Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas 2009 Recap

It never fails to feel like Christmas until the day after especially since graduating from college.  Does this mean I am getting old?  eh, probably.  I guess, that's life.

The Todd's 2nd Christmas together was quite enjoyable.  Since we spent Thanksgiving at the beach this year, we spent Christmas Eve and Day with Daniel's mom's side.  It's funny how God works.  Last year we did the opposite:  Thanksgiving in Maylene and Christmas at the beach.  With everything that happened over the past couple of weeks, we were both glad to stay in town and spend time with his side.

Friday, December 18th Sis, Mamski, and Dad came over for the Brindley Christmas gift swap.  It was super fun and we ordered Hungry Howie's (one of mom's favs).  It was good to spend time with them since it has been and will be harder to get the 6 of us together.  I am sad to say that we missed Josh not being there.  He was there in spirit though.  The next day (Saturday, December 19th) was the Schmitt Christmas at Granmolli and Granddaddy's house.  Our family is gorwing and adding new members by marriage and birth every year.  It's hard to believe that Sis and I don't necessarily have to sit in the kitchen nook anymore since we are older now.  The nook is reserved for the newest generation.

Monday, December 21st Daniel, Mamski, Jane, Rhiannon, and I went to the airport to wish Sissy a safe flight to Germany.  She officially moved there on a temporary basis.  Everyone did very well with keeping it together until it was time to say our good-byes.  Thankfully, we can skype with her so missing her hasn't been too bad.

Thursday, December 24th we spent the day cleaning and other various tasks.  I finally finished with both of the dogs' Christmas fleece blankets.  I decided that it would be a great idea to make each dog their very own fleece blanket.  They are used to sleeping on one of our good blankets at night.  I was tired of having it smell like dog and not being able to use it for myself.  After hours of hard work, I finished both blankets and they are super cute!  Jackson may love his more than Tyson does, but it's okay.  They are both being used and I have my blanket back.  Christmas Eve night we ate supper at Uncle Tommy and Lynda's house. 

Friday, December 25th we woke up to Santa having been at our house.  The dogs laid around on their blankets while playing with some of their new toys.  Daniel surprised me (like he always does) with more gifts than I had purchased for him.  Our plan was our new bedroom tv was our Christmas gift to each other.  Obviously Dnaiel didn't think that was enough so he managed to give me a new watch, how to speak German, Germany travel book, and lots of candy.  After getting ready, we went over to his mom's house for breakfast.  That night everyone came over to our house for "homemade" lasagna.

The sad part about this Christmas is that Daniel and I did not get one picture together.  I am sad about that.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Jackson and Tyson in front of the tree (the best we could do)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  Jackson and Tyson sure did!
(more to come on that later.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

letting go

2009 is coming to an end and there has been so much to happen!  Daniel and I completed our first year of marriage.  I must say I think the second year will be harder than the first though.  We are slowly settling into the married life.  I must thank Mom and Dad right here, because they prepared me for letting someone know what is going on all the time.  Little did I know that they were prepping me for marriage when they would ask 50 million questions about what I was doing, where I was going, when I was going to be home, etc.

Enough about that...

2009 for me has been the year of "letting go".  I have learned to let go of a lot of things:  Sis, MeMe, friends, my perception of other people, caring about what others think, and frankly just the reality of my life as I know it.

Monday, December 21:  I said "good-bye" to my little sister.  She stepped on the plane to travel halfway around the world to start the rest of her life with her husband, Josh.  It's weird to think that Sis and I are old enough to be married.  I still think of her being in elementary school.  I will miss her while she is there.  She missed me while I was at Auburn and in some ways, Germany is her Auburn.  The difference is that she can't drive 2 hours and be home.  I look forward to visiting her and Josh while they are there.  The Todds and Pates will reunite in the summer of 2010.

Monday, December 14:  Daniel and his family tragically discovered that MeMe had passed away.  It hit his entire family very hard, because she was the rock/glue of the family.  She was precious and always had a smile on her face.  When I first met everyone, she was the one to welcome me with open arms.  She always had to give a hug and kiss when she saw you and before you parted ways.  I will miss her humor and laugh.  In some ways, I feel like she is still here watching over us.  We will miss you, MeMe....until we meet again.

It never fails.  The circle of friendship comes and goes as if on cue.  I have learned to let go of best friends through various stages of my life.  No friendship has been easy to let go, but this one in particular has.  There's no need for details, because at the end of the day, it's really not important.  In this situation, I have learned that you can tell a lot about a person's character by the way they handle a disagreement/argument.  Being stubborn and prideful only get you so far in life and then comes reality.  Secondly, there's no need to try to patch things up when the other person has deleted you from their life.  Friendships come and go in life.  Do I regret certain friendships?  Never.  They have made me who I am today.  I have learned more from that one friendship than I could ever learn in a classroom.  Do I still love this person?  With my whole heart.  Like I said before, friendships come to an end, but one chapter's end is another one's beginning.

It has taken my 25 years to truly understand that everyone is different.  Not everyone was raised like me.  I know you might think this is an elementary concept, but I have learned hard-core just how different two people can be.  I learned in college what it meant to have an open-mind about my surroundings.  At the time, that was a foreign concept to me, but I have learned that in order to form accurate, ethical decisions you must be open-minded.  I never realized that some people don't have basic manners.  Maybe their parents didn't teach them that sort of thing:  to put others before yourself.  Basically you must live by the Golden Rule.  Yes, I must have been living partially under a rock.  How does this constitute as my letting go?  I am letting go of my "raising" perceptions of people.  In a way, it's like letting go of my expectations of people, which I have ALWAYS held people that I knew to extremely high expectations.  Not a good idea, Leslie.

If you spend your entire life worrying/caring about what other people think, you will die at a very young age.  I am not saying you shouldn't "dress to impress", but if you dress like a million bucks every day, how far up the ladder will that get you?  a minimal raise?  sure. a pat on the back?  possibly.  a thank you for your hard work?  don't hold your breath.  Sometimes you can do your best only to find out that you might as well be sitting on your hands.  Sure it's frustrating, but are you going to let that rule your life?  The great thing about your life is that you get to decide what you want to worry/care about.  Just remember:  no one is perfect including you and the other person.  I am learning to let go of the thoughts of others and learning how to truly be "free" from the criticism of others.

"Letting go of the reality of my life as I know it" might sound a bit strange to you.  Let me explain:  I feel I am destined for greatness.  (who doesn't, right?)  Ever since I was in high school, I have always wanted to help people, whether I am a teacher, financial analysist , or counselor.  There's not much that I can do help people by sitting in an office all day 5 days a week.  Don't get me wrong.  I love going to work every day.  I love the people I work with.  I just don't feel like I am really making a difference in people's lives by paying bills and invoicing for concrete utility poles.  I think I am reaching an age where I ask myself, "Leslie, what do you want to do?  What is your passion?"  I am 25, and I am only getting older.  Once Daniel and I start having kids, it will be 10 times harder to accomplish my personal goals.  This is why I am starting up my own business:  becoming a professional organizer.  I will explain in more detail later, but this is the direction that I am heading.  There's a lot to figure out, but I know that I can make a difference in someone's life.  The first person who I will make a difference in is my Aunt Jane.  Her house is my "dummy" and I am super excited about revamping her life. 

2009 is about letting go and 2010 is about imbracing the new and unknown.

