Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Birthday girl!

Happy Birthday to Sarah Alford!

I'm so glad we've become friends! It will be nice to have each other to console after Meredith moves (tear). I can't wait for our TCBY/Office date tomorrow night!

Happy Birthday

I hope you had a great day!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Jake's 20!

Happy birthday to my -not so little anymore- cousin, Jake!
I can't believe you're 20!!! I love you and hope you have a fantastic day today!

Kristen, me, Heather, and baby Jake in 1987.

Kristen, me, Heather, and Jake at Heather's wedding (but, I guess you can probably tell that from the WEDDING DRESS she's wearing!)

Monday, February 26, 2007

A new "blogging" friend!

OK, so she's probably not going to be too happy with me for "announcing" her blog so soon, but I can't help it. I get excited when my friends become bloggers. I'm a nerd....this I know.

Mary Straton Karatassos Smith (it's quite a long name...I usually prefer "MSK" to save time) is now a blogger! I've been friends with her longer than anybody else, and we've experienced quite a lot together-to say the least. We "met" at church when we were only 2, we went to Starkville Academy (that's right...I was a "Volunteer") for 13 years, college together for 4, and we have been friends THE WHOLE TIME. Seriously.

I'm willing to bet that there is not a single person reading this blog who has seen more TGIF than we have(remember it? "Full House", "Family Matters", "Step-By-Step" know what I'm talking about. TV today is nothing like it used to be). The biggest decision we faced each week was "so, are we watching it at YOUR house this Friday or MINE?" Very rarely were we not spending the night at each other's house on Friday was just understood.
We were in numerous school plays together (see the "Little Bo Peep" and "Little Miss Muffet"'s from our Kindergarten play), we played on the same softball team for YEARS (and we were SOME KIND of athletes...let me tell you!), we were involved with the same youth group, we went to the beach together every summer for years, etc. etc. (I'm sitting here realizing that this list really may never end, so I'll go ahead and stop now with the get the idea though, WE'RE GOOD FRIENDS). I always considered (and STILL DO) her family as my "2nd family."

MSK married her boyfriend of 6 years (???), Kell Smith, last summer, and they are now living in the Jackson area. I don't see her NEARLY as much as I would like. I haven't even gotten to meet their "babies," Olive and Charlie! I've told Max all about them though, and he's looking forward to meeting his cousins soon!
Puppy 3

Yes, This is what consumed most of our
Friday nights as kids...too bad I DESPISE
Bob Saget now! :)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Girls gone wild!... (well, not REALLY)...

What a fun night! 6 of Mere's bridesmaids were able to get together last night at Claire's in Birmingham for her much anticipated bachelorette party. The very fun group included: Mere of course, her 2 sisters Emily and Mary Beth, her cousin Susan, Sarah, Claire, and me. We all stayed at Claire's house (thanks Claire!), and fortunately Emily, Mary Beth, and Susan were able to drive up early yesterday afternoon to help Claire appropriately "decorate" the house for the party (a few "censored" decorations located in the collage to the above). Now, you know, of course, that Mere is marrying her cowboy and they will be living in Texas, so it was only necessary that the night included: cowboy hat and cowboy boot cookies (umm...before and after pictures of the cookies posted below...they were GOOD, so don't be fooled by their appearance!), "barbed wire" garland (a definite favorite of mine!), and a shot glass that was set in horse-imprinted leather. All of these fantastic items were purchased in a must-see website. (I will refrain from mentioning the other things used in our decorations in which I had NOTHING TO DO WITH! :0 ). We went to a great restaurant (with Mere of course dressed as she appears in the picture) in downtown Birmingham called Surin West. Thai food is their main specialty, in which I'm not such a fan, but they DO have a fantastic sushi menu which is very yummy! You should check it out if you're in Birmingham and are looking for a place to eat. After hanging out at the restaurant for a while, we headed back to Claire's, where Mere was showered with fun "gifts" from us. :) It was such a fun night! I guess the next time we'll all be together is in just 2 weeks for the wedding weekend! AHHHH!

Dwight's REALLY the one responsible for making THIS a PARTY!

*Thanks, Mary Katherine, for introducing me to Picasa...I love it!

Monday, February 19, 2007

"He's Always Been Faithful"

These are the song lyrics to "He's Always Been Faithful" by Sara Groves. This song was introduced to me by Claire during a very difficult time in my life. The words to this song are so true and bring such encouragement to me. If you've never heard the song, I recommend that you download'll become an instant fan. Even if you ARE familiar with this song, re-read the lyrics and find comfort in them! I hope you find it as encouraging as I do!

"He's Always Been Faithful"

by Sara Groves

Morning by morning I wake up to find the power and comfort of God's hand in mine.

