Saturday, March 31, 2007


It was oh so lovely to be in the land of a real mall with real shops. Oh, it was very tempting. In one mall, on one corner the mall was Crate and Barrel, Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn. In the middle of those three, was J Crew. Upstairs was Sephora, Delias and Brooks Brothers. Yikes. I did some damage at J Crew because I really wanted to find a pair of khaki capris and that was the only place that I found a pair that fit and looked cute on me. Did I want to spend $60 on a pair of capris? Nope. But, I realized that since I will probably wear these pants every day this summer that I should go ahead and invest. Now, I am thinking that I need them in several colors. TROUBLE.
I also bought a new brush at Sephora, along with a moisterizer and face wash from Philosophy (my favorite new line). Oh, and I bought a cute new jean skirt from The Gap. I could have bought that in Asheville, but they were having a huge sale and I only spent $10 on it. I love that!
I really wanted to go back to the mall before we left Raleigh this morning to go back through Crate and Barrel and buy some items for the house, but there just wasn't enough time.
That is what the internets is for! Now that I have seen items in person, I am more confident about what I want to purchase in their online stores. I love that!

BTW: I saw Gwen Stefani on American Idol this week and I love her new song, "The Sweet Escape" she is coming to Charlotte on May 12. Tickets on the lawn are only $12. Anybody wanna go?

I'm back

I'm back and I have nothing to blog about right now. It was a great time with the YL staff and I am so glad that I went. Although, there was nothing restful about it. I had a great time hanging out and laughing with women that I respect, especially Susan McSwain. It was refreshing getting to hang out with her. It made me miss the women in my life that have mentored me. Ahh memories.

Well we are back home and we head to the beach on Wednesday. So I will be wrapping up work loose ends and trying to prep the house, laundry, groceries etc. all week long. I can't wait!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Not here

Sorry for the lack of posting. Lucy and I are at a women's retreat in Raleigh partying with the Young Life staff women and wives for a few days. I just got back from my complimentary massage and we are heading out to Crabtree Mall to shop at all of our favorite stores; Sephora, Restoration Hardware and J Crew. Hopefully we will find all kinds of great things!


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Lesson Learned

For about a year now, I have read several articles about checking your hospital bills against your Explanation of Benefits statements (EOB's) because hospitals are notorious for overcharging patients for services that they did not receive or not filing claims according to insurance guidelines or just flat out overcharging for services that the patients did receive.

I didn't pay any attention to the bills when it came to Asher being born. I just counted on everyone doing their jobs with integrity and leaving it at that.

Since getting pregnant with Lucy, all of that has changed.

One of the reasons was because my OB office told me that we owed them $249 that were charges left over from Asher. Then, overnight that changed to they owed us $190, to "we applied that money to your deductible so no, you can't get a check back." It was bizarre and my head is still swimming over what happened with our money.

So, I have very meticulously kept all of our EOB's and all of the statements that we have received from the hospital so that once I received the final bill, I could verify what we owed.

The hospital is pretty tricky because they have sent us around 78 statements in the last four months and all of them have unbelieveably different patient balances. One says, $7534.28 and one says $46.37. You have no idea at any time what the bottom line is. It is very confusing.

But basically I have not paid any attention to the balances. The most important documents to keep up with are your EOB's. Every single EOB has a box that says "Patient Responsibility" and that is what you owe, not what the hospital says you owe.

So today, we received a statement from the hospital that was all related to Lucy being born. So I pulled out all of the EOB's and pulled out the calculator and started doing some math. Wanna know what I found out?

Mission Hospital is overcharging us by at least: $656.99

Yeah, that's a lot of cheddar.

Our latest bill, which does include our ER visit in January is: $1358.86 Our EOB's state that we owe: $701.87. Quite a difference.

So I called our insurance and said, I just want to check my numbers. They said I was right. So I called the hospital and they said, "We don't have any kind of agreement with your insurance for these discounted charges. So we charged you full price. You are responsible for all of these charges."

When I called my insurance office back, they were all, "WHAT? Oh no. We are gonna take care of this." Watch out Mission. My insurance lady is gonna kick yours to protect mine. YEOW!

The lesson here. Double check! I have about 15 line items on this statement and I checked all of my EOB's against it. Some of the charges are off by only $3.00--but it adds up to real money. Some of the charges, like DELIVERING A CHILD are off by $500. Unbelieveable. I am so glad that I checked and haven't paid anything yet. Cause I can promise you, that hospital would not be sending me a refund check. Crap heads.

