Monday, November 30, 2009

It's Begining to Look Alot Like Christmas

We took our Christmas card pictures today and I can't wait for them--my mom's amazing friend took them for us! I'll post some tomorrow, but here is a sneak peak of Sally's magic

When I saw this picture, I definitely had some camera lust; however, after much discussion I decided that I wanted a sewing machine more for Christmas. There's always birthdays, though. Ha!

We're also getting out our Christmas decorations out this week--we're getting the tree tomorrow. I'm finalizing the pajama project. And the radio station in Jackson that turns into a nonstop Christmas music only station has cranked up for the season.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Weekly Happenings Post #37 (November 23-29)

This week just flew by! I honestly didn't get much of what I had been planning done--story of my life. I had several little projects and lots of cleaning/organizing that I thought I'd get done since I wouldn't be working at all, but it didn't really happen. I did, however, have a great time just enjoying some lazy days and seeing my family a ton!

On Monday, I actually did do some housework and I got the baptism video uploaded (I really need to do the post about it). That was one of my projects and I'm glad I finally accomplished it--it wouldn't work on YouTube so I tried Vimeo and it worked! AP and I went and visited my parents and then I cooked Poppyseed Chicken for supper (I cook it ALL the time).

Tuesday was errand day. AP and I had lunch with Ashley and Evy and Carrie and Aubrey. Then Cookie and her BFF came over for a visit. They had been to the mall because they heard that we had gotten a Forever 21. Of course, it was too good to be true and they were painfully disapointed to find out that there was a "Rue 21" and a "Forever Young", which do not a Forever 21 make. Ha! Then when Peyton got off work we all ran errands together. We picked up a Christmas outfit I had monogramed for AP, went by Babies R Us to get some more teethers (she is putting EVERYTHING in her mouth), and made a run to Target and Hobby Lobby.

On Wednesday I stayed home most of the day. I did laundry, made Suddenly Salad and did some organizing. I finally straightened up Peyton's study, which is something I've been needing to do for over a month! I also threw away all my receipts that I've been saving forever; simplyfing like this is so hard for me but it feels so good and I don't want to be one of those "hoarders" like on Oprah. Peyton was working a double so we made another run to Target (just for batteries and typing paper) and then went to my parents' for dinner.

Thursday was, of course, Thanksgiving. We went to Peyton's parents' house first and then to my parents' house. We had a feast at both places! Peyton had to work (ugh--but it's okay because he won't have to work Thanksgiving or Christmas for the next two years!). My dad was super funny at dinner and kept feeding Annie creamed corn under the table, like she was a puppy (she was in her carrier between me and him). After that, I stayed at my parents for awhile and then realized that Peyton had my car keys (this is the second time in two weeks this has happened--it happened after AP's baptism, too). Cookie took me to the pharmacy to get them and then AP and I went home.

On Friday we such a lazy day! Annie and I stayed home until late Friday afternoon. I took a bath for about an hour Friday morning; it was so nice. I LOVE reading and relaxing in a HOT bath!
This is what I sometimes do with Annie while I take a bath--I have to get creative now that she's such a good roller!

Friday afternoon we met my mom to look at some super cute stockings she had found--I still haven't found one for AP. After that, we went to my parents' for Red Beans and Rice.

I broke out AP's Christmas duds the day after Thanksgiving--I decided to wait until December to put the Christmas bow in her hair, though!

Saturday was so laid back, too. We went to Buffalo Peak to switch out some baby Uggs Cookie had gotten Annie and then (how'd you guess??) to see Mickey and Minnie. Mom sent tons of Thanksgiving leftovers home with me. Peyton gets off early on weekends so we had fun hanging out, just the three of us. I had fun taking some pictures of my two favorite people--I'm going to put more up later, but here's a couple for right now!
Ann Peyton and Daddy--she's getting so grown!

"Can I borrow this cap?"

This was Peyton's sleep sack when he was a baby--she has so much of my stuff; I love that she's wearing something that was his!

Today Peyton finally had a full day off! We went to church this morning and then all three of us went shopping for some presents for my friends' birthdays. We were going to go see Cookie one last time before she headed back to Oxford and then go to church, but we actually didn't end up making either! Tonight, I went to dinner with my college friends to celebrate Ashley, Sue, and Kourtney's birthdays. We ate at Julep and it was delicious. So much fun! Peyton and AP visited his parents.

the Friend Group

something funny??

Saturday, November 28, 2009

There Are No Mistakes

Peyton is in a field where ethical issues arise frequently. I think that that is good for him and good for us. It makes us think and really examine our positions on things. The hardest part of his job, so far, has been the dispensing of one drug. Plan B. The "morning after pill".

When he was at Rite Aid, he used to just "tell a story" and tell people he didn't have it in stock. We discussed this and we decided that this was probably not the best way to confront the situation, obviously most people will just go to another pharmacy and while his conscience is clear, the rest of the story is unfolding elsewhere. So, when he made his move to Walgreens, he came up with a new policy--he would sell the drug, but only after intensive patient counseling. I think that is fair. He keeps his job, but he shares his opinions and most of all the facts, which for the most part, really speak for themselves. Most of the time though, I think, people just half listen and want to get the stuff and get out.

