Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I saw this over at Danielle's lovely blog, Sometimes Sweet, and just had to do it too!

Obsessing over: Oh, so many things......mostly babies. I've already said I have baby fever and I just want to snatch up little babies I see everywhere I go. Itty, bitty, tiny babies. I'm also obsessed with full sleeve tattoos (or tats in general), kiddo clothes that look like mini adult clothes, baked goods (I'm all about baking around the holidays) and of course, Christmas!

Working on: Getting things together for a holiday bazaar a church is hosting. I'm going to "buy" a table and advertise my Pretty Nods stuff and hopefully sell a bunch of it. I'm also working on reading through The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. And I'm working on getting through the week on the Cabbage Soup Diet!

Thinking about: What life will be like next year - all the preparations for moving and then actually moving and wondering what exactly our lives will be like once we're there. So different from here. Finding jobs for both Benjamin and I, having B work much closer to home (He drives an hour one way to work right now), Gigi going to a new school and probably a new dance studio, etc. It's all overwhelming. There are a few other things I'm hoping we'll get the ball rolling on next year, right now it seems sorta "impossible" but I have to believe that nothing is impossible with God or I get really discouraged.

Anticipating: Our TN Christmas trip. Every year the weekend before Christmas my mom's side of the family rents a cabin in Gatlinburg and we get together and have Christmas together. There has been a lot of chaos going on lately but I'm hoping it can all be set aside and we can all have a fun enjoyable trip. To me it's what I think about when I think "Christmas". We always have so much and Gigi loves getting to spend several days playing with her cousin Ava.

Listening to: Music wise - Adele, Regina Spektor and loads of Christmas music, Michael Buble' being my favorite this year! At this very moment, I'm listening to Giada cook on TV!

Drinking: Water and unsweetened fruit juice. It's all I can have on this "diet".

Wishing: for many things. But mainly that differences can be set aside and our family can have a good time over the holidays. And I'm also wishing for a *secret*, a new tattoo, a hour long massage, a date night with my hubby and for Gigi's hair to be to the middle of her back by next Christmas (LOL!).

How about you? What are you up to today?

Thanksgiving - Finally!

Just a few pictures from Thanksgiving. I had my camera all charged up and ready to go and hardly got any pictures! My sis and I got busy cooking and by the time we were done we sat down to eat and I didn't even think about pictures of the food or anything until we were done and groaning from over stuffed bellies!

Sticky buns made from canned biscuits and LOADS of butter and sugar!
So yummy!

Helping Aunt Char Char.....

Yeah, we ate off paper plates. So not ashamed. I don't have a dishwasher
and the less dishes the better!

And mini apple pies!!! So yummy and cute!

Seriously, they take my breath away!

Then we headed downtown to watch the "Lighting of the Lights". Lol! It was fun for Gi. It wasn't that cold out but fun. There was a jazz orchestra playing that was actually really good and I enjoyed that part. Surprisingly we didn't see many people we knew. I ran into one of my ex-boyfriend's. He and his wife have a little son now and I got to see him.....so tiny!!! But yeah, it's was a good end to the evening!

Gianna looks JUST LIKE her daddy in this picture!

My sis, Charity, and her hubby, J.

And on another note I started the Cabbage Soup Diet yesterday. And yes, I've already heard all the negatives about it, thank ya very much! And yes, I understand that you lose mostly water weight but at the same time your bound to lose a few actual pounds eating fruits, veggies and lean protein. I'm still working out while I do this. But I'm mainly doing it because I just wanted to sorta cleanse my body from the past few weeks of eating and especially the weekend. I haven't gained but a pound or two but I just feel bloated and yuck. So I'm hoping this will help me feel a little better.

Yesterday wasn't bad. Eat all the fruit you want and the soup, drink lots of water and unsweetened juice. So I was good yesterday. Today is no fruit and all veggies and soup. It's gonna be a long day! The one good thing is today I get to "reward" myself with a baked potato and butter for dinner. You have no idea how much I'm looking forward to that! Tomorrow is fruits AND veggies. Woohoo! Lol!