A Nate Update

we heard from Jeannie (Matt's sister) yesterday about our nephew Nate and his back problems. (If you need to get up-to-date about what I am talking about, check out the Nate tags) Here is what she said:

"We had a follow-up appointment with the orthopedist today. It was very positive. Dr. Locke said that the MRI showed that Nate's back was not significantly curved anymore! That is great news! In addition, Nate has almost stopped complaining of back-pain altogether. God has really answered our prayers.
We believe that the physical therapy has been helping. He is definitely growing stronger. We are seeing a rheumatologist at MUSC on April 11th for further testing to learn if Nate has some arthritis or other inflammatory condition. I'll let you know when we know more."

That is great news and I know that everyone is thrilled. Thanks for praying!!!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Oprah, We're Through

Dear Oprah,

I have been a faithful watcher of your show for nearly 15 years. But today, you have lost me. I can excuse many things that you have promoted and self-promoted over the years. But now, I have come to the conclusion that you can not live without the camera following you while you do nothing. I gave you a pass the time that you had cameras follow you to pick out your new puppy. But this past week, you burned me out.

I am sick, SICK to death of you and Gayle and your stupid trips. Cut it out. We don't care! All we want you to do is show your favorite things 365 Days of the Year and on days when you run out of products, just bring on some celebrities! I like you as a girlfriend! Who I can watch and laugh with and say, "no she didn't!"

But now you have become too self-important. Stop with the schools in South Africa. Stop with the sex offender shows. We have shows about these things it is called, America's Most Wanted and it is on Saturday nights on Fox. My DAD watches that faithfully. I do not. You don't have to stop being passionate about these things. Go for it. Syphon all of your money into these programs. But STOP making television shows about it. You are not a member of the United Nations. You are Oprah.

Your job, in case you forgot was to show me what sheets I ought to buy this spring. What I should think about getting my mom on mother's day. To tell me about Julia Roberts next movie. Not where I should eat in case I get lost in freakin' Chattanooga and Gayle is in passenger seat.

Today, you are losing your coveted spot on my TiVo. I have to daily justify your existence on the line-up to my husband, who calls you the Anti-Christ because just by simply making a suggestion, you determine what our Gross Domestic Product is. And you are not losing it because I tend to agree with his assertation. It is because I am tired of you. You and your silly trips, your friends, your "surprises" for everyday Americans that really come back to just how great you are. I can't do it.

I will only watch you when you decide to go back to interviewing people and being the friend that I remember you to be. Until then, farewell.

Wonder What She's Thinking

I know that my children's brains are not made of mush.

But sometimes, I think that they are.

Then, something like this picture comes along and I have to wonder, "what is she thinking about?"

Because that is one outstanding face. It makes me think that she is (perhaps) up to something. And that something could be the mush for brains throught (mmm poop) or the intelligent thought, "I bet if I just tip a little more, I could be free of this stupid purple chair. Then I can do all of the fun things that Asher gets to do." Or she could be planning for all of the ways that she is going to defy me as she gets older (Wouldn't that be stank?)

I never ever really want to know what my kids are thinking, because well...I don't want my parents to know what I am thinking. That awful movie,"Look Who's Talking" is really dumb, because well, I don't need to explain why. You can just accept that it is a terrible movie and that the whole premise sucks because you don't want to know what babies are thinking.

It is more fun to insert my own thoughts into their little mush-filled heads. So here is your chance, what is Lucy thinking about? If you have been lurking on this blog, now is the time to leave a comment! I challenge you!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Sweet Pic of the Day

For those of you who miss Windy Gap:

Montezuma's Revenge Strikes Again

Last night, the stomach virus came out swinging. I had spent the greater part of the day recovering from yesterday morning and I thought that I was doing alright. But no. OH NO.

Everything came back with a vengance at the convenient time 11:30pm. I believe that the pain and illness peaked around 2am when I was stumbling towards the bathroom for the 20th time of the night doubled over and crying out in pain. But thankfully that was the last time and I finally got to go sleep for the night.

Today is a new day! I feel amazing and I believe that all traces of Montezuma's Revenge have left my body. I have been able to eat and not live in fear. Amazing! Hallelujah!

One new thing that is fun is that Lucy has figured out to roll over. Asher couldn't roll over until six months and here Lucy is at four months already turning over! I can't believe it! Of course, Asher also outweighed Lucy by ten pounds at this point so that might have been holding him back. Here is a picture of Lucy having rolled over from her back to the front.

Asher experienced his first popsicle of the year yesterday. I am pretty sure that the word "Love" does not accurately describe his feelings towards this treat.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Pretzel Chips Make My Day

The sickness is back with a vengence and twist within my body. I tried to take the kids to the park this morning to meet my friend my college and her kids and I got the "hot poops" while we were there (truth is, I had 'em before we left the house, but I thought "there's nothing left, we must be safe!") and just taking the kids out exhausted me. Being sick completely blows.