Lately, there have been a couple of cases that have been different. People really taking an interest and some even seeking out his counsel. And then there was one that just really broke my heart.

A lady came in that had been raped. She was very conflicted and asked a lot of questions. Peyton did his best to answer them with grace and sensitivity. He told her his opinion but he also told her that he needed to explain the drug's mechanism and make sure she understood and then she had to decide where she stood on it. But she was very interested in what he thought of it, even asking what he'd do if his wife was raped. Of course, he told her we would not use Plan B, even under such extenuating circumstances.

I believe this so strongly. Abortion breaks my heart in a way that not many things do. Honestly, a couple of years ago, if you had asked me if I could have a stronger opinion on it I would have said no. So, a woman is carrying a rapist's terminally ill baby and the pregnancy is extremely dangerous to her own health? I still thought it should be God's choice, not hers. Period. And, I still do. But I am even more convicted of that as I write this today.

Because of Annie. Ann Peyton was a child (notice I said child, because she was our child, God's child, from the beginning) who we felt terribly unprepared for. She was a child who we felt wholly inadequate to raise. She was a child who, in the early days of my pregnancy, was ::shutter:: entirely unwanted. And yet.

She is our greatest joy (save the Lord). The most beautiful thing in the world. A constant source of delight and a another reason to cherish each day.

I know not every story turns out this well. But I also know that I will never allow anyone to use the words mistake or even accident in my presence when describing a child. And that goes for children that are the product of rape, as well. They are not a "mistake" (of course, the method of conception was a mistake. And a sin. And an atrocity. But the baby isn't.). And God does not create "accidents". They are the beauty that rises from the ashes. They are a testament to His grace. And they are ultimately His.

Peyton asked me a question that night that I was not prepared for. I don't know why it took me by surprise; we know a man who talks with women who are seeking abortions and regularly offers to take the child if they will carry it to term (he hasn't actually been blessed by someone taking him up on his offer yet). So I shouldn't have been surprised when Peyton asked me if he could do the same. I immediately agreed. There would be no greater joy than knowing that we saved a child's life and provided a loving home for him or her. We've always talked about adopting a child with special needs, and if your Daddy was a scumbag rapist, well, it would be great for you to have your needs met in a very special way. BUT, this is not something that I think you can enter into lightly. It's something that I want to be 100% certain I could actually commit to, should someone ever take Peyton up on his offer. So, it's something we will certainly be spending time in prayer over.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Show Us Your Life- Christmas Traditions


Oh my, where to start. I LOVE traditions. They are just so special to me. I have so many wonderful memories of traditions from when I was growing up and now I am so excited to be starting new traditions that are really ours.

Traditions of Old
When I was growing up, we had so many Christmas traditions. One of my favorites was watching holiday movies. I still love Miracle on 34th Street (the Natalie Wood version)--vintage Christmas at it's best. My sister and I also loved to watch Little Women around this time of year; I know it's not technically a Christmas movie, but we just always watched it a lot in December. And, of course, we LOVED A Christmas Story. I know this is a movie that you either love or hate and ohmygosh, I love it. I STILL think it's hilarious the 160th time I watch it.

We listened to the corniest Christmas music ever. We had a Perry Como cassette tape and one by Bobby Helms. Our Christmas collection also included Elvis Presley, the Three Chipmunks, and the Notre Dame chamber choir.

We also loved going to pick out our Christmas tree and then decorating it after my dad put the lights on. I am adamant about having a real tree. It's just something I'll never compromise on. I need to smell my tree. Period. My sister, "Cookie", and I enjoyed the Christmas tree so much. We would crawl up under it and just inhale the scent of it. Sometimes, we'd fall asleep under the tree at night and my mom would have to come gently guide us to our beds. I remember pulling tiny needles off the tree and sucking on them and thinking they were better than any "winterfresh" gum around.

My mom made wonderful treats around Christmas. She made delicious peppermint candy, but her specialty was an adorable Santa cookie cake, that had marshmallows, Hershey kisses, and a cherry as embellishments.

Santa was a big deal at our house. I'm not going to lie--I believed until I was about thirteen. I was that kid. My dad still won't tell me and my sister about Santa. I kind of think he still believes in Santa himself. At the same time, our gifts really weren't elaborate. One year I got tape, scissors, markers, envelopes, stickers and a lot of other supplies that made for many wonderful hours of playing "school" and "office". "Santa" always laid the presents out so beautifully in our living room. They weren't wrapped; they were displayed as beautifully as any store window or painting. I love those memories.

Establishing Our Own Traditions
Peyton and I are only in our second year of marriage, but we've got our routine down. It's really helpful that both our parents live in town. We spend Christmas Eve at my parents' house and wake up there Christmas morning (it's so fun to all be together!). We get to Peyton's parents mid morning and then have a late lunch with my parents and fall asleep in front of the tv and fire at their house.

There are some other traditions that I really want to start this year, too.

I have decided that we are going to wear matching pajamas (me, Peyton and Ann Peyton--our little girl who is almost eight months old). I already have them picked out for this year.

