Friday, December 14, 2012

Thanksgiving and Car Shopping

Hi blog friends!  Sorry I've been neglecting the blog lately....I really do have so many stories to tell.

(Uh-oh.)

I feel like I always say that "such and such month is killing me."  And December has turned out to be the worst of all.

(It has also turned out that I'm not very good at time management.)

Not only have we had something every night, I'm kind of concerned that AG may start calling her babysitter "mommy."  It's been THAT bad.  Add a new job, Christmas shopping, and getting sick in the middle of it all, and it's a wonder I've been able to keep up at all.

Okay, actually I haven't kept up. AT ALL.  I'm literally sitting here SURROUNDED by clean (yet unfolded) laundry, wads of used up tissue, and piles of unwrapped Christmas presents.

But at least it's not dirty laundry, am I right?  I can give myself props for doing the bare minimum of moving clothes from the washer to the dryer.

I'll take it.

But, Thanksgiving.  I was going to tell you about Thanksgiving.  It was awesome y'all.  We went to Nashville to see my in-laws, ran our traditional 5 mile race on Thanksgiving morning (very helpful for consumption of large amounts of pecan pie later in the day), and we even got the boys into aprons.  A good time had by all.

Oh yeah. This happened.


On Black Friday, I tried to bribe different family members into going to the mall with me.  They were all too smart too tired for that, so instead, John, his dad, and I went to test drive some cars.

(Why purchase a shirt at the mall, when you can purchase a car at the dealership?  Isn't that what Thanksgiving is all about?)

(NO.)

Really, we had already planned on looking at cars, since my precious Big Red just turned TEN YEARS OLD. My amazing parents gave her to me for graduation from college, and she has been everything a girl could want.

Until that girl added a baby and a RATHER LARGE dog to her family, and now when we go anywhere, Jackson has to ride on top of a suitcase.  And if we were to add another carseat at some point, Jackson is in danger of having to ride on the roof.   I feel not one iota of guilt, though, after having driven my car for 10 years, including many trips to the shop, breakdowns at the pediatrician's office (with a crying baby in tow), and calls to AAA.

It's time.

We arrive at the car dealership, and John kindly issues his standard reminder about NOT ruining anything by talking.  Because I may or may not be prone to statements like "oh, what's that price on the window?  Well, that seems fair to me!  We'll take it!"

Ahem.

I learned a few things that day, though.  For instance, when you've driven a car for 10 years, you may be surprised to learn that cars no longer come with tape decks.

Also, when searching for where to plug in the headphones your child will use to watch movies (yep.  Movies.  Plural.  On long trips, all tv rules go straight out the window, people.), it may surprise you to learn that "oh, those headphones are wireless, ma'am."

(And who are you calling, Ma'am, guy helping us, who cannot possibly be more than 2 years younger than me?)

(Let's stop that now, m-kay?)

You also may find yourself calling all the cars "space cars" while your husband silently laughs at you.  Which now that I think about it, probably doesn't help with the whole "ma'am" thing. 

John's favorite car of the day was the freaking huge very manly Toyota Sequoia.  I may or may not have caused all of the sales guys to go into fits of laughter as I tried to park it.  Several times.

AND NEVER SUCCEEDED.

And eventually had to let our ma'am-calling sales guy do it.

Needless to say, it's probably not making my short list.

Then we moved on to my favorite car of the day, the Buick Enclave.  Which is when this conversation happened:

John:  Babe.  A BUICK?  Did you suddenly turn 85, and I didn't notice?  You're freaking out about this guy calling you ma'am, and now you want to drive a BUICK?  Come on, now.

Me:  What?!  Maybe I can help Buick re-brand themselves to the young (ish) mom scene.  And would you please stop laughing and calling me Gladys???? Besides, it's like I'm driving on AIR.

One might even call it a space car.  


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Closet Project-Week 3

Hey guys!  I'm blogging over on the Edit blog today; Week 3 of the Closet Project is up!

(Also known as Week 3 of "Why Did I Not Think About How Painful it Would Be to NOT Shop During Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sales?")

Or possibly called, Week 3 of "Embarrass Myself Publicly on The Internet."

You're right.  We all know it's been a few years of THAT.

Go check it out!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Dry Shampoo and a Panic Attack

A few weeks ago, AG had her very first dentist appointment.  And, as one of my Facebook friends so appropriately inquired, "did she like the dentist better than you do?"

Well, it really wouldn't take much.

Y'all.  I totally had a clever strategy. I basically spent the 2 weeks prior to her appointment talking up the dentist, until AG believed him to be something of a cross between Woody from Toy Story, and her favorite Backyardigan.

(Because that wouldn't be super creepy.)

(Also, you may have noticed that I ascribe to the "fake it til you make it" parenting philosophy.  A.k.a. the "blatantly lie to your child so she never develops your extreme phobia of flossing" philosophy. If you want to read more about that little nugget of child-rearing wisdom, I'm sure you can find it in all of the good parenting books.)

Since we were in a little bit of a rush, I decided to throw some dry shampoo into my slightly sort of, okay fine, heinously dirty hair.  I figured it didn't much matter what I looked like, since my main objective was to prevent a toddler panic attack.

Or a mommy panic attack.

(Which may have been more likely.)

We get there, and AG is SUPER excited.  And she did great, y'all.  I could see that she was a tiny bit uncomfortable with the suction-y thingy, but can you really blame her? It could definitely double as a torture device.