I brought the kids home, Matt came home to take care of Asher for a bit and I layed down to take a nap. A nice hard two hour nap. And when I woke up, I was 1) incredibly dehydrated and 2) so hungry. Then I remembered a special little trip that I took the grocery store yesterday and stumbled upon a product that makes me so happy: Kettle Brand Pretzel Chips! They are just like the pretzel chips they used to serve at Groucho's in Five Points. Mmmm Grouchos. Before Groucho's over-expanded and had to cut costs, so I haven't had pretzel chips in YEARS.

If only I had some 45 sauce, I would be doing alright. Except that the last thing my stomach needs to see right now is 45 sauce. ewww.
But anyway, they are DEEELICIOUS and hitting the spot on my ultra-sensitive stomach. It looks like Lucy and I are pulling out of family camp weekend while Matt takes Asher. I hope that I can make a full recovery quickly.
One bonus on having the stomach flu is that I am back at my pre-preggo weight! Not that this is the way you want to do it and as soon as I can keep solids in my body; it will all return. But it is kind of fun to see the scale!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Buzz Cut

I got sick of seeing Asher's little bowl cut that we got at Fantastic Sam's two weeks ago, so I borrowed some clipper's from Karl and Ellen Troyer and decided to give it a go. I was decidedly freaked out because Asher had such a meltdown while getting his haircut. But let me tell you, it was almost the easiest thing that I have had to do with this kid!

He sat there and basically had no problem with it. The only thing is that he got sick of how long it took! He also did not like all of the hair tumbling down on top of him!

But it looks so cute! I have always loved little boys with crew cuts since River Phoenix in "Stand By Me"


Go now to

It's a woot off! They offer one item at a time until all of them are sold and then they sell another item. Usually it is just one item a day, but today it's a Woot-Off!!!

Actual Conversation with Asher

"Mommy, mommy?!"

"Yes Asher?"

"Yummy, Yummy" while holding up a cracker...

"Are you eating yummies?"

"YEAH! Daddy, daddy!"

"Did Daddy give you yummies?"


exactly 12 seconds later...

"Mommy, mommy?!"
"Yes Asher?"
"Yummy, Yummy" while holding up the same cracker
"Are you eating yummies?"
"YEAH! Daddy, daddy!"
"Did Daddy give you yummies?"

I guess he is feeling better.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Feeling Much Better-Thank You

I am feeling much better right now with a little food on the stomach and two Sprites...I think that I am going to make it.
I want to celebrate with Robin for having found her ipod! Hooray! I seriously don't know what I would do if I lost mine. In celebration with her, I have swiped this from her blog.

If your life was a movie, what would the soundtrack be?
So, here's how it works:1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every section, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new section, press the next button on your player
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool...

Opening Credits: The Best of What's Around-Dave Matthews Band

Waking Up: Stones-Neil Diamond

First Day of School: Beyond the Sea-Bobby Darin

Falling in Love: BLueberry Hill-Fats Domino

Fight Song: Justify My Love-Madonna

Breaking Up: Hand Jive-Grease Soundtrack

Prom: Life is a Highway-Tom Cochrane (I am pretty sure that we played this at our prom!)

Life: Set Adrift on a Memory Bliss-PM Dawn (yes, I have this on my ipod)

Driving: Guantanmera-Wyclef Jean

Flashback: No Such Thing-John Mayer

Getting Back Together: Hold It Up To the Light-David Wilcox (one of my all time favs)

Wedding: Nobody Knows Me-Lyle Lovett (that would be one sad wedding song)

Party: Mony Mony-Billy Idol

Birth of a Child: We're Gonna Be Friends-The White Stripes (yes!)

Death Scene: Don't Look Back in Anger-Oasis

Ending Credits: Mr. Brightside-The Killes (booyah)

well that was fun.

Next Stop Star Search!!!

This is a video of my nephew Peter singing "You are My Sunshine." It is so cute it makes your heart ache!


So I ended up puking my brains out late last night. I felt fine and then all of the sudden--WHAMMO-I was throwing up. Violently. So hard that I threw my back out. Like an old woman. I was in pain and felt terrible all night long. Thankfully, Matt stayed home to take care of the kiddos. I don't know what I would do without him, I mean...I wouldn't have kids to take care of. But that's besides the point. I hate being sick. I am actually feeling better right now and hope that this virus will leave my system quickly. Sorry to Becca and Robin if you get sick.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

No posts

Sorry for the lack of posts today. Asher felt great all day yesterday so we ventured out to the mall this morning so that I could do some spring clothes shopping for me. We stopped in GapKids and Asher blew chunks all over the store. I had to buy what was in my hand because he puked on it.
We just got back from the doctors and all he could tell me was that this ought to end soon. I sure as crap hope so. Once we got home, Asher threw up again. This sucks.
Sorry, I am tired and worn out from this sickness and from all the cleaning up.