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Parade & the ER

Yesterday Gianna was in one of the local parades with her dance studio. She's going to be in another one Saturday afternoon. She was a little nervous but once she was on the trailer with all her other little friends she was fine. It was weird for me to just leave her. Once she was on the trailer we left and went and stood on the street and waited for them to come through. From the time we dropped her off to the time we picked her up was about an hour and a half. But she had fun and waved like a little pro!

After the parade we went by Wal-Mart and picked up stuff for me to start the Cabbage Soup Diet and then we went by McDonald's (going out with a bang! lol!) and it was busy. A whole high school was there eating but we found a seat and Gianna was hyper and happy as usual. She started eating and suddenly started saying her lower back was hurting. Usually when that happens she has a kidney infection. Usually a glass of water will settle it down till we can get her to the doctor and get meds. But she kept complaining more and more then suddenly started crying saying it hurt really bad. I asked if she needed to go to the potty but we had just been and she said no. She was finally crying and kicking her legs saying it hurt really bad so I decided we needed to take her to the ER and get her checked out.

It was about a 12 minute drive to the hospital and she screamed and cried the whole time. Yelling it was hurting so bad and kept kicking her legs which I've never seen her do so I was freaking out! We finally got the ER and they graciously took her right back to a room and triaged her there. She was still crying and saying it hurt so bad. They needed a urine sample once they found out her history with kidney infections. She had just peed 30 minutes earlier and I doubted we'd get anything. But she managed a little then said she needed to go #2 and went a little. Then suddenly she said she felt better. What?! I was like surely this wasn't just a tummy ache. I've never seen her act like that, EVER. After that we sat in the room while they tested her urine and she seemed perfectly fine. Said she wasn't hurting anymore. They came back in and said there was bacteria in her urine so they put her on antibiotics and sent us home. The nurses kept saying how adorable and pretty she was and she was just eating it up! One nurse was just enthralled by the her tutu and kept saying she was going to be such a gorgeous "prima ballerina" - she told us all she had was boys and always wanted a girl. So we made it home exhausted but Gianna was fine and ate a cheeseburger! Lol! She's on meds now and hopefully it'll be cleared up but I'm concerned that she's had two infections in the past few months. This isn't supposed to be happening now that we've had her kidney reflux corrected so we may need to go visit the urologist again after the first of the year to make sure everything is still in tact.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Confessional V.1

So I've been reading Deanna's "confessions" over on Delirious Rhapsody for awhile and now Karly over at Three in Three is doing it so I thought I'd jump aboard too. I don't know that I can come up with 100 things to tell you about myself that you don't already know (I'm sorta boring that way!) but we'll see!

#1. - The middle finger on my right hand is permanently crooked at the top and has a slight hump from how I hold my pen when I write. Growing up I wrote A LOT - I loved penmenship and took calligraphy classes and wrote loads of letters to penpals so I created this hump on my finger from it!

#2. - I rarely wear my engagement ring. I stopped wearing it for a few years after Gianna was born because I was too fat, then I lost weight and I can wear it now but it just feel super fancy and I usually only wear it when I dress up. Otherwise I wear my diamond wedding band and another plain band. I LOVE my engagement ring though, it's gorgeous!

#3. - I had the name Eisley Tatum all picked out for a girl but never planned to use it since I was positive I was having a boy when I was pregnant with Gianna. 2 weeks before we were going to find out the sex I had a dream it was a girl and suddenly I was convinced I was having a girl and obsessed with the idea and suddenly wanted to change her name to something more girly. So we changed it to Gianna Elyn.

#4. - Most people think I'm Italian especially when they hear my daughter's name is Gianna. But I'm actually part Lebanese. My mom's dad is full blooded Lebanese! It's funny because out of the 5 kids in my family every other one has the dark skin and dark hair - the other two in between are more fair skinned.

#5. - We've had nothing but long haired cats as pets since Benjamin and I got married. A total of four (Gandal, Esme', Gypsy and Gemima) and Gandalf is the only one we still have. After Gandalf passes (whenever that may be, he's 13) I swear I will NEVER own a long haired cat again. In fact, I plan to get a hairless one next.