Monday, December 7, 2009

from eye twitching to amazing

There's something about it.  I can't deny that I am always in a good mood when the sense of accomplishment arrives.  It's not hard...just takes time.  This is my definition of being a nerd:  a person who becomes overly estatic when something is cleaned and/or organized in a wonderful manner.  Ah yes, just call me Leslie, the Nerd. 

This past weekend Leslie, the Nerd, and her nerdy husband, Daniel, decided to take on (yet again for about the 6th time) the mess in the garage.  It drives me NUTS to see crap laying around when I know that it can be and should be put away.  I am very much the person who has always tried to put everything back in its original place once I am finished using it.  It sometimes always blows my mind that people let their clutter consume their lives.  If you just take a few minutes a day and "clean up", then you wouldn't have as big of a problem later on.  I am reminded of the preschool song that I would sing to either my MDO class or while babysitting:  the clean-up song.  It goes "clean-up, clean-up.  everybody do their share".  So simple and easy that even a preschooler can understand.

Back to the mess:
So this was a long time coming.  Daniel has been collecting various types of wooden boards in order to make his very own work bench in the garage.  I think it's great that he has that desire and actually knows how to make it!  He is handy to have around.  In the midst of the collecting, he has brought in more grass, spiders, and dirt than I am willing to let into our home.  Plus he was staking everything up in front of the "junk" pile that I am in charge of organzing/donating/decreasing until it all goes away.  So how could I organize my pile with his stuff in the way?  Yesterday we changed that.

In just about 3 hours, our garage went from making my eyes twitch to it being very livable and enjoyable to look at.  We mounted a shelf that he got from his dad.  And I must say it helps A LOT with the strorage factor.  Then I busted out the little shop-vac and proceeded to vacuum up every spider/cobweb and blade of dead grass that I could find.  Daniel worked on getting his tool box in order.  His tool box still is not as "together" as I would like it, but he has quickly reminded me that his tool box is his stuff.  Fair enough.

He borrowed a saw-type-of-a-thing from his friend so he is planning on building his workbench this week!  Yay for progress!  Once that is complete, then I will be the one holding us up with the junk pile.  I plan on tackling that this weekend though.  I really should have taken "before", "progressive", and "after" shots of the garage to have documentation of the fantastic teamwork that Daniel and I possess.  Eh, I will always remember it in my memory and that gives me nightmares just thinking about it.

Monday, November 30, 2009

time to get a'shopping

Thanksgiving down, and Christmas up next.

Just over 3 weeks until Christmas is here.  Seriously, time does fly.  And it flies faster and faster every year.

Daniel, Jackson, Tyson, and I spent Thanksgiving at the beach with Mamski, Dad, Sis, Paul, and Carolyn.  We all had a wonderful time.  It was nice to have the parents together swapping stories.  It's moments like those that I have learned to cherish more and more as I grow older. 

I think I gained at least 5 pounds while we were there.  We ate non-stop.  For Thanksgiving dinner, we ended up with 8 or 9 different desserts.  That's no lie either.  I loved them all.

We were able to get our Christmas card picture made as well.  We tried something different this year since we were at the beach.  I haven't studied all of the pics yet, but there looked like a few good ones.  Stay tuned for the pricture winner...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Why is it that people love to ignore history?  All of my life, especially in school, I have learned that history repeats itself.  Whether its with the stock market, economy, wars, or rulers/presidents, there's no denying that the repetition of history is part of the circle of life. 

This Iron Bowl Friday Auburn has the opportunity to keep the "circle of life" going.  There's a lot of history stacked against the Tide beating Auburn this year.  Yes, they have a good team, but just read the facts.  I believe history will be faithful in its repetition in 2009.  Below are 2 more emails that I received from Tiger Rags.  I don't know about you, but it has me pumped up for game time!  WDE!  DWWD!

On November 27th, 2009, Black Friday will take on new meaning here on the Plains. It's a day that signifies 20 years since Alabama first came to Auburn for the Iron Bowl back in 1989. After many Alabama fans and athletic staff members agreed that Alabama would never play Auburn on the Plains, it finally happened in 1989. Since then, the Tigers lead the series 11-9 overall, holding a 7-2 advantage in Jordan-Hare Stadium and even a 4-1 record on Alabama's home turf.
When Alabama made their first trip to Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium on December 2nd, 1989, they entered with 10 wins, no losses and were ranked #2 in the nation. They left with 10 wins, 1 loss and an ORANGE and BLUE stain on an otherwise perfect record.
The Alabama Crimson Tide made their second visit to Jordan-Hare Stadium in 1993 following their 1992 National Championship and back-to-back down years for the Auburn Tigers. Alabama was coached by the popular and successful Gene Stallings while Auburn welcomed new head man Terry Bowden to his first Iron Bowl. Alabama entered the game 8-1-1 having lost to LSU and tied Tennessee earlier in the season. Alabama packed up their 21-1-1 record from the past two seasons and headed to the Plains for what now would be a regular trip for the Tide.

-from Tiger Rags email

Here's another...

The Alabama Crimson Tide made their second visit to Jordan-Hare Stadium in 1993 following their 1992 National Championship and back-to-back down years for the Auburn Tigers. Alabama was coached by the popular and successful Gene Stallings while Auburn welcomed new head man Terry Bowden to his first Iron Bowl. Alabama entered the game 8-1-1 having lost to LSU and tied Tennessee earlier in the season. Alabama packed up their 21-1-1 record from the past two seasons and headed to the Plains for what now would be a regular trip for the Tide.

Terry Bowden’s first season on the Plains certainly surpassed expectations after Pat Dye stepped down as head coach following a five-win season in 1992. Auburn entered the game 10-0 with only the defending National Champions standing in their way. After falling behind 14-5 early, the Tigers backup quarterback Patrick Nix stepped in and threw a 35 yard touchdown pass to Frank Sanders and the SEC’s leading rusher James Bostic rumbled for a 70 yard touchdown to seal the Crimson Tide’s fate in a 22-14 Auburn win.

In 2009, Alabama will likely bring a two season record of 23-2 into the 1:30pm “Black Friday” kickoff in Jordan-Hare. Like in 1993, Auburn is coming off a five-win season. Once again, Auburn is introducing a new coaching staff to their first Iron Bowl while Alabama will be coached by the popular and successful Nick Saban. Chizik will not take a 10-0 record into the game like Bowden, but he is entering with a new offensive scheme, one of the SEC’s top rushers and a stadium full of supporters who echo the Auburn creed’s “I Believe in Auburn…”

Alabama shut-out the Tigers 17-0 in Coach Dye’s last game in 1992 and 36-0 in Coach Tuberville’s last game in 2008. The 1993 Tigers followed up the shut-out with a 22-14 win over the Tide. The 2009 Tigers have a score to settle as well.

-from Tiger Rags email

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I believe in Auburn and love it

Not only does this week mark another great American holiday, Thanksgiving, but it is the week of the Iron Bowl.  Living in Alabama, Thanksgiving tends to get overlooked.  Families turn on each other.  Brothers are enemies.  Friends become strangers.  Houses are divided.  Yep, nothing like the good ol' Iron Bowl to bring out the school spirit in people. 

