Dec 29, 2007

Eastbound and Down

Birddog passed his Class A drivers license test!!!

Curly Sue

Ava spent the night with us last night. She helped me take down the Christmas tree and we played and played and played. Ava LOVES shoes and constantly gets in my closet. I have picked up every pair of shoes that I own and put them back in the closet today. Her favorte pair is red high heels with feathers that I got at my personal shower. The girl has style!

Dec 25, 2007

Richie Rich!

Out of everyone's scratch-off tickets, Tommy was the big winner! One-Hundred Dollars!!!!

Christmas at NuNu Lynda's

The Webkinz Were A Big Hit!

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Christmas at Granny Garton's

Christmas at Daddy BJ and Cindy's

Dec 22, 2007

Coca-Cola Christmas Wishes!

My mother has a quite unusual Christmas tree. A couple of years ago my father built her a Christmas tree to display her Coca-Cola Christmas village. Since then, she hasn't put up a traditional tree. It looks strange from the road to people passing by, but it is magical when viewed close-up!

Sick Of The Season

Please forgive me for my absence. I have been trying to update this blog at least every couple of days, but lately it has been kind of hard.

One seventy-five degree day this December sent me into my semi-annual sinus-drainage extravaganza. But this season’s festivities were more than expected. After a weeks worth of torture, I finally drug myself into the friendly doctor’s office. A quick shot of steroid in a tender spot and a dose of some potent cough syrup is usually all that I need to return to top-notch health.

But this time, the sinuses fought back. It turns out that I am allergic to the cough medicine that was prescribed. It took me about three doses to realize that maybe it wasn’t my sinuses making the room spin. I crawled into bed at 5:30 on Thursday night and I was absolutely positive that the world was coming to an end. I could see the light.

Later that night, I begged Birddog to call a nurse friend of mine. If he couldn’t get hold of her, call anyone that had any kind of connection with a doctor. If that failed, call my college roommate, she is veterinarian and surely she could prescribe me some kind of horse pill that would make the cold sweats and body aches come to a screeching halt. Luckily he called Laura who is a nurse practitioner. Though a sleepy voice, she told him what to do and a few minutes later I was asleep. (Later she admitted that she didn’t remember talking to him and she is glad that she didn’t kill me.)

Since then, I have stopped taking the cough medicine and I feel a little better. I spent the majority of today snoozing like a baby. Hopefully, I will not miss any Christmas festivities and will have lots of pictures to post soon.

Dec 18, 2007

Picture Perfect

Clay and Lauren's professional wedding pictures are posted to view!

Click here and then press the continue button. It should take you to the thumbnail page.

Now remember to pace yourself! There are only 664 pictures. The newlyweds looked at the pictures via the slideshow last night and it took well over an hour.

Dec 14, 2007

I Heart Jimmy Stewart

Something is different this year. Something is not right.

I put up the Christmas tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving, hoping that it would put me in the holiday spirit. So far it hasn’t worked. (It didn't help that Jake knocked the tree over today.) It sits bare underneath. I have barely bought any presents and haven’t wrapped the ones that I have hidden away. I have watched White Christmas twice, but I haven’t swooned over Bing Crosby like usual.

I just haven’t been feeling the spirit.

Maybe because it was seventy-five degrees this week and we are halfway through December without snow. Maybe I was distracted by last weekend’s wedding festivities. Maybe I dread the thought of not being home for my family’s Christmas dinner tomorrow. Maybe because, in the back of my mind, a few of last year’s Christmas wishes haven’t come true.

This just isn’t me. Normally, I am singing the wrong words to all of my Christmas CDs and shopping for the perfect gifts. I usually get giddy over decorating the tree and putting strands of lights outside the house. By now, I have normally watched about fourteen-thousand Christmas movies, even the sappy ones on the Hallmark channel.

But tonight I ran across a movie that I had never seen, It’s A Wonderful Life. I know! I know! I know what you are thinking. How can I be a Christmas-junkie if I have never seen It’s A Wonderful Life?!? Well, I hadn’t. If you want to blame someone, blame my mother. She should have made me watch it years ago.

At the point in the movie when Jimmy Stewart picks up the copy of Tom Sawyer and reads Clarence’s message, my heart burst into a million pieces. I felt all girly and teary-eyed and hopeful…..and I found Christmas.

