minute from my house and the latest I will ever work is 6 pm.  The fact that my new boss is possibly one of the nicest people I've ever met is an added bonus!  And did I also mention no holidays?  That's practically unheard of in the pharmacy world!

Still, it's scary.  I don't like change.  The fear of the unknown is terrifying to me.  I hate the thought of not seeing my sweet techs everyday- some of them have become really good friends of mine.  And it makes me sad to know that I will be leaving my awesome patients whom I've gotten really close to over the last 6 years.  I'm nervous and anxious, but I feel this is the right move for us right now.  I will be home with Anniston more- and that's the most important thing.  And I will have a more consistent schedule which will be better for us all as a family.

My last day was December 26th and I'm not starting my new job until January 2nd.  That means I have almost an entire week off while Anniston is out of school to spend some quality time with her! 

Of course, leaving was hard.  The entire pharmacy went out to eat as sort of a farewell dinner about a week or so before my last day. 

These 2 girls were my first every technicians I hired when I first became manager 5 years ago.  They have stuck with me and have turned into some of the best technicians I've ever had. 

My Kroger family!

And my awesome store manager threw me a sort of farewell party at the store, complete with a gigantic cake!  I feel so blessed to have had such a great job these last 6 years.  Kroger has been so good to me and I've really enjoyed my time there. 

It's now time to close one chapter in my life and begin a new one. A new year, a new job! Bring on 2014!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

What We've Been Up To- More Christmas + Zoo Lights

Christmas has come and gone- well, sort of.  We still had two more gatherings to attend, but for the most part it's time to relax and get ready to ring in the New Year!

I have quite a bit of time off from work this week (and next) and we plan to make the most of it.  Thursday night after work we met up with Allie and Brandon for Zoo Lights.  My mom and dad kept Anniston Thursday during the day while I was at work and once they mentioned that we were going to take her to the zoo later that night to see the animals and lights that's all she talked about all day.  My girl loves her some animals!

We all went to grab a quick bite to eat at Bosco's before heading to the zoo.  The entire car ride there went something like this:

Anniston:  "Going to see animals?"
Me:  "Yes!  We are going to the zoo to see the animals and the Christmas lights!"
Anniston:  "Going to see animals?"
Me:  "Yep- we are on our way to see the animals!"

And on it went the entire.way.there.

The lights were pretty cool.  They had lights in the shape of a train and snowman, which Anniston really enjoyed.  There weren't too many animals to see that late at night, much to Anniston's disappointment.  I felt so bad, she kept asking to see the giraffes, elephants, and pandas but none were out and about.  We did get to see some reindeer- which she got REALLY excited about.  It surprises me that she's not the least bit intimidated.  She walked right up to the gate, bent down and put her hands on her knees and said, "Come here reindeer."  It was so cute:) 

Then we came across the merry go round.  We stood and watched for a minute and when it stopped Anniston turned to me and said, "My turn, Mommy?"  Yet again, I was surprised she wanted to ride it.  Of course, I made Brandon go with her since even merry go rounds make me green in the face.  He let her pick which animal she wanted to ride.  Her choice- the panda:)  She and Brandon had SO much fun.  I think it was the highlight of the night.  She got upset when it was over and begged to ride again.  She kept wanting me to go with her and would say, "Come on Mommy!  Ride!  It be fun!"  She settled for waving at me and saying "Hey Mommy, look at me" every time she passed by me.  Allie rode with them the second time and got some really cute pics of her and Brandon having fun.

Even though we didn't get to see many animals, we still had a blast.  I've GOT to take her back to the zoo once it warms up so this girl can get her animal fix!

Friday we stayed in all morning, playing with all her new toys and organizing them into some sort of order.  That afternoon we met up with her cousins, Aunt Tara, and Mimi for Anniston's first ever movie- Frozen.  Brandon and I were fully prepared to not stay the entire time but I was hoping she would enjoy at least a little bit of it.  She did!  She was so good.  She plopped herself down in between the twins with her yogurt bites in one cup holder and her water bottle in the other and was ready for the movie to start.  When the actual movie started and the lights went out, her eyes got really big and she didn't know what to think!  She loved it though.  She would dance in her seat and giggle at the little song and dances.  About 45 minutes in she crawled up in my lap and we ended up having to leave with about 20 minutes left in the movie.  We didn't want to push our luck- I was so proud she did so well!

