Sunday, January 31, 2010

100 Things About Me- By Peyton

From SD: I saw this on Ashley's and Sarah's blogs and since I love 1) lists 2) "getting to know me" type memes and 3) my ubber fascinating husband I HAD to copy. You may remember awhile back that I made a list of 25 Things About Peyton, but this list is *100* and he created it himself. And sidenote: I prof-read it for grammer/spelling, because even though I don't exel in those areas, I'm no less anal about them, but I did not change one thing about content. Ready, go!
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1. I have little confidence in my ability to write (especially compared to my wife), so bear with me.
2. Suspenseful movies are a thing I can't handle, but I love surprises and the unexpected in life. Let's go on a trip and find out where we're going on the way there!
3. I LOVE music, and I try to always expand my taste in genres, maybe one day I can understand to love jazz.
4. I don't know if I really like pharmacy, but it works for now.
5. I want to be a farmer when I grow up.
6. Visit the Art of Manliness blog; it's inspiring!
7. There's a new job I discover that I'd like to try about once a week.
8. I love to procrastinate- there's no sleep like the crashing after an all-nighter.
9. It takes me at least a couple of months to finish a book. I have five going right now!
10. Stand to Reason
11. I Love Ann Peyton and of course my Sweety.
12. I don't love pickles nearly as much as the Sweety pictured above.
13. There are no unlucky numbers, just lucky ones (21)
14. I have been blessed with so many wonderful and different friends throughout my life, all very different, and all just as enjoyable.
15. Relationships matter more than anything in this life.
16. I grew up in a wonderful and supportive family, and plan to give my children this also.
17. My favorite liquor used to be tequila- straight, but gin is quickly winning me over *especially with tonic water*
18. I waited until the New Years before my 21st birthday to first drink, arrived home the next morning to my father getting ready for a church service, so what the heck I went.
19. One summer we replanted my grandfather's land with pine seedlings. The parts we did by hand, we used the axle of a model-T to drive a hole into the ground (random right?)
20. "Catch the Wind" by Donovan is my favorite song- thanks to a visa commercial where I first heard it- sometimes credit cards are good for something!
21. We're almost out of debt and cannot wait for my family to pay off our house one day!
22. I had my first girlfriend (post-preschool) during my Junior year of High School.
23. I proceeded to bite her lip while kissing one night
24. We broke up a few weeks later, apparently kissers who also bite are not appreciated.
25. I lifeguarded at Briarwood for about 8 years, and learned much about myself and the world from there.
26. I admire my grandparents. I think my grandfather will inspire me for the rest of my life.
27. Of one fact I used to be certain, with no self-pity or ill will. I thought that I would be single my whole life and enjoy it.
28. I have a cd of songs from Disney movies
29. I started seminary and dropped out a year later.
30. I'm open minded politically and am disgusted by how we operate in Washington, but I admire true statesmen on the occasion that they show themselves.
31. I am fully opposed to abortion, I think life begins when a zygote is formed, and even felt this way when I was agnostic.
32. I am just as opposed to capital punishment in the present day United States, but feel in certain time periods and situations it is/was a necessary evil.
33. I'm not talented at chess, but have some great chess sets and like to play around with them.
34. There are TONS of my toys from when I was little in my closet still and I can't wait to let my kids play with them.
35. There is a designated box in my tool shed where I save all sorts of junk from house projects. All of this junk will be used to build elaborate GI Joe forts with my kids. (ex. parts of the blinds that were cut off will be fences, hoses from the washer will be tunnels, etc.)
36. I plan on building a playhouse in the backyard for our kids. I'll use it to teach myself how to do stuff around the house. I'll put flooring the the playhouse, to learn how to do it in a real house. Same with windows. We'll see how that works out!
37. I like random connections. For example, my sister was friends with a pair of twins named Christopher and Mary Louis in elementary school. 15 years later my wife gets a package in the mail from her friend and blog buddy Mary Louis. Who'd have thought I'd ever hear from her again?
38. I hate stuff, but I have tons of it.
39. I can't stand materialism.
40. I have trouble with spirituality.
41. I don't have trouble with stinginess.
42. I am frugal, but not cheap. The difference? I buy quality stuff that last, but don't buy often. I don't eat out as much or at as nice of places, but always tip well for good service.
43. Vinyl records make music sound better.
44. The scarf my wife bought for me a year ago is my favorite outfit when put with my leather jacket and a brown fedora.
45. I hated my first year at Ole Miss and was just a visiting student; I loved my last year and was nearly at home.
46. I'm nostalgic.
47. There is little better than a Robert Frost poem, a fall night, and the sound of trailing leaves as you take a walk.
48. In high school my friends and I would wear camo and play capture the flag and commando at night- it was pure bliss.
49. Drugs ruined pure bliss. ( For the record SD requested that I establish that I wasn't the user).
50. I LOVE NEW YORK CITY, and have felt this way ever since Katie Smith first brought me there.
51. I also have a strange thing for hats. Not baseball caps, but hats. Fedoras, etc.
52. I used to love running until my knees began to hate it.