Season by season I watch him amazed, in awe of the mystery of his perfect ways.

Chorus: All I have need of his hand will provide. He's always been faithful to me.

I can't remember a trial or a pain he did not recycle to bring me gain. I can't remember one single regret in serving God only and trusting his hand.


This is my anthem, this is my song, the theme of the stories I've heard for so long. God has been faithful, he will be again. His loving compassion, it knows no end.


My beautiful, ALMOST MARRIED friend!


Mere's engagement picture was in the Starkville Daily News (or the SDN as I prefer to call it) yesterday. It's SUCH a good picture (however, please don't be fooled by the "innocence" you see in the picture below...her bachelorette party is this weekend, so you may soon be seeing different sides of Meredith "Manboots" Murphy). The wedding invitation is at the top (obviously)...isn't it pretty??

She just informed me that it's only 19 days away...we're in the "teens" now, Mere! AHHHHH!!!!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

More about my sweet Henry!

When my sister Kristen mentioned that she and her husband, Rob, wanted to go on a "date" last night for Valentine's Day, my other sister Heather, my parents and I thought it was COMPLETELY necessary for all 4 of us to go to Clinton to "babysit". Obviously, that was just an excuse for us to see little Henry! He changes everytime I see him, but he's still as cute as ever and SUCH a good baby. Kristen and Rob are extremely fortunate! I enjoyed spending the day with him yesterday. This morning, we all loaded up (in 3 different cars, I might add...
1. Heather's car because she had to drive back to Hattiesburg, 2. Kristen's car because they had to drive back to Clinton, and 3. My mom's car because my parents and I had to come back to Starkville...a little ridiculous that we couldn't all ride together!) and we drove to Meridian to visit my grandmother who is in Beverly Healthcare nursing home there. I've mentioned Mamaw before and asked you to pray for her on a couple of different occasions. She shows the beginning stages of Alzheimer's, so she has "good days" and "not-so-good days". This was her first time to see Henry, and of course she fell in love immediately. How can you NOT? I'm so glad to say that she was having one of her "good days" and seemed to be doing FANTASTIC! Here are just a few of the pictures I took. If you want to see more of this adorable face, click here.

*For those of you who are lucky enough to be OFF work tomorrow for President's Day, I must say, I'm a little jealous, but I GUESS I want you to enjoy your day off anyway. :)
If you have to work (like myself) have a great Monday!!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Welcome to room C03!

My 2nd graders have been learning about money this past week, and I thought, "who better to come talk to my kids about money than my DAD!" (He is a banker). Now, my dad is probably one of the best public speakers of anybody I've ever met, so I thought it was funny when he told me that talking to a large group of kids made him a little nervous. :)

But, being the best dad that he is, he willingly accepted the invitation to come to my classroom. My kids loved him. LOVED HIM. Of course, anytime he would ask a question, all he would have to say was "How many of you....," and before he could even FINISH asking the question, 23 hands would be flying in the air. My kids love to talk. He told my kids what goes on at a bank, the importance of saving your money,the importance of working hard in school to get a job when you get older, etc. etc.....

These are just a few of the pictures I took of my dad "in action"....


3 things I'll NEVER ask somebody...

I have come up with a list of 3 things that I've learned NEVER...EVER to ask somebody. An experience that my beautiful, SKINNY sister Heather encountered today inspired me to share my thoughts with you...
So this list is especially for those of you who don't THINK before you SPEAK.

  • NEVER ask somebody if they're pregnant. PERIOD. Earlier this school year someone asked me if I was pregnant. I mean, have I really gained THAT much weight??? Needless to say, I cried, thinking that EVERYONE thought that about me (yes, I'm paranoid). Seriously, I'm not even DATING anybody! Well, guess what? Heather was asked the SAME thing today. (Now, she looks way "less pregnant" than I do, but AT LEAST she's actually married!!). So, I don't care if a girl is 8 months pregnant and it's QUITE obvious that she is, I will still not ask her if she's pregnant...(for all I know, she could have had a baby 3 months earlier, and my foot would be going directly into my mouth.)

  • NEVER ask a single person (especially a FEMALE) when she (he) is getting married. I am nearly 26 and single. Do I enjoy people saying "why aren't you dating anybody?" or "when are YOU getting married?" No. Absolutely not. All that is, is a reminder that I am still single...and I promise, I'm completely aware.

  • NEVER ask a MARRIED couple when they are having kids. Now, obviously this is one that I haven't experienced, but there are lots of people close to me who are married and are completely annoyed by that question. So, this is basically something that I was told never to ask someone and I just decided to pass it on to you.

If any of these things have ever happened to you, of if you have ever put your "foot in your mouth (see picture below (: )," then I'm sure you appreciate me passing on this list! :)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

2 quick questions...