I was asked today if (under any circumstance...including if it benefits Auburn) I would ever cheer for Alabama.  My answer was...always will be...and will never stray from "no".  For some reason that was shocking and somehow I should explain my answer.  With all of the "tolerance" in the world, do I really have to define/explain/defend why I stand firmly behind my decision to support my alma mater by cheering against its biggest rival?  I don't think so, but if that leaves you unsatisfied, please read the story below.  I received the below story from the Tiger Rags store, where I am a member of their email newsletters.  I plan on posting a couple of more Tiger Rags emails over the next couple of days.  It's funny how history can repeat itself.

In 1971, Coach Shug Jordan’s Auburn football team had a 9-1 season that ended with a 31-7 loss at the hands of Alabama at Legion Field in Birmingham. The next year, Auburn lost 13 players to graduation and the NFL (including the Sullivan-to-Beasley combination), so most experts didn’t expect much from the Tigers in 1972. Aside from a hiccup against LSU in Baton Rouge, the Tigers roared through the 1972 schedule and were 8-1 heading into the annual meeting with Alabama on December 2nd.

Prior to the game, Alabama coach Bear Bryant was quoted saying “I’d rather beat that cow college than beat Texas 10 times.” (Alabama was playing Texas in the Cotton Bowl in January). Presumably, Coach Bryant referred to Auburn as the “cow college” based on its agricultural background.

Alabama was undefeated and ranked #2 in the nation coming into the game and raced out to a 16-0 lead by the 4th quarter. Auburn placekicker Gardner Jett put a field goal on the board midway through the final frame and left the game in the hands of a capable defense from that point on. A Tiger walk-on, Bill Newton, and defensive back David Langner stole the show from that point forward. Newton blocked two Alabama punts that were scooped up by David Langner. He ran both blocked punts in for Auburn touchdowns to give the Tigers a 17-16 victory over the mighty, and heavily favored, Alabama Crimson Tide in a game now known, as Punt Bama Punt.

After the game, Coach Bryant regretted his comment and said he would never refer to Auburn as a cow college ever again. (We're not sure why his faithful followers haven't followed his lead.)

The 1972 Auburn football team is often referred to as “The Amazins” after their impressive season that included a 24-3 victory over Colorado in the Gator Bowl in December.

-from Tiger Rags email

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

the makings of a new Leslie

2009 has been the year of fixing the "broken down" Leslie.  At 25 I am literally falling apart, and I have discovered just how fragile I really am.  Seriously, am I 25 or 85?  My body might not have a clue with all of the problems that I have had.

In the middle of the year, I thought I was going to have shoulder surgery since I could not lift my left arm without screaming and crying.  I had never had so much pain shoot through my body before.  Driving, taking a shower, and putting on/taking off clothes, were things that I could hardly do without lifting/rotating my left arm.  It's amazing just how much you use your left shoulder throughout the day. 

I remember waking up in the middle of the night laying on my back with my left arm over my head.  I bursted into tears as I tried to lower it...s.l.o.w.l.y.  I woke Daniel to have him get me an ice pack because it was throbbing.  ugh.  It makes my eyes water just thinking about that horrible night.

Thanks to my husband's suggestion, he took me to the chiropractor.  After my 10 weeks of rehab, I have been great ever since.  If you have never been to a chiropractor before, I HIGHLY suggest that you go.  You have never known what great feels like until you are adjusted and popped.  It's like your individual  vertebrae is floating on a cloud.

While at the chiropractor, they took some x-rays to see what the shoulder problem was (which turned out to be a pinched nerve), and they found something else (of course).  The curvature of my neck is backwards and it puts a lot of pressure on the base of my neck and shoulders.  Because of this increased pressure, I have migraines.  (eureka!)  Finally, an explanation on why I have migraines other than the typical causes that neurologists have given me in the past (lack of sleep, certain foods/drinks, stress).  I must say that I have had about 2 migraines since going to the chiropractor (which is about one every 2 months).  I will take it!  I had gotten to where I had one every month, but one every other month is great!  (You have to remember this is coming from the girl who had 1 to 2 migraines per week in college.  Umm, yeah...not fun.)

My previous ordeal dealt with my ingrown toenail.  (You can relive that memory here.  There's no need to document that experience twice.)  Just an update on the toe:  it's pretty much healed.  I am so thankful to be able to walk on my right big toe again.

This brings me to my latest problem:  receeding gums on my lower front 2 teeth.  I noticed it earlier in the year when my teeth started hurting.  It got so bad that I was having to put orajel and pop pain pills just to go to sleep.  After doing the dentist's suggestions for 6 months (using a soft toothbrush, don't brush hard, use sensitive toothpaste), I told him that it wasn't working and the gums were still receeding.  He referred me to a periodontist (gum doctor) to see about having a gum graft done.  (a what?!  scary.) 

My consultation with Dr. Kent was yesterday.  She did recommend a gum graft on my lower front 2 teeth (ugh great).  They would get the gum from a donor bank (like as in a dead person?!! yes), and donated gum would be stripped of anything living like blood cells and vessels.  She prefers using a donor bank to limit the procedure to just one instead of two.  She said in the past they would use existing gum from the top pallette of the patient.  Then the roof of their mouth would hurt worse in healing and have more problems later on than if they just used a donor.  Hey, sounds good to me...kinda creepy, but could it get worse?  After having the procedure done, she reassured me that it would cure my problem and prevent more recession in that area in the future.  I am pretty sure that I am waiting until after the first of the year to have it done.  The healing period is about 6 weeks, but I won't be down for that long. 

With all of my problems and cures, it's like I am becoming a new, better Leslie.  I have cost us a lot of money this year, but thank goodness for health/dental insurance (until univeral health care takes over). 
-left shoulder pain:  cured!
-migraines:  more cured than they have ever been
-ingrown toenail:  healed
-gum recession:  will be cured in 2010

I better live for a long time after all of my repairs.  Ü

Friday, November 13, 2009

time? it goes fast.

On New Year's Day 2010, it will be 3 years since the above picture was taken.  I remember this trip very well.  It was the first time that Daniel went with me down to the beach house.  We had only been "officially" boyfriend and girlfriend for less than a week.  Mom asked Daniel the 2nd night we were there if he was in love with me.  It's funny how mothers know things before the rest of us do.  Her inkling was right.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Do I have abnormal memories of my childhood Christmas decorating days?

The holidays is my absolute favorite time of year (despite what some people think according to my fb personal quiz.  It's not my birthday although that is also a joyous time of year.).  My favorite part of the Christmas season is all the memories I have of when I was younger.  I LOVED getting out the Christmas decorations.  That might be in my top 5 days throughout the year.

We would spend the entire day in our pajamas.  (SOLD!)  Any day that lets me be in my pj's all day is always a good day.  As much as I love getting ready, I have really grown to love being lazy at home.  The older I get the more I appreciate it.  There's nothing like being at home all day and relaxing either by cleaning, organizing, sleeping, and/or watching tv espcially after having to get up and ready during the week to work. 

Back to what I was saying before I daydreamed about being at home in my pj's.  (pure bliss, people!)  We would spend the entire day in our pj's listening to classic Christmas cd's such as Vince Gill, 'N Sync, and The Carpenters.  Mom would go to the basement and gather which boxes had the decorations in them.  Dad would be outside basically the entire day either doing yardwork and/or putting up the outside decorations.  If Dad was putting up the outside decorations (wreaths on the windows, garland on the porch, and white lights everywhere), then either Sis or I would have to help him.  Sissy typically would help Dad outside since I love being indoors and I was the designated duster.  I had to dust every piece of furniture just like any other Saturday chore day.  After dusting, Mom would turn the living room upside down rearranging for the tree.  The blinds on the front window would be up and I can still see Mom standing in the middle of the furniture with her hands on her hips.  She always did her best thinking with her hands on her hips. 