53. There are two material goals I've set for my life: 1. Live in New York City for one year. 2. Learn to play the violin.
54. I want to learn a language- Spanish.
55. Harry Truman is a man who kept principles when it was tough to do so in politics, for this I truly admire him.
56. My fear of wasps, yellow jackets, hornets, etc. is slowly fading.
57. One evening while swimming at Ole Miss, I was having such a good swim I went past my goal of 50 laps and swam 2 miles that night.
58. That same night all my leg muscles cramped and I couldn't exit the pool for 10 minutes, or leave the Turner Center for 20.
59. Some great movies: The Shawshank Redemption, American History X, Star Wars (Original Trilogy), Glory...and more recently Moon.
60. Sarah Denley and I were not AT ALL attracted to one another at first. Of course she was 14 and I was 17, so that's probably a good sign, right?
61. She cried the first time we kissed...because she was scared her relationship with Scott Vickers was ruined.
62. Bruce Springsteen is a poet.
63. Cars and engine mechanics are things I want to know more about.
64. Twitter is incomprehensible to me, and I don't want to get it; Facebook and Google's reader are enough for me.
65. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde should be required reading for Christians, it shows vanity run wild. It's the last 'classic' I read.
66. Jack Kerouac's novels make me want to go on an adventure. On The Road is one of the best books I'll ever read.
67. Hamburger Corn Pie is a favorite dish of mine, and it's also a dish that probably makes my wife nauseous to watch me eat.
68. Ice cream may be the best invention EVER. No, second to the printing press.
69. Tetrisfriends.com is a great way to waste time, and to compete with Ellis Purdy
70. Team sports are a blast, but I can never find anyone to play them with me any more ( except for the occasional game of Ultimate Frisbee).
71. I have a say in all the decorating in our house; I don't think I could handle pink fluffy things everywhere.
72. I helped pick out our wedding china, too.
73. Sarah Denley likes this about me ( or so she says).
74. I obsess over investing and budgeting strategies for the next five year, but finally came to a decision on our strategy this afternoon!
75. Free range eggs and meat should be the only kind that we buy by the end of this year.
76. This is something I would never have thought of as being a concern of mine a few years ago, and certainly I wouldn't see it as the clear moral issue that I now do.
77. The Jets are my favorite NFL team for 3 reasons: 1. They're a New York team. 2. They are the New York team without Eli Manning (cannot stand the guy) 3. Kevin in The Wonder Years wears a Jets jacket.
78. Some decisions are worth careful study and painful thought, Others are so easy that you can let Kevin from The Wonder Years make them for you.
79. McGuyver was my favorite TV show for soooo long, then The Adventures of Pete and Pete took that place...and has held it since.
80. My wife has fixed my nearly lifelong fashion dysfunction problems.
81. My dream house is a cottage with some acreage right near a good sized suburb of Jackson- 30 Minute drive max.
82. I wish I knew what it was like to be poor and destitute; it's hard to dictate how public policy should be made regarding those who have a life that I've never experienced.
83. During my final year of pharmacy school I took a few days off and SD and I went to a rally on the National Mall in Washington DC concerning the genocide that was occuring in Darfur, Sudan. It was amazing, and we were slightly out of place- the only MS delegates and one of the few from the Southeastern US.
84. My wife has more faith in me and my crazy ideas than anyone else ever could (e.g. free range meats, Darfur rally)!
85. She doesn't just put up with me, but agrees with me or doesn't, and that's what's so important.
86. Sarah Denley and I love to argue and discuss things, we've made it a past-time!
87. I've been trying to talk more to Annie, and can't wait for her to ask me "But why, Daddy?" to everything I try to explain to her.
88. The smell of smoke from a distant chimney on a winter's walk is heavenly.
89. Composting is fun, useful, and something everyone can do to avoid more trash.
90. A sunny day off of work is the perfect time for me and Ann Peyton to spend on a hike or stroll.
91. The Sipsey Wilderness in Alabama is one of the most beautiful, pure places I've ever traveled; and I can't wait to bring my family there one day.
92. I am horrible at waking up- I missed the regional qualifiers for the state swimming championships in my junior year of high school because I overslept and missed the bus. The next year I don't know if I slept the night before.
93. Retirement is not a thing that will ever be in my plans; I'll just change careers to something slower paced or of a different interest.
94. I cried when I first heard Ann Peyton cry, it was so unexpected. It was possibly the best moment of my life, Sarah Denley and I just looked at one another with tears welling up in our eyes and smiled.
95. I'd be ok with softening laws regarding marajuana possession, I would also be ok with making harsher penalties regarding other illegal drugs.
96. I favor laws that give more freedom to people, and less structure for the government- I'm somewhat of a libertarian.
97. In my opinion Ann Peyton should go to public schools (if we're in a decent district). Denley disagrees. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out.
98. I don't think that Capitalism is compatible with Christianity in it's present form, but for a global market it's the best we've figured out so far.
99. There's a small black drawing book in my desk drawer with my life to do list (i.e. bucket list), and I think that everyone should have one.
100. My wife and Ann Peyton are both better writers than I am.