#6. - I can't sleep without two pillows. It sounds strange but I have to have one between my legs, in between my knees. My knees rubbing together when I'm sleeping on my side irritates me!

#7. - As much as I talk about and think about coloring my hair something other then black I can't actually do it. And the few times I have I've hated it and died back to black within a couple of weeks. I have nothing against blondes, brunettes and red heads but for me I think black is the sexiest!

#8. - I'm very proud of my legs. They define without a lot of work and when I do work them out they look great! My mid section though I haven't felt proud of in about 10 years. I'm still hoping there will be a day I'll actually like it.

#9. - I have baby fever in a serious way. I NEVER ever thought I would. I never planned to have kids and after my daughter was born I just knew I'd never ever want to go through having a baby again. So I had my tubes tied. I never regretted it up until around January of this year.......

#10. - When I get nervous I yawn. It's uncontrollable. I just keep yawning over and over! I also twirl my hair but I do that when I'm bored too. It almost drives me crazy because I do it so much. The longer my hair gets the worse it gets.

(So that's my first set of 10. You are supposed to do it every Sunday for 10 weeks. If you join in leave me a comment and a link so I can read yours as well! It'll be fun!)

Winner, winner, baby!

For those of you that don't know we are HUGE Alabama Crimson Tide fans. We don't miss a game, unless it's a life or death kinda situation, and we always dress up for the game even if we're just watching it at home (a friend of my sister's thought that was really funny!). The funny part is my husband is from NC but we've successfully converted him to Bama's side. I'm thinking he may be more die hard then any of us now (well, except my dad and sister and I'm pretty sure my dad doesn't own any piece of clothing that doesn't represent the team!).

Yesterday was the BIG game, the Iron Bowl. We played our biggest rival, Auburn. We hate Auburn. Plain and simple. I can't stand them, their colors (orange and blue) make me sick to my stomach (this has been bred into me since the beginning of my days! Lol!) and I refuse to wear any orange or blue together and that include an orange shirt and blue jeans. Too close for comfort! Of course we were pretty sure we would win since we're #2 in the country and they're....uh, way down the list, but whatever. Last year some how we managed to goof up and let them come back to win by like 1 point. ONE point. Talk about being P'O'ed.

Gianna was ALL in the Spirit - we even painted her face (her favorite part!)

Showed off our Team colors. Everyone was pointing us out when we went to lunch
and out to Wal-Mart. We even ran into an Auburn fan. And we flew our car flags
very proudly!

(Being cute, as always.)

(Oh, and the night before I colored my hair. Jet Black. I went outside to show you
how black it is! I love it, I've missed it being this dark. Most people can't tell a big difference
but I can!)
So we beat Auburn last night, spanked them! 42-14 and we went to bed super happy!
We did traditional Game Day food - yummy wings, hand cut fries, chips and dip and lots of left
over pie (pumpkin, pecan and apple) and ice cream. Seriously, my body is SO ready for a
good cleansing starting tomorrow. Whew!

Gigi's going to be in a parade today. Her first one. She's riding the "float" with her dance
class downtown. She's excited but says she's nervous to wave! So adorbs. Friday night I made her tutu. They have to wear black and pink which is the studio's "colors".

I had to sew this sequin band on my hand. It seemed to take forever and it made my back
ache but it was totally worth it, really takes it up a notch!

Showing off her tutu - who knows what's with that pose but she's cute & she knows it!
Several people stopped and commented on her face paint yesterday or just how cute
she is in general. She finally said (with all sincerity) "Why do people like me so much?!"
Lol! Just like her daddy.....I'm kidding....sorta. Haha! Then later in the Wal-Mart parking
lot some guy cut in front of our Jeep without looking, his wife waved and mouthed "Sorry!" and Gianna goes "She was waving at me....." Lol! Gotta figure out how to teach confidence WITH humility!