Once she figured out how the furniture would be arranged, I had to make sure that it was precisely correct/perfect.  You know that we Brindleys are perfectionists.  I even recall Mom having the piano rolled over her toe in the midst of moving the furniture around.  It's never fun to see your mom crying because she is in so much pain.

With the new living room layout, we were able to get out/bring in the tree.  We started out with a fake tree.  Then they decided a real tree from Marvin's is the best deal.  After a few years of doing that, they bought another fake tree.  I loved going to Marvin's and staying in the freezing cold.  I always liked a certain tree that we never seemed to get.  Oh well.  Mom would say, "Leslie, our ceilings are not that tall.  The tree will look bigger in the house."  Too bad she was right.  The tiny Charlie Brown tree that we ended up buying always turned into the Elf tree.  In the early years, Dad would put the lights around the tree.  As the years went by, Sis and I got that job.  I would hold the strand as she ever so OCD-like placed the strand on the branches.  The ornaments were a great part of tree decorating.  My favorite ornament was my "Baby's First Christmas".  It is way cuter and prettier than Sissy's.  I think she was secretly jealous of how beautiful it is.

After decorating the living room, dining room, and kitchen, we finally could decorate our rooms!  That was my VERY favorite part of decorating!  I loved getting out all of our Christmas stuffed animals:  Miss Piggy, Kermit, Fonzo the bear, Rodney, Randy, Rhonda, Ramona (reindeer), and other various plushed items.  Every night I would sleep with every single one of them with my ceramic Christmas tree and window candle lit.  One time I remember laying underneath the lit Christmas tree with all of my animals.  If I could completely fit under the tree again, I would do it in a heartbeat.

I know you had Randy, Rhonda, Randy, and Ramona as a small child.

This has me thinking:  I really miss these guys.  I might try to bid on some on eBay.  Or if you are thinking of getting me something special this year, this would work.  I might even kiss you on the mouth since I would be so excited!

Monday, November 9, 2009

too early?

Is it ever too early to start listening to Christmas music?  It is close to the middle of November and the temperatures are still topping the mid-60s to lower-70s during the day.  Maybe if I start listening to Christmas music while at work (like I have done today), then the weather will drop and the days will go by a little faster.  Now, there's no need for the days to start flying by since I am about a third done with Christmas shopping.  I was doing good there for a minute.  Then I had to make a decision:  do I pay the bills, or buy Christmas gifts?  Too bad for the Christmas gifts because the bills won.  (Just a hint:  the bills ALWAYS win.)

See, I am a very weird person.  I actually like paying bills.  There's nothing better than pay day and sitting down and paying the bills.  It makes me feel like a grown-up.  I haven't always had the desire to pay my own bills until I was in college.  I hated living 2 hours away and still being under the parents.  My minimun wage, 15 hour a week job couldn't come close to supporting me.  That was just enough for groceries and "fun" money.  I always told myself that I would NEVER, EVER in a MILLION years complain about having to pay for my own bills.  In fact, I welcomed it with open arms because I am an excllent manager of money.  You should ask Daniel.  I completely transformed his more ways that one.  (hehe)

I am so anxious for December to be here that I am "patiently" waiting to decorate the house.  Daniel isn't too keen on decorating before we leave for the beach for Thanksgiving, but I am slowly talking him into it.  I think it would really help and make me feel good to at least have the inside decorated (or mostly decorated) before our trip.  Sis and I have done that many times in the past.  Sis, remember that one year when we didn't tell Dad that we were decorating the house before the beach trip and he came back from T'giving with the house completely decorated?  aww, that was fun.

So no objections to my Christmas decorating/listening to Christmas music idea?  okay, good.  Then that settles it.  Novemeber 9th is not too early.

Friday, November 6, 2009

things that rock and some that don't even come close

In an effort to keep up with the latest peer pressures of my high school classmates (yes, I know that high school was over 7 years ago, but it still happens!), I have decided to make a list of things that rock and some that don't for the mom job website.  This website can turn a boring, laughless day into a great one.  (And I totally mean it, Amanda!)

things that rock:
-anything and everything Vera Bradley.  If you have read at least one of my blog entries, then you would already know this.
-light 280 on a Friday at lunch.  Traffic on 280 today at lunch time was extremely light.  It was almost spooky.
-PB&J sandwiches.  These have come to be a work lunch favorite.  I have steered clear of them for the past 20 years since that is ALL I fed as a small child...well, at least it seemed like it was.

things that don't:
-Friday afternoons that seem to drag on forever.  Friday afternoons are THE worst part of the week and always seem to drag longer than any other part of the week.  bleh.
-waking up early on the weekend in order to be responsible.  Tomorrow is supposed to be the best day for me to sleep in.  Will I this weekend?  uh, no.  I have to get up early and take care of my car (ie. oil change, alignment, and rotation and balanced).  The place closes at 2 and it's in Trussville, which is a 45 minute drive from our house.  double bleh.  You might ask why I can't go somewhere closer to my house to have this work done.  And I will answer you with this:  I really like this REALLY do!  (duh)  So much so, that I will drive 45 minutes AND get up early on a Saturday to have them work on it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

One Year of Marital Bliss

After one year of marital bliss, Daniel and I celebrated our one year anniversary the first weekend in October.  I can't decide if it feels like it has been a long or speedy year.  I will have to say both for these facts: 
*Long, because I feel like I have known Daniel all my life.  We just click, and he knows me WAY better than I thought anyone much so that it's scary.
*Speedy, because it seems like yesterday we were planning the wedding.  I do NOT miss those days at all and they don't feel like they were over a year ago.

To celebrate our fantastic year, we were able to spend an evening at Ross Bridge Resort.  A HUGE thanks to Dad for babysitting Jackson and Tyson!

The view from our balcony was incredible!  Daniel REALLY wanted to play golf.  Too bad there wasn't enough time or money for that.

As part of my gift, Daniel gave me a gift certificate to the Vera Bradley store.  As soon as we got to Ross Bridge and changed clothes, we decided we had just enough time for me to spend it.  (See my new purse.)  After a quick 30 minutes at the VB store (and it was quick), we headed to The Melting Pot for dinner.  I was a little nervous and not sure what to expect, but Daniel assured me that it was great food.  I had heard how expensive it is, but never knew the food was THAT good!  It was my most incredible meal that I have had in a long time.  I certainly didn't prepare myself for just how much food we would get.  We had four courses:  #1 spinach and artichoke dip, #2 salad, #3 main meal, #4 oreo/marshmellow chocolate.  Of course everything but the salad was fonadu.

I believe the above picture was right after I thought I was going to vomit from stuffing my face.

Afterwards we headed back to the resort to watch the rest of the Auburn/Tennessee game.  Daniel popped the bubbly just like he did the year prior.

And we raised our glasses to salute our first year of marriage.  Daniel told me "Here's to one down and three more to go."  Hmm...he tries too hard to be a comedian.

Daniel sipped and I inhaled the champagne while watching the rest of the game.  I passed out during the 4th quarter after I nearly jinxed us by saying that Auburn would win their game this year as opposed to last.  (On our wedding day, Auburn lost to Vanderbilt.  It was a sad ride from the airport to the resort on our wedding night.)  When I finally woke back up Daniel asked if I had been sleeping and in my drunken state I simply replied, "sometimes".