Happy Thursday!!!!

I'm not going to do a lot of blabbing in this post (I'm at school and only have a small break)...I'm just going to get right to the point. I have 2 questions that I'm hoping someone can answer:

1. Some of you have really cute, creative headings at the top of your blogs (I've noticed this particularly on Jenny's and Mary Katherine's blog, so maybe one of you can help me). I'm kinda wanting to do something "fun" at the top of mine too. Can anybody tell me how to do it?

2. I also want to know how some of you make a collage of pictures rather than just one photo at a time. I'm sure it's simple, but you know I'm still new at this blogging thing, and I'm not really "good" at it yet! :)

Please let me know if you can help me with either of these...

I hope that you all have a great day! Is anybody else glad that tomorrow is FRIDAY????

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day...(I guess)...

I've never really been a fan of Valentine's Day (or "Singles Awareness Day" as Mandy sarcastically refers to it), although, I do enjoy any excuse to eat chocolate or drink my new favorite coffee..."Valentine's Blend" from O'Henry's Coffee. If you live in the Birmingham area, you're in luck, because this coffee shop is actually in Homewood. I've never been there, but Claire loves it. She brought a bag of the Valentine's Blend when she came to visit last weekend. She, Mere, and I put quite a dent in that bag in just a matter of a couple of days! If you are around Birmingham, you should definitely get some, and if not, you can order this yummy coffee online! I highly recommend it!

Tomorrow is our Valentine's party at school. The kids were already out of control TODAY, so I can only imagine what tomorrow will be like. I'm guessing that it'll be somewhat similar to the Christmas party, but hoping that it'll be a LITTLE less chaotic. Fortunately, tomorrow is a half day for the students, so basically, I'll have just enough time to "sugar them up" and send them home! :) I did bake heart-shaped cookies for the party (although some of them look more like big blobs than hearts...I don't really think the kids will mind though!).

I'm quite proud of my baking...(no one has to know that the cookies are "slice and bake" and the frosting is from a store-bought container...)

This is a card that Mandy's mom sent her for Valentine's Day...I just had to share. It basically sums up my feelings for this holiday! :)
If you DO have a reason to enjoy Valentine's Day, I hope that it's fabulous!

*Mere, I'm pumped about our Valentine's "date"... GO DAWGS!!!!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

ONE more month!

It was a little weird hearing Meredith say "I'm getting married a month from today!" But, it's really is almost here.
This was a great weekend. Mere had a shower Saturday and Claire was able to be here from Birmingham. YEA!!! The 3 of us were seriously overdue for some hanging out time. Claire got here Friday night...want to guess where we headed IMMEDIATELY after she got here?? Yep, that's right...Mexico Tipico of course. They both stayed at my house Friday and Saturday night, and besides going to Mere's shower Saturday afternoon, we hardly did anything. It was great.
I love love these 2 girls.
Here's a picture of my and 2 of my dearest friends Meredith (a.k.a. "Manboots"...also the BRIDE TO BE) Murphy and Claire (a.k.a. "Hotpants") Hardin.

Here's Mere playing "How well do you really know your fiance?" (I don't know the REAL name of it, but that sounds good...). You know, it's the game where she has to answer questions about Vic correctly or she must put a piece of bubble gum in her mouth. She had quite a few pieces at in her mouth by the end of the game...

...and again... attempting to blow a bubble with all 284 pieces of gum in her mouth.


Have a fantastic week!

Friday, February 9, 2007


So, I'm just a little curious...
I was told AGAIN recently (for, seriously, about the 10th time) that I look like Minnie Driver. Besides the dark curly hair that we both have, I DON'T SEE IT AT ALL! I'm just wondering if anybody else thinks I look "just like her."

Opinions anyone?

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Like mother, like son...

Before Henry was born, my grandmother ("Nana") bought him some "baby" scrubs (who knew they even MADE such a thing?!). Of course, as most of you know, Kristen is doing her residency to be an OBGYN, so it was only appropriate that Henry have scrubs to match his mommy who practically LIVES in hers. I wasn't there when Kristen put them on him for the pictures, BUT I did get my hands on a copy of one that I had to share.

I also got a copy of this one that my mom took of the two of perfect is it that she caught him in the very middle of the biggest yawn I've ever seen?! Everytime I see a new picture of him I always say "oh, this one is my favorite!"....I may really mean it this time. I can't get enough of him.

*On a side note, if there are any "Office" fans out there, you need to go to this fun site I came across...(totally random I know..but it's fun and really really entertaining ).

Have a happy Wednesday!

Monday, February 5, 2007

In case you haven't heard...