Weekly Happenings Post #46 (January 25-31)


The theme for this week was "so sick"- well, we weren't really that sick, but all three of us had colds/sinus infections/general yuckiness. I've about decided since every week has been having a theme I may have to go back to naming the posts. I don't know, though, I am so OCD that if I did that I'd probably have to go back and name all the ones I've done since I stopped titling them the first time. We'll see.....

Monday was a pretty good, albeit uneventful, day. Ann Peyton and I stayed home all day and straightened the house and did laundry. Sometimes, it is just so good to have a full day at home! I actually watched The View, a simple pleasure that I haven't found time in ages (I really wish I could make myself get up early enough for The Today Show or GMA, but that hasn't happened in quite some time- probably since this time last year when I was pregnant and was a part time nanny for a little boy). Peyton came home from work because he was all congested and feeling horrible. I brought him soup in bed and we just had a relaxing afternoon. Then I realized that one of Ann Peyton's shoes that had been mine and Cookie's was missing. I got a little emotional

Tuesday pretty much made up for Monday with it's business. AP and I went to Mother's Morning Out and then since it was Peyton's day off we ran lots of errands that afternoon. We went to Target and Lowes to pick up a few things and then stopped by Jimmy Lyle to pick out some flooring (yay for hardwood floors!). After that we headed to the jeweler's to pick up the ring up a ring that my mom gave me for Christmas (it belonged to my grandmother so it is SO special) that had to be resized.
After that, we dropped by Helen's Young Ages to get some new shoes. Peyton and AP waited in the car and I found two pairs that looked similar to the lost one, but I couldn't make a decision (I am SO indecisive) so I called them to come in. I was surprised because Peyton picked the more expensive pair. He said he really did like the look of them better but it was also because they were made in Peru (the others were from China)- so there was more chance they were made in conditions where ethical labor practices exist. Another item on my husband's "agenda"- fair trade in the realm of baby clothes/accessories. The box did appear very "hand made" so Peyton thought there was a good chance they weren't mass produced- another good sign. [Sidenote: he also wanted the people at Jimmy Lyle to try to get us the wood for our floors that was the most environmentally friendly. I mean, duh.] I really wanted to stay and browse a bit, but we were on a pretty tight schedule. We dropped something off at Peyton's sisters and then went by his parents' house. (I had a pretty bad sinus headache at this point.) After that I made Peyton take me by Leap Frog, one of the consignment stores I like to look for something I saw on the sale rack outside last week [Sarah, I'm going to do a "consignment post" soon, so I'll let you know all my faves]. I was pretty sure it would be closed, because it closes really early, but when I got there the lights were still on and the racks were still out, but you could tell they weren't "open for business". Well, I got out and looked anyway. I had found the item and decided against coming back the next day to get it and....the lady came out to see what I was doing. Embarrassing. I told Peyton I was sure she thought I was going to steal something. "Not when you were there for like, twenty minutes". Um, yeah. We then went by Bops for Peyton and Krispie Kreme for me and dropped by my parents' house and then headed home. My head was about to explode and I went straight to sleep.

On Wednesday, I stayed home and did stuff around the house. A guy came to measure the floor- the estimate came back and was way more than what they initially told us it would be. When Peyton got off work, I went back to Helen's to finish my browsing. Boy was I glad I did, because I found all three of us matching PJs for next Christmas and it was under $40 (they are having 75% off Christmas stuff)!!! After that I went to my Bible study on parenting. It was good. We talked alot about grandparents and inlaws.....it made me REALLY thankful for mine! Also, I cleaned my house on Wednesday and I found the lost shoe.
I decided to keep the new ones, anyway. They are bigger and obviously in better shape; although I still love my little ones!

Thursday morning when I woke up my throat was SO raw and Annie was coughing pretty hard (she had a little runny nose and cough earlier in the week, but we had just been giving her Benadryl). I called in and said I didn't think we'd be coming to MMO. I also made AP a doctor's appointment- we got the only one left, the last one of the day at 4:15 (which was really closer to five by the time we got in). We just stayed home and did laundry and relaxed in our pjs. I felt so "yuck", too. Peyton got off work just before four, so he went with us to the doctor. Annie had a cold and cough (it wasn't in her chest, though) and a double ear infection. Peyton told Dr. Denney that he didn't ever want him to feel like we were bringing her in just to get an antibiotic and please not to give her one if she didn't need it. Dr. Denney said "Oh, she needs one, she has pus behind her ears". Peyton told him he just meant in general and Dr. Denney said he was going to treat her like his own baby and that he had taken an oath to "do no harm". I immediately explained that Peyton never thought we would give her something that would hurt her, he has just seen antibiotics over-prescribed (I don't even go to the doctor for my sinus infections anymore, because they are mostly viral and there's really nothing they can do) and he didn't want him to feel like we we expecting medicine every time we brought her in. He said he understood and that he tells parents who want antibiotics for every sniffle they may need to find a new doctor. Ha...I think he and Peyton get along nicely! On they way home we went by the pharmacy and the grocery store. I was set to cook some fabulous fish for dinner, but Peyton wanted french fries and corndogs. Haha! That was fine with me, unlike a certain friend of mine, I am the queen of the frozen foods section and no frozen processed beef dog is below me.

On Friday, I had lunch with Carrie and Aubrey and Ashley and Evy. My sister was home from Ole Miss, so I left the little sickly baby with her. It was kind of nice just to relax, but I felt a little naked without my sidekick. On the way back, I stopped by Leap Frog again (they are accepting Spring/Summer stuff everyday now). I got Annie the most adorable ladybug raincoat. It's a 2T, ha! I realized this week that she has SO much for this summer; I am so glad I bought ahead. I can't wait to put it all on her! I hung out with Cookie for a bit after I got back to pick up AP and we looked through old pictures. I have TONS I have brought over to my house to scan. We came home, AP napped and then Peyton, Annie and I headed back for Beans and Rice. We got home around 11:00.

Saturday was pretty full. Since AP went to bed so late, she woke up pretty late to (as in we woke HER up at 10:30- nobody kill me, I know "enjoy it now"!). It was the first time in months that Peyton has had to work at Walgreen or picked up an independent or we haven't had to get up early to travel or do something. It was so wonderful to just be lazy. Peyton cooked a great breakfast and we got ready and made a little trip to Target. Then we went to an apartment warming party for one of Peyton's old techs from Rite Aid. We came home and AP took her nap and then we went over to our friends Patrick and Haley's house. We picked up pizza (we were so healthy this week- corndogs, donuts, pizza, wow!) and had a great time visiting and seeing Ann Peyton's little boyfriend, Hank, who is almost a month old. I don't think we were contagious, but we tried not to let AP touch him too much and I "Purelled" my hands constantly [sidenote: I found travel Lysol dispensers that I have been looking for for-ever in the checkout line at Target....got four].
Doesn't he look so tiny? It almost gives me a baby itch!

We stopped by my parents' house afterwards and Annie and I stayed a bit, while Peyton went over to visit his brother at his house.

Today (Sunday) I was signed up to do the nursery at the early service and Children's Church at the late service. I did the nursery with AP while Peyton went to church. Then we left her and both went to Sunday School (our new class was really good!). Peyton kept AP in the nursery while I was supposed to be doing Children's Church (we only took one car), but there were no children, so I got to stay and hear the sermon. The rest of the day was really just lazy. I took a nap for the first time in awhile! Ann Peyton wore a little sweater and hat that my mom had made me when I was little and I wanted to get some pictures, but she was so cranky....next week, I guess.