P.S. I just realized I don't think I ever shared any Thanksgiving Day photos. I didn't get a lot but what I do have I'll try to get up tomorrow along with some photos from the parade!
We did managed to get our Christmas tree up Friday night and Gigi was so thrilled! I think she's messing with the tree and ornaments more this year then she ever has.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Vloggin' Vednesdays - Disney "Vent"

Photo Personality

(I got this idea from Ashley over at Hudson's Happenings.)

1. My name
(I don't know anyone else with my name except my little namesake Alaythea Jade!)

2. My favorite food

3. My favorite color

4. My celebrity crush

5. My favorite movie

6. My dream vacation

7. My favorite drink

8. Currently reading

9. My favorite holiday

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Straight Up

I am doing my very best to choose happiness lately. Benjamin and I have both been working on staying positive no matter how negative things and people around us are. We fail. Don't think we just decided that and now we're perfectly happy people. But it does help. Trying to make a conscience effort to think about the good and focus on getting out of the bad. And it seems lately we've had A LOT of practice. It feels like every time we turn around there is something else in our faces to deal with. We are trying to focus on the things we do have, the family that does love us and care enough to be apart of our lives, how far we've come and how happy we truly are with each other. These are things that I'm grateful for and focusing on this Thanksgiving.

Besides the issues with vehicles and finances we seem to be dealing with an overwhelming amount of confrontation and issues with family. Again, neither of us come from perfect families, but lately things just seem to be spinning out of control. We have family members on his side that won't speak to us because we're "too spiritual", everything we say and do they twist and try to turn into a fight and still other members on his side that think we aren't spiritual enough and want nothing to with us. We've expressed some concerns to another family member and their way of dealing with it is by cutting us off as well and rarely seeing us. It's hard for me because family is such an important thing for me. And I want Gianna to know family but not at the expense of stress and frustration like Benjamin and I have dealt with over the years.

My side of the family has their issues as well - don't get me wrong, we have some family members on my side that we love to death and we know they'd do anything for us and we know they love and respect us for who we are, where we are right now. My mom has never liked my husband - she was dead set against us getting married. And even now, 7 years later, she still doesn't care for him. They are cordial to each other but things are always strained. And that's hard for me, I feel divided in some ways. But ultimately my allegiance and love is with my husband first and it will always be that way. I have other family members who are quick to jump on me if I say anything about anyone yet all they do is run down everyone ALL the time. And I think I've finally snapped. I'm sick of their hypocritical behavior and I'm not going to let it drag me down anymore. Benjamin and I have decided that we aren't going to pretend we like people we really don't! Lol! We aren't going to run their names in the mud or anything but we just don't care to be friends or close to them.

On top of all of this I recently had a family member who took it upon themselves to let me know they felt that because of my love for the Twilight series that I had opened myself up and "delved" into "witchcraft and sorcery." When I received the email (yes, they emailed me this!) I was shocked! Shocked that people actual felt this way over a love story and that they actually had the guts to pretty much tell me they thought I was into witchcraft over it. Seriously?!! And first it pissed me off, BIG time. Now, I find it funny! Funny that this person thinks they are so spiritual and think they have the right to call me out on something so minor. They're ok with Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia which involved magic, spells and " unearthly creatures" but Twilight's too far. They even included some scriptures - scriptures that were written to real witches and sorcerers, people who were worshipping Satan and sacrificing babies and children. These scriptures were taken way out of context and used to "make their point". We are Christians, we loved Jesus and we serve Him daily in the best way we know how. And for someone that I loved and trusted to come against me and my family in such a vicious way was just too much. I'm not going to fight with them. I expressed my point, they emailed me back and said "No matter what you say you are wrong." Lol! Mmmm, hmmm. Right. So anyway, I feel like there is alot of emotional turmoil going on. I want to do what is right but at the same time I'm tired of being walked on and kicked around just because I try to be the "peace maker" and keep my mouth shut 90% of time.

In spite of everything I actually feel fairly settled. I feel like I've let these people know how I feel and that's it. I'm not going to take their crap just to keep the "peace". I want everyone to get a long but that seems to be an impossible request so I just roll with it as it goes. I'm happy to say though that in the midst of all of this I think it's brought Benjamin and I closer and we understand each other better then ever. And we realize that we want to raise our daughter in a home where we aren't phony. Where we don't pretend to like people or agree with them on the outside and then bash them later on. It creates a negative atmosphere that we don't need.