If you read or listen to the local news, you may have heard about the apartment fire in Meridian that took place last night. I actually have a couple of friends who unfortunately lost EVERYTHING in the fire. That incident, along with the recent disaster in Florida that also occurred over the weekend have both really hit me hard. Several people lost their lives in Florida, and several HUNDREDS of homes were destroyed. There's no way to really comprehend what it would be like to lose everything just like that (not to mention the people who lost SOMEONE!). It has made me realize how valuable life is and how so often we take SO many things (and PEOPLE!) for granted...I know I do! I don't know about you, but I'm definitely going to try to remember what's really important in life...and focus on the good things.
I ask you to join me in remembering these people and families in your prayers. Please feel free to pass this message along to anyone who will loyally pray for these people.
God bless you.

When I try to think of an "appropriate" verse to include in this post, I constantly go back to my all time favorite verse (which I'm sure I've posted before!):

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11

Sunday, February 4, 2007


Usually Max is right at my feet, and when he's not, that pretty much means he's probably doing something he SHOULDN'T be. I started looking for him last night when I realized that he wasn't in the same room as me. I called his name...he didn't come. I then noticed that my linen closet door was slightly open and I heard a little movement going on in my laundry basket. I don't really know why Max thought it would be fun to play in my dirty clothes, but this is exactly how I found him. Luckily my camera was close by so I was able to take his picture immediately. I thought this was really cute and had to share! :)

My weekend of doing "nothing" was FABULOUS! I definitely needed the rest. I did go to a shower for Meredith today which was nice. There were tons of people there and she got lots of great stuff ( I was particularly interested in the blue serving pieces that she got from Pier 1 ... I LOVE that place!). Only a few more weeks until her big day, and she's so excited! I really can't believe it's already here. It seems like yesterday when she told me she was getting married and I remember thinking that March was such a long way away. TIME FLIES! Her fiance, Vic is already living at their home in Alpine, TX and she won't even be seeing him again until the wedding, so I know she's ready for it. She's definitely going to be spending lots of time with me until then whether she wants to or not! :) Most of her bridesmaids are getting together in a few weeks for her lingerie shower/bachelorette party at Claire's in Birmingham...I hope you're ready for that one Meredith!

I hope you have a great week...try not to have a "case of the Mondays" tomorrow (quote from "Office Space"...sorry).

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Ahh...What a Life!

I enjoy staying "on the go" on the weekends. My sisters and lots of my friends are all scattered in various places, so I always have somewhere to visit. BUT, sometimes it's fun to stay at home and do NOTHING...and I mean NOTHING. That's exactly what I decided to do this weekend.
The house in which I live is actually a 2 story house divided into 2 different apartments. I rent the downstairs. When I moved here last summer, I had no idea who would be living above me, and to tell you the truth, I was a little nervous. Think about it, I'm a teacher, and the LAST thing I wanted was for a couple of loud college guys to move in upstairs and keep me up all hours of the night.

Let's just say that I was one lucky girl...

Not only was my "upstairs neighbor" NOT a loud college student, but in fact, she too was a 25-year old teacher. WHAT A COINCIDENCE! Her name is Mandy, and she teaches Drama at Starkville High School. Needless to say, we quickly found out that we had a lot in common and we became instant friends. It's nice to be able to just run upstairs if I need something or if I just need SOMEONE to listen to me blab or vent about something. We also treasure our Sunday nights, when we always watch Desperate Housewives with our wine in hand. So fun.
Mandy also treasures sleep as much as I do, so she doesn't make fun of the fact that I go to bed extremely early during the week. She understands the term "teacher-tired."
I came home from school sick yesterday, so I knew I wouldn't do much of anything at all this weekend (and I was SO looking forward to it). Mandy decided that doing nothing today would be fun too, so we came up with a "to do" list for today:

-stay in PJ's as long as possible
-drink as much coffee as we want
-eat cinnamon rolls .. (yum yum!)
-watch old "Office" episodes

I think sometimes we're all guilty of staying on the go so much and we rarely take time to stop what we're doing and just spend time with those close to us and do NOTHING for a change! I encourage you to stop worrying about "not getting everything done," and take time out of your day to spend time with those you love! You'll be glad you did!

Have a great weekend!

Here's a picture of me and Mandy at Thanksgiving. Mandy is from Michigan, so she was unable to go home for the holiday. She celebrated Thanksgiving with my family and we were so glad to have her there!

"So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for you today." -Matthew 6:34

Friday, February 2, 2007

Everyone's Doing It! (...and I'm bored...)

I, too, am a music lover, and as you see from my playlist below, I have quite an assortment of favorite songs. George is my number one of course, but I thought I would be considerate of others and allow you to listen to other artists BESIDES George.
Scroll to the bottom if you want change the song or turn it off if for some reason you're not really in the mood. ENJOY!

*Heather, I think I even included songs that YOU might even like!