This week is going to be BUSY! I am subbing three days this week. It's Peyton's week to work late, so he doesn't go in until two (and he has all day tomorrow off), so he'll be keeping her and doing what I do all day. I know he already has some fun Daddy/daughter activities planned! I'm excited about subbing, but I know it's going to be so busy. I should go on to bed now! I'm going to try to relax and not put too much on the agenda besides working, but things always pop up!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Show Us Your Life- Fashion Tips

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Okay, I am very much an amateur fashionista, but here are my tips....

1. Cultivate a personal style

I used to be that girl who wore a jeans, flip flops, and a solid tee (sometimes I mixed it up and wore a v-neck) EVERY day. That is a look some people love. More power to them. But I wanted to wear things that were a little more unique than that, nothing too terribly risky, but just different. I wanted a style that was "me". As much as I love Kelly's, Angie's, and Stephanie's blog for their content, there is a part of me (however shallow it may be) that really loves it when they post pictures of themselves because I think they each have wonderful (though very different) personal styles.

2. Think outside the box

- Be willing to use an item for something other than it's intended purpose- you can see from my post last week that I sometimes use the term "dress" very loosely. Last summer I also took a little creative license with my baby's wardrobe, too. It worked.
- Another example is when I was pregnant. I really would have liked some cute maternity dresses, but we have limited options in Jackson. I didn't want to pay the prices at the high end store and I couldn't find much that didn't look cheap and sleazy at other places. Even Target pretty much failed me. Sooo.....for awhile I just went up a size or two and wore loose fitting clothes- "baby doll" tops and dresses with an empire waist worked so well! For church, I had one more strategy. I bought a coat that was not maternity but was cute, on sale, and *very* rooomy. I wore the same (not very cute) dress under it for a month and nobody knew (because it's not weird to wear the same coat four Sundays in a row!). Obviously, this only works if you are cold- natured and the higher ups at your church cater to the needs of men in coats and ties and keep it freezing even in the winter. But I think it serves as an example of thinking outside the box.

3. Be creative
My mom used to get pretty little fake flowers from places like Hobby Lobby and make them into the most beautiful barrettes when we were teenagers. One of my best friends has done something similar with feathers- I secretly think she "retired" from her painting business to start up a booming career in the field of hair accessories. Shhh....don't tell her I said that. I have another friend that used to make and sell her own jewelry- it was gorgeous! That is why I am going to learn to sew this year- I think it will be such a fun creative expression and it will be neat to actually "design" Ann Peyton's clothing.

4. Okay, I almost didn't put this because it is in every magazine and has been said on "Good Morning America" at least once every season. BUT, it's worth saying. Buy some things that can be dressed up or down. It will be like buying two items. Jeans are a good example. The right jeans can look *really* dressy with some boots or heels and a cute, stylish top but also look casual if you pair them with flats and a sweater. Jewelry and accessories can change an outfit. I'm not kidding when I say this concept is probably touched in every issue of every major fashion magazine. But it's such a useful strategy. Just don't go saying I told you to wear a camo head wrap with your pumps and trouser jeans, okay?

Okay that's all for me! Can't wait to see everyone's tips!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Photogenic

I am not photogenic. Period. I almost always hate the way I look in pictures. I LOVE pictures, but I am rarely satisfied with ones of myself. For that very reason, I don't have nearly as many pictures of myself with Ann Peyton as I would like. There are *so* many of her and her Daddy. Sigh. I also almost didn't get ANY pictures taken when I was pregnant. I learned my lesson and will do it differently round two.

Recently, however, I have acquired a picture of myself (and AP) that I actually find flattering. It was taken by a professional photographer (actually the same one who took our wedding pictures) at the wedding of a family friend. I was so excited, not only because I actually found a picture of myself that I like, but because it's such a wonderful one of my little baby doll, too. It was from months ago, so Annie looks just tiny.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Won't You Read to Me? Wednesday




Okay, first things first, per the suggestion of Tiffany, I had planned to set up a Mr. Linky this week, but the day just got away from me. Next week I am going to try to have it up earlier AND try to have a Mr. Linky.
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Last week I said I was going to start featuring some of my favorite "classic" baby books from my childhood. This week's book was one of my VERY favorites from an early age:

The Runaway Bunny
by Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrated by Clement Hurd
http://www.barbsbooks.com/images/RunAwayBunny.jpg


This wonderful little book was written and illustrated in 1942 by the same talented team that created the classic Goodnight Moon. It is about a little bunny rabbit who tells his mother he is going to run away and his mother's response to that declaration. The little bunny tells his momma that he is going to to run away and she replies "If you run away, I will run after you. For you are my little bunny". The ensuing dialog is just so sweet and the pictures SO imaginative and beautiful. The little bunny thinks of places he'll go and things he'll become and the momma bunny tells him specifically how she will run after him. When he says he'll become a fish, the mother tells him she will become a fisherman and fish for him and there is a beautiful drawing of a big bunny doing what looks like fly fishing with a carrot to try to catch her baby bunny. When he wants to be a bird, she is the tree he comes home to.
[This is probably my favorite illustration in the whole book.]

When he decides to be a crocus in a garden, she is, of course, the gardener. And when he joins the circus as a trapeze artist, she becomes a tightrope walker so she can walk across the air to get him. The "bunny banter", and an Amazon reviewer called it, is so precious. In the end, the little bunny decides he should just stay home with his mother.

I love this book for SO many reasons! One reason is because it is a very sweet book, but it is one that isn't "trying to hard". My professor in Children's Lit once said that many children's books that are really sweet and sentimental are actually geared toward adults. Well, this isn't one of them! It tells the sweetest story, but not in a way that is marketed to play on parents' emotions.

Another, related reason, is that it conveys a mother's love for her child is a very meaningful, but very easily understand, way. I remember even as a very young child thinking "My momma is JUST LIKE that momma bunny- she would run anywhere after me". I can't wait until Ann Peyton realizes that for the first time!

