Friday, February 27, 2009

hard to believe!

My cousin Jake, (who I still sometimes refer to as my "little cousin!") turns 22 today! I really can't believe it. I still probably treat him like he's 5, but he's so good about accepting that! :)
He's a precious person and such a blessing to so many.
Happy birthday to this sweet boy. Love you, Jake!
One of my favorite pictures of all time: Me and my 2 sisters (L-R: Kristen, me, Heather) holding Jake soon after he was born. Can you tell how proud I am to have a new cousin? I remember that day!

...Ummm...and can we say TGIF?!!! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Top 3 predictions...

It'll be a close call, but after the performances last night on AI, I've chosen the 3 who I believe will make it to the top 12:1. Allison- LOVED HER. She's a shoe-in in my opinion. And she's only 16!

2. Adam- besides the fact that he's got a bit of sexiness to him, he's SO talented. I think he'll for sure make it through too.

3. Jesse- I'm not 100% about this one. The judges weren't too fond of her last night, but I really liked her.
As much as I would LOVE for Jasmine, the Mississippi girl to make it through, I'm not so sure she was strong enough last night. We'll see though!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fat Tuesday and other random happenings.

I most definitely had a FAT Tuesday. My day started with a piece of king cake followed by some chocolate chip cookies, which was again followed by MORE king cake. You may remember me giving up sweets for Lent last year. Well, as NOT FUN as that was, I'm actually doing it again this year. In all seriousness, eating fewer sweets can only improve my running, and it'll no doubt make me feel better. Will it be easy? No way. Will I become excessively moody? Most definitely. Today was my last day of sweets, and I think you would agree that I took full advantage. I had actually planned on hitting up Coldstone tonight for a REALLY big dessert, but after all the junk I've already had today, I think I'm going to wait and go after Lent is over as a celebration! So, here goes. Except for the piece(s) of cake I plan on consuming on my birthday, which happens to fall during the 40 day period (I think I should be allowed to cheat for just ONE day!), I will be without the loves of my life--cookies, cake, chocolate, candy, etc. Oh how they will be missed.
Next order of business for the evening: I can't go without pointing out the poll results, which you'll see posted on the right. I must say, I was sweating bullets in the end when I realized how close it was going to be. To all of my Seinfeld voters out there--thank you. I am very much looking forward to my friend Nelson seeing the results. I've been friends with this guy for nearly half of my life, and I'm pretty sure I've never really "beat" him at anything...(well, except for bowling---twice), so I'm very much looking forward to playing this one up! As I've said before, it's the little things in life that make me smile sometimes! :) I'm glad I'm finally able to prove that Seinfeld really IS better.
Lastly--you may have noticed the new button I added on the right. This is a really neat site that allows you to turn your blog into hardback books! I haven't spent too much time reading about it all, but from what I can tell it seems great and not so expensive. I'm not actually going to do it, as my book would consist mainly of topics such as cadbury eggs and mexican food. I think I'll hold off on owning a book. ;) I think this is ideal for bloggers who have growing families or if you're really just wanted to have a permanent documentation of your posts! Check it out! Note: when you click on the button, you'll be asked if you want to buy MY blog! Ha! You can somehow change it your url and get YOURS ordered!
Here's to hoping I'm able to survive my first no-sweets day tomorrow! :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009