Check it out: She is the picture of confidence.
Maybe she can start attending my dental exams for me.

At any rate, she has her cleaning, picks a treasure from the treasure chest, and we head out. (Side note: Adult dentists should totally have a treasure chest.  Filled with Amex gift cards, and spa treatments as the prizes. Who's with me?)

On the way to the lobby, I decide to make a pit stop at the restroom.  Because my bladder clearly isn't up to the 5 minute drive back home.  As I'm washing my hands, I glance into the mirror and see that my hair is completely white at my hairline.

I am not going to lie, y'all.  I freaked the heck out.  I was all, when did my hair turn white?  And more importantly, why has no one told me??? 

(I mean, I totally plan to rock some white hair one day, when I'm significantly older.  I also plan to rock some sassy cowboy boots and a cute maxi skirt with my white hair, but that's another story entirely.)

After some deep breathing and a speed dial to my hair colorist, my logical side kicks in and whispers, Hey, wait a minute, Rash Sherri.  Your hair is white EXACTLY where you applied the dry shampoo.

Why, yes.  Yes, it is, Logical Sherri.  I can now discontinue my panic attack at the pediatric dentist's office.

Which is not only embarrassing, it is a whole new level of sad.

Later, a friend of mine who's done some acting hears my story, and is all, oh yeah!  We always use dry shampoo to "gray people out."

And that is the story of how my dry shampoo went to live in the trashcan.

You're welcome.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know in the past, I've done long, mushy drawn-out posts about all the things for which I am thankful. And all of those still stand.  But today, I'm just going to sum it up with one word:

Jesus.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

P.S.  I know you're surprised by my lack of wordiness over here today.

Rude.

Friday, November 16, 2012

And the Winner Is....

It's winner time!  Seriously, if I could give each one of you a free wardrobe edit, I totally would, because I LOVED ALL YOUR COMMENTS!  Wow.  It's so easy to think that no one ever reads my random postings, so it was super exciting for me to get each of your comments.  

(Like, so exciting that I would have literally been embarrassed for anyone to see me reading them.)

Since I'm not super fancy or technologically advanced, I used the good 'ol "draw a piece of paper from a bowl on my kitchen table" method. And for those of you who wrote blog posts, or liked my post on Facebook, you got your extra entries. Promise. 

So now.....drumroll please.......and the winner is..........

Keri Ninness!  Woo hoo!  Congratulations, Keri! Side note: her comment was awesome, and made me laugh out loud: 


"coveredinbabyspitup." That or "easytopopoutaboob." Everything fits into that category. Sigh. Congrats to you! Confession time: I love your clothes but I love love your hair :) I have forever had Sherri hair envy. Can you include hair "how-to" in a wardrobe consult.
: )
Ha!  Love it.  And, can't WAIT to come "edit" your closet, girl! 
(Also, go read her blog. One of my faves!) 
I also want to give a shout-out to someone who left probably the best comment of the day:
Van Baird said...
I'm a newlywed...of over 19 years. My Bride would love (and would tell you she NEEDS) a wardrobe consultation. Her 17 & 13 year old daughters would BEG for her to let you go on a shopping spree with her. I would tell you that I think she's smokin' hot no matter what she wears.

Great site. Great concept. My great wife would be a perfect fit. I'd Facebook this and tweet it out, but I would love to surprise her with this instead. Hopefully that's worth a few extra additional entries.

Y'all.  This is so precious.  If I had decided a winner based on my favorite comment, Van, you would've won HANDS DOWN.  And I actually did give you two extra entries.  Calling your wife "smokin' hot no matter what?" You definitely earned them. 
(Now bring her by, and show her your awesome comment.  And then email me to book an appointment for her anyway!  I would love to work with you guys.)

I seriously can't thank all of you enough for your support, for blowing up FB and Twitter on my behalf, and for just making me laugh with your hilarious comments!  

Happy Friday!





Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thank you!

Hi friends!  Thank you, thank you for all the wonderful comments and support from yesterday!  I'm so excited about this new job, and it's SO FUN to know that you are excited with me. : )

I was told that some people had a hard time posting comments yesterday, so try again today!  I'll keep the giveaway open a few more days, and I'll let you guys know who won on Friday. 

Today was the kickoff my new series on the Edit Blog, The Closet Project.  Go check it out!  I would LOVE to know what you think. 

Again, many, many thanks for the support and encouragement!  I so appreciate all of you!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Announcement and a Giveaway!



I have a big announcement to make today, guys.  And no, it doesn’t involve an ultrasound, a big sister t-shirt, or any “bump ahead”/”bun in the oven” jokes.  

(Just need to put that out there, since I know that's where your minds went. Admit it.)

As many of you know, I’ve been working as a Realtor for the last six years.  It’s been a true adventure, and I have (mostly) loved the challenge of growing my business during a down economy. I learned quite a bit about being a business owner, not to mention, gained some wonderful clients and friends in the process.  

With that said, I’ve been given the opportunity to change directions, and do something so awesome, that when I first heard about it, I thought, "how do I find a job like that?!"   You may remember my post last year about my friend Lauren, and her wardrobe consulting company, Edit By Lauren.  She came to my house, edited my closet, and we had SO MUCH FUN.  Well, you can imagine my excitement when Lauren recently offered me a job with Edit!  My role will be to help manage and grow her Atlanta office, and assist with Edit’s expansion into the Nashville market.

