Thursday, June 28, 2012


I'm slightly partial (okay, really partial) when it comes to my beautiful baby girl. She is truly the prettiest,  most gorgeous baby in my eyes.  That's how every mother should feel about their child.

I owe a huge thank you to my amazing and fabulous sister for capturing my baby girl's beauty and sweet personality with these pictures.    Please go check them out and tell my sister how great she is! And by the way- she is not even a professional photographer!

I'm pretty sure I cried the first time I saw them after the photo shoot.  They are so awesome.  So thank you, Allie, for capturing how truly beautiful and wonderful my sweet baby girl is!  I will treasure these pictures always.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

1.  I'm loving that Anniston and I had a play date with our friends Amanda and her little boy, Bridger yesterday.  Bridger is almost 5 months and they had so much fun playing together!

2.  I'm loving that I booked an hour long massage on Friday!  I need it and I'm looking forward to a little pampering!

3.  I love that the Olympics is about to start!  I've been watching some of the trials and I can't wait until July.  I really love the summer Olympics- there are so many sports that I enjoy watching.  It's always so inspiring to watch these amazing athletes dedicate their lives to training for this.  Go Team Phelps!

4.  I love this monogram necklace that I purchased from Etsy a couple of weeks ago.  I've already had so many compliments on it and people asking where I purchased it.  The shop is ElizaJayCharm and she is VERY afordable. I bought a turquoise one and a cream colored one!

5.  Lastly, I'm loving my sweet baby girl who always brightens my day with her smile:)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Our Wild Weekend

Oh yes- Brandon and I are huge party animals. We lived it up this past weekend during our little "vacation" here in Memphis.  We got wild and crazy and acted like we were 21 all over again.

Okay- that is your huge dose of sarcasm for the day.  

So even though we didn't party hardy we had a GREAT weekend.  After going back and forth and back and forth about taking a long weekend out of town to ourselves we finally decided to just rent a hotel room here in town.  The thought of being in an entire different state than my baby just didn't really sit well with me but Brandon and I really wanted a few nights to ourselves.  Staying in Memphis seemed like the perfect solution!

We actually had some Hilton points built up so we put them to good use and came out only paying $100 for 2 nights at our local Hilton hotel.  Score!

My mom drove into town Friday afternoon and my dad came and joined her later that night.  I kissed my little Annie Ruth about a dozen times before we left and made sure to tell my mom to expect lots of phone calls and texts!  Here are a couple of pics I snapped before we left:

I dropped B off at the hotel to watch a soccer game that was coming on and I went and ran a few errands around town.  I had been putting off these errands for awhile so it was nice to knock them out in an hour or two!  After that, we spent a little time laying out at the hotel pool and then headed to dinner and a movie.  We saw "Rock of Ages" and it was fantastic.  I can see how it might not be for everyone but B and I LOVED it!  Tons of great 80's songs and the outfits were awesome!  I so wish some of the 80's clothes would come back into style:)  Have I mentioned what a huge 80's fan I am??

After the movie it was nearing our bedtime so we crawled into bed for a little TV and relaxation- oh yes we are getting old!  We were up bright and early Saturday morning for a huge breakfast at a great local restaurant- Blue Plate Cafe.  Afterwards we headed downtown to walk down Main Street and window shop.  We had no specific purpose and it was so nice to just wander around holding hands:)

Lunch was another Memphis classic- Earnestine and Hazel's!  If you ever come to Memphis you must come here.  Tons of movies have been filmed here and another one is starting in a couple of weeks.  There is no menu- just the one and only "soul burger" and chips.  It started out as an apothecary shop then later became a brothel (gasp!) up until the mid '90s.  Now it is old and run down (but clean!) but that only adds to the character and charm! 

 After a quick trip to Babies R Us we holed ourselves up in our hotel room for the rest of the afternoon.  B watched a soccer game while I pretended to watch but really just played on the internet.  It was SO nice to just be LAZY for a change!  We had the best time!  We ate a quick dinner out and came back to the room to watch a movie in our pjs!  I do miss times like those but I wouldn't trade our life right now for anything!  Sunday morning I was hurrying Brandon to get ready and load our bags so I could see my baby girl!