We want there to be certain gifts that AP gets every year. I know that she will ALWAYS get at least one book; that is not negotiable. And I want to start her some sort of collection--cross ornaments, a nice nativity set she can have for the rest of her life, something like that. I need to decide soon!

I have decided that I have to go see Transiberian-Siberian Orchestra every year that they come to Jackson. They are amazing. Espessially if two of your favorite musical genres are Christmas and '80s hair band.

We want to support the angel tree ministry each year. What we'd like to do is always pick a child that is the age of Ann Peyton (we'll pick others for our future children as well). When she gets older I think it will be so good to shop with her for a special child that is just her age and to pray for that child and their family with her.

I'm sure I'll come up with more, because as I said I love traditions and they are so meaningful to me!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I Wish I Was in Dixie: Recap of the Last Home Game of the Season

alternately titled: Tigers Bleax
(I know it's crass, but so clever!)

Well, I decided I better go ahead and get this post up before this Saturday. As promised, here are some pictures from last weekend (no videos; I looked through them and they were pitch black dark. I'll keep them because I enjoy hearing myself talk to Annie and squeal as Dixie is played in the background, but you're probably not interested).

Which does Ann Peyton love more, her raspberry teether or her Cookiekins?

photo op with sleepy Annie

I don't know if I've shared this, but I'm pretty much obsessed with her Rosebud Winter Suit. I like to think she takes great pleasure in wearing it. I also like to think that a couple of decades from now she will, as I do, take great pleasure at looking at her own baby pictures, throwing modesty to the wind, and fawning over what a beautiful child she indeed was.

Snuggle Bunny with her Minnie

This was after the game. We were having a good time. Not as much as the friends one tent over, though, which we deemed the "party tent". They kept playing this song:

This is a total tangent, but yesterday my Dad after much searching found the song and downloaded it. The funny part is not that my really quiet, introverted Dad downloaded this techno sports chant thing. The funny part was when he started raising the roof. And then my mom started doing the thing with Annie. You know, the thing where you make fists and move your hands around in concentric circles in front of your chest--we call it the "Chip and Dale dance" because Chip and Dale really introduced it to us at Disney World fifteen years ago. It's basically what you do when you intentionally want to look ridiculous dancing. Cookie and I just stared at each other, like "who are these people?". End of tangent. Back to Saturday.

As I stated in an earlier post, we left my parents' house around 8ish and got home shortly before midnight. It was quite a day. The best part? This little adventure:

As would happen, I'm driving down Old Fannin at around midnight thirty and I get pulled over. The cop was really nice, but as would happen, I couldn't find my license anywhere. Here was the basic conversation:
Friendly Police Officer: "Ma'me, could I see your license?"
Me: "Yes, of course". Fumble around, even though I know that since it wasn't in my purse at the gas station three hours ago, it probably not in there now.
FPO: "Do you know why I pulled you over? You were going 65 in a 35. And you crossed the yellow line."
There is no way I was going 65. Also, I may have crossed the line when I noticed him. My mirror was looking at AP and so I kind of turned to look when I saw the lights in my side mirror. I know I didn't pull over quick enough either, but I didn't even see him at first. So glad I glanced in the other mirror. Anway, I don't think this is the time for an argument. Besides, I'm busy looking in the diaper bag for my license.
Me: "Yes sir, and I really, think that it's in this car somewhere" (not a lie, I have about five bags with me).
FPO: "Have you been drinking?"
Me: "No sir." Continue to look for missing license. This is getting old, but he is being pretty nice.
FPO: "Well, there's no point in us all getting pneumonia. Nonverbally acknowledges Ann Peyton. Do you know your driver's license number?"
Me: "Not off the top of my head."
FPO: "Ma,me, do you have a license?"
Me: "Yes, sir. Like I said, I think that it is somewhere in here."
FPO: "What about your social security number?"
Me: "Yes, it's ***-**-****."
FPO: "Now, is your license suspended or anything? Because when I call this in they'll tell me right away."
Me: "No sir. Nothing like that."
He calls it in. As we're waiting....
FPO: "Where are you coming from this at this hour?" (I know what he means is "Why in the world is this girl who looks like she's fourteen driving around in a Buick in the middle of the night with a baby in the backseat?").
Me: "I'm on the way home from my parents' house in Madison."
FPO: "What were you doing over there?" ("at this insane hour?")
Me: (I was trying to avoid this). "We just got back from the Ole Miss game."
I knew it was coming....
FPO: "Ma,me, have you had anything at all to drink today?"
Me: In the sweetest possible tone, "No sir, I'm breastfeeding her, I haven't had anything at all to drink all year."
He smiles, says something about the great victory, and they call in the information. Of course, it's fine.
FPO: "So where is your husband tonight?"
Me: "At home. He had to work. He works every other weekend."
FPO: "That's rough" I know, we're martyrs.
Me: "He's a pharmacist." Why the small talk? (ohmyfreakinggosh, Children's Church, must determine best way to make a paper bag cornucopia).
FPO: "Oh yeah? Making the big bucks?"
Insert Incredibly awkward laugh ::here::
FPO: "Okay, ma'me, I'm gonna let you go but slow down and drive save."