There are many ways in which this job is perfect for me:
1.  My friends and family have asked me for years to go shopping with them or help them create looks, because, somehow, I’ve tricked them into thinking I’m stylish.   

2.  I am borderline obsessive about purging junk from our house, and the closet is my specialty.  When I was pregnant with AG and went through the “nesting” phase, I never actually came out of it.  I feel that I should use my insane organization compulsion for the greater good, and not for, say, getting rid of John’s stuff simply because it’s been scattered across the closet floor for the last 3 months. 

You know. Hypothetically.


3.  Perhaps I can now turn my love of clothes and shopping into something other than a reason to A) get in fights with my husband, or B) hear the phrase “now, WHY did you need that again?"

4.  This will probably be the push I need to dress like, oh I don’t know, a responsible adult, instead of wearing gym clothes all day, every day. Don’t hate, people.  I actually have some really cute outfits. But would YOU rather run up and down your driveway 10 times in a row just because your toddler thinks it’s fun, while wearing  heels or while wearing tennis shoes?  Exactly.  Either way, I’m excited to join the ranks of Women In Real Clothes everywhere.  


Although I may need lessons on running in heels.

Now.  I know what you’re thinking.  “Wow Sherri, this sounds great!  What exactly will you be doing?” 

I am SO glad you asked! Here’s a snapshot of the services I’ll be offering:

  • Wardrobe Consultation
  • 3 hour consult, after which you will walk away with tons of new outfit options from pieces you already own.  Husbands REALLY like this.
  • Personal Shopping
  • We’ll hit up the mall, Starbucks in hand, and visit stores you like, that are within your budget. I’ll be the shopping buddy you always wanted, and will tell you the HONEST truth about whether you should purchase those camouflage hammer pants.  (I'm just kidding.  I'd never actually let you get near any camouflage hammer pants.)
  • Virtual Styling
  • Styling Consultation via Skype--Even though I know I look like a total goober on Skype, I’m game if you are!
  • Custom Packages
  • Styling for a special event, packing for a trip, or picking out some killer outfits for your high school reunion.  You know....the one your ex-boyfriend is also attending.  Things like that.

Awesome! So how can I help support you, Sherri?

Aw, you’re so sweet.  Spread the word!  And listen, I know you guys would do this because you are all kind and awesome, but here’s some extra incentive:  For each new client you send my way, I will send you a $50 Amex gift card!  
Oh yeah.  Now you’re talking.  Anything else you want to tell us?
Yep.  You know it.  I’m offering a deal exclusively for new clients who schedule an appointment between now and December 31st, 2012 :
  • Introductory Special: $195 for a Wardrobe Consult (regularly $295) through December 31st. My shopping services are also discounted to $50/hour (regularly $100/hour) for this limited time. Tell your husbands to book a session as a Christmas gift!  Or buy a gift card for your mom/mother-in-law.  Edit has plenty of male clients as well, so don’t leave the men in your life out!  *The special price applies to all services scheduled before the end of the year; they can be redeemed at a later date.

But, Sherri, what if we’re a little nervous?  I mean, we’ve seen you at the park, and we know you wear spandex. Not to mention, you apparently think cowboy boots can be worn with almost anything.  How do we know that we can trust your fashion judgement? 

Well, you don’t.  Yet.  But here’s the deal:  Beginning tomorrow, I’ll be kicking off a weekly style segment on the Edit blog, called The Closet Project.  Essentially, I’ll be conducting an “edit” of my own closet, and pulling together outfits using items I already own; an Edit specialty, and one of the primary goals of our wardrobe consultations. There are going to be some hardcore rules and I’ll be ruthless about what stays and what goes. 

Ruthless, I tell ya.

Mark your calendars and be sure to check it out on the Edit blog tomorrow. I’ll be posting outfits to Instagram and Twitter (@sherridickens), so make sure you follow me on those sites as well.  And while you're at it, you should definitely follow Edit By Lauren on Facebook and Twitter.  Definitely.

Wow, Sherri, you're getting kinda bossy. 

I know, I know. Sorry about that! But it's for your own good.  You'll thank me later.

Alright, we'll trust your judgement.  What else should we know?

Just one more thing.  I’m giving away a free wardrobe consultation!  All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment describing your fashion style in one word (or two or three, I’m not picky).  For additional entries, tweet this post, like it on Facebook, or mention it on  your own blog. (And make sure to leave a comment telling me you did!).

By the way, feel free to tell me that you think this is awesome, you’re so excited about it, or that you can’t wait to read The Closet Project.  

(Sherri, you’re kinda putting words in our mouths, okay?)

Well, I  have been writing your questions for you.  

Rude.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Halloween...in November

So this was the year that I realized Halloween is my nemesis.  I mean, come on.  Kids mainlining sugar like it's their job, REFUSING to take pictures in their cute fairy princess costumes, and again, RAGING SUGAR HIGHS TIL AT LEAST 10PM.

(John really needs to limit his candy intake next Halloween.)

So, the day started off all cute and fun, and I'm not gonna lie: Mama was enjoying "testing" the Halloween candy in the weeks prior.  (Which was clearly my duty as a conscientious mom. Obviously.)

On Halloween day, AG went trick or treating at school.  Being the old pro that I am (I wish you could see sarcasm; those words would be thick with it), I knew that I couldn't send her real costume to school.  Fortunately, AG owns every Disney princess dress ever made, and that particular morning, she was feeling quite Cinderella-ish.