We had a great weekend and I know my mom and dad had a lot of fun getting to spend time with her so it worked out great for us all!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Meeting Uncle Rusty

One of my very best (and oldest) friends drove to Memphis today to meet me and Anniston for lunch.

Rusty and I have known each other since the 6th grade!  How crazy is that?  He is pretty much my best guy friend and has always been like a brother to me.  We graduated high school together, went off to separate colleges, and ended up getting accepted to the same pharmacy school the same year!

As we prepared for our move to Memphis to start pharmacy school, we really didn't know many people that would be in our class so we decided to live together and share the high priced rent that came with living on Mud Island by the Mississippi River.

Best. Decision. Ever.  Let me tell you girls how nice it was to live with a guy (and a clean one at that!) We got along great and had a lot of fun times.  Some of the best memories I have are our "taco nights", watching Fear Factor (remember that show?), and having all night study sessions.  I remember one night our first year that we stayed up practically all night to study for a Pharmaceutics exam.  We had a BioChem exam earlier that day that prevented any of us from studying for the Pharmaceutics exam until 5 pm that night!  It was mostly memorization so we thought we could put it all in short term memory and memorize it all in one night!  We went through 3 or 4 bags of popcorn that night.  By about 2 or 3 am we were so exhausted  and tired of studying we could barely remember any of the things we had studied!  We did well on it though and it was nice to have a study partner to stay up and study with you all night.

Our fourth year of pharmacy school, Rusty had to go to Knoxville, TN to do his rotations while I stayed in Memphis to complete mine.  I moved to a 1-bedroom apartment and I sure did miss my roommate!  He lives in Jackson, TN now and we try to meet up whenever we can.  I wish he still lived in Memphis. I had a lot of fun visiting with my old friend today and catching up and I'm so glad he finally got to meet Anniston!

It is so crazy how time flies....

Me and Rusty in 7th grade....hold your laughter please:)

12th grade...

 High School graduation '96...

Pharmacy School...

Pharmacy School graduation '07...

Uncle Rusty and Anniston 2012...

I'm lucky to have such a great, old friend- we've been through a lot together and I'm grateful we still keep in touch!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Little Trip Home

Anniston and I drove to Jackson, TN today to spend part of the day with my family.  It's been almost 4 months since we have made the trip and this was the first time I have driven with her by myself.  I will admit I was a tinsy bit worried she would get bored or restless and start screaming her head off while we were on the interstate and it would send me into a panic but really, I knew she would do fine.

She slept about 75% of the time and when she woke up and started squirming I quickly plugged in my iPod so we could jam out to "I'm A Little Teapot."  We only had to listen to it about 5 or 6 times before we reached Jackson.  Considering I did not want to throw the "I'm A Little Teapot playing iPod" out the window before we got there I would say it was a successful trip!

We met my mom at her work so she could show Anniston off to all her co-workers.  They've all seen her before, but it was when she was just a month or two old.  She is such a little ham- and so good natured.  She let anyone and everyone hold her and when someone would smile and talk to her she would just grin right back.  We also went to see my aunt Nancy, who works there as well and then we all headed over to her house to meet my grandmother for lunch.

We played hard after lunch so she would be good and worn out on the trip back.  They were all amazed at how much better she is pulling up now.  She is able to keep her balance better now and has gotten faster at pulling herself up.  We all had a lot of fun playing with her.

Playing peek-a-boo with Kay Kay...

Tickle fest on the couch with Great-Grandmother and Aunt Nancy...

Ooh, I love these bright, shiny buttons and necklace you have on....

She was definitely worn out after all that playing.  We stopped by my dad's work on the way out of town, and she had already fallen alseep.  I woke her up (slight mistake!) so my dad could see her thinking she would fall back asleep on the way home.  Nope.  She squirmed and fussed until I finally pulled over about halfway to Memphis and gave her a bottle to relax her a bit.  She finally fell asleep right outside of Memphis.  All in all- it was a very good trip.  She did very well for so much driving back and forth in one day!

My Sweet Princess

I just wanted to post a couple of pictures I took this past weekend- seriously, could she be any cuter?