When I get home, I get the stuff together for church and change clothes and Peyton wakes up Annie and is playing with her like it's 1:00 in the afternoon, instead of in the morning.

Ahh, LIFE , I love what you do to me.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

2009 Thankful List

Last year around this time I created a thankful list. Then I added to it. Then I forced Peyton to create one. Clearly, I love lists and really I think it would be crazy fun to start posting at least one list a week. Anyway, it was a really beneficial activity and I've been looking froward to making this year's for some time now. Without further ado, here is the official 2009 Thankful List:

1. A personal relationship with Christ and a Father who is so faithful, even when I am not. So many times I get busy or tired or whatever and I don't put the energy I should into cultivating this relationship, though I know that it is the most important one I will ever have.

2. My husband. I adore him. He is my best friend and confidant. He is an amazing father, friend, and pharmacist. It is such a priveledge and blessing to be his wife.

3. My baby. Motherhood is so fulfilling and so humbling. It has been the greatest adventure of my life. I love that I am getting to know Ann Peyton more and more each day and that, right now, I know her better than anyone else, save the Lord.

4. An amazing family. I am so blessed by all my parents do for me. The countless suppers, babysitting hours, and encouragement from them is immeasurable. I am blessed to have a sister who is my best friend and who adores Ann Peyton so much. I am blessed to have the relationship that I do with my in-laws; I know not everyone is as fortunate as I am in that regard.

5. The ability to stay home with our daughter. It is such a blessing that we are able to live on one income, having obviously not planned for this. And it is a blessing that Peyton is so supportive of me fulfilling one of the greatest desires of my life.

6. The little trials in life that bring me back to the Master's feet.

7. The friends that I have that are doing just what I am doing right now and are a constant source of encouragement to me. It is a treasure to have a handful of friends that are faithfully raising children that Ann Peyton will, hopefully one day count among her own friends.

8. The friends that I have that love me enough to continue to pursue our friendship even though our paths in life are vastly different right now. It means the world to me to have another handful of friends that are dedicated to maintaining our friendship and being involved in Annie's life.

9. That we have such a wonderful church and church family. I am especially thankful, that although in many ways I don't really like the direction the Methodist church is taking across our nation, our church is incredibly faithful to holding fast to biblical truth. I should thank God every day for our pastors who are not ashamed to proclaim Jesus as THE way and to preach the Gospel in it's entirety.

10. Each day. Each new day is so wonderful. For so many reasons.

11. Christmas. In a new way. As a momma.

12. Everything in a new way--as a momma.

Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.

Even so, Lord, quickly come, bring Thy final harvest home;
Gather Thou Thy people in, free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified, in Thy garner to abide;
Come, with all Thine angels come, raise the glorious harvest home.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Weekly Happenings Post #36 (November 16-22)

Well, another one of those "better late than never" weekly happenings posts....

I had so hoped since last week's picture had AP in footie pajamas and me in a t-shirt with no make-up that this week we'd do a bit better, but alas it was not to be. I didn't leave the house today and decided it would not be a good idea to put on an outfit/make-up simply for picture purposes. Keeping it real, friends.

A few interesting tidbits before I review the week's activities:

--I guess this has been the first really cold week, because I have been noticing that our house has issues with heating. Part of the issue is the house, part of the issue is the man who pays the mortgage on the house. The
cheapo, annoyingly green crazaramazing steward of our finances and the planet that I married likes to keep the house around 65 degrees. That makes for one cold Sarah D and one cold Annie baby. I think last year, since we spent most of the time, um pretty close to each other (as in, she: inside me) I didn't notice it as much. I thought I might have to start "wearing" her (how awesome for me to embrace some attachment parenting behaviors to further embellish my alternate persona as "crunchy momma"?). But no, Honey Bear, relented and we are existing at a "comfortable" 70 degrees (I prefer about 80, but I'm a tad cold-natured).

-- I have my suspicions that the Golden age of Princess NeverCry is waning and Lil' Waa Waa has taken up permanent residence in our home (what, I never told you Annie's Indian and rapper names? unbelievable.) I think that somebody slipped her a crazy pill this week. Or she's gotten real smart real quick and she's figured out the best way to elicit sympathy from one Sarah Denley Herrington and that Mommy will throw all her Ezzorific parenting practices out the window and pick her up if she cries uncontrollably. Or it's teeth. On of those. Oh, to be inside a babykins brain!

--One major project is almost complete; the great Christmas pajama find. I'll post more about it when I can actually say I've found them all, but I decided to go with a "theme", instead of just buying ones that are made as matching sets (they're pretty expensive and not super cute).

Now for the week's happenings. Remember how I said it wouldn't be busy? Well, yesterday I felt like I had been run over by a train; but it's been such a great week and was so worth it!

Monday was a really easy day. I FINALLY got my closet finished and all my summer stuff taken up to the attic. I was so happy about that! I did a few errands (Seesaws, Walmart, Target, and the cleaners) and then came home and made baby food and our dinner--ravioli noodles that I boiled (I still count that as making dinner, ha!).