Although I'm pretty sure Cinderella wore a ball gown, and not a miniskirt.


Later in the afternoon, when I picked her up from school, her teacher was all, "I'm sorry.  I gave them 2 pieces of candy for snack today.  I just couldn't fight it."

And I was all, "no judgement here, sister," while imagining the horror of 10 persistent three year-olds simultaneously begging for their candy.

You do what you have to do, am I right?

We head home, where my plan is to toss on her real Halloween costume, and head over to a friend's house for some pre-trick or treating pics. Now.  I realize that MOST parents probably let their kids know what their costume is ahead of time, so they can get excited.  MOST parents probably even involve their children in the costume selection process.  I am not MOST PARENTS.  Mainly because I have an extremely picky and stubborn child, and as the old saying goes, "it's better to rely on bribery and coercion than ask permission."

(Or something like that.  I can't really remember.)

I'm trying to get her costume on quickly, since we were running about 10 minutes late already, when AG abruptly discontinues her sugar-bouncing, because she suddenly realizes what she is wearing.

AG:  Mommy, nooooooooooooo!  I don't want to be a ballerina!!!!!!!  NO BALLET!!!!!!!  I NO GOING TO BALLET!!!!!!

Me:  Soooo, what you're saying, is that you don't like ballet?

(Side story: A few weeks prior, AG tried a ballet class at school.  I may or may not have gone just slightly overboard in ordering some cute leotards, ballet shoes, and tights, because, oh the cuteness. As I picked her up from her first class, I excitedly asked her about it.  To which she decisively replies, I don't like ballet.  I don't want to go anymore.  It's too loud. And I'm all, but I don't understand.  It's ballet.  Are they playing Metallica or something?)

Now, as an OLD PRO (again, excuse me while I go die laughing), I should have had the foresight to know that when I busted out her leotard and tights to use for her Fairy Princess costume, she might just have an opinion about that.

But at least I had the foresight to have candy on hand for bribing purposes.

Let's look at some pictures now, shall we?  I'm hoping the cuteness will help me forget the sugary horror.

So, I got my hair highlighted the day of Halloween, and my colorist actually darkened me to my original color. (Which is, AHEM, not blonde.  I know you must be so surprised. Or not.)
She then added in my normal highlights, so the end result was a darker blonde.
Because my hair felt so much darker to me, I may or may not have rashly announced to Facebook that I had just become a brunette.  (NO.)

Apparently, I decided to dress up as Dramatic Mommy for Halloween.


Apparently, Fairy Princesses ride tricycles.  Because they're awesome like that.



Sorry it's blurry, but sugar-bouncing prohibited good picture taking.

Do you like my fancy camera?  No wonder my pictures are so blurry awesome.



The princess, and the dragon.....and the tricycle.



Trick or treat! Sassy fairy on wheels.



Right before we turned them loose on the neighborhood, with a mission to select ONLY the fun-size Twix bars.
Mu-ahahahahahaha!

Happy Halloween.....in November.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pumpkin Patch Survival


Well, I survived the pumpkin patches.  Yep.  I said "patches."  As in, plural.  And by survived, I mean, that I survived the 31,000 pictures taken, the unbearably hot weather, and a gaggle of toddlers and babies in various stages of meltdown at any given moment.

Clearly, I should be given a medal.

(Or at least a nap).

Pumpkin Patch #1:  Berry Patch Farm



We went with Rod, Kristin, and baby Riley.  I decided, it's fall, darn it!  I shall clothe myself in boots and a sweater.

And then, apparently I shall sweat my rear off (unfortunately not literally), while we take pictures that I ultimately look horrible in.  But AG got to ride a pony, and that is what counts.

Or something like that.

Y'all.  No lie, the temp was about 80 that day.
This was 5 seconds before sweat started dripping down my forehead.

Also, love how AG's all like, "EXCUSE ME.  Who are you, and why are you taking our picture?!"

C'mon.  Those cheeks!  Love.


This is her, "PLEASE QUIT ASKING ME TO SMILE" smile.
Works for me.



Pumpkin Patch #2:  Norcross Presbyterian Church


Our small group got together for a 30ish minute window and frantically tried to grab cute pics of the kiddos amidst pumpkins, which is an experience not dissimilar to herding cats.

See what I mean?
(They know they can get away with it because they're so darn cute.)
I have to say, this picture is a great representation of our time at the pumpkin patch:
Almost no one looking at the camera, but lots of laughter.

Clearly overwhelmed with all the choices.  

I am all about an awkward leg grab to hide my car keys. 

I found myself having the following conversation with AG.  Repeatedly.

Me:  Ally Grace, sit down next to this pumpkin for me!

AG:  Where's Caleb?

Me:  No seriously, hug the pumpkin and smile.  

AG:  I wanna go play WITH CALEB.  

Me:  (While gritting my teeth, determined to get a picture if it ENDS me) Just smile one time and then we'll be done.

AG:  (Lips clamped firmly together in determination, while scanning the crowd for Caleb).

Me:  Fine.  I will give you some fruit snacks, if you will JUST SMILE.

No judging people.  I was desperate.

AG:  (Grabs that pumpkin like her little life depends on it, and grins from ear to ear.....for one brief moment in time.)  

Which unfortunately my camera misses.  Although it does capture a great shot of her streaking off to find Caleb.

Apparently, Kerie is a magician and can coerce a smile out of her.
Or maybe she just had some fruit snacks in her pocket.