Notice the puke bowl and the bags underneath Mommy's eyes? Let's be done with this sickness okay?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Ya'll Want Your Ride "Mommed"?

This video is hilarious, especially if you have ridden in my car, which is NOT a minivan. I know that day is approaching and I dread it like the plague. But for some reason, Matt wants one. I have to stay strong. But the interior of my car still looks like the one on this video! Check it out!

Happy Birthday Big Man

Today is my Big Man's birthday! Count 'em, 31 big ones! We have been talking about how in the last two years, both of us became grown ups. We have two kids, own a house, jobs that are professional (not starter jobs) and we are married.
On one hand, you can see that as a sad thing (to be a grown up) because you miss out on all of the sponteneity and freedom that you had as an adolescent. But more and more, I think that we are enjoying being grown ups. Because there is freedom in not having to fall for every trend, or to keep up with who knows what. We can just learn to grow closer together, to our kids and form our own lives that are not determined by outside forces, but just with each other.

I love that I am married to Matt Sloan and that six years ago, we were just two months away from getting married. I love that so much has changed between us in six years. I love that I have known him for ten years. I love that he has known me for ten years. I hope that I get to spend every birthday with him for the rest of our lives.

I am so grateful for him and his love for me. I am so glad that he has turned another year older because it means that we have made it one more year with each other. The Lord has shined his face upon me because Matt is in my life, has been in my life and will be (Lord willing) for many more birthdays.

There is nothing quite as strong for love as seeing your husband reach out and love your children well. Matt is an amazing father (with his faults and I have mine) and I love that we are learning to be parents together. I love that he puts me before our kids and that I put him before the kids. We are together in this thing and I love that. He is the man that I always dreamed of as my husband.

I love you!

Happy Birthday Old Man.


My super sweet husband and my amazing boss, Stephen Lutz conspired last night at the Switchfoot show to give me tickets with great seats to see Arcade Fire, one of my new favorite bands. They are coming to Asheville on May 2 and I am super-excited to go see them. Great news today!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Last Night

Okay, so I now might have a sense of humor about what transpired at my house last night to actually talk about it.

Matt and I are redoing our bathroom and so he has been working like a dog on it. And the bathroom is looking so good. I love it! We are painting it a really nice creamy green and putting down ceramic tile. So, Matt was painting last night so that we could begin to put down the tile this week. I was trying to get Lucy to sleep (which is still a challenge without the swaddle) when Matt finished painting. I could hear him cleaning everything up when Lucy started crying and I had to go into her room to put the pacifier back in her mouth (for the 28th time). Matt walked into the living room and peeked into her room to see how I was doing. As I came out of her room, I saw paint-GREEN FREAKING PAINT dripping from the bottom of the grocery store bag that he put the wet paint pan into and it was a steady stream all over the carpet. It was leaving a trail like Hansel and Gretal throughout our house.

I yelled out to him, "Aghhh, get out of the house! You're dripping paint!" Which then woke Lucy up for the 29th time.

When he came back inside, he set about cleaning up the paint by rubbing it into the carpet. I quickly put a stop to that and got him some Woolite carpet cleaner and sprayed all of the paint that I could see. Then I had to get Lucy, because she was still awake from my earlier outburst and I had to feed her. Matt started to clean again, but this time with a clean cloth and was dabbing at the spots, but quickly moved to a frantic rubdown. He was making some progress, but eventually (in the worst area) he got most of the paint up, but it also tinted the area green. It was also making so much noise that Lucy could not settle down to eat. I asked Matt to take a break until I could get her asleep.

After Lucy fell asleep, we searched the internet and many sites suggested just using lukewarm water, dishwashing soap and a nail brush. I got to work with that method and it worked remarkably well. The only problem was that as I started cleaning up, I noticed that the work area about quadrupled because apparently my husband was doing laps while carrying wet paint around in our house! I was so mad, I couldn't even talk. Matt knew that I was beyond angry because he kept saying, "I triple bagged it. I triple bagged it!" Which really only served to make me more mad because; 1) Why wasn't he using a regular garbage bag instead of the grocery bags? I don't even trust dog poop in those things. Why trust WET FREAKIN' PAINT?
2) Why are you even moving wet paint? We aren't using that bathroom. It easily could have sat until tomorrow. Ughh.

The whole time I was cleaning, I was trying to tell myself to have a sense of humor about this and to relax. I mean, it was coming up and it was alright. But I was having a really hard time laughing. It simply was not funny at the time. But looking back, I mean after the day that I had with Asher throwing up at least ten times, his diarrhea, Lucy crying endlessly and Matt was gone all morning while I dealt with it and then, right when we were feeling good about the bathroom and everything...BAM it all blows up again. That's funny. The key to comedy is timing and boy, was it hitting last night!