Now, I am not talking about cleaning-the-house-happy, but I think that I am going to wrap presents tomorrow. I am going to repair the damage that my dog did to the tree, pick up the gifts that I haven’t purchased and maybe attempt to make a batch of cookies.

I might even renew my Christmas wishes from last year.

Dec 13, 2007

One Of My Heros

If you would have told me a couple of years ago that my friend Jennifer would be a military wife, I would not have believed you. Today, she is a loving wife and mother to a crew of incredible kiddos. She is married to a wonderful man who puts his life on the line every day, so that I have the freedom to write a stupid blog. Matt has already missed Halloween and Thanksgiving this year because he is serving his country. He won't be home any time soon and it breaks my heart that he is going to miss the holiday season with his kiddos. He is in my constant prayers.

If you have an extra Christmas card, I have listed Matt's address below. He is a Hop-town boy and I am sure that he would be thrilled to get some mail from around home.

TSGT Matthew D. Allen
APO AE 09309

Dec 12, 2007

Dec 11, 2007

Shooting Stars Aplenty

My friend Sweet Carolina calls me a star-gazer. I guess that it is true. When I was little, I used to think that the moon followed us wherever we would drive in the car.

The Persied Meteor Shower is my favorite. I look forward to it every August. I sit outside and count all the shooting stars, making a wish on every single one. I even took my nose out of the last Harry Potter book this year to watch the Persied.

If you feel like braving the cold, the Geminid Meteor Shower starts on Thursday and runs through Saturday. It is supposed to be spectacular this year, since there is a newer moon and the sky should be dark. I am hoping for a break in the clouds over Tennessee.

Guys, please take note. This is the perfect opportunity for you! Grab a bottle of wine and your girl to watch the shooting stars. It will be cold, so this is the perfect opportunity to cuddle under a thick blanket and score extra bonus points for romance! Make sure that you get far away from city lights, so you will see even more shooting stars.

Take the opportunity to look skyward this weekend. I am sure that you won’t be disappointed!

Happy Birthday BJ!

Happy Birthday to one cool Father-In-Law!

Dec 10, 2007

Lauren's New In-Laws

The Perfect Shot

Possibly the funniest pictures that I have of the wedding!
Being a photographer is a rough job! We all got the giggles when he wiggled his toes.

Shake Your Groove Thang!

Jumpin' Jack Flash

Clay is a little bit of a kid......and that is an understatement. When Nick and Terra got married, he jumped off the stage EVERYTIME during rehersal. The photographer captured it in their professional wedding pics. The tradition had to continue at the rehersal for his wedding. I had my camera ready!

Dec 9, 2007

Catherine and Lily Tearing Up The Dance Floor

Who's Your Daddy?

Saturday was not only the date of the wedding, but also my father's birthday. Clay and Lauren would tease him by saying they were going to sing Happy Birthday during the wedding ceremony or have a birthday cake for him at the reception. I think that he was tickled that their wedding was taking away from the fact that he was another year older. In the end, he did get a cake at the church that everyone munched on before the ceremony.

(He and mom are going to kill me for putting that last picture in! They were "acting" tired for the picture at the end of the night. The truth is, they didn't have to act too much!)

Happy Birthday Daddy! I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck!

Presenting Mr. & Mrs. Clay Wallace

Clay and Lauren had a beautiful wedding!

They couldn't have asked for a more wonderful day. Congrats to the cutest newlyweds!

Kiss This!

My parents have a tree covered in mistletoe in their front yard. I stood out there for a while, but no one stopped on the side of the road to kiss me.

Dec 6, 2007

Christmas Carolers

I rearranged my livingroom this year and put our Christmas tree in a different spot. Because of this, I had to rearrange where I put several of my holiday knick-knacks. Little did I know that this was the perfect place to put my snowmen. They welcome the sunshine into our house every morning.

Dec 3, 2007

Small World

While flipping though the television channels tonight, something caught my eye….Paducah.

Little People, Big World is a reality show about the Roloff family on the Discovery Channel. Matt and Amy Roloff are little people. The show revolves around their lives and the lives of their four children, three of which are of average height.

The episode that caught my attention was about a family trip to Paducah, Kentucky. Matt was asked to give a speech in Paducah and two of the kids, Zach and Molly, tag along to look at some of the civil war history in the area. The episode is packed with wonderful shots of downtown Paducah. The family's trip involves visits to the Tilghman House Museum, Whitehaven, Markethouse Museum, and Museum of the American Quilter's Society. They even go to a local civil war reenactment.