Seriously, though, it was precious to see these kids running around together, since we have all arranged their marriages and will eventually form our own commune in the country we know they will be life-long friends.

But, I'm not gonna lie.  I put AG down for a nap as soon as we got home, threw myself onto the couch, pounded some mini-Crunch bars, and zoned out watching an episode of Glee.

I earned it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Big Girl Bed

Y'all.  It happened.

My (truthfully too big to still be in a crib) three year-old just started sleeping in a big girl bed!
John and I may or may not have had a weepy moment in her room that first night.

Yes.  I know it's a HUGE bed for a little girl.
However, this girl's ALL ABOUT not having to move heavy beds up and down stairs, so we just borrowed this one from our guest room, conveniently located next door.

(Although, if you plan to be using our guest room anytime soon, I hope you're either less than 3 ft tall, or a member of cirque du soleil.  Because you'll be sleeping in a crib.)

My strategy was simple:  talk this thing up so much she would feel the emotional equivalent of a teenager given a brand-new car.

But even better.

So, during the last week, I heard myself way over-hyping this transition on a near constant basis.  Mainly to mask the fear.  (Mine, obviously).

WOW!  Ally Grace is going to sleep in her very own BIG GIRL BED!! 
(Thank you, Captain Obvious)

THIS IS SO EXCITING!!!
(Mommy's kind of freaking the heck out over here, so can you please, please, please stay in your bed and not do anything crazy?)

BIG GIRLS NEVER, EVER JUMP ON THEIR BEDS, BY THE WAY!
(Okay, fine.  They do.  But not until they're grown-ups, okay?)

YOU'LL LOVE THAT BED SO MUCH THAT THERE'S ABSOLUTELY NO WAY YOU'LL GET OUT AND WANDER THE HALLS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT!
(Right?  RIGHT?)

So, yeah.  I've been kind of nervous.  To put it (very) mildly.  But let me just tell you, sassy polka-dotted sheets are apparently AG's love language, 'cause that girl hasn't stepped a toe out of her bed in the last 4 nights!

YES!  SUCCESS!!  Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go find some wood to knock on.

I'll leave y'all with this video we took of her seeing her bed for the first time.  Thank you to our friend/babysitter, Alek, who entertained AG, while we moved furniture around and fought with sassy polka-dotted sheet sets.


video




Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Eight Years

Dear God,

Do you remember how I would sit in my college apartment, just praying that you would "hit me over the head with the guy I was supposed to marry."  You know, so I would "recognize him."



Thank you, Lord.

I recognized him.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
Ephesians 3:20-21

Monday, October 8, 2012

Three

Dear Ally Grace,

You're three years old today!  I really can't believe how quickly those years have flown by.  I'm sure I'll get all sappy, and say that every year on your birthday, but it's true.

You've grown into such an amazingly sweet, creative, smart, funny, and beautiful little girl.  I am immensely proud to be your mother, and I can't wait to see what the next year of your life holds for us.

This year, it seemed like you would say something new and funny every single day.  Like the time, during potty-training, that you didn't want to sit on the potty and, very seriously, told me that "the poo-poo wants to sleep in my bottom."
(Um, NO. Points for trying though.)

Or the time that you told me that you don't like going to ballet class because "it's too loud."
(I mean, is it heavy metal ballet class or something?  I don't understand.)

Or when you told me that your "bottom just burped."
(As a side note, why do so many of your AG-isms have to do with bodily functions?)

And recently, when you told me that you "want a baby brother," and that we could "name him Elmo." (Because Elmo Dickens wouldn't get beat up on the playground. Not at ALL.)

(And no, I am not pregnant.  Although, clearly, you're anxious to be an only child no longer.)

Another quality I've seen in you this year is your compassion.  Not necessarily when we're trying to share toys at the playground per se, but more so in the times you sweetly hug me, and ask "are you happy, mommy?"  And somehow I know, that already, my answer is important to you.

(My answer is always yes, by the way.  Not necessarily because I'm in a happy mood.  But because even when I'm not, I will always be happy that I'm your mother.)  

You are admittedly becoming a little, um, dramatic. It's not unusual to tell you "no," and have you hang your head and say "that hurts my feelings, mommy."  (To which I usually reply, "it won't be the last time, sweet pea."  Or my personal favorite "just wait til you're a teenager."  To which YOU reply, "what's a preen-ager?"  And I just tell you the truth:  "A teenager is someone who loves God, and always respects and obeys their parents.")

(Bahahahahahahaha.  Here's hoping.)

You told me the other day that you "love Jesus."  You have NO idea what that did to me, little one. I may or may not have had to go cry some happy tears after I left your room.  I love that you already love Him, and I pray every single day that He will deepen that love into a life-long relationship with Him.  And somehow use me and your dad in the process, despite being the total goober-ish sinners that I know we are.

You are a little entertainer, with a BIG personality.  I have NO IDEA where you get that.  A-hem.  You literally made up a song about rain boots the other day.  Granted, most of it was unintelligible, but still.  Hilarious and awesome.

Sassy outfit that inspired the "rain boots song."
See? Hilarious and awesome.


In fact, I think if I had to sum up this year, it would be with those two words:  hilarious and awesome.

(Although I might throw in "tiring" just to keep it real.)

I love you so much, baby girl.  Happy 3rd birthday!!


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Flashback

Last Friday, John and I went on a date.