So we cleaned and got a significant amount of the paint up by around 1am. Then Matt decided he wanted to go and check on Asher because he had been asleep since 6pm. About ten minutes later, Asher and Matt both came upstairs. Strike 2. It turned out that Asher had a messy diaper and Matt changed it and of couse, Asher woke up. He was super thirsty from having thrown up all day and so we gave him a little bit of water. He threw that up in about three minutes. So we gave him more phinergan and Matt settled in for an all-nighter of watching the Wiggles.

I gave Matt a Happy St. Patrick's Day and thanks for painting-the-carpet-green kiss and went to bed.
The carpet looks fine today and once we steam clean the carpets (which we have to do because of all of the puke) you won't be able to tell there was ever a problem. But, I am pretty sure that we all learned a lesson. Don't move wet paint. Don't trust grocery store bags. Give your children phinergan every night.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Fun pictures of Lucy and Asher

I took all of these pictures after Asher had thrown up only twice this morning. However, he has showered the house with his bile many, many times since then. He has thankfully been asleep since 6pm (due to the Phinergan that Dr. Fields called in for him-YOU ARE THE BEST DOCTOR IN THE WORLD).

Also, Matt got paint up in our bathroom and then had green paint drip across our carpet out the front door. It is doubtful we will be able to get it cleaned up. Perfect.

But this was a fun day of pics. Enjoy!

What is it?

What's brown, liquid and has raisens in it?
Asher's puke.
We have seen it several times this morning and are deathly afraid of it infecting all of us.
Of course, he has no fever, is acting normally and it comes without warning.
Three changes of clothes, two carpet cleaning sessions, change the linens in his crib and mopped up the kitchen. All before noon.

Welcome to the weekend!

Would you like for me to come over and puke on your couch? I will.

I was just sitting there and then breakfast had to leave my body. Sorry.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Panda Sneeze

I don't know if you have seen this video yet. I am pretty sure you aren't allowed on the internet anymore if you haven't. It will make you laugh!

Lucy in the Swaddle with Diamonds

Last night I decided that Lucy had been swaddled long enough and it was time for her to learn to sleep without being hogtied by her blanket. For the uninitiated, swaddling is recommended for newborns up to three months old in order to simulate life in the womb and to harness the baby's startle reflex. Somewhere around three months, supposedly children get too strong for the swaddle and then they are unwrapped and run the risk of suffocation due to having blankets in the crib. Lucy has not been able to escape from my professional swaddling job, but I am sick of having to do it. Also, it means that we really can't go out at night because nobody else knows how to do it. So off with the Swaddle last night.

She didn't do too badly. But it did stink because I had to get up about a million times in the middle of the night to give her the pacifier, to feed her (which I haven't done in months) and to just say, "night night." I have been so used to getting at least 10 hours without her waking that this was a bit of a shocker. I know that this is going to happen for the next few nights until she gets used to it. But, uggh...I was paying for it today. Which is why there aren't many posts up today. So sorry.

The benefit has been that she was pretty tired today. When I took her to the Y this morning, the ladies just picked her up the first time she fussed and she was out like a light!

We'll just see how things go tonight. Hopefully, by the end of the weekend she will be back to sleeping like a champ!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

For Robin

You asked for it. Although, I really want to work on getting the dimple in a better shot. Good idea!

Crazy Health Update

I wanted to give m readers an update on what is going on with Buffy and her twins and with Jeannie and Nate's back.

Buffy just emailed and this is what she said:
"The bottom line is that both girls are growing, though the little one is still smaller. The technician said that they both look great, though. The little one is moving around a TON, which is encouraging. The "big" one is pretty active too, so needless to say, my belly is quite a playground these days.

Thank you so much for praying. We go back in two weeks and if there's any change (negatively) they may put me on steroids in order to encourage the babies' organs to grow just in case they need to deliver them early. Please continue to pray that they will both grow at the rate they are "supposed" to and that they will stay in there as long as they need to in order to come out healthy!"

And on Nate and his back:

"He is supposed to have an MRI done tomorrow morning (Friday), but he has a slight fever today. If the fever doesn't go away, then they'll have to put it off. "

So please keep praying. Neither of these situations is "out of the woods" and there is going to be a lot going on in the next few weeks. Thank you for your faithfulness and for loving us and our family!

Day 3-You Decide!

Which picture ought to be my Day 3 entry? You decide!

Target Funny

I hope you are familiar with the skit from Saturday Night Live where the woman who is checking people out at Target, always leaves her post to go and find the item that the customer is buying because she loves it so much. I say this because:

1) I think the skit idea is funny because I would be that person if I worked at Target

2) The skit isn't actually funny but when it happens to you, it's funny!