Sunday after check out, we went to The Egg and I in Hoover.  Honestly it really wasn't all that great.  It reminded me of IHOP only a lot smaller and tighter.  We headed back home to relieve Dad of his dog duties and brought out our wedding cake.  I wasn't 100% sure just how good it was going to taste, but surprisingly it was still semi-moist.

And as Daniel said, "Here's to one down, and three more to go!"  May we have many more anniversaries to come.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween 2009

Happy Halloween from the Todds:
Daniel, Leslie, Jackson, and Tyson

Friday, October 23, 2009

the fall air

Other than making curtains and buying VB, the fall season is quickly getting from me.  I haven't truly taken advantage of the weekends like I would like.  Don't get me wrong:  I have been taking advantage of sleeping in as much as I can.  You are NEVER going to see pass up that opportunity unless something is seriously wrong.

While I slept, spent, and created, Daniel has taken advantage of the open season.  It started last Thursday, which the only way I remember is that his anniversary present delivered.  His anniversary gift from me was a new hunting apporpriate.  Before you get any ideas, I don't know any other details.  He actually ordered it himself.  Wasn't that sweet of me?  I told him my money amount to him and he did the picking out.  It worked out for the best since I have NO idea about hunting stuff.

To celebrate his gift and open season, Daniel and his friend, Renan, went hunting both Saturday and Sunday mornings.  They were so precious in their camo gear.  I need to take a picture of Daniel in his outfit and new toy.  I can already hear the bickering about taking that picture. 

The weekends to Thanksgiving and Christmas are disappearing.  Thankfully I started our Christmas shopping during the summer.  I picked up a few items here and there, but nothing big...until this past Wednesday.  I love being able to find great gfits for people at an expensive price.  It kills me to have to buy something at full matter what it is.  Gift-buying is no different.  Why would I spend full price on a gift and max out on that one item?  I like giving people a sack full of goodies (just like Santa).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

lost in translation

Maybe it's just a phase.  It's getting ridiculous though.  For some reason, I feel like I am the Tower of Babel.  When I say something/send an e-mail, something strange happens"  it's like I never spoke or sent the e-mail.  There is no reply of any sort.  Now this wouldn't concern me if it was just one aspect of my life, but it is present in all areas:  work, home, and friendships. 

What part of these phrases isn't clear/ambiguous?
-Please scan me the information as soon as you can.
-Has this shipment arrived yet?
-I have been waiting on your information/answers for 4-6 hours now.  What answers do you have for me?
-The questions must be completely finished by Saturday morning.  Then we will go over it together.
-How does this weekend sound?
-Do you have a problem with me?
-How are things going with you?  How's life?

I know some of that doesn't make much sense, but those are just a few examples of what I am talking about.  I have asked ALL of those questions at some point in time within the past week (and even one within the past 2 months).  Have I gotten a response from those questions?  Most of them, yes, but only if I persistently asked/stalked the person multiple times.

I know this might sound weird that I am even bringing this up, but seriously this problem has progressively gotten worse. 

Maybe I need to make EXTRA efforts to make sure that both parties are on the same level.  It might be easier said than done though.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

our $25 kitchen curtains and command center

Today was the day that the "final" big "moving in" product was completed.  It was my task to find the perfect curtains/binds/shades for our kitchen bay windows.  Being a Brindley (meaning we are money pinchers), I looked high and low and near and far to find the most affordable curtains.  That was a huge task in itself not to mention finding cheap, cute ones. 

I liked the idea of a roman shade, but those suckers are $30 to $50 each and just for plain colors!  I wanted some sort of pattern since our kitchen pretty much are just "blocks" of colors.  Nothing other than the Auburn platter had more than one to two colors on it. 

Probably a month or so after moving into the house, Mamski so graciously told me about this website with "self-made" curtains.  The best part was that there was NO sewing involved.  (I must confess that I do own a sewing machine, thanks to Daniel, but I have only used it once.  I don't feel like I have mastered sewing in a straight line yet.)  So I headed over to the website and found a roman shade-like curtain.  The woman gave a step by step on how to make them too!  She recommended using liquid stitch to keep the ends from fraying after cutting the fabric.  I thought easy enough and now I have to find the perfect fabric!

After another month or so, I remembered about some bed spreads from Urban Outfitters that I had bought last year.  Leah had told me about huge pieces of fabric being sold for $4.99 at Urban Outfitters.  I ended up buying 3 blue/green striped and 1 red/yellow striped patterns, all for less than $20!  I had thought about making a shower curtain and window curtains from them while living in the apartment, but that never happened.  Once I remembered that I had "free" fabric already in my possession that made the process 10 times easier.  AND it matched our kitchen!  I was on a roll to have cheap and cute curtains!

After an esitmated 5 to 6 hours worth of work, the final big move-in product was complete!  I never knew that I could love curtains as much as I love these.  Take a look for your self.

last night- taking a look at what was to come

Liquid Stitch-this stuff was SUPER easy to use!

the final product!

a closer view of the middle window.  look at those beautiful marigolds that my husband brought home for me.

Here's a breakdown of the cheap and cute curtains:
-one bed spread of fabric from Urban Outfitters:  $4.99
-3 spools of navy ribbon from Hobby Lobby:  $2.00 each (they were 50% off)
-Liquid Stitch from Hobby Lobby:  $2.50 (also 50% off)
-3 tension rods from Wal-Mart:   $3.97 each (11.91 total)
Grand Total:  $25.40 plus tax

So I got all 3 for basically the cost of one at a store...a really cheap store.

Command Center
In the last post I talked about our new command center.  Well, it also got a huge boost to being completely finished, but I thought I would let you see what I have done so far.

We still need a calendar which will come in 2010.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

my addiction to Vera Bradley

It has taken me a couple of years to grow a fond obsession with Vera Bradley and everything she has to offer me.  I wish I was rich enough to collect all pieces in all patterns that I think are precious!  Alas, I am not rich.  (shocked?)  Furthermore, I would LOVE my house to be like the Vera Bradley stores.  I am not talking about the retailers that carry VB along with other merchandise.  I mean a true VB store like the one at the Summit.  I think Daniel would have a veto on that idea before I could mention the words:  bright pink/salmon walls. 

I guess I must dream about living in a VB covered house.  The closest we have come to letting VB decorate our house is the mention of a new foyer rug.  Granted I have to keep within my color palette so no baby blues, purples, or pinks.  I think it would go quite nicely at our entrance way...

After this season's new patterns emerged, I feel deeply in love with paprika.  It's the perfect color for fall.  And reminds me of the burnt orange that I love so much especially paired with navy blue.  :)

This pattern created an overwhelming urge to go to the Vera Bradley store and purchase a cute fall purse.  So what did Daniel get me as part of my anniversary gift?  A gift card to VB!  (Score!)   After a hurried decision (because we only had a few minutes before our dinner reservations at The Melting Pot) I picked the Saddle Up style.  It is quite small compared to my typical hobo style purse.  I really do like it...a lot!  I have one setback though...does it look too much like a diaper bag?

And before I could leave the store, I had to get a brush and pencil bag and a large cosemtic that was only $10!  I couldn't pass up that great deal:  typically $24 on sale for $10.  uh, yes, please!