There are other, more silly reasons. Like that I basically have an infatuation with bunnies (can anybody guess the theme for "BunBun's" birthday? I'll give you a hint, it's right around Easter.). Another things is that I love to emphasize the line "For you are my little bunny". I am committed to bringing back the preposition FOR, as used in the context it is there. Like, I could say "I love you Peyton. For you are my Sweetie", or "I am going to get a Coca Cola now. For I have a craving", or even "The General is now an outside kitty. For he has worms". I have a problem with (intentionally and un) using the vernacular of books I am reading. For example, when I read Jane Austen books in high school, I would catch myself talking just like the characters. It could get embarrassing. I know it's mean, but I secretly hope Ann Peyton does the same thing, just because that would be so....cool.

Anyway, if you've never read this book (I'm sure most everyone has- it is pretty well known) you need to. It's so phenomenal it has never been out of print since 1942 (I learned that just today when I was looking at it on Amazon).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Staying Home

Okay, I published this under Peyton's name and even though it's obvious that it is me I'm OCD so I had to republish. I couldn't figure out a way to just change it and I didn't want to delete the old one because I already got two (very helpful) comments on it. Thanks for humoring me.

Okay, I said that I was still going to post this and I am. Honestly, the majority of it was written over a week ago, but I wanted to take some more time and think through it. Really, I had a MUCH better week last week and this week has started off great, too. I just feel like this has always been a place where I shared my thoughts and I want to stay true to that. Also, this has been an ongoing struggle for me, and it's always very cathartic for me to just kind of examine my feelings about things here.



I have heard Oprah say that being a stay at home mom is the hardest job in the world. I'd have to disagree with her. I know Ann Peyton is still very young and is a very low maintenance child, but there is no way I would tell anyone this is the hardest job in the world. The most important? Maybe. The most fulfilling? Absolutely. But the hardest? Definitely not. Student teaching was far and away a hundred times harder and I don't really think that was the hardest job, either.

A teacher called me recently to sub for her at Saint Andrew's in a few weeks for three days in a row. It worked out really well, because it is the week Peyton works late, so he will be able to keep Ann Peyton. It will be the most hours I've worked outside the home. Ever.

I'm kind of excited. Kind of nervous. It's fun to use my degree, and I glad subbing is an option for me right now.

It has got me thinking about something, though.....

the value in what I do.

I'd be lying if I said I haven't struggled with this off and on this whole first year of Ann Peyton's life. My mom stayed home with us and it was always something I wanted to do and planned on doing when I had children.

Peyton, on the other hand, told me years ago when we were still only friends "My wife WILL work". Ha! I gave him a piece of my mind about that. He came around a long time ago, though, and we came to an agreement before we were even married that I would stay home once we had babies.

Some days, though, I'm embarrassed to say that I don't know why I do it. That's not to say that I don't know deep down that it is worth any sacrifice we have ever made.

It's just that some days, I feel guilty. Like I let the day go by without really carving out enough time for my primarily responsibility of this job. Of course, her need's are always met. Of course, I love on her and talk to ever single day. But sometimes, I feel like I spend too much time doing other things and I don't interact with her as much as I should. I know that many days I am not working as hard as Peyton is at his job.

I never did this because it was something I wanted to do. It was, but that isn't primarily why I chose it. I chose it because I thought it was in her best interest; that she would be better served by my staying home with her full time.

I don't know why I am doubting it, now. Part of it is that it is in my nature to overthink things and I just tend to struggle with guilt. Part of it is her age. She is at an age where she doesn't need the constant care a newborn requires but she can't do "projects" the way a preschooler can. It is hard for me to know exactly what I should be doing with her. [Ideas, moms?]. We read and we sing. And I talk to her a TON. But what else? I feel like there is more I should be doing. And then, part of it is the fact that Ann Peyton is Ann Peyton. She is a very laid back baby who naps easily and plays well independently. I think I'd have less guilt if she required more out of me. Part of it is the culture; I think in general, this is not a job that is highly valued by our society, anymore. And part of it is just a natural response to any job. I know Peyton questions why he does what he does all the time.

Anyway, it felt good to put it all out there.

I'll have some more fluff in the coming days. I'm really looking froward to sharing an *all-time* favorite book tomorrow and there is going to be a super fun post that I copied from Sarah and Ashley (or rather, Todd and Kurt) up sometime soon. Y'all (with the exception of Ashley and Carrie) are going to be really surprised at what a crackpot Peyton is, or maybe I've successfully conveyed that already....haha, just kidding!

Staying Home

Okay, I said that I was still going to post this and I am. Honestly, the majority of it was written over a week ago, but I wanted to take some more time and think through it. Really, I had a MUCH better week last week and this week has started off great, too. I just feel like this has always been a place where I shared my thoughts and I want to stay true to that. Also, this has been an ongoing struggle for me, and it's always very cathartic for me to just kind of examine my feelings about things here.


I have heard Oprah say that being a stay at home mom is the hardest job in the world. I'd have to disagree with her. I know Ann Peyton is still very young and is a very low maintenance child, but there is no way I would tell anyone this is the hardest job in the world. The most important? Maybe. The most fulfilling? Absolutely. But the hardest? Definitely not. Student teaching was far and away a hundred times harder and I don't really think that was the hardest job, either.

A teacher called me recently to sub for her at Saint Andrew's in a few weeks for three days in a row. It worked out really well, because it is the week Peyton works late, so he will be able to keep Ann Peyton. It will be the most hours I've worked outside the home. Ever.

I'm kind of excited. Kind of nervous. It's fun to use my degree, and I glad subbing is an option for me right now.

It has got me thinking about something, though.....

the value in what I do.

I'd be lying if I said I haven't struggled with this off and on this whole first year of Ann Peyton's life. My mom stayed home with us and it was always something I wanted to do and planned on doing when I had children.

Peyton, on the other hand, told me years ago when we were still only friends "My wife WILL work". Ha! I gave him a piece of my mind about that. He came around a long time ago, though, and we came to an agreement before we were even married that I would stay home once we had babies.