Yesterday, I took Lucy with me to Target to buy her some little "Sassy" toys and while I was there I picked up a Dustbuster. That's right, a dustbuster. No, it isn't 1983. My friend Taryn mentioned that she got one for her birthday (umm, no. Don't buy this for ANYONE'S birthday) and that she really loved it with two little kids. I had been thinking about it and I decided that I wanted one to clean out the highchair every night and all of the other little nook and crannies around the house. Also, Asher is scared to death everytime we fire up the vacuum and craps his pants. I am hoping the dustbuster might be a way to gradually get him used to the idea.

Anyway, I was checking out and the woman checking me out was living out the skit! "Oh, I need one of these. These are so cute, where are these? I really need to get a dustbuster for my house." It was unbelieveable. I loved it.

(Did I mention that I LOVE, LOVE my new dustbuster? Don't even mention the word "Shark" to me. This is exactly what I need in my house!!!)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Project 365 Kids

I just joined a new Flikr group called Poject 365 Kids. The idea is to take at least one picture every single day of the same subject but in different locations. So my muse is Lucy. Asher has decided that he hates getting his picture taken and I don't feel like pulling teeth every day. So Lucy it is!

I am sure that the most difficult part of this is going to be simply the pure discipline of setting up shots and actually taking the picture-every single day for a whole year. But I love the idea of capturing Lucy as she changes in real time. She will be so different in one year and I hope to come up with a really nice series of how much changes during the first year of life. Another challenge is to capture her in all of her moods and not just smiling. I am really excited because I think that this is going to help me become a much better photographer. I enjoy taking pictures, but I think that this is going to take me to a whole other level!
Here are my first two entries:

Day 1

Day 2

Where else in Asheville should I try to take her picture? Margarita--any ideas???

Birth Order

I can only speak from experience on first born and second born. But yes, all of this is true!

1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.
2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.
3rd baby: Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes.
1st baby: You practice your breathing religiously.
2nd baby: You don't bother because you remember that last time - breathing didn't do a thing.
3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your eighth month.
1st baby: You pre-wash newborn's clothes, color-coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby's little bureau.
2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.
3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can't they?
1st baby: At the first sign of distress--a whimper, a frown--you pick up the baby.
2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn.
3rd baby: You teach your three-year-old how to wind the mechanical swing.
1st baby: If the pacifier falls on the floor, you put it away until you can go home and wash and boil it.
2nd baby: When the pacifier falls on the floor, you squirt it off with some juice from the baby's bottle.
3rd baby: You wipe it off on your shirt and pop it back in.
1st baby: You change your baby's diapers every hour, whether they need it or not.
2nd baby: You change their diaper every two to three hours, if needed.
3rd baby: You try to change their diaper before others start to complain about the smell or you see it sagging to their knees.
1st baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, and Baby Story Hour.
2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.
3rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaner.
1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home five times.
2nd baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached.
3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.
1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.
2nd baby: You spend a bit of every day watching to be sure your older child isn't squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby.
3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.
1st child: When first child swallows a coin, you rush the child to the hospital and demand x-rays.
2nd child: When second child swallows a coin, you carefully watch for the coin to pass.
3rd child: When third child swallows a coin, you deduct it from his allowance.

Free Coffee

I didn't know if any of you knew this, but tomorrow is

Starbucks Official Coffee Break Day. Just go by a Starbucks between 10am and noon tomorrow and you will get a free cup of coffee. Great fun!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Nate News

I just got off of the phone with Jeannie and the bone scan is clear. Which means that there is no tumor on his bones or in his bones. They still don't know what is going on with him. They are hoping for an MRI tomorrow or Thursday. I will keep you updated! There is more news and details associated with this; email or call me and I will give you the details!

More Irresponsible Parenting

This is Asher hanging from the rim, without Matt holding him up. The first of many rim hanging moments to come...a mother has to dream doesn't she?

My Sweet Child

Who wants to babysit? Seriously.

Update on Nate

Jeannie emailed me a little while ago and said that Nate woke up in the middle of the night due to his back pain. He is going to the hospital right now for a bone scan to see if he has a tumor, fracture or infection. They want to schedule an MRI for the next day or so. If that can't be done, they will admit Nate in order to get an in-patient MRI. I know that this is really scary for Jeannie, Kelly, Watts and most importantly Nate. I can't imagine going through this with Asher. Please pray for them and I will update you as we get news. Thanks!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Latest Birthday Present

My birthday keeps going on and on! My sweet friend, Leigh Bucklad made me this AWESOME purse for my birthday. You read that right, made me this purse. It is my new spring purse and I feel way cute wearing it around. Leigh is the best!