After dealing with a fever yesterday and STILL feeling like poop today, I had to get out on my lunch break.  The weather was icky, but when is it not these days?  Are we living in Seattle?  I might need to go there just to dry out. 

So where did I decide to go on my lunch break?  You guessed it...The VB store!  I think I see 10 new items everytime I go there.  This time a lovely decorated dry erase board caught my eye.  Now is this something that I need?  Of course not.  Is it something that will look fabulous in our new "Command Station" in the kitchen?  uh, YES!  It will add just that special touch to the command station that I got the inspiration from the Southern Living magazine.  Granted the command station is geared towards trying to help a mom with at least 2 kids stay organized, but I am a mom of 2 dogs.  That's the same thing, right?  Plus I have Daniel and he is like a big kid.  I think that justifies my having a command station in our kitchen.

Side note:  A command station is a place where you have a calendar, To Do lists, kids' artwork, photos, and other things of that nature to live at the end of your cabinets.  I used some cork board that I had leftover from college as the "back board".  This way I can pin things up instead of taping them straight to the cabinets.  I will get ribbon to create a border for the cork board to have a complete look.  I also need a calendar for our numerous events.  (ha!  what events?)  The new dry erase board will be our new To Do list.  I think it matches well with our kitchen.

Once I have the command station finalized, I will definitely post pictures.

Am I going a bit overboard with Vera Bradley?


And you are more than welcome to feed my addiction.  I take cash, checks, and VB gift cards.

Friday, October 9, 2009

the honeymoon: a year later

Since this past week is considered our "honeymoon" week (the week after our wedding), it has dragged for what seems like weeks now.  I have become caught up in the week long vacation of last year and remembering the fun and not-so-fun moments that we spent together. 

We were fortunate enough to get a fabulous cruise from (Daniel's) Uncle Dave and Jeff.  We were on the ship for 7 (and need I say extremely long) days at sea.  We visited Nassau, Bahamas; St. Thomas; and St. Maarten.  Each island was beautiful, but our favorite was St. Maarten.  There is nothing like looking at clear teal blue water.  It was gorgeous and a great reminder of the Creator and His work.  (If the things He made on Earth are this beautiful, can you imagine what Heaven will be like?)

I haven't realized just how much bonding Daniel and I did on that trip until a year later.  Everything about the trip was wonderful even getting (home) sick while watching football in the room while at sea.  I never thought that I would be homesick for football but it was great to watch Oklahoma and someone play.

Please enjoy a few pictures from our first week married. 

The scariest van ride from Ft. Lauderdale to the Port of Miami.  We seriously almost died...three times.

Goodbye, Miami!

Topping the bridge to go to Atlantis in Nassau, Bahamas.  I wish we could afford to stay there every year.

Seriously.  What is this towel animal suppose to be?  And what is Daniel doing?

Beautiful Coki Beach, St. Thomas
This is the scariest place that we went to on the trip.  I felt HIGHLY uncomfortable, so we left after being there for 10 minutes.  I could actually smell people smoking pot.

Celebrating that I am still alive after visiting Coki Beach.  I wanted back on the boat.  Daniel talked me into going down the slide.  It was great!

Goregous St. Maarten
I want to live there.

Downtown Phillipsburg, St. Maarten.
If you are claustrophic, do NOT go here.

Ironically, we didn't take too many "together" pics during the entire honeymoon.
St. Maarten

*Stay tuned for our One Year Celebration post.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

happy half birthday to me!

I think every October I say to myself, "Self, where has the year gone?!"  Do the years seem to fly by faster and faster?  Am I the only one who feels this way?

Typically I am ready for the holidays and will welcome them with my arms wide open.  However, this year is a different story.  I am pooped. 

This year has been nothing but "go, go, go" and "do this and that".  I need a break, people!  And I am not going to lie.  I think I secretly should have been an only child for this very reason:  I have to have my alone/chill out/me time.  It stresses me out to be around a lot of people for any extended length of time, whether it's family, friends, or strangers.  I never knew that I enjoyed being by myself as much as I did until I was in college especially during my senior year.  I would have movie night by myself some nights.  It was a great way for me to relax and enjoy something that I wanted to watch.  I have always considered myself a shy person, but I really am intraverted.  The moral of this mini-story:  Don't be offended if I need to get away/be at home after being around people.  The holidays always bring out that side of me.

Maybe I can rest in the new year?  Extremely doubtful.

Oh yeah, today is my half birthday, which means I am half way between 25 and 26.  Wow.  Am I suppose to be this old?  I still feel like I am 21 or 22 most days.  And my parents definitely still think of me as being 15 or 16.

Speaking of birthdays, Sissy has one coming on on the 21st.  She will be 24!  yikes!  I remember turning 24 just a couple of years ago.  She is trying to catch up with me.

...and I will said it again:  Where does the time go?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

the nearly forgotten wedding...not really.

No, I haven't forgotten.

I know it has been close to 3 weeks since Sissy and Josh's wedding and I have made no mention of it on the Todd's blog.  I mean you would think that I am a horrible sister for "forgetting", but I did not forget.

I was waiting until I could post some picutres of both Sis and Josh together from the professional photographer.  It doesn't look like I will be seeing those anytime soon so let me congradulate Sis and Josh now...

Congrats, Mr. and Mrs. Pate!

The wedding was the second most beautiful wedding that I have been to (next to mine, of course).  It started out a rough day at the hair salon, but thankfully the hair stylist FINALLY got it together.  The rain was HORRIBLE and no need to worry:  I personally protected Sis and her hair from getting drenched.  I love getting 2 showers in one day. 

The walk from the condo to the beach was my favorite part.  The balcony people were so nice to yell "Congrats" as we walked the parking lot. 

The rough, sharp rocks on the beach were my least favorite part. 

I know they have "settled" in as a married couple by now, but it's never too late to talk about a wedding.  I talk about mine all the time. 

Friday, October 2, 2009

good-bye, sliver of toenail

Yesterday was a day that I will never forget and I don't mean this in a good way. Two weeks ago for Sissy's wedding the Brindley girls all got mani's and pedi's. I recall quite vividly the pain that I felt when the girl was removing the extra skin around my nail on my right big toe. In fact, I remember saying something about it hurting at the time. It hurt so bad that I even said "Self, that might get infected later on. Just keep a watch on it."

Sure enough...the infection came.

After 2 weeks of doctoring it with peroxide and neosporin, it progressively got worse. It wasn't until Wednesday of this week that I became hysterical and started crying/screaming like a crazy person. When I went to doctor my toe that evening, I noticed a huge chunk of skin over part of my toenail. I felt it was swollen so I tried to get some of the pus out (gross, I know), but that only made me cry and scream even more. I knew then that I had to see the doctor because my way wasn't helping.

On Wednesday Daniel was sweet enough to make me an appointment at the podiatrist, the same one that he and his MeMe use. We later found out that MeMe is quite the celebrity at Birmingham Podiatry. She is talked about fondly there: she and her toenail-less big toes. Bless her heart.

Yesterday afternoon was my appointment and Daniel was wonderful enough to drive me there. It was in Southside so obviously I had no clue how to get there. It just wigs me out to go downtown by myself anyway.