Tonight we had our Christmas with my dad's side of the family.  Annie was excited to get to open more presents.  Her favorite one by far was the little Fur-Real kitten that Allie got her.  We pass by these at every trip to Target and she goes nuts over them.  Her facial expression and reaction when she opened it up was priceless.  She was beyond excited.  She would hug it and say "I love it!"  We all had a great time and Annie enjoyed getting to play with all her cousins.

We have one more Christmas gathering to go before Christmas is officially over for us!  Happy Saturday!!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas 2013

Christmas morning we all woke up bright and early and were so eager to see what Santa had brought the night before.  Brandon went downstairs ahead of us to start the video camera so we could get Anniston's reaction.  She was surprised to say the least!  She just stood there for a second and stared at it all.  Then she ran over to all the toys to start inspecting it all. 

The Disney princess castle and the teepee were the first two things she gravitated towards.  It was so fun to see her excitement over it all!  She had fun pulling gifts out of her stocking.  One of her favorite things from her stocking was a little Dora chapstick set.  She carried those around and loved putting it her lips (and cheeks.) 

She also loved her Minnie Mouse vacuum cleaner and the little play makeup set I got her.  She watches me put on my makeup every morning and loves to play with my makeup brushes- now she has her own set!  We let her play with all the stuff Santa had set out and then we ate a quick breakfast before opening the few gifts he had set out under the tree.  She loved the little play broom set (she loves to sweep with my real broom) and the Caillou DVD and book.

She LOVED her lion and elephant!  I was so glad I got them for her after she asked Santa to bring them (over and over and over, I might add.)  She hugged them and said, "Thank you, Santa!"
After all the presents from Santa had been opened and played with, it was time to get ready for our company.  This is the first year that my family has come to Memphis for Christmas and it was so nice to be able to stay in our pjs and play with all her toys that morning instead of having to rush off to Jackson.  The rest of our family arrived and Anniston had fun showing everyone all the toys she got.

After we ate, it was time to open presents!  Kay Kay got her a Disney princess camera just like her Aunt Allie's.  The first thing she did was point it at me and said, "Say cheese, Mommy!"  This girl knows what to do with a camera, thanks to Aunt Allie!

We all had so much fun and everyone stayed until early evening before heading back home.  I'm so glad we hosted Christmas at our new house this year- it was so nice letting Anniston play with all her toys all day long instead of traveling.  It was a great day with all of my favorite people!

Christmas Eve 2013

It was a very Merry Christmas Eve at the Medling house!  Brandon and I informed Anniston the night before that there would be a present from Mommy and Daddy downstairs when she woke up in the morning.  We laid around in the bed, watching cartoons until we all were fully awake.  Then we all came downstairs to this:

Anniston was so in shock I don't think she knew what to do.  She kind of just looked at it strangely until she realized what it was.  I think she was overwhelmed at first and a little bit skeptical because it does make a low humming noise when the fan is on and it's blown up.  So I had to get in there and bounce around like an idiot while she watched from the den windows to show her how much fun it was going to be. 

That's all it took and she was off- jumping around, bouncing, and acting like a kid gone crazy.  She LOVED it!  And I'm so happy she loved it.  Brandon was so excited to give her this present.  I think he was just as excited as Anniston was. 