(And I  know what you're thinking.  You're all, what the heck, Sherri?  Apparently y'all just go on dates and travel to Paris all the time.  Um, NO.  We also get into REALLY stupid fights and say dumb things to each other.   But I'm thinking y'all would rather hear about the fun stuff, than about how I got upset because I didn't like John's tone when he told me that no, he definitely does not want to watch Switched at Birth with me. Again. )

(Or you know. Something like that.)

Anyway, John planned this date and then very mysteriously wouldn't tell me where we were going.  As is typical, I tried to pretend it didn't bother me, while furiously trying to figure it out.

And, you know, maybe throwing out some ridiculous entirely reasonable suggestions as we drove......"oh, you're taking me to get a puppy!"

(Insert John dying laughing).

"I know!  We're going to a spa!"

(More laughter.)

"You're taking me on a helicopter ride!"

(Looks of disbelief, and an "are you for real right now?")

Finally, as we are headed into a random swim and tennis neighborhood in Dunwoody, it hits me.  I've been here once before.



We pull up to the clubhouse, and I am immediately transported to June of 2003.  A much younger, much skinnier, and probably much cooler version of myself walked in the doors of this clubhouse for a church singles gathering.  Despite having moved to Atlanta literally THAT afternoon, (AND despite already having a boyfriend), I was convinced to go to this singles thing by my best friend, Steph.

I made zero effort with my appearance, because let's face it, singles functions can be weird, and full of creepers.  Plus, the boyfriend.  I put on my favorite t-shirt, and my favorite comfortable pants (that John would later force me to throw away, they were so unfortunate).   Clearly, my expectations were not high.  Mainly I just hoped to grab some free food and make some new friends.

I'd say I got a little more than I bargained for.

I immediately notice this rather attractive guy, and had a thought that was something like:  "Hmmmmm.  How can I arrange to meet this young lad?"

(Because obviously my thoughts are Scottish.)

ANYWAY......fortunately for me, he was chatting with someone I knew.  So on my way out, our mutual friend is all, Hey Sherri!  Let me introduce you to John.

And I was all......Um, you're hot. And I like you. A lot. Do you want to date me?  Please, please, please want to date me! 

But you know.  Only in my head.

In real life, I think I managed something interesting and memorable, like "hi."

And that was it.  Because I went brain dead in his presence, I couldn't remember his name....although I thought about him enough over the next week to know that I needed to break things off with my (admittedly great) boyfriend.  I honestly didn't even know if I would ever see John again.

But God did.

Fast forward to our date Friday night.  We pull up to this clubhouse, and John pulls out the exact same t-shirt I was wearing the night we met.

And then makes me put it on over my (much cuter) date outfit.

We took this picture, and John was immediately like: "You're not going to like it."
He was right.
I am actually trying to point out the words on the shirt, and not force people to look at my chest.

Ahem.

(And by the way, I am wearing a belt under the shirt, not a giant roll of fat as it would appear.)


Everyone loves an Italian girl!
And apparently, I love being ironic.

 And then we walk around holding hands, and kissing, and saying generally mushy/barfy things like "Can you believe that was 9 years ago!"- (Him)   Or "What if someone had told you that we'd be married with a little girl next time we came back?"- (Me)

"I would absolutely have believed it."- (Him)


Yeah.  Me too.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

We're Back!

We're back!

(Okay, we've actually been back for over a week.  But I've been alternately hyperventilating over the amount of clothes that need washing, and procrastinating by browsing the Pinterest humor boards and laughing hysterically to myself.)

(Because you know you're awesome when you're looking at Pinterest, and literally crying with laughter.  By yourself.)

(Yep.  Super awesome.)


Anyway, there's so much I could write about our trip to Paris, but I think I'll sum it up with a little list.

1.  Everyone was SO nice!  And I was really worried that the French would be all, hey, you are OBVIOUSLY a tourist, your French is atrocious, and we will ignore you/make fun of you now.  But everyone was really nice, helpful, and made valiant efforts not to laugh when I would say Bonjour!

Or else they just laughed as us behind our backs. I'm fine with it.

2.  The shopping.  I'm still dreaming about it.  Although I am now probably not allowed to purchase anything until about 2015. Still.  Worth it.

3.  There are LOTS of things in Paris that are designed to make you suffer from motion sickness.  And by "you," I mean, "me." For example, taxi drivers and curly staircases.  Did you know you could get sick trying to climb down a staircase?!? Neither did I.

4.  Afternoons spent people watching in little cafes were my favorite moments of our trip....mainly because I got to guzzle cappuccinos and eat nutella crepes.  Although, I actually learned a lot about fashion through all of our people watching.  Basically, I realized that, while Paris is home to lots of chic, super put- together women, it's also home to quite a few fashion FAILS.  Which made me feel a lot better about wearing my tennis shoes around town.

(I'm just kidding, I have a firm rule about wearing NOT tennis shoes with jeans, as I don't want to look like a tourist.)

(Because my southern accent, wardrobe of bright colors, and the dyed blond hair didn't give it away at ALL. )

(Ahem.)

Bringing me to my fifth and final point......

5.  It is ENTIRELY possible for your pinky toe to have so many blisters that they literally join together and form a sixth toe.

(A.K.A.  You will pay for your vanity, so just put on the darn tennis shoes, woman!)

Here are a few of the approximately 50,000 photos that we took:

This was the hotel where we stayed the first night. SO CUTE!