We walked through the doors to the odor of old people and funeral home. I mean the smell was outrageous! My observations were this: Daniel and I were the youngest ones in the waiting area, and old people do NOT like to wait long for doctor appointments. After I finally got called back, Daniel came with me because I was SCARED TO DEATH! I mean my teeth were chattering I was so nervous. I had asked Daniel the night before at least 5 times E.X.A.C.T.L.Y. what the procedure was to remove an ingrown toenail. It seemed like every time he told me that the procedure got shorter and shorter, but I am sure that he was doing that to ease my nerves.

It was only after they leaned my chair back and blocked my vision of my toe with a paper towel (with fancy little toe people on it) that I started crying. I tried to hold back my tears, but I knew that the pain that I was about the experience would NOT be a pleasant one. I couldn't stop crying either. I felt like the biggest wimp ever. Poor, Daniel. He tried to help.

The doctor finally came in and injected 3 shots into my right big toe to numb it. Let me just say that those shots were the most painful shots I have EVER had! I will NEVER get another pedicure just for the shear fact that those shots scared me for the rest of my life. Now once the toe was numb, those shots seemed like they were well worth it. Don't get me wrong; they were worth it...but just not at the time of injection.

Once the toe was numb, it was a piece of cake. I felt absolutely nothing...I mean nada...not even pressure on my toe. I didn't even know that I had a right big toe. It was so nice. And the pain was gone once the minor surgery was over. (Thank you, Dr. Clark, for working your toe magic.)

One more thing about my ingrown: I have a staph infection. (Yikes!) I am taking antibiotics for it so I am hoping that helps. Dr. Clark even commented on just how much pus was in my toe. Uh, yep...there was a lot and I was trying to get it out, but it was so painful that I couldn't.

My surgery afterthoughts:
-Even though the pain of the 3 shots was close to unbearable, they were WELL worth it. My toe was numb up until this morning. It was weird!
-I was in so much pain before the doctor that I couldn't walk right nor could I sleep well at night. I am happy to report that I slept fantastic last night!
-I am 95% sure that I can make it back to the doctor's office by myself in 2 weeks for my check-up. I don't think I will get too lost.
-I will miss the sliver of toenail. I saw what my toenail will look like now and it's just not the same. RIP toenail sliver.
-I will NEVER get another pedicure least not from a Chinese, only Americans. Is that racist? No, it's just a fact. I more than likely got the staph infection from that place. Beware, Mamski.
-Old people have feet problems...and I am only 25. Does that make me an old person? No, because I was living young and taking a risk in getting my toes done.
-Yes, I took one for Sissy and Josh's wedding. Again, another "You're welcome" from me.

If you want more details from this fascinating/painful/traumatizing experience, just let me know.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Never Forget

Today is the day that will forever be imprinted in my brain as I am sure it is for every one of you. Eight years ago one of the worst days in American history took place. Where were you?

I remember as if it was yesterday. I was a high school senior and the day before was War Eagle Day at Auburn. Since it had always been my dream to attend Auburn University (and I believe I had already been accepted at this point in time), my parents and I went down to Auburn to check out the campus with the hundreds of other high school seniors. September 10, 2001 was a great day which held a promising future for me and my college career. I felt completely safe being in Auburn with my parents. The world was great...until the next morning.

September 11, 2001 started out as any other high school day. It was so normal that in fact I don't remember anything before my 1st block class, Physics with Mr. Lambert. I was living in the routine of everyday life.

Just a little background on Mr. Lambert and his Physics class: he was a super cool teacher. We hardly did any work in class, which was mainly the reason why I made a 40-something on my first test. (Thankfully I was able to receive A LOT of partial credit on that test so it brought it up to either a B or a C.) Every day in Physics was a new day. We were always doing a different project whether it was the Wheel of Death (this was a seesaw looking board where 2 people sat facing each other. Instead of seesawing, the board was spun in a circle as fast as possible with the 2 riders holding on for dear life! In fact, they had to wear a seat belt looking thing to hold them in place. As a class we would calculate their speed and something else Physics related. I really don't remember the whole gist of this experiment, but it had something to do with Physics.), launching coke bottles and plastic bags on the football field, and picking up various student's cars in the parking lot with a large wooden board. (Yes, this was a real class in high school where we were supposed to learn something. I can say that I didn't learn too much.)

The morning of 9/11 we were outside looking for spiders and webs in the woods surrounding the student parking lot. I am not 100% sure why we were doing this and couldn't tell you to this day how it relates to Physics. Maybe something to do with the spider's weight and how it can make a web to hold itself? eh, I really don't know. After the parking lot "fun", I remember rushing back into the building when the end of first block bell rang and going to my next class, AP Calculus with Mrs. Sahawnah (or however you spell it). As students started entering her classroom, I heard them talk about the towers and a plane crash. It seemed so unreal at the moment that I wasn't 100% sure what they were talking about, and I didn't understand it was on US soil. Mrs. Sahawnah didn't realize what was happening either until she turned the tv on for a split minute. After a minute or two of coverage, she turned it off, because we had too much Calculus to cover.

It wasn't until I was in third block, AP Government with Mrs. Pressley, that I was able to know exactly what was happening. Thankfully Mrs. Pressley thought it was important enough for us to watch the coverage. I was blown away!

While at home later that night, I remember watching more coverage with Dad. It was the first time in my life where I didn't feel safe...even in my own home. Dad said that it would never be the same...America as we knew it would never be the same. Granted there was Pearl Harbor in 1941, but Hawaii wasn't an official US state until the 1950s. September 11th was the first time terrorists were able to attack official US soil...and succeed. The events of that day still haunt my thoughts, because what if....? What if it happens again? What if President Obama pulls troops from overseas? What if our Homeland Security is weakened because it has been 8 years since the attack? What if people forget the importance of that day? What if people forget the heroes who died for us on that day? What if...?

Have you forgotten? Will you forget? What is your 9/11 story?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

muddy pawprints

It's hard for me not to take pride in our beautiful home. Of course (as I am sure some of you predicted), I manage to try and keep a clean (well, rather straightened up) house. That doesn't always happen between 2 dogs, Daniel, and even myself (but only sometimes!). It's rough living with 3 boys!

A few weeks ago, I was trying to leave for work and doing the last task before heading out the door: get the dogs in and put them in their boxes. As I walked to the back door I see Tyson covered in mud. And he had managed to get mud all over the door and Jackson. (Poor Jackson! he was an innocent bystander.) I rushed to get a towel to attempt to clean up some of the mud, but I failed...MISERABLY! Tyson frolicked and jumped all over the carpet, turning our beige carpet to chocolate brown.

There was no time for me to even attempt to clean up the trail of muddy prints so I went to work in near tears. After several hours of letting Tyson think about what he had done, I came home to this regretful face. How can a mother resist this face?

After 2 baths (one for each), I thought the dog/mud drama had ended. WRONG! Once Daniel got home from school, he gave each of them another bath since they both decided it would be fun to get muddy again!

Jackson's bath time

Tyson's bath time

Thursday, July 16, 2009's inevitable.

Since Daniel and I were married over 9 months ago, I have seen a lot of changes in, through, and around me. You could say that I am not a huge fan of change, but it's time for life to start evolving again. It's hard to let go of the routine that I have grown accustomed to for the past couple of years. If I had to guess, I would say that I am on Chapter 5 of the Leslie Ann Brindley Todd story.
Chapter One: Early Life including preschool and elementary school
Chapter Two: Middle and High School Life including the good ol' days of FBCT youth group
Chapter Three: College Life including growing and learning who I am and where I fit into this world without living at home
Chapter Four: Post College Life including my entrance into adulthood by having my first job
Chapter Five: Good Ol' Married Life including the dating, engagement, and marriage of Daniel

Hey, maybe I have something here. I could write a book about my life, but how interesting would it be? hmmm...