Some days, though, I'm embarrassed to say that I don't know why I do it. That's not to say that I don't know deep down that it is worth any sacrifice we have ever made.

It's just that some days, I feel guilty. Like I let the day go by without really carving out enough time for my primarily responsibility of this job. Of course, her need's are always met. Of course, I love on her and talk to ever single day. But sometimes, I feel like I spend too much time doing other things and I don't interact with her as much as I should. I know that many days I am not working as hard as Peyton is at his job.

I never did this because it was something I wanted to do. It was, but that isn't primarily why I chose it. I chose it because I thought it was in her best interest; that she would be better served by my staying home with her full time.

I don't know why I am doubting it, now. Part of it is that it is in my nature to overthink things and I just tend to struggle with guilt. Part of it is her age. She is at an age where she doesn't need the constant care a newborn requires but she can't do "projects" the way a preschooler can. It is hard for me to know exactly what I should be doing with her. [Ideas, moms?]. We read and we sing. And I talk to her a TON. But what else? I feel like there is more I should be doing. And then, part of it is the fact that Ann Peyton is Ann Peyton. She is a very laid back baby who naps easily and plays well independently. I think I'd have less guilt if she required more out of me. Part of it is the culture; I think in general, this is not a job that is highly valued by our society, anymore. And part of it is just a natural response to any job. I know Peyton questions why he does what he does all the time.

Anyway, it felt good to put it all out there.

I'll have some more fluff in the coming days. I'm really looking froward to sharing an *all-time* favorite book tomorrow and there is going to be a super fun post that I copied from Sarah and Ashley (or rather, Todd and Kurt) up sometime soon. Y'all (with the exception of Ashley and Carrie) are going to be really surprised at what a crackpot Peyton is, or maybe I've successfully conveyed that already....haha, just kidding!

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Few More Little Things

I had a few more things yesterday, but my Weekly Happenings post was just getting out of control (probably made your retinas bleed, as MckMama would say). Anyway....

First off, a kitty update. I think that Darth and The General are going to be outside kitties for awhile, now. I told Peyton that if someone wants to play with them it is fine to bring them in the house, but they are not going to come and go at their leisure, anymore. Also, now that we are starting to have some pretty days, I think it will be good motivation to get us outside. I'm just unsure why it took me this long. They have always kind of torn up the carpet (we're getting wood floors this Spring, yay!), but now that AP is more active and puts EVERYTHING in her mouth it has gotten to be an even bigger problem. I've got her with carpet fibers in her mouth a couple of times and once she was kind of coughing. Peyton thinks it was just "tickling her", but I swear it's a choking hazard. And really after that laundry room incident a few Sundays back should have been conclusive evidence it was time to make this move, but Ima softie.

Secondly, I really thought everyone needed to see more naked tulle pictures of AP, but I changed my mind and am going to devote a whole post to them later.

Lastly, I really wanted to talk about my chair find a little more. I am so excited about it! It was still kind of high for consignment, but I know they have them in stores around here for insane prices (like over $100). And it was just what I wanted. I've seen the "hard" kind of toddler chairs at Target and Pottery Barn, but I really wanted a soft one for her. I'm all about soft things- you should see my t-shirt collection (oh, wait you have- in our Weekly Family Pictures). I had put up her Bouncy Seat and was just planning to leave the area where it was bare. Her room is pretty full and it really didn't need anything there; but the chair was SO perfect! AP's nursery really doesn't have a theme, except that it is sort of vintage inspired and has a "shabby chic" look to it:


And what could be more vintage AND shabby chic than a pastel colored, patchwork chenille toddler chair? I'll tell you- NOTHING.

So, I put it in her room where the Bouncy Seat used to live.

I think that she looks significantly more comfortable than she did in her Bouncy!

P.S. I know I don't have to defend myself to anyone reading this, but I just want to say it anyway. After today's two long post and yesterday's ridicoulously long post, I know it doesn't seem like I do anything all day but blog. Well, I had the earlier post from today mostly all written last week and just had to finish it. Just so you know.....

What's In a Name?



I've been meaning to write this post since, oh, I started this blog. Ashley left a comment the other day, though, and it got me thinking about it again.

I love music. It has been such a huge part of my life. When I started blogging and becoming more interested in social networking (wow, nerd alert!) I loved it when I saw someone's post of Facebook album that was named after a song. Ashley actually does this really well- sometimes I recognize them but sometimes, if I see a post that has a really "pretty" title on her blog, I usually Google it and find out that it is song that I've never heard (always a beautiful one).

When I started using Facebook to share photos, I decided that a fun goal would be to name every album after the title of or lyrics from a song. It has been a fun endeavor, especially coming up with ones for Ann Peyton's albums (I do one for her each month). However, I think I may have used all the good ones by the time we have another child (I probably will be doing good to do a yearly album for him/her, ha!).

All that to say, when it came time to pick a name for this blog, I knew it had to be either the title or lyrics from a song, as well. I played around with a few (I don't remember what, honestly), but the line "in the warm hold of your loving mind" from Donovan's Catch the Wind kept coming up.

This song has so much meaning to me. It is a song that Peyton and I both love and could really be "our song"; in fact, Peyton really wanted it to be the song we danced to for our first dance at our reception. But, it is a little melancholy and not really the way to bang, bang start a good party. And I might as well go ahead and say that though many of the lyrics ring true, it's really about how actually being with the one he loves is like trying to "catch the wind". So, not really the best choice to celebrate your hour old nuptials, right?

There are several songs that I just treasure, because they so beautifully express my feelings for the people I love. I think I'll do a post about some of the others soon, but this is one that is very important to me. I love the lines When sundown pales the sky, I wanna hide a while, behind your smile and When rain has hung the leaves with tears, I want you near, to kill my fears
To help me to leave all my blues behind, but my favorite are these:

In the chilly hours and minutes,
Of uncertainty, I want to be,
In the warm hold of your loving mind.