Lots of squeeze pics, since we didn't know how to ask people to take photos of us. 

Totally jet-lagged and pounding a cappuccino. 

Beautiful! John tricked me into climbing up the curly stairs to the top.   I just barely refrained from trying to scoot back down them on my rear end, as to avoid barfing at the bottom.

Taking the train to Dijon....apparently trains ALSO make me motion sick.
I am obviously such a fun travel partner.
Thankfully, I have a husband who made multiple runs to the dining car for cappuccinos and Toblerone bars.
(Which is clearly the remedy for motion sickness).

AND, another squeeze pic!

Y'all.  I found the French version of Anthropologie.
John could HARDLY CONTAIN his excitement. I could tell by the way he sat in a chair and sighed loudly while I tried things on.

Ooh!  We must've found some Americans to take a picture of us!


Notre Dame....and is there ANYTHING more awkward than standing alone to have your picture made?

Those bars really add a certain something to the view, don't they?

Wine tasting in Burgundy. Again somewhat motion sick from all the curvy roads.
(Pretty sure I was thinking "I hope I don't barf all over this table....maybe the driver will share his spittoon with me?)

Needs no explanation.  Awesome.

So, our driver convinced us to eat some grapes directly off this vine.  And since I am so carefree and all, I had NO WORRIES about whether I was possibly ingesting some kind of parasite.  There were NO THOUGHTS AT ALL about how I might end up on an episode of Monsters Inside Me.

None.  Because I'm carefree like that.

So.  John made me take this picture, and even though I assured him that no woman should ever be photographed from an angle like this, due to Turkey Neck issues, he wanted to be artsy.

And I had to post it, because, hello? I'm the size of the Eiffel Tower.

Which is exactly what I felt like on way home, after eating a diet of approx 32,000 calories a day.

More Americans!!  Side note:  the French get confused when you say "y'all."

Last day....so sad to be leaving! Pretty sure this was right before John saw our mini-bar bill, and was all, HOW MANY Toblerones did you eat this week?

And I was all, SHUT UP, I'M STARVING!!!!!

Or maybe I just said, "Oops."  I can't remember.

But then, after nearly 24 hours of travel, we got home to this girl.....


Paris has NOTHING on her, am I right?!

And I wouldn't trade her for all the Eiffel Towers, shopping, cappuccinos, and Nutella crepes in the world.

(Although those Nutella crepes are a pretty close 2nd.)


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Birthday....It's Official

It's official.  I'm in my 30's now.  You may have been under the impression that "in your 30's" starts at 31. Or maybe even 30.  Well, not in my world, it doesn't.  I decided to give myself a grace year (or two), and only now will I grudgingly admit to being a thirty-something.

If I had to turn 32, at least I got to celebrate with a fun birthday week!

Two of my absolute best friends, Steph and Eryn, took me to dinner one night.
We had tons of fun, not to mention, a very overeager waiter who apparently wanted to grow a ponytail and dye it orange.

(He actually told us that without even a hint of irony.)

(Clearly he has the confidence to pull it off.)


Inappropriate? Completely.
Did I laugh my head off when I got this birthday card in the mail from a friend (you know who you are!)?
Why, yes.  Yes, I did.  


Another birthday dinner with two of our best friends, Rod and Kristin.
And baby Riley, of course.


As mentioned in my last post, a couple of noteworthy things happened during my birthday this year.

For starters,  I was actually surprised. 

I believe I've mentioned in the past that John and I are notorious for throwing each other "surprise" birthday parties.  As in, hey, which day is Sherri's annual surprise birthday party, John?

This year, it was more like, SURPRISE!  There's no birthday party planned for you.

But, you know.  In a good way.

John and I went to dinner with my parents and AG on the night of my birthday. He was being awfully pushy about what time we HAD TO get there, and so as we arrived I literally started looking around for friends' cars and familiar faces.

In my mind, I'm all, yeah, yeah, when is everyone gonna jump out and yell surprise.....let me mentally practice my surprise face now.

Or not.

Then, a couple of friends show up halfway through our meal, and I'm thinking......ah ha! that's smart, have everyone come LATE and surprise me.  Nice work, babe.

At which point I realize that our friends are actually there for a datenight, NOT a surprise party.

I had to tell on myself and admit all of this to John later.

(It must be a real treat to be married to me.)

Upon arriving home, John's all, "you have 30 minutes to pack a suitcase. Your parents are keeping AG tonight."

To which I reply, well that's easy, I'm still packed from Nashville.  Let's go.

And that was the first (and last) time I'll ever exceed his expectations on how long it takes me to get ready.

We head over to the Grand Hyatt in Buckhead, at which point he tells me, it's your birthday, babe! We can do whatever you want!  Which turned out to be putting on my sweats and watching a movie on TV.

(Again, it must be a real treat to be married to me.)

Before we start the movie though, he informs me that he has to leave for a work trip the next morning, but that I get to stay at the hotel all day. He has arranged for me to have an in-room massage at 10am, and then tells me that I should order WHATEVER I WANT from room service.

(It's almost like he knows that room service, massages, and watching tv in bed are my love languages.)

(Oh wait.  He does.)

This is all especially sweet and thoughtful, because a few months ago, we had the following conversation, on a day where I was just mentally and physically exhausted:

Me:  You know what would be my perfect day?

John:  What, babe?

Me:  Just going to a hotel and laying in bed all day, while ordering room service and watching tv.  Throw in a massage somewhere and I'd be good to go.