BTW: this leads me into a rant on how I have had a bad self-image for years. I never realized it before. But now that I am losing all of the baby weight and my clothes are fitting me again, I am going through boxes of clothes that I stored from before Asher, after Asher and early Lucy. I really think that I had a misguided sense of what my body looked like in clothes. I say this because, I am wearing clothes that I bought before I was pregnant with Asher. Now, I weigh just a few pounds more than I did when I got pregnant with him and so this leads me to believe that my clothes were just hanging off of me for years (and nobody said anything!).

I say this because I hate the way that my jeans look on me know, they feel really loose and baggy through the legs, but I can't go down a size quite yet because if I did; I would be the biggest offender of the muffin-top phenomenon. And maybe, just maybe, this was the problem that I believed that I had before Asher (I am saying this as a qualifier-because I could be wrong about how I looked before!). But I think that I just didn't have a good self-image and believed that my body looked worse than it actually did.

This idea makes me really sad for the time that I lost worrying and doubting myself. I spent years covering up and hiding what was actually a pretty good body. Now, after two kids I will never get back there. But I am pretty happy with what I have been able to achieve so far and I think that I am the healthiest mentally that I have been in years about who I am and whose I am.

But looking back, I regret how I felt about how I looked and about the torture that I carried with me about not looking good enough...when it was pretty darn good. I might try to remember this in the future when I trash myself while I am at the gym! It makes me always want to tell high school girls and others when I hear them make comments about how they look to just go ahead and enjoy what they have. You body; free of stretch marks, scars and flab, won't always be there!

I would love to hear any comments from you about things that you regret not enjoying enough while you had it!

Lookee what was in our front yard this morning!

I went outside to let Slappy (the weiner dog) out and I heard "gobble gobble gobble" (it doesn't really sound like that. I just have no other literary reference for a way to say it.) and I yelled to Matt to get Asher and come outside. Matt is so ready for turkey season and this just got him started! It was really funny because Matt told Asher that these were turkeys and Asher looked at them and said, "Yummy!" Oh our little carnivore.

Asher hasn't stopped saying the "turkey" all day long now. And he says it with a really hard, "k" so it sounds like "tur-KEY".

Once we went inside, the turkeys got it on. Sweet Spring Morn.

click on the 2nd picture to get an idea of just how incredibly colorful and beautiful these turkey were this morning.

A Mullet Explained

My aunt Mary asked what exactly was a mullet. I thought that I would give a little tutorial in case anyone else out there had the same question but didn't want to ask. A mullet is a haircut that was popular in the early 90's whose popularity peaked with Billy Ray Cyrus. It is what many refer to as "business in the front and party in the back" which means short hair in the front of the head while the back is allowed to grow as long as the wearer likes.
It is an amazing thing when one is given the priviledge of seeing the "mullet" in person as it is becoming more and more rare. But, in certain locations in the South and among the Italian and Latino populations, it remains a staple. One of the most important features of the mullet is actually the accessory the has to accompany it which is usually a gold chain and a mock turtleneck with tight acid washed jeans and a really REALLY bad sparse mustache (this applies to men or women).
Although, the wearers of the mullet very rarely make public appearances in places that those who would love to see the mullet frequent. You have to seek them out and it turns out that I hit the jackpot at the Weaverville Fantastic Sams! I feel very fortunate.
(all of the picture above belong to the website:
Thanks for asking


I have my bracket set for the ESPN Men's Basketball Challenge.

Here is my Final Four:

Florida vs. Kansas and North Carolina vs. Ohio State with the Final being Florida vs. North Carolina and North Carolina becoming the national champion. I know that never before have all four #1's made it to the Final Four. So I will probably end up editing my picks, but this is the first look and the choices that I made.

Any one interested in joining my group on Send me a message and I will get you in!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Help A Dream (however odd it may be) Come True

My mom's cousin Dimi (my mom's family has the CRAZIEST names) is a Disneyland Fanatic. Her daughter's name is Micki and for my entire life, they have gone to Disney every year.
She emailed my mom and several other people because she is a finalist in the CareerBuilder's Disney Job-For-A-Day contest. Here is her email:

"When I made my video resume for the job application, I didn’t realize that to win, I would need everyone I know, and some I don’t know to view it. I have made it past the judges into the top twenty. It is embarrassing, but my desire to work in the Haunted Mansion for a day and win a 4-day, 3-night trip to California is greater than my embarrassment.

Winners will be determined by a combination of their views and votes, so please take a look at my clip and vote for it. I don’t see where there is a limit on views, so watch it more than once if you can stand to. The viewing & voting period is March 6-30. Next, please forward to your friends and family and ask them less than 1 minute to click on my entry & vote for it.I really do appreciate your assistance. I am a huge Disney fan and would love the chance to work for a day in the original Disney Park. Thanks!"