This is her standing up in her playpen.  She no longer cares too much about playing in there- she mostly wants to practice standing up and looking over top to see what I'm doing!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

First Father's Day

We had a fabulous Father's Day Weekend.  Brandon had a dinner to attend Friday night, and then had to work for most of the day on Saturday but luckily he was off all day today to enjoy his first Father's Day with us!

Saturday Anniston and I had a girls day- we went for a jog that morning and did a little shopping that afternoon.  When Brandon was done with work for the day we all went to eat at one of our favorite places in midtown- Bosco's.

This morning Anniston and I set out Brandon's Father's Day gifts before he woke up.

This book is supposed to be really great and Brandon really enjoys reading books.  I had the card made from Shutterfly.

To celebrate Father's Day, Brandon went and got us donuts from Gibson's Donuts for breakfast this morning.  We have never eaten them before but actually saw them featured on a TV show on the Food Network.  Apparently, they are the best donuts in town and very popular- how have we not had them yet?  Although we are not huge donut fans we decided to give them a try.  Let me just say- the red velvet donuts are to die for!  Ah-mazing!

I want to wish my dad and Brandon a very happy Father's Day!  I love you both very much!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Anniston is 8 Months!

My Sweet Anniston,

It feels like I just posted your 7 month letter!  Where does the time go?  It flies when you're having fun- and that's what we've been doing for sure!  You are at such a fun age right now.  We talk and play and run errands together.  I LOVE spending my days with you!

You are doing so many new things this month that I have to mention.  The first thing you learned to do this month was to go from sitting to all fours and vice versa.  Once you had that down that is all you wanted to do.  You could even make it across the play mat by just doing that!  After a few weeks of that you began CRAWLING!  You would take a few steps the week before Memorial Day but were still unsure of it.  You were still wobbly and a little uncoordinated but we practiced every day.  By the next week you had it down pat!  You are such a fast learner.  Your Aunt Allie and I underestimated you one time and it led to a big spill of a diet coke can!  We learned our lesson though after that.

You have really began to enjoy your playpen more this month.  It makes me happy that you are content to play independently for a bit so I can put a load in the washer, eat breakfast or dinner, or just do whatever I need to do around the house.  Sometimes you will fuss for a minute when I put you in there but once you realize I'm not going to pick you back up you then get distracted by all the toys you have in there and you have fun playing with them.

You have also started pulling up to standing!  This really started at the end of the month and you were very unsteady on your feet but you loved doing it.  One morning I came in your nursery and found you holding onto the railing standing up!  You had the cutest grin on your face and were so proud of yourself.

You love to go places!  We go to Target all the time because you have so much fun sitting up in the cart like a big girl and looking around at everything.  You will even giggle for no reason just because you're having so much fun.  You love to go down the toy aisle and look at all the toys on display.  Some of them make sounds as we walk by and that just cracks you up!  Your dad and I take you out to restaurants quite often now and we have the best time.  You love to eat when we eat and you enjoy sitting in your highchair looking around at everything.  You are usually very good and it makes for a fun family outing!

You have started "dancing" this month as well.  Sometimes at night we put on music and dad and I will sing along.  You will bounce up and down to the music and smile and giggle.  It is so cute!  You also love riding in the jogging stroller while I run, playing in your swimming pool, and swinging in your swing set.  You also love to sit beside Dad at night on the couch and watch Pardon The Interruption or soccer with him.  You love it when he gets really into the games and gets excited about a goal.  You will smile and giggle when he yells out in excitement.  It is so funny!  You and I have started watching So You Think You Can Dance together because I think you are going to love to dance:)

You are growing so fast!  You weigh 21.3 lbs and are 27.5 inches tall.  You wear mostly 9 month clothes but can fit in some 12 month clothes.  You are wearing a size 3 diaper now (although you have a lot of room to grow) and a size 4 nighttime diaper.

Your sleeping has gotten so much better!  Bedtime is 7:30 pm.  Sometimes you will wake in the middle of the night for a bottle but you will usually go right back to bed afterwards.  Sometimes you don't wake at all and will sleep all night!  You have been better at sleeping until 5/5:30 am when it is usually time for us to wake up.  If you wake before that and seem restless then I will put you in bed with me to doze for a little while longer.  When I'm off work we both will lie down in the afternoons and take a nap together.  I love our snuggle time and holding you in my arms while you sleep.