Those lyrics have rang true throughout our relationship, when life is chilly and filled with uncertainty, I want to be in the forefront of his thoughts and he in mine. Those lines have come to mean even more to me, though.

I started this blog when it was the two of us. We were both "contributors", the title reference alluded to both the thoughts and the people that occupied the space in the warm hold of [our] loving mind. I thought about changing the word "your" to "our" or even "their". But, we are "you" to those reading and more importantly, I wanted to stay true to the original lyrics. Also, I honestly thought more people would "get" it.

Like I said, the line has come to have additional meaning to me. The things I write about on here are mostly about the people (and occasionally the ideas) that are very close to my heart. Many people think that the name of the blog (and the lyrics of the song) say "in the warm hold of your loving arms". I am glad that is not what it says. Because there were many times in which Peyton and I were apart (when he was still at Ole Miss, when I lived in Tahoe for a month, even those seemingly long weeks when I had something going on every night at college and couldn't come home between weekends) when although we weren't in each other's arms, we were most assuredly, in the warm hold of each other's minds. It is something to be in another's thoughts constantly.

And, there it is. There will be a day (a long time from now, I hope!) when Ann Peyton is not consistently in my arms. But she will always be consistently in my thoughts. And I want her to know she always has been. The same could, theoretically, be true for Peyton (please God, take me first!), but he will always be in my thoughts until the day that I am called Home.

There are so many others. My parents. My sister. My best friends. People that, to varying degrees, I am not able to frequently take in my arms. But they are HERE, first and foremost in my mind, and then here, recorded for all time for the sake of remembering. That is what it means to be "In the Warm Hold of [Sarah Denley's] Loving Mind.


In the chilly hours and minutes,
Of uncertainty, I want to be,
In the warm hold of your loving mind.

To feel you all around me,
And to take your hand, along the sand,
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind.

When sundown pales the sky,
I wanna hide a while, behind your smile,
And everywhere I'd look, your eyes I'd find.

For me to love you now,
Would be the sweetest thing, 'twould make me sing,
Ah, but I may as well, try and catch the wind.

When rain has hung the leaves with tears,
I want you near, to kill my fears
To help me to leave all my blues behind.

For standin' in your heart,
Is where I want to be, and I long to be,
Ah, but I may as well, try and catch the wind.


***With the exception of my holiday playlists and one exclusively worship playlist, every playlist I have ever put on this blog begins with "Catch the Wind" and they always will.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Weekly Happenings Post #45 (January 18-24)

***Friends, skim. I apologize in advance for the dissertation that is this my Weekly Happenings post. ***



Well, first of all the theme from this week was "Ann Peyton's parents are so blessed by their parents who provide amazing babysitting services whenever requested". Um, yeah, we had a lot going on this week that seemed to necessitate child care. Alot, alot. We are so thankful for our parents and so fortunate that we live in the same town (basically) as both sets of them!

Also, I will say that I feel a lot better since last week. Annie was struggling with a little fever (I think it's finally her teeth maybe) toward the end of the week and I really felt like she needed me in a way that she usually doesn't. I also got a lot done around the house, not huge projects or anything, but generally a productive week. That said, I still think I am going to publish the pensive post that is half finished right now, because it is representative of something I have struggled with and will continue to struggle with in the future, I'm sure. Anyway....I know you're dying to hear what happened this week...

Monday was pretty rough. Actually, it was awful. I thought the whole week was pretty much ruined. Monday morning was the funeral for a little boy at our church. I mentioned him before on the blog. The situation is so sad and is compounded by the fact that this is the second child that his mother has lost to death. He had a heart condition that he was born with (he was only a few months old) and was waiting for a heart transplant. I know in my heart that he has been healed, just not in this world, but now as a mother, the thought of loosing a child is just about the most horrific thing I can imagine. My mom kept Ann Peyton so that Peyton and I could both go. He was one of the only men there. I know I whine about his schedule, but there are times like this where it actually works out great for him to be off on a week day instead of a weekend; the service was so much more bearable with him there. When we got home, I ran to Target and the grocery store (I'm such a baby and I usually try to go when Peyton's home, so he can keep AP, even though she is really no trouble; I guess I just hate "hauling" her). Monday night I had a terrible headache (probably from crying all day), but we went to Peyton's parents' house for a little visit.

Tuesday was interesting. When we got to the church at 7:45 for Mother's Morning Out the doors were locked. "I know I didn't forget a holiday", I thought. Nope, the Subway a block from the church got robbed. Come on....if you don't have the guts to rob a bank, at least rob a gas station. The Subway? at 7:30 in the morning? This is all in downtown Brandon, so it's very unusual. Anyway, about half the parents just took their kids straight back home. I usually get the babies to sleep in the nursery and then just go across the hall into the "big kids" room and help them out. But, I just didn't feel comfortable so AP stayed with me when I went to help in the other room- she missed her morning nap and was a total fuss pot the rest of the day. Seriously, I think she's a narcoleptic....she still requires so much sleep. NOT COMPLAINING. Anyway, we tried to do a little shopping and I did manage to go to one place- a little consignment store near us. I found an outfit that is identical to one AP had this Christmas for like $2 in an 18 mo. so I got that, but that was the only thing! She was getting really cranky, so we went on home and I did laundry and then fixed spaghetti for supper.

Wednesday morning we had a meeting with our financial people to talk about this year's goals. One of them is making a will, which includes what we do with AP, so we've been talking alot about that this week. Peyton's mom kept Ann Peyton and she was so sweet and told us to go on to lunch afterward. We tried to go to Primos, but it was WAY to crowed (we did get dessert, though!), so we just grabbed some Subway. I had my usual, a meatball sub, and it was awful. One bad bite can just ruin the whole sandwich....and the whole restaurant, for awhile. When we got home, Peyton went to work and I went through AP's closet and got everything that is less than 12 mos. out! Wednesday night AP and I had dinner at a Greek restaurant in Madison with my college friends, Logan and Amanda, and then went back to their apartment to check it out. I hadn't seen it since they finished decorating.