After Matt gives his presentation at the Luther F. Carson Center (where my parents volunteer), the family goes to a cookout in Bob Noble Park and has fried Oreos and Twinkies. (Although I am from the area, I have not tried these delicacies.) At the park, they talk with the owners of Dippin’Dots, which is a very unique brand of ice-cream that was created and still made entirely in Paducah. (This is where my dad would take his school kids on field trips….for obvious reasons.)

The episode reruns on December 16th at 7:00pm. I would love for you to watch. It will give you a chance to see where I am from, get glimpse of the beauty of downtown Paducah and hopefully entice you to make a trip yourself. It is a beautiful area steeped in civil war, you could have a bowl of Dippin’Dots.

Samuel's Baby Brother

Welcome to the world Sawyer James McLeane!
Congrats to Matt, Tara and big brother Samuel!

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Dec 2, 2007

A Special Engagement

Each Sunday morning I grab a cup of coffee and jump online. Looking at the Paducah Sun website is one of my guilty pleasures. I get to catch up on local happenings that I miss out on, since I am so far from home. Sunday morning is my favorite, since that is when the weddings, engagements and birth announcements are updated. In some small way, it makes me feel more connected to home.

Today is a special day, because Clay and Lauren’s engagement announcement appeared. I am excited about making the trip home for the wedding celebration next weekend. I am overly excited because my baby brother has found the love of his life and she is perfect in every way.

Congratulations to Clay and Lauren! We can’t wait to celebrate your love next weekend!

Nov 28, 2007

A Song By Any Other Name, Still Sounds As Sweet

My husband has a beautiful voice. When he sings, I swoon. Really.

Me? Well, when I sing I sound like a cat in heat. But that does not stop me. Birddog loves to tell me how many times I changed pitch and key in one chorus. I am proud of myself when he says that I hit the correct note at least once in a song.

Not only am I tone-deaf, but I misunderstand song lyrics and sing the wrong words all too often. If I don’t understand what the singer says, I usually just make up my own version that sounds like what they should be saying. I do this so much that when I find out the real words to a song, I still sing the wrong words. You should hear me when I try to sing “Respect” or “Lady Marmalade”.

I live in my own little musical world and that is fine with me. This drives Birddog crazy. Here are a just a few of my misquotations:

Starship: We built this city on rock and roll.
Ladybird: We built this city on a rocky road.

Bon Jovi: It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not.
Ladybird: It doesn’t make a difference if we’re naked or not.

Kiss: I want to rock and roll all night and party every day.
Ladybird: I want to rock and roll all night and part of every day.

Apparently this problem is genetic. I distinctly remember sitting in the passenger seat of our car when I was about twelve years old and my brother, who was eight at the time, was singing Eddie Money’s “Take Me Home Tonight” at the top of his voice. My mother was trying not to laugh. Instead of singing “I don’t want to let you go ‘til we see the light”, he was singing “I don’t want to let you go to see the fight.” When my mother ask him what he thought the song meant, he explained something about the guy not wanting to take the girl to a boxing match. My mother and I just smiled at each other while Clay wailed in the back seat.

I often misunderstand lyrics too. When I was younger I never understood the Parson Brown part of “Walking in a Winter Wonderland”. I thought that parson was a color, like chocolate or mocha. I didn’t realize that a parson was a leader at a church. I didn’t understand why anyone would want a brown snowman.

Okay, please tell me there are other song-butchers out there. What songs do you sing the wrong way?

Nov 27, 2007

True Love

Thirty-eight years ago, two crazy kids vowed to stay together through thick and thin. Little did they know, they would be the best parents ever.
Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Nov 24, 2007

Natchez Trace

Birddog and I had to make a quick trip to Franklin today. On the way home, he took me down the Natchez Trace Parkway. We had hoped to drive the entire 444 miles to Mississippi earlier in the fall, but never got the chance. The trees were still beautiful and we saw lots of wildlife along the way. We crossed the Tennessee Valley Divide and saw several scenic outlooks that took our breath away. I recommend it to anyone that is looking for a road trip. We are looking forward to the full trip with the weather gets a little warmer.