You are taking four 5 oz bottles a day with one 6 oz bottle before bedtime.  You eat solids at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  You have still been unsure of any table food we have tried to give you.  You make a horrible face and act like it is the yuckiest thing on earth.  It's getting better though!  You take a little juice or water in a sippy cup around dinnertime.  You have started drinking water better than you do juice so we have started switching to that.

You are growing up so fast that sometimes I get sad but then I have so much fun watching you learn new things that it makes up for it.  Each day gets better and better.  I thank God every night that he brought me you.  You are so perfect and beautiful in my eyes and I feel so lucky that I get to be your Mommy.

I love you baby girl!

Hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

(1)  I'm loving that my vacation officially starts in 2 days!  B and I have a "stay-cation" planned here in Memphis and I'm so excited about it!  I also get to spend lots of time with Anniston and hopefully I can squeeze in some time to plan a little more of her birthday party!

(2)  I'm loving these iPhone/iPad covers I found at Toys R Us this past weekend.  They make your device completely baby proof (and that includes drool proof!)  I have several apps downloaded to entertain her when needed but I try to only use that as a last resort.  I don't want her to become addicted to the iPad plus I don't think it's good for her eyes to watch it a lot.  Sometimes when we are out at restaurants she needs a little something extra to entertain her during the last 15 minutes or so of our dinner so this will be good for that!

(3)  B and I have a new show- The United Stats of America.  This show is so cool- it talks about all kinds of unique stats in America.  Everything from height, weight, work, transportation- it is so interesting and the guys that host are really funny and witty.

(4)  I love that Anniston has started "dancing" to music.  Sometimes at night we turn on some music and sing along and dance to it.  She will sit on the floor and bounce up and down when the music comes on.  It is so cute!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Cake and A Tooth

Yesterday was a great day because:

#1- I've been at my job for 5 years as of yesterday.  In honor of that, my store managers surprised me a cake and a card! When they came back to the pharmacy with the cake I looked around thinking that it was one of my tech's birthdays and I missed it.  I guess I hadn't realized yesterday marked my 5 year anniversary!  It was so nice of them and we all got to enjoy a fabulous cake the rest of the day!

#2- Anniston has gotten her first tooth!  I came home from work last night and asked Brandon if she was as cranky last night as she was yesterday morning.  He said no but that she had really been gnawing on stuff more than usual (our fabulous sitter Kristi alerted him to this.)  I brushed it off as a "teething spell" that we seem to assume she goes through although we had yet to see a tooth!  We changed the subject and then about 30 minutes later Brandon just randomly tells me that she has a tooth.  WHAT???  "Why didn't you tell me that before?" I asked him.  "I wanted you to be surprised in the morning, but I couldn't hold it in any longer" was his response.  How cute.  Since she slept all night (yippee!) I didn't get to check until this morning and she most definitely has a tooth coming in.  I could see it and feel it!

She has been in a GREAT mood this morning.  She actually slept past her usual 5:00 am wake up time.  Of course, I woke up then and was suspicious that everything was okay, but I dozed for a little while longer.  About 6:15 we heard a crash from the nursery and we panicked.  Brandon raced in there only to find her standing up in her crib and her humidifier laying on the floor.  The little stinker had reached over and pushed it off the table where it sits next to her crib!  Thank goodness she was okay.

This week has started off great and I only have 3 more days of work until it's vacation time!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

My Little Cheerio Eating Puller-Upper

Forget crawling- all Anniston wants to do these days is pull up- on everything.  She is going to give me a heart attack one of these days and I have a feeling this is just the beginning!  I can't leave her side for one minute when she is down on the floor because she will find something, anything, to pull up on.  She is still very unstable and cannot last long standing up so I have to be right beside her for fear of her falling and hurting herself.  She has already had one little bruise on her forehead but so far hasn't cried or gotten upset any of the times she has fallen or bumped her head.  She's one tough little girl.

