blogging about daily life from Griffin, Georgia

a visit to Athens

Category: Fun,Personal,Pictures | Comments (0) | Valerie @ October 26th, 2007   

This weekend was strange. Most of the time if Dan is working on a Saturday and Sunday, there is someone in the family who ends up being at my house visiting on at least one of those days. But, this weekend was different because not only was Dan working, but my parents were going to Atlanta for a wedding shower, and Aunt Susan was going to be in Italy. On Thursday night Cecilia called me and asked what our plans were. Well, we didn’t have any! And, oddly enough, she and Matt didn’t have any plans either (which is rare). So, Brittain and I made a last minute decision to take a road-trip to Athens for the weekend to visit her Aunt CC and Uncle Matthew. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect weekend away. I got to spend some time with my favorite sister (I know, I know, she’s my ONLY sister) and her sweet husband, I got to spend some alone time on Saturday shopping, and Brittain got to spend time with (and be spoiled by) her aunt and uncle.

It’s amazing the joy I have found in watching things that bring Brittain happiness. Sometimes it’s things you wouldn’t expect and then sometimes it’s things that you KNOW will make her happy.

When we left that Friday afternoon, my Tahoe was filled to the top with a pack-n-play, a stroller, a wagon, toys, and clothes. By the time I packed her stuff, I decided to just use all of Cecilia’s things for myself because I knew there was barely going to be enough room for us to sit. I set the GPS, put in Brittain’s favorite Baby Einstein DVD, and we headed for Athens. The first part of the trip was pretty good, but the last 45 minutes were complete torture. Brittain was tired, hungry and sick of being in her carseat. And, watching Baby Neptune for the 10th time was NOT making her happy anymore. We FINALLY made it, and we were still in one piece. I was tired…and stressed, but it was all worthwhile to me when I saw the look on Brittain’s face when she saw her Aunt CC.

Because Brittain had had a pick-me-up nap in the car on the way over, there was no chance she was going to sleep anytime soon, so she hung in there with us that night until midnight! It was a party to her and she was determined to take advantage of it until the bitter end.

The night we arrived:



On Friday morning, Cecilia emailed me and asked if there was anything she could get at the store to have at her house for us. I started out with the staple – whole milk, but then my list got longer. I ended up listing the necessities: bananas, crescent rolls and cheese. When we arrived that night, Cecilia had cooked the crescent rolls and had a piece of cheese ready for Brittain when she walked through the door. Not sure if it was because she ate an entire tin of Graduates Crunchers on the way, or because she just couldn’t concentrate on eating, but Brittain ended up trying to feed the majority of it to her aunt:



Matt and Brittain had an instant connection right from the beginning, so I love watching both of their faces when they are together. Brittain clearly likes people who aren’t afraid of acting silly, and you can tell by these next few pictures that Matt definitely isn’t afraid of that!






The next day was the Red Sox World Series game. This is SERIOUS business to Uncle Matthew. Here, Matt gave Brittain his lucky baseball to hold. He just knew it would bring the Sox good luck (and he was right)!


On Saturday, Cecilia and Matt volunteered to keep Brittain while I went out for a while. It was a wonderful break for me and I loved knowing that she was being well taken care of and that Brittain was also having a great time. After about 5 hours being away, I walked back in to a living room clearly in distress. There were toys EVERYWHERE, a big cardboard box they had pulled out for her to play in, and Brittain crawling around in nothing but her diaper – and as happy as could be. She was also saying “Matt” over and over again and frequently crawling up to Matt so they could both say “cheese” to each other with a funny looking grin on their faces.

That Saturday was the day of games. The Georgia-Florida game came on that afternoon and the Red Sox game was that evening. Brittain loved the cheering aspect of the game. Whether she knew Cec and Matt were cheering for what was on the TV or cheering for her, she decided she also wanted to be a part of it. Each time Matt would jump up to cheer, Brittain would also throw her hands up and say, “YAY!” And, if there was a span of time where he wouldn’t cheer, she would suddenly say “yay” anyway.





Between games, Cecilia, Brittain and I drove to pick up dinner. On the way, Cecilia decided she wanted to go to K-Mart to get Brittain “a little something.” Now THIS was funny. While she held Brittain, the two of them went down each aisle of toys as Cecilia watched to see which toy Brittain pointed to and liked the best. I’m sure you can imagine what happened. Cecilia walked out of there with not one, but three different toys that apparently Brittain couldn’t live without. The funniest part was even though Brittain had seen and briefly played with each toy in the store, she was surprised all over again once we got home and handed each one to her. The look on her face was as if she was just seeing them for the first time:









There are a group of pictures that I took the day we left that I hate I couldn’t post on here. As I was loading the car, Cecilia gave Brittain a bath and decided to let her crawl around in the nude. I warned Cec of the consequences, but she let her do it anyway. I got quite a few hilarious shots during this time, but felt a little funny posting them for all the world to see. So, you’ll just have to trust me…they are priceless!

We love you, Matt and Cec. Thanks for letting us visit and for being such great hosts!

Ava’s 1st Birthday

Category: Fun,Personal,Pictures | Comments (0) | Valerie @ October 20th, 2007   

Dan and I have been friends for a long time with Ava’s parents, Jenny and Matt Parker. Dan went to high school with Jenny, and I grew up with Jenny in the church. We’ve stayed close and I even had the honor of singing at Matt and Jenny’s wedding a few years ago. It was only natural that we remain close after Ava was born, and although Matt and Jenny live in Macon (they are hoping to move back to Griffin soon), we try to get together as much as possible.