YESSSS... I found one I haven't done before!
Enjoy and feel free to steal it for your blog!
1. Who was your FIRST prom date? his name is David
2. Do you still talk to your FIRST love? actually, yes. Still a good friend.
3. What was your 1st alcoholic drink? a bellini I think. You'd think I'd remember since I was like 22! LOVE bellinis.
4. What was your FIRST job? besides babysitting? Working at Aspen Bay candles in high school
5. What was your FIRST car?1988 Mazda 626. May it RIP. LOVED that car.
6. Who was the FIRST person to text you today? My friend Nelson. He's the one I'm battling with on this Friends vs. Seinfeld poll and he texts me often with updates. PLEASE VOTE SEINFELD.
7. Who is the FIRST person you thought of this morning? Henry :) He was at my parents house so I of course went over there immediately!
8. Who was your FIRST grade teacher?Mrs. K! Still one of my most favorite people in the world. We understand each other.
9. Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane? I was in Jr. High and my family went skiing in Colorado.
10. Who was your FIRST best friend & do you still talk? MSKS and ABSOLUTELY! We've known each other since we were 2 and we're still super tight. Ironically, her mom is "Mrs. K," my first grade teacher.
11. Where was your FIRST sleep over? I'm quite confident that this award will also go to MSKS.
12. Who was the FIRST person you talked to today?Heather
13. Whose wedding were you in the FIRST time? I was the maid of honor in Kristen's wedding, and it was actually the first time I've ever been in a wedding. But, I've been in like 7 since then.
14. What was the FIRST thing you did this morning? Take Max out.
15. What was the FIRST concert you ever went to? Garth Brooks
16. FIRST tattoo?ummm... none
17. First piercing?ears. I was like 5.
18. First foreign country you've been to? I always say I've never been out of the country, but I actually DID visit Mexico on my senior cruise!
19. FIRST movie you remember seeing?I have no recollection of this event.
20. When was your FIRST detention?oh I NEVER got in trouble. I'm sure I would have cried my way out if
21. What was the first state you lived in? Mississippi...the first and only!
22. Who was your FIRST roommate?Alexa! A dear high school friend. We lived together our freshman year and I'm looking forward to being a bridesmaid in her wedding this December! :)
23. If you had one wish what would it be? to retire
24. What is something you would learn if you had the chance? to dance. Only, I don't think that's something I could learn "if I had the chance." I'm pretty sure coordination is required in order for this to happen. I have none of that.
25. Who was your first kiss? See #2.
I've somewhat recovered from my week last week, and hoping this one will be better! Happy Monday (almost) to you!

Friday, February 20, 2009

what a week. the end of the day today (photo taken by a fellow teacher friend).
Need I say more about the week I've had??
And I still have 3 weeks before Spring Break? Please tell me that's a joke.
Thank goodness for the weekends! :)


Help solve the never-ending argument between me and a friend ONCE AND FOR ALL! Vote which TV show you think is better: "Seinfeld" or "Friends." To me, it's a no brainer, but apparently there ARE some people out there who disagree! :)

I want your input (but PLEASE vote wisely!) :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

?? the new blog layout too much or do you like it? Comments welcome, but don't be too harsh--I'm very sensitive and take my blog designs very seriously. ;)

uh oh...

THEY'RE BAAAAAAACK...............

Need I say more?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

a day in the life of a 2nd grade teacher...

Take a look...
I feel such sympathy for this lovely woman because this is EXACTLY WHAT I FELT LIKE TODAY. Why you ask? Allow me to explain.
1. It's been raining all day, which:
a). always causes the kids to be extra wild. ALWAYS.
b). means that there's no outside play time. It's painful for teachers AND students to stay cooped (or is it couped??) up inside all day.
2. My assistant wasn't at school. I sometimes forget how nice it is to have an extra hand in the room with 26 2nd graders. She does little things like: collect lunch money, take them to the restroom and special classes, assist with discipline etc. She's also there when I need to leave the room for a minute to use the restroom myself or whatever. I am lucky to have her and when she's not there, SHE'S MISSED!
3. We had lunch at an earlier time today, which:
a). meant the afternoon seemed longer
b). was a change in our normal schedule. Anything out of the routine causes them to go nuts.
4. I did not have a break today. Normally my kids have music class on Tuesdays, but if you refer back to #3, you'll remember that our lunch was earlier, therefore causing music to be missed. Huge bummer for the teacher. My kids did go to P.E., but that small amount of free time I had was spent in a parent/teacher conference.
Now, don't get me wrong--today couldn't be compared to Christmas party day, Halloween, or Valentine's Day. The difference is--YOU'RE PREPARED FOR THOSE DAYS! You know going into those days that they're going to be out of the norm and crazy. Days like today are unpredictable and therefore they seem more unbearable.
Needless to say, I was ready to pull my hair out at 3:30. I did however, manage to complete my 5 mile run (in the rain nonetheless), which made me feel better. Running always helps my stress level a bit, so it was thoroughly enjoyed, even though I looked like an idiot.
As for the rest of my evening? After my wet, cold run, I soaked in a hot bath, ate a little pasta and I plan on watching American Idol and maybe sipping on a glass of red wine.
After all, I think I deserve it... don't you? =)
Here's to hoping for a happy Wednesday (to you too)!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

ONE more thing...