This weekend is the St. Jude Classic golf tournament in Memphis.  This is a really big deal for the city because #1- tons of famous pro golfers are in the city and #2- it supports St. Jude!  Brandon has a friend that works the tournament so he came in town for the weekend.  Brandon's been busy hanging out at the golf course with him and taking him to some great BBQ restaurants.  I'm not at all into golf but it is scary how much I know about the sport and most of the popular players- I blame it on having to hear Brandon talk about it all the time!  I will say that my favorite player is Rory McIlroy- Brandon and I both love him! I also love saying his name- it's just fun! I'm so jealous that Brandon got to watch him play in person this weekend!

My mom and grandmom were nice enough to come into town Friday night to pick up Anniston and keep her while I worked and Brandon went to the tournament.  They had a lot of fun keeping her and seeing her pull up on everything.

Anniston is now a Cheerio addict!  So far she hasn't been all too interested in real people food.  She makes a horrible face with everything I've tried to give her.  I decided to try some Cheerios the other day and she LOVED them!  She even really "chews" on them.  We went to dinner with a friend Saturday night and I gave her some while at dinner.  She would fuss and fuss if I stopped giving them to her.  She was chewing on them so much my friend asked, "Does she have any teeth?"  "Nope," I said.  "She's just gummin' them!"  I think she likes to think she's being a big girl by eating and chewing like Mommy and Daddy do!  Ha ha.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

My Best Friend (The Furry Kind)

As much as I might like to think that I'm "Queen of the House" that title really goes to our dog, Ruby.  She rules and protects this house- and pretty much gets whatever she wants!

I was rocking Anniston in her nursery the other day and noticed how Ruby always comes in there with us and sits on the rug while we read or or rock.  In general, she moves with us from room to room and sits and watches us play.  I had a really bad dream a couple of nights ago about Ruby getting sick and it got me thinking how much I love her.  I've wanted to do a post about Ruby for awhile now so that later on when she's gone I (and Anniston) will remember how much we enjoyed having her in our lives.

Growing up, I was never a dog person.  I just wasn't around them much.  When Brandon and I got married I felt like we needed a furry little friend- someone for me to nurture and take care of because we knew we wanted to wait awhile before having kids.  I didn't really care what kind of dog we got- I was inclined to get a small dog that would be cute and cuddle with me but I was open to Brandon's suggestions.  He wanted a boxer.  His best friend growing up had a boxer and Brandon loved going over there to play with him.  Research has shown that boxers are very kid friendly, so that was important as well.

I did all the "shopping" for our new addition.  I found an ad in the newspaper for some brindle puppy boxers out on a farm in Jackson, TN (my hometown.)  I didn't know what a brindle was but the price was good and I knew the area where the farm was and felt good about it.  That next weekend, Brandon and I drove to Jackson, picking up my dad along the way (he's a HUGE dog lover) and went out to see the puppies.  There were only two puppies left- a boy and a girl.  We wanted a girl so we really didn't have much of a choice in picking her out if we decided to get her.  I was surprised when we saw her- she wasn't the light brown color I had always associated boxers with.  She was darker and striped like a tiger- a brindle. I guess I had just assumed that the one girl that was left was one that no one else had wanted but I couldn't imagine any of her sisters being more beautiful that she.  The owner later told me that she had thought she was the prettiest from the very beginning. I instantly fell in love.  The owners let her out of the gate to run around and play with us and she started to chase the chickens on the farm- it was so funny!  Brandon and I knew she was going to be ours.

(Ruby is the one on the left) 

She is treated just like any member of the family- she sleeps with us, has her very own spot on the couch, and has her very own locker:

Ruby has been so good with Anniston.  We seriously could not have asked for a better dog.  She is very protective of her when people come over to the house.  She runs outside to greet us when we get home, sniffing of Anniston and wagging her tail.

I feel as if she has been a little more clingy with me in these past couple of months.  Whichever room I go to in the house, Ruby follows.  She will lay on the bathroom floor while I take a shower, she will sit on her couch while Anniston and I play, and she will follow me to the kitchen whenever I go to fix something to eat or to get Anniston's bottle ready.  Sometimes she will follow me out to the car in the mornings while I load Anniston up.  She even gets up with us in the middle of the night if Anniston wakes up.  I know her and Anniston are going to be great friends.

Ruby is my first baby and I love her so much.  I don't know what we did to deserve such a good dog, but we are very grateful for all the joy she has brought to our lives!

Sorry for the picture overload!

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