(Yes, I realize that could not possibly sound any lazier. Keepin' it real over here.)

John:  Would I be there too?

Me:  Well, um.....maybe for part of it. 

(Disclaimer:  I love my husband, and generally want to be around him at all times. I don't know why I told him I would want him there for only part of it, because when he actually created my perfect day, I got bored about 10 minutes after he left, and wanted him to come back and enjoy the laziness with me.)

(For the third time, it's obviously a real treat to be married to me.)

(I don't know why I actually put this stuff in writing for the world to see.)

(Well, let's be honest.  For all 4 of you to see.)


Anyway, the biggest surprise of the night was when he let me open my birthday present.  Where I find this:




As I try to wipe the shock off my face, he tells me that we're leaving in less than two weeks.....which, WHAT!?

And now I'm in the midst of packing a suitcase that I could literally fit my whole SELF into, while worrying about how the French are gonna feel about my "Bonjour, y'all" attempt at speaking their language.

This should be interesting.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August Craziness

Wow.  August has very nearly done me in, y'all.  (Which is southern talk for making me kind of crazytown.)  I have traveled 3 out of the last 3 weekends in a row, which means during the week I've only had time to do the following:

1. Unpack my overly large suitcase
2.  Tackle the ridiculously massive laundry pile
and finally,
3.  Repack my overly large suitcase for the next 3 day trip

So, before another month goes by, let me fill you in, mini-recap style.  (Well, it'll honestly probably be more monster-recap than mini-recap.  But I'll try.)

Weekend One:  Family Wedding in Fishkill, NY.

We flew up to NY on Thursday to celebrate John's cousin Kyle's wedding.  It was seriously so great to spend time with John's extended family....they are awesome, and we don't get to see them nearly enough.  AG was a trooper, through two days of no naps, bumpy airplane rides, and staying up til 11ish both nights.

Kyle and Lindsay, the bride and groom. 


John's cousin, Shayna and her precious little girl, Kiernan.  


Family dancing....LOVE.

Not sure WHAT is going on with our hands.
Apparently we are fans of the awkward hand-clasp, Olan-Mills style.



Unfortunately, AG's patience wore thin, conveniently as we were going through airport security on the way back to Atlanta.


You know what will intimidate a TSA officer?  A 2-year old screaming her head off because they made her "dubs" go through the x-ray machine.

You know what will entertain the other bored travelers waiting in line?

A frantic mother yelling, "No, it's okay!  Dubs is going on an adventure!!  YAY!  He loves riding through the machine!," while clapping her hands like a maniac.

Good times.


Weekend Two:  Girls Beach Weekend, Panama City Beach

This was SO fun, y'all.  I've been needing a girls weekend for, OH, about the last two years.  Our sweet husbands bravely agreed to watch kids so we could do rash and crazy things all weekend.  You know, like sleep in til 9am.  Read numerous magazines.  Watch movies on the couch.  And stay up until the late hour of 10 o'clock at night.

(We are SO wild.)

This stack of magazines weighed at least 5 lbs.
So, I guess we DID work out.

It was rainy/cloudy most of the time, but still totally worth it for girl time.

Venturing out of the condo to walk off some of the brownies.

Love these girls.




We definitely did meet some interesting characters, as per usual for PCB.  One of my favorites was this guy, who asked if we were gonna go out and "party." To which one of my friends bluntly replied, listen, we're in our 30's with kids.  

To which HE replied, "aw heck, that's no fun." 


(I then suggested an outing to La Vela, to prove that we are, in fact, still fun. But since we didn't want to portray ourselves as middle-aged cougars, we opted to remain at the condo in our spandex, junk food-eating clothes.)

(I mean, those magazines aren't just gonna read themselves, you know.)


Weekend Three:  Weekend in Nashville/Birthday

(As this post is now getting long, I will recap list-style from here.)

(Let's be honest though, even a list doesn't help with the wordiness.)

1. My sweet father in law had a dorm named after him at Belmont, so we went to the naming ceremony on Friday.

So proud of you, Papa D. : )


2.  AG managed (just. barely.) to keep it together during the ceremony, after which she participated in an inaugural pee-pee in one of the brand-new dorm rooms.

3.  She then participated in an inaugural bed-jumping in one of the new dorm rooms.  Which I think was really thoughtful of her, because those college kids NEED TO KNOW if the beds are good for jumping on.
Turns out, they are.

(Yep, I just called them college "kids."  Perfect segue into how I am now old.)

4.  Bringing me to....my birthday.  My brother-in-law Jamey and I share a birthday, and my father-in-law and HIS mother (who was also there for the weekend) share a birthday just four days after ours, so we had a big birthday dinner to celebrate.  The food was amazing and the rest of the family wouldn't let any of us lift a finger to help.

(My favorite kind of dinner).

5.  John, AG, and I came home on my actual birthday, after stuffing our faces at Monelle's for breakfast.  We then had dinner with my wonderful parents, who were awesome enough to keep AG for the night while we spent the night at a hotel here in town to celebrate.

Post Monelle's face-stuffing. Perfect time for a photo opp.



Me and my awesome parents!

I may have to do a separate birthday post. Mainly because there were some funny things that happened, and because for ONCE I managed not to ruin a surprise.  Which is blog-worthy in and of itself.

(Well, maybe not, but I'll probably still write about it anyway.)

You can thank me later.