Tuesday was pretty relaxed as well. Annie and I had mother's morning out and then we took something to get monogrammed and went to both (crazy, i know) Targets. When we got home, Annie was exhausted, so I put her in her crib for a nap. She was making a little noise on her monitor, but I waited a few minutes to check on her. I have a strategy here-if she cries a little I usually wait a few minutes and most of the time she goes back to sleep on her own. I always check on her, but I wait, because if she sees me that's just more frustrating for her. Well, she was crying softly and wouldn't stop, so I went in to check on her. Her blanket (that always stays tucked in) was untucked and covering her entire head. Of course, I snatched her up and sobbed. She was fine and looked at me like I was the biggest moron ever. We went over to my parents. My mom reassured me I wasn't the worst mother ever and we had Bully's BBQ for supper.

On Wednesday we stayed home all day. I got a lot of stuff done around the house:
- swept and mopped kitchen and sun room
- washed our bedding
- changed Annie's bedding to make it a safer situation
- purged the dvr--so frightening, yet liberating
- wrote some thank you notes for presents AP at her baptism (yet to address)
- organized some in AP's room
Also, my mom came over for a visit. We had a great time! Peyton got home really late because he went out for drinks with an old friend from pharmacy school.
Ann Peyton with her new, old (it was mine) bedding

Thursday we went to Mother's morning out and then had lunch with Carrie and Ashley and their girls. It was a bit of a fiasco, because Beagle Bagel has issues with providing adequate numbers of functional high chairs. AP of course was in her heinous carrier--I told them of my fear that she'll be two years old with a shoulder length page-boy and still riding in her SnugRide. Aubrey got the one available high chair, since she was the oldest/most mobile. And Evy sat in Aubrey's carseat (because she's precocious and decided to be done with the infant seat and move on to better car seats). Basically, the whole thing was hilarious and we looked even more like the circus came to town than we usually do!

Friday was a really fun day because we went to Handworks Market with (who else?) Ashley/Evy and Carrie/Aubrey. It was so much fun and way less intense than Mistletoe--better prices and less stress. Also, there was SO much cute stuff. I adore handmade things and Peyton adores supporting small business owners and local businesses, so it was a win-win situation.
Redic. Annie is in her carrier because she was asleep when we got there.

I got AP a few outfits. It's ironic because the ones on either end are 12 months (you know, I'm all for buying ahead) and the one in the middle is a newborn! We tried the NB dress on her and it fit; after Carrie and Ashley convinced me that there was no shame in putting her in a handmade newborn dress (I have issues about her size, sometimes) I got it. Peyton is convinced that the two 12 mo. outfits will fit when she is about three years old.

I also got a couple of Christmas things. Notice the Santa letter--the Santa debate rages on!

Saturday was great. It was the last game and I think I need to do a whole post dedicated to it. There are some great pictures and very dim videos that will be coming up soon. It was exhausting though. AP and I rode with my parents and we left Jackson around 8ish and got home around 12ish. Around 10ish, I remembered that I was leading Children's Church in t-minus however many hours, and had not gone over the lesson one time. I called Peyton and he read it to me and I got some supplies from my parents house before heading home. On the way home, I had a lovely interaction with an officer of the law. We went to bed around 2:00.

Ann Peyton and Papa resting while I was getting ready around 6ish Saturday morning. She's hugging him!

Cookie, Annie, yummy raspberry teether

Mommy and her little snow bunny

Yesterday was nice and relaxing. I did children's church and it was fine. I did, however, forget to preview the magazines that they were using to cut out foods they were thankful for. Of course, they're all under five years old and I brought Cooking Light, so they're cutting out really fancy fish recipes and pasta that looks like is has sixty five ingredients. A few found the rogue Skinny Cow ad and cut it out, but mainly they were just cutting to cut. Well, our associate pastor's little girl (she's three) cut out this huge--I mean took up half her paper--bottle of wine. It was hilarious! Sidenote: It has come to my attention that occasionally my jokes pertaining to alcohol consumption are taken more literally than they are intended. So just to be clear--I don't think the little pumpkin really knew what it was or anything. AP stayed in the nursery and did great the whole time, since she wasn't getting baptized or anything this week. We got home changed and went over to my parents'. I was so exhausted I could barely function and Cookie was home so I knew they'd enjoy playing with her. I took a nice long nap and we had Newk's for supper. One of the perks of Cookie being home is that my parents cook/order out most every night, so I may be over there alot this week!
Enjoying a "rice rusk" in her Thanksgiving jammies at Mickey and Minnie's house

Then I came home and Peyton and I watched UP and just relaxed.

Such a great week. I have so many things I want to accomplish this week, since I won't be working at all!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Show Us Your Life- Pets

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Well, I'm a little late again but here it is--the pets! I have two pets, if you don't count Peyton, haha! Peyton got our two kitties when we were dating, so they were technically his cats, I guess. But, we picked them out together! We originally only got one, but she was SO skitish, we went back because we thought she'd do better with a friends. It's funny because now he is the high maintenance one!

This is our first kitty, Darth Kitty Herrington (known as "Darth").
I love it when she does her paws like that! Darth is very shy and has a lot of anxiety issues. She does not like strangers and when I first moved in after we got married it really freaked her out. She loves me now, of course, but it was a long time coming!