AP let me know she needed to go to bed so we headed out. The fog right before we got on the Spillway (a dam leading across some water to my house) was AWFUL- I couldn't see two feet in front of my face. So, we did the sensible thing. What else? Turned around and went over to my parents (less than five minutes from where we were) and called Peyton to pick us up when he got off at 10:00. Yeah, the little narc loved that.

On Thursday, we had MMO again.

Wesley took a picture of the girls, because they were "matching" in their Kissy Kissy outfits. Ella Kate's was a gift. Ours came from the TJ. Ha!

Afterward, I went Target to get AP a booster seat (we're going to leave it at my parents and use it on trips. (My dad was going to go buy a full sized high chair. Ha, we haven't moved in yet, Mick!). I also went by the Gap because they were having a great sale of kid's stuff. I found some great pj's. I love Gap pjs but they aren't cheap (I mean they aren't Hanna Anderrson, but they are like over $20, so "not cheap" in my book). I'm probably the only mom to buy ahead pajamas. Oh well. We took Peyton to get his car and I "deep cleaned" the walker and another big used toy I got Annie last week at the consignment store. I mean I scrubbed them with hot, soapy water. Then I Clorox Wiped them. Then I Lysoled them. I still haven't gotten the clothes I got her washed.

Friday was really eventful. I got my hair cut while Peyton kept Ann Peyton and I don't know...I'm warming up to it. The thing is called the "Sahag"- yes, my hair has a name and it's a little bit choppy/severe. I described it this way to Peyton and he said he expected Kate Gosselin to walk in the door. Um, no....I would have been in tears. If you look at the family pic, there is nothing severe or dramatic about it. It screams "mom hair". I am a drama queen. (Sidenote: I finally really watched the poofing video, took notes, and attempted. Anything so that my flat, oily hair doesn't look "sucked by the cat" as my mom says. I long for volume and body.) The hair cut took longer than expected and I was a little late meeting the girls for lunch (after texting them: "Nobody make fun of my hair". Drama. Queen.) I can't believe Carrie didn't mention it in her post, but the highlight of the entire thing was when Carrie got out her can opener to open some peaches for Aubrey. Carrie is so cute and one of those people that seems like she has all the right things in her diaper bag and none of the wrong ones. I'm the type that would carry a can opener for in my purse for weeks and have to borrow a diaper from a stranger. And it was like, the most ghetto thing ever. Maybe being a mom to two is just doing her in ;).

After lunch, we headed directly over to my mom's to run some errands. We took my grandmother's ring that I got for Christmas to be resized and picked up some dry cleaning for my mom. Then we went to two more consignment places- Leap Frog and Kid's Kloset. I got some great stuff, including this chair for AP's birthday. I am going to put it where her Bouncy Seat was; because (almost) ten months is too old for a Bouncy!

Peyton told me it was a wise investment (he was really a little miffed, even though I payed about half of what these retail for) because Darth loved it!

When we got back to my mom's house (where my car was), she offered to keep AP for a bit while I ran to Target (again....I know, three times!) and went home and did a few things, since we were going to be back in a few hours for Beans and Rice. Of course, I took her up on it. Peyton met us after work for Beans and then we went home.

Someone is enjoying the new Snack and Scribble booster...

Saturday was pretty laid back. Annie and I ran one errand, to SeeSaws, and other than that we stayed home all day. I came up with a theme and pretty much planned AP's entire first birthday party. Saturday night we went to something called "Suppers of Eight" that our church has started. It's basically eight people from the church that probably don't know each other well and are assigned to a group for a few months to get to know each other better. Pretty much supper club, but with people you don't really know! It was neat getting to know people we aren't that close to a little better! A different person hosts it each month. Next month is our turn- it will be my first time to "entertain" for anyone that's not family or close friends. I'm a little nervous!

This is how we found her. My mom is a softie and she cried when she put her in the Pack N Play. So, she just let her roll all over until she fell asleep from sheer exhaustion!

Today (Sunday) was, well, another interesting one. Peyton slept to late to go to early church, so AP and I were just going to go. As I was getting her ready, Peyton notices something "suspicious'' on our bed. Turns out it was pen worms from where The General had been sitting. I immediately moved AP and Peyton stripped the bed. I continued on with getting ready and planned to wash the bedding later. Peyton told me to try to stay in the study and AP's room (rooms the cats don't go in) once we got home for the afternoon and went on to work. We headed to church. Well, once we got there, I was wiping her face off and I noticed something that looked just like the worms. I'm still not sure if it was or not. Y'all.....I cannot describe the combined feelings of disgust and fear at seeing what may or may not be a parasitic organism that originated in the back end of your cat on your child's FACE. Okay, actually I think it originated in his intestine and....well, you get it. I've been descriptive enough with all this.

I called Peyton and he said not to go to church to go home and give her a bath and be sure to stay in those to rooms and to use the little bulb thing that they gave us when she was born to see if I could suck anything out of her nose. Yeah....no. We went home for about ten minutes to get some stuff and then went to my parents' house for the day. We stopped by Peyton's store for a "drive by Annie viewing" and I remembered I had left the bulb. He got me one and we went to my parents' house. AP had a bath, as well as a n@ked photo shoot in some tulle (I spelled it that way to deter google creepers.....paranoid much?).

I also wrote some thank you notes, went through receipts, took out the bassinet in the Pack N Play at their house (ten month olds don't need bassinets, either), wrapped a wedding present and sewed on a button (with my mom's help). A really productive day and I had been so worried about not being home to get anything done! Peyton vacuumed when he got home and then we headed back this way. We had a nice relaxing night and are ready to start the new week.

Whew! I'm sorry that was so long; it was a very interesting week!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Now I See A Family Where There Once Was None...

And we've just begun,
think I'm gonna fly to the sun....


[June 2009-January 2010]