We were thrilled to be invited to celebrate Ava’s 1st birthday. Dan was out of town, but Brittain and I made the trip to Macon and had a fabulous time. And, let me tell you, this party was done up right! Keeping with Ava’s hot pink and black nursery theme, Ava’s cake, decorations and even the party favors kept these colors. It was a great party with family and friends and we were so happy to be a part of it. Thanks for having us, y’all!

Jenny, Matt and the birthday girl:






For some reason, it seemed that the hit gift was this Dora the Explorer ride. Brittain absolutely loved it, so of course I had to go and buy her one right after the party:



I LOVE this face!:


Perhaps it was the large crowd that made Brittain cling to me as soon as we walked in the door. Here I was carrying around this 25 pound child in my left arm and attempting to take pictures with my right arm. She finally warmed up to 2 people in the room, Amanda and then Ava’s daddy, Matt.



mommy brain

Category: Fun,Personal | Comments (0) | Valerie @ August 9th, 2007   

My best friend Amanda had a baby almost 2 years ago. After she had her I remember her telling me that her brain must have come out along with the baby because it was the only explanation for all the stupid things she does. I thought, “Yeah, right”… Well, I now believe her.

Dan thinks I should write a book, but who knows if I’ll ever get to that. Because I enjoy having a good laugh at myself, why shouldn’t the people that I love be able to laugh at me, too? I want to share with you some of my most recent “mommy brain” incidences in hopes that you can have a good belly laugh at my expense. (Yes, it’s okay with me!)

A couple of months ago after I got off of work, Brittain and I went to run some errands. We first made a stop at Tuesday Morning, and then decided to run into Big Lots since it was right next door. I had Brittain in the stroller and we made a quick run-through to see if there was anything we couldn’t live without. As I went to the checkout, I noticed that I only saw one person who looked to be open, but her light wasn’t on. There was a person standing there checking out, so I patiently waited for him to finish before checking out myself. When I got up to the counter I politely asked the lady, “Are you open?” She replied, “Yes.” It was at that point that I looked down to find that I had nothing to buy.

Now, the few people that I told this story to told me that they would have grabbed something off to the side quickly and thrown it on the counter. Unfortunately, I can’t think that fast so I just simply stated the obvious. “Hmmm…I have nothing to buy.” And then I swiftly exited the store.

A few weeks ago I needed to go grocery shopping, so I called my mom to see if she could watch Brittain for me. She came over and I headed to Wal-Mart for what seemed to be an all-night affair. Brittain was turning one and she was beginning to eat table food. If you know me, you know that I haven’t cooked much, so I had spent a couple of days looking up recipes and I was buying all of the ingredients for them. I was in there for over 2 hours. During my trip I noticed that people were looking at me. Truthfully, I thought they were looking because I must have looked cute. I had on a skirt and a tank top and I had finally started working out again and had dropped a few pounds. When I got home I proceeded to unload the groceries, but stopped to take a quick bathroom break. I walked in the bathroom and took a look in the mirror only to notice that the sports bra I had on had ridden up to the middle of my breasts. (Breasts…can I say that in this blog?) Not that you would want to picture this, but to have a good laugh you’re going to have to. The elasticized bra that was supposed to completely cover my breasts had made it’s way up (without my noticing that something felt weird). In other words, I kind of looked like I had two sets of breasts. NO WONDER people were staring at me!

Shortly after this happened, my sister called and asked me if I wanted to go to the Faith Hill/Tim McGraw concert with her at Philips Arena. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. We had 6th row seats AND I was getting to spend time with my newly married sis! It was a little nerve-wracking leaving Brittain just because I can’t stand to be away from her, but I was also excited. A night on the town, just like pre-baby days. That day I took special care in choosing a “cool, non-mommy” outfit and headed to Atlanta where we were staying at the Ritz and going to the concert. For the drive there I decided to wear my work attire, which consists of a tank top and shorts or an easy-pull-on cotton short skirt (thanks, Bradley for not requiring heels and a suit!). I arrived at the Ritz before Cecilia so I went to check in. I parked in a lot across the street, got my bags out and headed into the Ritz. The line to check-in was insanely long, but I waited patiently and didn’t mind a bit because I was so excited to be there. After finally checking in I went to the elevators to head up to the room. All of the elevator doors are mirrored, so as I was standing there waiting I took a quick glimpse to my right to see myself. Sadly, what I saw did not at all surprise me. Somehow, during my drive to Atlanta, the back of my skirt had slid down and the back of my tank top slid up so that my pretty cotton blue panties were in full view. Again, my thinking that people were staring because I looked cute was not right again. Where are those people who tell you you look like an idiot? I would do that for another person! Where are those people when I need them?

My most recent “mommy brain” moment happened today. Brittain had a follow-up appointment with the pediatrician from when she was sick a couple of weeks ago. Her appointment was at 3:00 and we made it on time to Sunnyside Pediatrics (the name of our pediatrician’s office). As we walked in I signed in and sat down to wait for our name to be called. Just a couple of minutes after sitting, the nurse at the desk stood up and asked me what my child’s name was. I said, “Oh my gosh. Did I sign my own name?” I walked up to the desk and looked at the sheet. In the “name” space I had signed “Sunnyside Pediatrics.”

Need I say more?

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