Its super fun having a black cat; of course, it sucks around Halloween when we have to lock her up (they are inside/outside kitties) so she won't get tortured as the butt of some cruel prank.

I think that she is so pretty and her beauty largely makes up for any personality deficits she may have. In fact, once, during one of the early days of my pregnancy ,when Peyton didn't think I was listening, I overheard him telling her that she was "a beautiful Egyptian princess". And I so hoped he would find our daughter equally beautiful.

And this is General Robert E. Lee Herrington (The General to friends and family), her "brother" that we went back to get about two hours later. General is named for General Robert E. Lee, obviously (and, obviously-I think obviously, Darth is named for Darth Vader; because she's black you know?). He is named for someone who I firmly believe was a great man and because I am unashamedly proud of my southern heritage.

However, Peyton likes to emasculate him and call him "Genny" or "Genny cat".

He really likes to get into things!

The General is a really funny friend. He did these things himself. As I said, he is the high maintence one. He is very "needy", almost like a dog, and will whine if you don't constantly pet him.

Thus, it was a sad day for him when this one came along.....

Fortuantly, Darth and General really enjoy each other's company most of the time, save the occasional "cat fight" (ba dum dum).

And fortuantly, they've both warmed up to our new baby!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Goals List- #4 (have Peyton explain finances)

Well, it is WAY past time for an update on one of my goals (remember, one of the goals is to blog about each goal?). So....

I picked #4, which is:
Have Peyton explain our finances to me

This is one of those goals that you can't just mark off "done it" each day. It's more fluid. So that makes it rather hard to really keep up with how well I am doing with it. But here's a general evaluation.....

Understanding of Our Financial Goals- Satisfactory
Peyton is very motivated to be debt free--as in I think Ms. Denise played a trick on Mr. Randy and Dave Ramsey is Peyton's real father. I understand this and do my best to be very supportive, even when it means sacrificing some of the things I want. I didn't really thing it was a big deal, but over the course of the year it has become more and more important to me, as well. In the not to distant future, we will have everything but our house (cars, student loans, ect.) paid off. And we do NOT accumulate consumer is very important to us to pay off our credit card each month. In addition to our short term goal of being debt free, we have several short and long term goals, which incude saving for our childrens' college/wedding, our retirement, and other dreams we have and giving money to causes we believe in.

Understanding of Investments- Poor
I suffer so much in this area that I hardly have anything worthwhile to contribute. But we have people who handle our investments (and my head nearly explodes when Peyton makes me go see them with him).

Understanding of Living Expenses and Budgeting- Satisfactory
This is one area that I've grown alot. We use a program called Mint to keep up with our budget. It's really user friendly and simpler to learn that Quicken (in my opinion). Theoretically, Peyton has handed over the responsibilities of keeping up with our budget over to me (because I'm very organized and I like things like that and because I'm here and able to do it more often). But if I get to far behind and turn into a huge stressed out mess (happens frequently), he catches us up. I'm also really anal about saving receipts; I just really like to have a breakdown of where our money goes.

Understanding of Money Saving Techniques- Fair
I so want to be a "couponer". I get overwhelmed by it and don't know where to start, though. If any of y'all do it, send your tips my way (as well as ANY OTHER MONEY SAVING TIPS...all ears, friends!). I think I need to get a book/find a website and just really research it from the beginning. I do try to do some things to save us money, though. As far as groceries, I have made concessions about the things I can tolerate being generic. Depending on what it is/what's in season, making our own baby food is a huge money saver. For example, sweet potatoes and bananas can cut your spending up to six times. Apples, however, are going to be more expensive if you buy them fresh than just buying the baby food. We started buying AP the big jar of NO SUGAR ADDED applesauce. Not as convenient, but the savings are huge. I used to make my own laundry detergent and it does save some money, but in the end it wasn't enough to justify the time and energy to me. Cloth diapers have definitely produced substatial savings. I also buy a lot of Annie's clothes and toys used off of Ebay or at consignment shops and when I don't I look for great deals. We try really hard to stay within a pre-determined eating out budget. And, we drive reasonable cars and live in a house that is below our means (Peyton reminds me often of the blessing that it is to actually be home owners). I feel like I've really grown in this area. In college, I was not a wise financial steward. My parents gave me more money than I really needed and my overdrafts were still not infrequent. So, I feel proud of my progress in this category.

I really think that's all. Again, I'd love to hear any tips for saving money. We are always up for finding new tricks!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Weighty Issue

how's that for a melodramatic title?

Several people have shown concern about my weight lately. People have been asking-some pretty rudely-if I am eating AT ALL (I know they are just concerned, but I really resent that implication) and telling me I'm just too skinny.

The thing is, this is a delicate topic. Would I like to gain five (maybe ten?) pounds? Yes. Do I feel like telling everyone I know that? No. It's just in a culture that is mostly concerned with loosing weight, I know that hearing me complain about a struggle/inability to gain weight is like a slap in the face to some people. I do NOT want to be insensitive. However.....

I know I don't look my best right now. I know my body would function better with a few extra pounds. I know I'd have more energy. I know it would be good for Ann Peyton. You don't have to tell me. Weight gain/loss/maintenance has been an interesting journey for me....