Our friends have one of these, and every time we go over for a play date, they blow it up outside and let the kids go crazy.  It's awesome.  They even blow theirs up in the garage on rainy days.  We had been thinking about getting one for Anniston for a couple of months, but we didn't want to spend a lot of money.  We thought it would be a great way for her to be active and it would be so much fun when we had other kids come over to play.  It's a bonus that it fits in our sunroom and garage too for when it's rainy, cold, or too hot outside.  We found this at Bargain Hunt here in Memphis for about $150- which is a HUGE price difference compared to what they go for at retail.  We were sold.  It blows up and deflates in about 5 minutes- and is so easy to do.  It folds up neatly in a duffle bag so we can get it out and store it away easily.  I'm so happy she loves it!  We jumped in it all day:)

Other than that, Anniston and I ran a few errands that morning- Target, UPS, and Fresh Market.  We went super early to avoid the crowds.  Afterwards, we came home to bake cookies for Santa.  She kept asking "I eat some too, Mommy?"  Well, obviously!  That's the best part, I told her.  Santa loves to share!

After a good long nap (thanks to the bouncy house!) we headed over to Mimi's for our Christmas with Brandon's family.

Annie loves her cousins and always wants to do everything they do.  They are so sweet to her too and always include her.  They spent some time coloring and drawing pictures while we waited on the food to be ready.

After dinner, it was present time!  Anniston loved opening up her presents now that she understands that there is a gift inside for her!  She got so many fun things and had a blast playing with it all.  Mimi got her a new raincoat and rain boots and of course, Anniston had to try it all on. 

Then we told her that it was almost time to go, so she packed up all her loot in an oversized Christmas bag and toted it around all over the house.

Here is what all she got:

Once we got home that evening, Brandon and I gave her one more present.  Inside was a set of new Christmas pjs and some Dora slippers.  Then we set out our cookies for Santa.

Last year, Brandon read The Night Before Christmas to her before bed on Christmas Eve.  He did the same thing this year.  Look how much she has grown!


Brandon and I had so much fun setting out all her toys from Santa after she went to bed.  I think she is pretty set on toys for the year!  I couldn't help myself- it was so much fun to buy for her this year. 


I think her and Brandon are going to have a lot of fun with that soccer goal.  Can you spot the highly requested lion and elephant:)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Celebrating the Season- Our Weekend

We had a lot of fun this weekend doing Christmas related things.  I just want to bottle up this time with Anniston because she is at such a fun age right now.  It's just so fun getting in the holiday spirit with her and seeing everything through her little 2 year old eyes. 

We spent most of Saturday doing things around the house.  I've been working on decorating our master bedroom so Anniston and I took a trip to Target to get a few things.  I also slipped in a few more Christmas presents while we were there.  You see, that is the problem with finishing your shopping early- I keep buying stuff! 

All ready to go to Target.  As you can see, Bella still goes everywhere with her!

After nap, we met our good friends Emily and Frank, and their two girls, Ava and Olivia at the Pink Palace for the Enchanted Forest.  We went last year (twice) but Anniston doesn't remember, so I was excited for her to experience everything again now that she is older.   It was an added bonus that Ava and Olivia were there for her to play with and she ended up having a great time.  We all did, actually.  It's not very big and doesn't take long to go through it, but seeing Anniston's eyes light up at all the figurines and trains was so much fun.  Once again, she absolutely did NOT want to go near Santa, so we waved again from a distance. 

The lighting was horrible and all I took was my iphone- this is the best I got!

Afterwards, we all went to eat at one of mine a Brandon's all time favorite restaurants, Bosco's.  We used to eat there regularly when we lived in East Memphis, so it was nice going to one of our old hang out spots.  The girls were so good even though we had to wait almost 30 minutes for a table.  It was worth the wait, though and they entertained each other.

Sunday morning my parents came in town for a bit to help with a little squirrel issue we were having in our attic.  Anniston was so excited to see her Poppy and Kay Kay and even Aunt Allie visited for a little bit before she had to go to work. 

Later that evening, we got all dressed up and headed to Germantown Baptist church for the Christmas program with Brandon's family.  It was only supposed to last an hour, so I was hoping the music and singing would entertain Anniston for that long.  She loved it!  She danced, pretend played the drums, and clapped so enthusiastically after each performance.  And when it was time to pray, she bowed her head and put her hands together.  It melted my heart:)

Blogging tips