Anyways, in Chapter 5, a lot has to happen in order to move into Chapter Six, which one day will be entitled Mommyhood including the pregnancy and birth of our children. No need to fret; I still have a lot more life to live before we move into that chapter. I guess I am somewhat in the mommyhood now with Jackson and Tyson.

my sweet boys

I think the main highlights of Chapter 5 include (other than what is mentioned above) adjusting to living with someone who will always be there...forever, house hunting and buying and now decorating, buying our second child, observing other peers growing up and growing their families, and the overall cycle of friends. So far this chapter might be the one with the most multiple life changing experiences. I think that if I hadn't been through the previous 4 chapters, then this one would be extremely difficult to go through.

I would have never guessed that life would take me where I am today. It's wonderful and I am blessed beyond belief from everything God has given me.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Welcome to the American Dream

As of 7 PM on Tuesday, May 26th, Daniel and I became homeowners. It's still hard to imagine that we have accomplished our first married goal.

This past weekend was one heck of a weekend between painting, cleaning, and moving. I don't think I could ever relive this past weekend again, because it has worn me out! I am so thankful for our family especially our dads who worked several hours a day all weekend long to make sure their kids were taken care of. It was really neat to see how each dad would switch off between working really late and getting up extra early to paint. Paul, Daniel's dad, probably could have worked through the night while my dad woke up at his usual time (around 5:30) and started the day by painting.

Saturday and Sunday nights Dad spent the night with Daniel and me at the house. It was kinda odd to have him wake us up on Sunday morning so he could finish touching up in our bathroom before the brown paint dried. I think secretly he misses waiting me up on the weekends. I am sure that is really why he did it.

With all of the help that we had, we were able to complete the painting of each room by Monday afternoon. Painting an entire house in less than 3 days is pretty impressive. Thanks to everyone's hard work! We seriously couldn't have done it without you!

Now that we are living there fulltime, it is really nice. The dogs LOVE it especially Tyson. He found a pair of tennis shoes from the previous owner in the backyard so he is having a blast eating those everytime he goes outside. He also loves to run as fast as he can from one side of the yard to the next. You can look out the window and see a bolt of brown zoom by!

Jackson loves the new house too. He is enjoying the inside more than Tyson is. As soon as Jackson is finished with his business outside, he will sit patiently by the backdoor until he is let in. He has no desire to be left outside longer than it takes for him to poop and pee. However he does like the freedom to go as he pleases.

We have made a few trips from the apartment to the house so we didn't need to hire help. We have moved all of the furniture and have about 1 to 2 more loads left at the apartment. We have made serious progress, but it takes times cleaning and organizing. When we complete the process, I will post pictures of the final outcome.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

just the beginning

One third of the year has come and gone. That leaves me thinking just how fast life really does pass by us. I still can't get over the fact that I am now 25 (25! yikes!). I don't feel that old at all. Just to put it in perspective: by the time my mother was 25 she had been married for over 4 years and had had me! I can't imagine having a baby right now. It's still hard to believe that I am married!

Our prayers were answered on April 11th concerning the house. We got it! We have completed the paperwork, wrote out some more checks, and found our homeowner's insurance. Now we are waiting until the closing date, May 29th. Go check out the house at MLS 418943. We are pretty excited about it. We are in the process of choosing paint colors for most of the house. Daniel is anxious to put his landscaping touch to the yard. We are both excited about opening up the door and letting our furry sons use the potty outside. Now that will be nice! :)

Friday, April 10, 2009

could it get any better?

God is faithful to provide for His children so long as we obey and follow. Daniel and I have been living every day by trusting God and leaning on to His promises. He has blessed us beyond measure and provided for us when we both thought it wasn't possible. God is good...all the time.

With that being said, we have been on a house hunt for the past 4 or so months. We have stepped it up over the past month, but being able to go into houses. We spend about 4 or 5 hours every weekend by driving around. It is extremely tiring, but we know exactly what we want. Both of our tastes are very similar so we don't disagree on too many things. In fact, I can't think of one thing that we have disagreed on when it comes to the house...maybe location?

Last weekend we took the hunting into actually putting a contract on a house. It wasn't as scary as I thought it would be. It was actually our 2nd pick in the neighborhood. The first pick is more expensive, but is an overall better house. In His faithfulness, the contract fell through. It was for the best. That house needed a lot of work, and we don't have that kind of money. So after looking through our first pick again last night, we have put a contract on it. We are waiting to hear if they have accepted or countered today. It will take a little longer since a relocation company is involved. (A relocation company will eventually have to buy the house if it doesn't sell within a period of time.)

We aren't in a bind yet, because our lease is up at the end of July. There is still plenty of time to look, but we have narrowed down our pickings so more houses need to be put on the market! Our choices are getting slim.

Also this past week was my birthday. I can truly say that I have some awesome family and friends. They helped make the day extremely special for me. I never knew that I was so loved. :) One person who never ceases to amaze me is my husband. He did everything he could to make sure that I had a great day. Tonight we are going to see Wicked, the musical....about the witches of Oz. I am super excited about it and have only heard great things!

I will post some pictures soon of Tyson and Jackson. Tyson is getting so big! When he stands on his hind-legs he is taller than my waist! He is starting to look like an adult. He better be getting some adult teeth too, because it seems like every day I step on at least one of his baby teeth. Let me tell's not pleasant.

Monday, March 16, 2009

it's a boy

God works in mysterious ways and after seeing at least a dozen news segments about how overpopulated animal shelters are, Daniel and I became the proud parents of a boxer puppy. We have been talking about getting another dog...a bigger one...once we had moved into a house. Obviously we couldn't wait that long because we fell in love with a (around) 4 month old boxer mix. Here's the story...

Jackson had a grooming appointment at PetSmart on Saturday. Daniel dropped him off and caught a glimpse of the Humane Society pups on the way out. He wasted no time telling me that the dog that he wanted was at PetSmart. He wanted to go look at him (mistake number one). I told him that we could NOT get a dog until after we bought a house. Once we got there and opened the cage (mistake number two), Jacob (the boxer pup's name at the time) crawled up into my lap and snuggled his head into my jacket. I immediately fell in love with him and couldn't imagine putting him back in the cage and leaving him. Our next step was to see how Jackson would react to him. I didn't want Jackson to hate him, because there would be no point in even adopting the little guy. Once Jackson had finished getting groomed, he met his future little brother. he didn't seem to care either way and was ready to get the **** out of there and go home. (He tends to get stressed out in those situations.) Since Jackson didn't seem to care either way, we decided this was something that we needed to do.

Granted it seems ridiculous having 2 dogs in an apartment for the time being, but it really hasn't been that bad. We decided to name him Tyson after Mike Tyson, the boxer. It seems to fit him well, and I think he likes it. He snuggles up to me at night while Jackson snuggles with Daniel. I think all in all it will work out well. I am excited to see what his personality will be. He is already precious. I am glad that Jackson has a little (big) brother that he can play with.

Could you resist this face?

Tyson and Jackon in his HUGE box.

Tyson loves his big brother, Jackson.