When I was in high school my mom still packed my lunch (yes, I was a bit spoiled). My lunch usually consisted of the following:
- one (or usually two) PB&J or turkey sandwiches
- one fruit
- one veggie
- chips/popcorn/other salty snack
- dessert
- one other "treat" my mom knew I liked (a boiled egg, Suddenly Salad, ect.)
Additionally, I would sometimes buy cheese sticks or another snack to accompany my lunch and I ate a snack during our morning break. People could not believe I ate so much and I know some of my "friends" really thought I barfed the lot of it. But this was when I was involved in competitive cheerleading and our coach liked to make us run suicides and do literally hundreds of crunches and about half that many push ups. I had to replenish my calories from somewhere! Around this time I could also eat a whole large pepperoni pizza (minus crust, of course) and top it off with some ice cream. And I never broke 100lbs. I was VERY active and I had a high metabolism.

As a side note: it's really hereditary. My dad's father and mother were 120lbs and 100lbs, respectively, on their wedding day (my mom shared this little tidbit when I was fretting about why in the world Ann Peyton was only in the third percentile).

In college, I didn't have near as big of an appetite. But I wasn't near as active, either. I still probably ate more than most of my friends, though, definitely as much. But when I made my debut (my sophomore year), rumors flew that I was anorexic (honestly, the Bulimia slander made more sense). That really hurt. It still kind of does.
Admittedly, I do look skinny. The bird neck is not a look I wear well. But struggling with an eating disorder? I was not.

The summer before this (the summer after my freshman year in college) I served as a missionary in Tahoe City, California. It was a good, life-changing experience (I'll do a post about it one day, I'm sure) but it was one of the (if not the) hardest things I've ever done in my life. I was terribly homesick and I lost a good bit of weight (5 to 10 pounds is a good bit, if you're around 95). It also didn't help that it was really the first time I'd ever had to cook for myself and that I got sick and no one felt like it would be okay for me to take it easy and rest for a day or two. It was a pretty rough patch on all fronts. The standing joke was that I needed to ride in a car seat in the huge van we used, because under California legislation, based on my weight, I was supposed to. Funny, kids. Anyway, I worked really hard to put the weight back on as soon as I got home.

I was very comfortable with my weight when Peyton and I got married. I really felt it was my ideal.
Then something happened....

called an Annie Baby. My pregnancy was the first time in my life I broke 100lbs. I ate ALOT of food and not always the best kinds (think entire rows of Oreos). But, I only ended up gaining between 25 and 30 pounds. I measured small, but of course, I felt huge. It really didn't bother me too much, though. I gestated a healthy baby and that was all that mattered.

I lost a lot of the baby weight really quickly, due mostly to breastfeeding, I think. This is where I began to have problems. My appetite was not as strong, but my need for calories was even greater (I think you need 300 extra when you're pregnant; 500 extra when you're breastfeeding).

I can still put away some food (ask ANYBODY who frequents our Grove tent and devotes more time to making fun of my consumption than to cheering on the Rebels). I guess I'm just not keeping up with Ann Peyton.

I know that I'm too sensitive, but people's remarks have really hurt me lately. I have even thought "maybe I have lost too much weight and I should stop nursing". I'm really glad I didn't let that thought stay too long.

So here it is: I would like to put on a few pounds. And I am trying. I think my health would benefit and I KNOW my looks would. But, I've had to realize something. I appreciate people's concern; I really do. But until my DOCTOR or my HUSBAND express similar concerns, I am going to continue to do what I believe is best for my daughter. It's worth a little judgement.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weekly Happenings Post #35 (November 9-15)--Better Late Than Never

We look beat! I'm honestly surprised that the three of us don't all look a lot worse; we were so tired.

Well, this was a crazy week; it just about did me in, especially the second half! I'm going to jump right in....

On Monday I got my hair cut (again! I didn't get her to take enough off a few weeks ago) and made chili. I did some other things, too, but I can't really remember that well.

Tuesday was Mother's Morning Out and then we went to Target and Wal-mart. Peyton and I also had a little spat over something really trivial, complete with the typical response of me becoming hysterical. We made up. Not in a scandalous way, though. Not that it's scandalous when you're married.

On Wednesday I kept our friends' little boy Zach. Two babies is exhausting! But it was fun and they are both so good; I really can't complain.

Thursday we went to MMO and then since Wednesday was my mom's birthday and I hadn't done anything for her AP and I stopped by Batte and brought her a treat from one of her favorite places, We Love Yogurt. Then we met my friend, Morgan and her baby, Mary Milton at one of my favorite places, Bon Ami. I had a crab quiche and tomato basil soup and it was delish. I had so much fun with Morgan and MM....I love "lady lunches".

On Friday, AP and I went to get me life insurance. Peyton says it's a good validation of the importance of my job. I think it's nice he thinks it's so important and I have to agree. Friday night I went out to eat (Mexican--yum!) and to Easely Amused with Ashley and Carrie. We had so much fun and it was a nice treat to do something without the babies (even though, of course, there is nothing cuter/sweeter than AP hanging out with her little friends). I know I probably say this all the time, but I was obviously not expecting God to bless me with a baby when He did and I certainly was not expecting him to bless me with "Mommy friends", as well. When I got pregnant, I did not have one close friend with a baby. Currently, I have three (four in January) dear friends who are doing exactly what I am doing right now.