I have already had several people express interest in sponsoring me in the 1/2 marathon. As I mentioned before, I'll be HAPPY to mail all of the info you need. All you need to do is email me at and include your address. ALSO, I just included a link to the right to make donating easier for you! Just click there and you'll be asked to type in the partcipant's name, where you'll obviously type "Laura Tomlinson." Then, you'll be able to make your donation! Remember that ALL of the money you donate will go towards the LLS!

Valentine's Day and George Strait (??)

Even though I'm not a huge fan of the holiday of love, I felt the need to show off some pictures of me with 2 of my dearest "teacher friends," Heather and Hope. These were taken at school Friday (aka one of the craziest days of the entire year)!
Take a look at my scrapblog, that is, if you can get past all of the hearts.
I look for any excuse I can to use scrapblog. :)

I had a lovely weekend with Claire. We saw "He's Just Not That Into You," which I LOVED, and we ate lots and LOTS of chocolate. ;)

I hope your day was great and spent with the one(s) you love!

I leave you with this (stolen from here):

You Must pick one singer/artist and use only one song title to answer each question!!!

Pick a band/artist: George Strait

1. Are you a male or female: GONE AS A GIRL CAN GET

2. Describe yourself: LIVING AND LIVING WELL

3. How do you feel about yourself: ALWAYS NEVER THE SAME

4. Describe your ex boyfriend/girlfriend: FOOLHEARTED MEMORY

5. Describe your current boy/girl situation: LOVESICK BLUES

6. Describe your current location: COW TOWN

7. Describe where you want to be: FLY ME TO THE MOON

8. Your best friend is: THE REAL THING

9. Your favorite color is: BABY BLUE


11. What’s the weather like: BLUE CLEAR SKY

12. If your life was a television show what would it be called? LOVER IN DISGUISE

13. What is life to you: MY LIFE'S BEEN GRAND

14. What is the best advice you have to give: ONE STEP AT A TIME

15. If you could change your name what would you change it to: ADALIDE

Friday, February 13, 2009

check it out...

The Polka Dots and Curly Q's blog has been updated! Click here to see what it's all about!
Happy Valentine's Day weekend!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

proudly supporting the LLS.

As you well know, I will soon be participating in the Country Music 1/2 Marathon in Nashville. I've been training for approximately 6 weeks already and I'm slowly making my way towards the 13.1 required miles. I have set a goal for myself to cross the finish line and I'm looking forward to the sense of accomplishment it will bring! :)
I'm also thrilled to know that my running will allow me to raise money to help cure blood cancers: leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. I'm asking my friends and family to help me support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's lifesaving cancer research. Your donation will help improve the lives of more than 894,000 Americans battling blood cancer. If you are interested in financially supporting this cause in any way, please email me at and include your address. I have all of the information that you need and I can happily mail it to you. Even if you're a little unsure about what this entails, I can still mail you the information to help with your decision. If you're unable to support financially, I ask that you support prayerfully. Thanks for taking the time to read.
Tomorrow is Friday (THANK GOODNESS), and I'm heading the the 'Ham after school to spend the weekend with one of my dearest. I can think of no better person to spend Valentine's Day with! :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

a long time coming...