Season's Greetings

Sweet Carolina made these greeting cards for me!
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Nov 22, 2007

Growing Up Too Fast

Wearing a much bigger shoe size, but not quite as tall as me yet!

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

All of ten of the great-granddaughers made it to Thankgsiving.
There are no little boys in this generation of Birddog's family.
(No pressure on us! LOL!)

Joyful Thanksgiving

Some of the many people I am thankful for on this day!

Nov 20, 2007

Laziness Becomes Him

Lately Jake has decided that standing up is overrated, especially while eating.

A Harvest of Orange

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Nov 19, 2007

Hark! The Herald Ladybird Sings!

Everyone close to me knows that I am a Christmas music junkie. I am embarrassed to say that even though my Christmas tree is still safely packed away, my Christmas CDs have already made an appearance this year. As of right now they have only been played in my car, but co-workers and friends beware, they will be gracing your presence on November 23…..accompanied by my off-pitch, tone-deaf, angelic voice. Birddog is already cringing because I found the holiday station on digital cable.

Each year, I try to increase my Christmas album collection by at least one CD. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Once Upon a Christmas by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton
I used to put on my wig (a.k.a. yellow pillow case) and sing into the mirror. I wanted to be Dolly with all of my heart. The duets are wonderful and it has one of my all time favorite Christmas songs, Hard Candy Christmas. Like any hard-core Dolly fan should know, this is the ballad at the end of the movie Greatest Little Whorehouse in Texas. A classic.

Christmas Island by Jimmy Buffett
Every Parrot Head knows that Jimmy was born on Christmas day. This album covers a few traditional holiday songs in a calypso style and there are several originals that make you want to go to the beach for Christmas. I think that my favorite song on the album is Merry Christmas Alabama (Never Far From Home).

The Music of Christmas by Steven Curtis Chapman
I have a soft spot in my heart for Steven Curtis Chapman because he is from Paducah. While covering several traditional Christmas songs, his original powerful anthems remind us that Jesus is the reason for the season. If you are looking for a Contemporary Christian Christmas album, this one will remind you of the wonders of the birth of Christ.

Boogie Woogie Christmas by The Brian Setzer Orchestra
This album is packed with up-tempo rock-a-billy versions of some of my favorite Christmas songs. Plus, there is the bonus of Ann Margaret singing on Baby It’s Cold Outside. This is an undeniably FUN Christmas CD that will put you in the Christmas spirit with just one song. It will rock your Christmas!

Merry Christmas by Mariah Carey
On any given day, I dispise Mariah Carey, but I love her Christmas album. I bought this CD for All I Want For Christmas Is You, but was pleasantly surprised by the rest of the album. She has some great ballads, but rocks out on gospel songs that will make your heart sing the joys of Christmas.

A Very Special Christmas Series Vol. 1, 2 and 3
This series was started to raise money for the Special Olympics and has turned out to be their biggest fundraiser ever…..with good reason, the music ROCKS! These CDs are packed with big names: The Pointer Sisters, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, John Mellencamp, Tom Petty, Bonnie Raitt, Cyndi Lauper and many, many more. Plus, Volume 1 has Christmas in Hollis by Run DMC. It just isn’t the Christmas without a song that mentions collid greens. I plan to buy A Very Special Acoustic Christmas this year and I can’t wait!

I have many more, including several classics with Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, James Brown and the Stylistics to name a few. But, I will stop rambling for now.

What is your favorite Christmas CD? Do you have any recommendations for me??

Nov 16, 2007

Snips and Snails and Puppydog Tails

Welcome to the world Jude Christopher Cecil!

Nov 15, 2007

Autumn in Dickson County

I love my drive to work, especially in the autumn.

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Nov 12, 2007

Hissy Fit

I spent the majority of my Saturday night pouting. Ava didn’t want to have anything to do with me. She didn’t want to color. She didn’t want to take a shower. She didn’t even want to play. All she wanted was to snuggle with Birddog on the couch and read books. That is usually my job. I was green with envy, until she wanted to cuddle with me to go to sleep.

I did feel some guilty pleasure on Sunday when Tobi came to pick Ava up. Ava threw a hissy fit that could rival Varuka Salt. I was secretly thrilled. I loved it that she didn’t want to leave my house.....although the crocodile tears and death grip on my neck was heartbreaking.

I miss her already.