I totally stole this picture from Carrie's blog (which I guess is why that weird little box is there), but she stole my "weekly happening" post idea, so I think she'll be okay with it. Also, do I look like a midget?

I think it turned out okay, but this is my least favorite I've done so far

I think the NYC one is the best!

Saturday was the football game. The 11:00 football game. The 11:00 football game that required us to get up at 5:00 in the A.M. Except that we woke up at 6:00 in the A.M. by accident. No fear--we made it! Peyton very safely and patrol car consciously, drove about 95 on strategic stretches of the trip (and I didn't nag that much about it being a bad idea because I was to busy being amazed at the other cars that were passing us, probably going 115 mph and also, um getting an extra couple of hours of much needed sleep). We stayed in the Grove, of course, but a friend of Peyton's had given him some amazing tickets, so he and Daddy went.

Annie playing in the Grove

Annie and Mommy

"Yay! Daddy got to come this time!"

We made Con (Cookie's bf) hold AP for the first time.

"OH MY! Rebel victory!" (Minnie LOVES to do "OH MY! with AP)

I have some more pictures that Sally, one of Cookie's friends mom took with her fancy camera (she is going to take our Christmas pictures). I keep thinking I may need to aquire one of these. My blog/mom friends and Sally are creating a covetous spirit within me. I've got to get to work on mine (and Annie's) Christmas lists. I've got to narrow some things down.

We had a great drive back (good car convos about skills we wanted to learn and Bible studies we wanted to start--I really want to actually do these things) and got back in town around 8ish and went directly to our friends, Morgan and Haydn's house for dinner. Dinner was fabulous. Mary Milton had a bit of a fussy time and it was so funny to see Annie's face when she cried, she looked so confused like "What of these babies that do strange things, such as cry??" We had a fun night, discussing the perversions in Rankin county that Haydn sees in his circuit court job and the great debate of whether or not lying to your children is ever appropriate, specifically in the case of jovial yuletide fellows of the bearded variety. It was so much fun and we really don't do it enough. Just like it's great for me to spend time with other Mommas, I think it was a really nice experience for Peyton to get to hang out with another Papa!

Sunday was Annie's baptism. She kind of got off to a rough start, but I figured she'd be fine once we got there. She did okay, but was a little cranky before the service started. Imagine my surprise when my "play baby" (what I say sometimes because she's not like real baby, just one I practice on, she's so good) screamed during the baptism. I had just envisioned her smiling and cooing the whole time. Not the case. Well, she kept it up afterwards so much that we had to take her to the nursery. I couldn't believe it; we had discussed that we wouldn't take her unless she was just out of control. She pretty much was. I was just so sad. I'd been emotional all morning and a few tears were shed. I think I was just so unprepared; seriously of all the babies I've seen Brother Kelly baptize, I've never seen ONE really cry. I told her that this was a great thing to happen because it was a good example of how Mommy and Daddy and the Lord love her even when she messes up. Peyton told me that she's a baby and she cries and that's not "messing up" and I was acting absurdly. Yeah. That was a little ridiculous.

AP and I BEFORE the water works extravaganza (this was the baby I was expecting for the whole thing)

We don't really "do" godparents in the Methodist church. But we wanted to. So we did. There he is. He loves her so much.

the three of us

"Why did you take me away from my Momma? That was so mean of you, Brother Kelly!"

She is rather old to be getting baptized (most people at our church do it at a couple of months--she's seven months), but for a variety of reasons, that's what I wanted. I know she's just at the age that someone abruptly taking her from me is kind of scary. Peyton's parents did make me feel better by reminding me that she does that with them (I usually feel guilty about that too, so there was some relief there). And my dad made me feel better by saying how smart she is; you know, that she knew to panic when she couldn't see us. Haha! Anyway, I'm going to do a whole post with pictures and the video of the baptism.

One great thing about the baptism was that the sermon today was wonderful and our families all enjoyed it. This made me really happy because both my parents are Christians (sometimes I think their personal faith is stronger than mine) but they don't go to church consistently. So, I hope with the holidays coming up, we can get them to go with us some more.

After the service, we went home to my parents house and had a little get together with our family and a few friends who came to the service. My mom had made grits and greards (a great southern breakfast/brunch dish). I ate SO much! I ended up staying at my parents all afternoon, since Cookie was home (Peyton played ultimate frisbee and went back to church--where does he get this energy??) . AP, champion napper, hadn't slept much the past two days, so she zonked out quite a bit all afternoon. Last night, I straightened my house enough to satisfy myself for the was like a war zone (when Carrie came to pick me up Friday night, I cracked the door and slithered out, I was so embarrassed...haha).

I think that this week is going to be a little less busy and I am so glad, even though last week was super fun. I really want to get my house under control and I need to play catch up with the washing machine and bathrooms that need cleaning. I'm hoping to really get everything organized/clean because Thanksgiving week should be pretty low-key, too but I have a couple of projects to tackle and then it will be Christmas decorating time!