Well, I did it. After seeing MSKS's list of her top 20 favorite songs of all time and feeling the pressure from her to create my own, I've finally done it. Not only was I told that creating this list was a MUST, but I was also told that they had to be in number order. Have you ever thought about it? I know a bazillion songs and have HUNDREDS of favorites. Plus, I like different genres of music, which only made choosing 20 favorites more difficult. I must say though, after looking at my list, I think I did pretty dang good. Sure, I'm a country music fanatic, but look closely and you'll see that I didn't really even choose too many country tunes for my list. To me, the songs I chose are classics---songs that will never get old to me.
I tried to really look at the lyrics to songs before choosing them for my list.
LET ME ASSURE YOU-doing this is much harder than you think!
OK (deep breath), here you go. My top 20 favorite songs of all time:

20. Hard to Say I’m Sorry (Chicago):
What can I say? I'm a sucker for the sappy stuff. I'm also a big fan of Chicago, proudly owning their 2 disk Greatest Hits album.

19. Just Called to Say I Love you (Stevie Wonder):
Stevie Wonder is fantastic. To me, this is a classic and one of which I will never get tired. I'm looking forward to the day that someone "just calls to say he loves me."

18. Just the Way You Are (Diana Krall)
There are many versions to this song. It's no secret that I'm a Billy Joel fan, and he'll make his appearance on this list shortly. I particularly like Diana Krall's version of this song best. She has a very soothing voice and she sings it fantastically.

17. Be Still, My Soul(Ginny Owens)
During the toughest times in my life, these lyrics have been an encouragement to me. It's a soft, sweet song that always comforts me. Sometimes the only words you need to hear are: "Be still, my soul, the Lord is on your side.." Never heard it? Download it. You won't regret. It's a great song, and Ginny Owens is amazing.

16. These are the Days (Jamie Cullum)
This is just a "fun" song that reminds me of summer ("...give me the taste, give me the joy of summer wine..."). Hearing this song always makes me smile. It's been a favorite since the first time I heard it.

15. At Last (Chill out, Etta, I like your version better).
What female DOESN'T like this one? Not much to say about it other than I LOVE it.

14. Over the Rainbow (Eva Cassidy)
There are oh so many versions of this song, so choosing a favorite version is tough. Eva stole my heart with her version. I was introduced to this artist by Claire, and my life has been changed since. I LOVE HER.

13. Settlin' (Sugarland)
You didn't actually think my top 20 would exclude Sugarland did you? My friend Heather coined this as my theme song, and I couldn't agree more. I turn it up everytime I hear it. I could put it on repeat and never get tired of it. Sing it, Jennifer.

12. New York State of Mind (Billy Joel)
I think I became instantly obsessed with this song. Billy Joel is a classic, and, in my opinion, it doensn't get much better than this guy.

11. I Know You By Heart (Eva Cassidy)
My friend Eva deservingly made my list twice. This song makes me want to lay in a hammock with a glass of wine. I'm not really sure why. I guess it just relaxes me that much. :) Wow. I love this song.


10. Tiny Dancer (Elton John)
Who doesn't love this one? As MSKS stated, "Elton John is a musical icon." I couldn't agree more. I saw him in concert with my buddy, Billy Joel, and the 2 of them together can put on quite an entertaining show to say least. I loved everything about it.

9. Fly (Sara Groves)
Sara Groves has one of the purest voices of anybody I've ever heard. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that if I could have anybody's voice, I would choose hers. It's THAT good. And this song? You'll love it.

8. Sweet Caroline (Neil Diamond)
While I may not love Neil as much as Mere, "Sweet Caroline" has always been a favorite. It was a no brainer that this one was going on my list. In fact, this song makes me wish my name was Caroline.

7. Moon River (Peter Mayer)
This was actually a favorite that MSKS and I share. LOVE LOVE LOVE it.

6.Sweet Baby James (James Taylor of course)
It's just another one of those songs I want to keep on "repeat" all of the time. It just makes you feel good. James Taylor is another artist who will never get old to me.

5. Heavenly Day (Patty Griffin)
There was no doubt that this one would be in the top 5. Take time to listen to the lyrics. I'm listening to it right now actually. Download it for your ITunes NOW.

4. He’s Always been Faithful (Sara Groves)
Congrats, Sara, for also making my list twice. The very first few lines of this song hit me: "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. All I have need of, His hand will provide, He's always been faithful to me." It's a perfect song, and will hopefully be sung in my wedding one day.