So this year I'm thankful for a honest, strong, dependable, trust worthy husband. I'm thankful for an innocent daughter whose love is unconditional and whose energy is boundless! I'm thankful for people who are real and who show the true essence of who God is. I'm thankful for the strength I'm finding to stand up for myself and my family after I long time of just "taking it." And I'm thankful for the future ahead of me and my family - there are some exciting things ahead and I'm eagerly awaiting them. I feel the anticipation in the air!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Memory Lane....

(If you haven't read mine and my hubby's story you can go HERE first!)

Occasionally I take a little trip down memory lane and think about all the things we've been through as a couple and a family. Most of my memories are good. Isn't it funny how your mind selects which memories to keep and which ones to let fade? But anyway, sometimes random things just pop into my head. Like how when we were first together (that first photo - I was 14 and he was 17.) we said we'd name our first boy Preston Bailey. We're way over that name now! Lol! And I can't imagine ever wanting a boy after our sweet daughter.

I remember another time riding with Benjamin to eat somewhere and he played this really sweet song for me and I remember very shyly holding his hand for a few minutes......back then I wasn't allowed to "date" and there was to be absolutely NO physical contact so I was sure I was going to be grounded for life if my parents found out I had actually touched him! Haha!

(When we got back together in 2004)

I remember running into him at our local post office where his dad worked in the summer of 2004 after I had graduated. I still remember what he was wearing and I remember what I was wearing! Lol! I know, I'm silly. I wasn't dating anyone and I was moving to AL to go to Cosmetology school. But since I was moving out of my parents home I could date him if I wanted to (finally!). I remember my heart racing when I saw him! We chit chatted briefly. I knew he was dating someone else (and it broke my heart!) and he was very respectful of that. But I told him if it didn't work out with her to please get back in touch with me because I still cared about him. I figured I'd never hear from him again although I wanted to......

I moved to Bama and briefly dated a guy there but in October 2004 I was headed out the door to go help my Grandmother (I lived with my grandparents while I was in school) and I heard my phone's text alert and I almost left it but decided to check it before I went outside. All it said was "I've missed you." I remember my heart almost stopping completely because I thought it was his number. Here's the funny part, I had a good friend in NC whose phone number was the exact same digits except the last two were reversed. So for a split second I thought maybe it was her! Lol! So I texted back and said "Who is this?" and he texted back, "Who do you think it is?!" And I knew it was him and I seriously almost had a heart attack I was so happy because I knew that he was getting back in touch with me because he had broke up with his girlfriend and he still wanted to be with me. We talked on the phone and texted a lot for the next month. Then on Black Friday in 2004 I met up with his mom for some shopping while I was in town for the holidays. He met up with us - I first saw him again in Bath & Body Works. I'm pretty sure time stood still and I fell in love so hard I thought I might drown in it! He kissed me that night while U2 sang "City of Blinding Lights" and we never looked back!

He was visiting me in AL February 2005. It was Valentine's Day and I had to work.....the salon at worked at was "closed" on Monday's but I still went into make calls, take calls and do inventory. He came and sat with me all day (awww!) and all of a sudden he looked up from what he was doing and said, "I'm going to move down here!" I was like "What?!" I never expected that, we have never even talked about it. And he did - he moved down June 2005 to be with me! But I've since learned that Benjamin's does that - when he decides on something it's seemingly out of the blue and then we do it and it works. I'm still waiting for a few really special "out of the blue" moments to happen - and when they do I may pass out from all the happiness it'll cause me to experience! Lol!

I can't believe that the 26th of this month will mark us being together 7 years! I remember asking him in Panera Bread that day if we were an "official" couple and he said he had thought it was official the moment he had text me a month before! If for some reason Benjamin and I hadn't ended up back together I still never would have gotten over him - I loved him from the moment I saw him and never stopped. And even though we both had to travel separate roads for awhile and endure things and go through things we wish we hadn't in the end we're together and that's all that matters!