Since so many people along the way in my life have helped to make my dreams come true, I would love for anyone out there (all six of you) to help my mom's cousin along the way to this dream. All you have to do is click on this link:
and watch her video and click on "This one get's my vote". That's it! Thanks for helping!

UNCA Women's Basketball Goes Dancing!

Some of you know that for two years, I was the Sports Information Director for women's athletics at UNC Asheville. It was a really hard, but very rewarding job. My main beef with the job was that the pay stunk and I had to work every weekend (in addition to a five-day work week) from August until mid-May. It was wonderful that I had a month off in the summer (paid), but it got really old to not have a single Saturday to do what I wanted the whole day.

But one of the most interesting aspects of the job was to travel with women's basketball. When I first got the job, they had just replaced the women's basketball coaching staff because they hadn't won a single game in the previous year. Not one game. So, this new coaching staff brought in only one player and still had the team from the previous coaches. It was quite a challenge. Coach Betsy Blose and her staff went 3-25 that year. Three wins in four months is a bitter pill to swallow. It was so painful. Every single game was frustrating. We would get back on the bus after the games and it would be dead quiet. As a former college athlete, I was used to this. When you lose tough games, you are not allowed to talk for several hours or else coach would go APE on you for not thinking about your role in the loss.

But as an SID, who had NO role in anything except to report to the media that you lost again; this was not exactly a good time.

But you could tell that Coach Blose was doing the right things. She was starting at the ground floor and began instilling confidence in these women. She believed in them and by the end of the season, they began to believe in themselves. And then, UNCA was blown out by Liberty by 47 points in the final game of the season at the conference tournament. I was exhausted by this point and wanted nothing to do with basketball for a long time. Of course, then the UNCA men make an amazing run in their tournament we end up at the NCAA tournament by a miracle shot. And basketball season continued for another month (but that was great fun!)

The next year, the Bulldogs rebounded and made history by being the best turnaround in the nation by going from 3-25 to 19-9 just one year later. I have to say, that was a fun season to be around and you could tell that everyone just believed in Betsy and her staff. I have never seen people so dedicated and work so hard. I just knew that good things were going to come. I quit that job later on that summer because I just couldn't make such a personal sacrifice of my time and energy any longer. Having been a student athlete for years in high school, college and then as a professional in the collegiate environment, I was just burnt out on having no personal time. I loved my job and the people I worked for and with and I loved the college athletes. It just got to be too much. So I left and got a job at Big Bridge Advertising. But I still followed all of the teams at UNCA and cheered them on.

This week was the Big South Women's Basketball Conference Tournament that was held here in Asheville. Coach Blose's team did everything that they were supposed to do and the teams on the opposite side of the bracket helped UNCA out by Winthrop knocking out High Point and Radford taking down the perennial conference champ, Libery University. So yesterday, UNCA beat Radford, 67-57 to punch their card for the Big Dance. I could not be happier for UNCA and for Coach Blose in particular who really deserved this. She left a job that she was very successful at, Shepard College in West Virginia to take a risk on a team that didn't win a game. She has so completely turned things around by working hard, recruiting well and being a great basketball coach. I know that this probably means she won't be sticking around Asheville for long, but I am so glad that I got to work for her and her staff for the time that I did. Perseverance pays off!
Congrats to UNCA and Coach Betsy Blose!

House Projects

I have the home improvement itch again (and you can't get a creme for that!). So Matt and I went to Home Depot and Lowes to start scouting for the supplies that we will need to spruce things up around our house. Here is the list of projects that we want to get done to the house in the next year:

1) update/gut master bath. We will tile the floor, paint the walls, new countertops, faucets, mirrors and lightfixtures.

2) redo our back deck. We need all new handrails, stairs and probably the actually deck wood should be replaced as well. Plus, we really REALLY want new patio furniture.

3) chisel out the random tile wall at the bottom of our stairs and replace with drywall and insultation.

4) buy and install a new garden shed.

5) new light fixture for our stairs.

6) new countertops for our kitchen.

We started working on the bathroom. We bought new paint and a light fixture yesterday and we picked out the tile. We hope to have a first coat of paint up in the bathroom sometime early this week and then we will take everything out of the bathroom and start to tile. This is one of the major projects of the house, but I am so excited to have a new and updated bathroom. I think that this will be of the sticking points if we want to sell our house, so we have to do it. We'll see if we ever get to the these other projects! Our major obstacles are time and money. So if anyone has either of those laying around, feel free to bring it on over to our house!

The main reason for wanting to do all of these projects is that we want to sell our house next spring. It probably won't take a HUGE amount of money to do these projects, but if we get them done, and do them well--the payoff could be really significant. I know that a lot of people talk about a housing cooldown. But there has been such thing here in Asheville. This town is a destination and houses will always sell. But the more that we can do, the bigger the paycheck. But in order to tackle this list, we just have to get started. So here we go!