3. Amarillo (George Strait)
Stop sweating, Candy, George made the list. :) Finding a favorite song of George's is tough, but in my opinion THIS is the best one. This is the one that Candy and I look forward to hearing the most at his concerts (all 5 that we've attended together). This is one sexy guy and when he sings THIS song? You wouldn't even believe it.

2. Piano Man (Billy Joel)
The all time best Billy Joel song. Period. I love everything about this song. I've heard it approximately 2,349,569 times and never get tired of it.


1. What a Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)
This is the simplest, but best song ever written. It's not a long song, but to me, it's a simple reminder that even in the very WORST times, LIFE REALLY IS GOOD! It IS a wonderful world!
I just love it.

Wow. I did it. I really did it. This is something that has literally taken me WEEKS to do. Don't laugh at me until you actually try to come up with YOUR top 20 favorite songs!
And I'm going to tell you the same thing MSKS told me: don't give yourself a deadline on creating your list. Take your time, and share it when you're ready! :)
Good luck! I can't wait to read YOURS!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Oh, Henry.

First of all, can we PLEASE discuss this beautiful weather? The past few days have been nothing less than heavenly to me. It totally makes me ready for spring, which will then make me even MORE ready for summer. I of course will get tired of the heat of summer and will be again craving the cold. It's a never ending cycle to me. Am I ever really satisfied? Sometimes I do wonder.
Moving on--I opted to go out of town this weekend rather than staying here to watch the fantabulous basketball game Saturday. GO DAWGS! I hated to miss it, but I watched/listened to it, and was totally in to every second of it. Couldn't have been more proud to be a bulldog yesterday.
Max and I headed to Hattiesburg Friday to visit the sis, b.i.l., and Sophie. Other than this nasty cold I can't seem to shake, good times were had by all. I was able to complete my scheduled run for the weekend, so I'm hoping I'm back on track now after being sick.
Saturday, Heather and I decided that it had been long enough since we'd seen Henry (an entire MONTH), so she and I headed to Clinton for a few hours.
He turns more and more into a little boy every time I see him. He doesn't like to give me kisses as much as he used to, but there's no doubt that he still loves his LaLa!
He really is so funny. I told Kristen yesterday that I really do wish that she had the time (and know-how! HA!) to blog. She would really have funny stories to write about. I'm sure you'd much rather read it from the mom than the obsessed aunt anyway, but alas, there will be no Fyke Family Blog anytime in the near future. Bummer.
Here are some new ones of the wild man.
Heather and I took him some Valentine's happies. Kristen is one of those mothers who gives her child grapes and organic veggie crisps as "treats," so I'm pretty sure it made her cringe to watch him eat this big sugar-coated marshmallow. Henry loved everything about it though. He's definitely related to me!

Kristen thought Henry needed some cute rainboots (sorry I didn't take a picture of the actual boot! THEY'RE SO CUTE)! So while we were at Target, she found some cute cow boots and then of course HAD to also buy the matching rain jacket. He loved it! Kristen says he won't take the boots off now. He probably insist on wearing them to school everyday this week. Gotta love him.

Sure I look like complete POO in this pic., but I have to take advantage of any photo op I have with my buddy, as they are so far and few between. I think he looks like a peach pie in this one. I love him.

And so, tomorrow is the start of Valentine's "week" at school. I'm personally not a big fan of the holiday for, well, obvious reasons, but it's also because it's another excuse my students have to eat candy. Don't you remember what it was like when you were in elementary? It was SUCH a big deal to pass out valentines to your friends. The kids will probably be talking about it all week, even though our party isn't going to be until the very END of the day on Friday. My plan: sugar them up and send them home! :)

Here's to hoping I survive the week!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

...and more...

Here are some recent headers I've made (besides the ones you've already seen):

Anybody else want one? =)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

a blah blah BLAH day.

This is what I feel (and look) like today.
I was home sick yesterday with a sore throat, and while I feel much better today, I most definitely could have stayed home today and rested instead of coming back to work. I have been dragging ALL DAY. The medicine I took last night is STILL making me feel hungover. Caffeine hasn't even seemed to help. On top of that, I had to skip my 5 mile run yesterday and it doesn't look as though I'll be making the 4 mile run on today's schedule either. All I can say is "blah."

Have you ever had one of those days when you just want to go to bed and wake up to a NEW DAY? That's me right now. Hurry up Thursday--or better yet, HURRY UP FRIDAY.

Monday, February 2, 2009

a sweet little girl, my new toy, and a conversation with my best buddy...

I finally got to meet sweet Candice Alford! They were in town this past weekend, so I was able to meet up with Matthew, Sarah, and Candice at the basketball game Saturday (...and no, I don't want to talk about the game). That precious child sat perfectly still in my lap for almost half of the game. She is an absolute DOLL, and I have totally got to go to Hammond to visit those sweet friends. I wish we'd been able to capture a picture of Candice actually LOOKING at the camera, but she was really just not interested. She's an angel---just take my word for it.So, I guess you're wondering what my "new toy" is. Allow me to share.
Mom and Dad gave me an early birthday present (really early). I've been wanting a pedometer to use while I train for the half marathon, so the wonderful parents got one for me! It keeps up with my time, distance, and calories burned. It's a handy dandy little gadget, and while it may be nerdy to use, I am enjoying it and don't care what anybody thinks. =)
I'm pretty sure I've blogged about all of my running gadgets, but just in case you missed a post or two, allow me to review the gadgets and their importance:
1. IPod- duh. That's a no brainer. I have to have my music so I can jam to my tunes while I run.
2. cell phone- this is for security reasons. I promise. I'm quite the clutz, and, well, I never really know when I might fall and need to call someone to come get me. So, if you see the cell phone in my hand, at least you know that it's there for that very reason. You will not see me talking and running at the same time. I would most definitely fall.
3. MACE- this is obviously for protection. I carry this in my hand in case someone thinks they can take me down. Or if a dog tries to bite me.
4. My new pedometer. (reason explained above)
Now, I'm sure you're thinking, "how does she run with all of that?" Once again, allow me to explain: IPod is on my arm, cell phone is in my right hand, Mace is in my left hand (I have to have it easily accessible, right?), and my pedometer conveniently clips on to my pants. See?
Here's to hoping that all of my gadgets don't distract me and cause me to REALLY bust it (in which case, I would need my cell phone of course).
Training is going well. I've run 7 miles for the past few Saturdays and it's gotten easier each time. This Saturday I have an 8 mile run, which will be the most I've run yet. I'm kind of excited about it, which I guess is kinda weird.

Now...moving on to my final topic of the evening--Henry. I miss this little guy, as it's been several weeks since I've seen him. He's not one to usually take interest in phone conversations. He has other things to do of course. A few days ago, though, I was talking to Kristen, and I like every other day, I asked her if Henry would talk to me. Usually, she says, "Henry, it's LaLa, do you want to say hey?" His usual response: "nope." I don't take it personally. :) This particular time, he took the phone from Kristen and talked to me for what was definitely the longest phone conversation I've had with him. Here's the gist of our conversation:
H: "hey LaLa"
me: "hey Buddy!"
H: "you comin' to my house?"
me (heartbroken already): "I'm not today, but I'm coming soon. I promise"
H: "you come see my swingset? You come my house?"
me: "soon, buddy. I PROMISE."
H: "I miss you"
me (tears are streaming down my face at this point. I wanted to get in my car that very moment): "I miss you too. Be sweet. I love you."
H: "love you too"
(more was said, of course, but that was no doubt the highlight).
Kristen called me the next day and said that after he got off the phone he asked her if I was coming tomorrow, and when she replied "no," he said "she coming Monday?"
What can I say? The child loves me. =)

Here's a new favorite picture of mine, obviously taken at Christmas. My parents have a train that goes around the tree and Henry is totally obsessed. He will sit like this in front of the tree forever just watching the train go around and around.

Oh how I love that child.