Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sweet Tea. A Toddler's Tale.

Once upon a time there was a tiny little girl.

She was very, very adorable.

She traveled from a faraway land called North Carolina to visit her grandmother on her birthday.

She thought a hug might be in order.

After much hugging and baby-showering and cake-eating, and also picking up and putting down of small children (on the part of the bee-yu-tiful grandmother), this tiny little girl decided she was thirsty.

She therefore did the only logical thing, if you are too young to have any cotton-pickin' sense that is.  

She marched her tiny, little, two-year-old/size 2T self into the kitchen.

...and made a terrible, dare I say, turrible mess.

It turns out that just because you're old enough to decide you need some sweet tea does not, in fact, make you capable of pulling a full gallon pitcher from the top shelf of the refrigerator and pouring yourself a glass.

Shall we just say there was much "oh-no-ing" and stripping of the clothes and, oh yeah, a good bit of swimming going on in the kitchen.  

Babygirl is FAST when she wants something.

Although this delightful bonding experience occurred weeks & weeks ago, I have today spent another afternoon mopping and scrubbing and attempting to control the ants.     (Zee ants...they multiply.)


...and they lived happily, if perchance exhaustedly ever after.


p.s.  There are no photos of the aforementioned event because Y'all.  I just didn't have the heart for it.  

p.s.s.  Thanks Katie for the fun picture at the top.  It's a favorite of mine :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


My big little brother.  

My sweet babygirl.  

That right there?  Makes my heart all kinds of happy.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

This on Tuesday

This is my view each morning when I awake.

Specifically, on rainy days.  when the world is all green.

And this would be what I did yesterday.  

Photos are here due to popular demand.  You know who you are.

(Hi Jana!)

I understand I look goofy and tired but it's only because I am goofy and was feeling tired. 

(I look like I could smack someone, ha!)

But I do like the haircut.  I think it looks better in real life but that's probably just denial talking.

Hi Denial!!

Moving on...

This is my current decorating dilemma.

Remember how the family redid my room for my birthday?  I'm loving it.  A lot.  However, I don't know if you can tell, but the top of that bookcase is a little on the bare side.  I feel like it needs a little something but I can't decide what.  Flowers maybe?  I dunno.

Finally, there would be this.  

Because I love her and because I'm feeling poorly and she makes me happy.

If ya ask me, she's a fine example of true friendship and also a short attention span.  with a touch of bossiness thrown in for flavor.

I'm thinking we could all learn a little something from little girls and their puppies.

See ya!

p.s.  Did y'all see what I did there?  I ditched the "happy-day" sign-off that I usually do and mixed it up a little.  I've been feeling a bit locked in and that's just not cool. 

You can depend on us here at AB!Inc. to keep things fresh and what have ya.

But that doesn't mean I'm not hoping you have a very happy Tuesday ;)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mr. Snuggles

This baby boy is so very yummy.

It appears he now prefers snuggles to speed-climbing up the steps or smacking his sister in the head...

...or perhaps even hollering his head off :)

However, if I had to guess I would say his favorite activity at this time would be picking up edible objects with his fingers and consuming them at a shockingly rapid pace.

Baby Boy's got skillz.

Happy Weekending :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Shoo Fly I'm Trying to Eat

I've been saying it since she was tiny, but every time I spend time with Audrey I am reminded yet again that this little girl is FUNNY.  Seriously, she makes me laugh more often than most of the grown-ups I know, and I promise you it isn't just because she's my girl.  

I don't think.

Work with me here...

Today I'm jotting down a couple of things I don't want to forget.  My head is spinning at how fast she is growing and changing, and I can't bear to think of forgetting the sweet stuff :)

Shortly after her arrival the other day we went through the potentially frustrating process of figuring out what in tarnation she was trying to ask me for...and finally understood she was in dire need of a Popsicle.  What threw me off is how she kept looking in the butter cubby in the fridge for this frozen treat.  (sigh)  

Once she was tucked on the chair I pulled out the camera and started snapping indiscriminately.  (I have to take many pictures so that hopefully I can get two printable ones.  In case you didn't know yet, photography is not a talent I current possess.)  Anyway, after the flash went off in her face a few (dozen) times she very casually bats her hand at me and says Shoo fly don't bother me.  

No pauses, no eye contact...just flat out go away.  I looked at her like Did she really just say that to me?  So I asked her.  And she repeated herself.  

No more pictures please.

Her two favorite responses to any question asked of her are "YE-ah!" - said with great enthusiasm - and "No-I-said-no."   The latter is hysterical.  She says it completely monotone and without any type of eye contact or engagement.  And the phrase is presented as one bored, long, word.  I asked her mom about it and she confirmed that she tells Audrey "I said no."  


It appears Audrey might at times misplace her listening cap.

Either way, her bored response to my riveting questions never. gets. old.

Although I suppose it could once she figures out she sounds like a borderline-rude hooligan, ha :)

(Confession:  I may or may not have hurled random questions at her for an undetermined period of time just to get the aforementioned response.  Not exaggerating... Fun every. single. time.)


Unfortunately that's all I can share right now as I'm still in the midst of my the-babies-were-here recuperative period and have to get to work in a bit... I hope y'all are having a nice day!

Happy Thursday :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

At Least We Were Dressed Up


Behold, the family.

circa 2009

This is the first photo of all of us with my dad in what seems like a zillion years.

Wait.  It has been a zillion years.

Dad would be the man in the (middle-ish) back with the glasses.  Thaat's right.  We have an excellent shot of Dad's glasses.  He's the dude standing next to my brother, who appears quite riveted by the back of Dad's head. 

We're easily distracted and moderately goofy, my familia.

We took several different pix that night, and hard as it is to believe, this one is actually the best since most of us were looking in the general vicinity of the camera.  I call that success with a capital Success.

Thanks, Kari & Drew, for rehearsing your wedding and feeding us dinner so we could capture this rare, and dare I say award-worthy photo.

Happy Wednesday :)

p.s.  Hi Randy!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Joy's a Choice. I Choose it.

I immediately loved Sara when I landed on her blog a year or so ago.  We've never met, and never will meet this side of Heaven, and I've only "spoken" to her a handful of times via blog commenting...but I love her :)  

The first time I visited her bloggy home I was smitten by her humor and her focused perspective.  She is exhibit A that we are not defined by our circumstances, but by our reactions to them.  Sara has been in pain for so long, and confined inside the walls of her home for so long, that she dreams of the yummy scent of freshly cut grass with the wind in her face.

Not so terribly long ago she had a body that was healthy and strong.  She lived a busy life with friends and work and errands and dinners and singing...and then lost it all bit by precious bit.  

What makes Sara remarkable to me, though, isn't what she has lost or the angst that could have followed, but the beautiful life she has chosen to live in spite of it.  Her mantra, Choose Joy speaks to my heart all the way to the core, and as soon as I found her I knew I'd found a kindred spirit. 

Sara's dying this week.  Any time now she will be with Jesus and completely free of pain and loss.  

Things are looking up for her!

Yet there are many of us who are mourning the loss of her lovely encouragement and delicious sense of humor. 

I'm just gonna say it.  I'm going to miss her.

Last night I discovered this post she wrote for (in)Courage back in March.  Please, please take two minutes and read it.  It really is one of the loveliest things I've read online, and how beautiful it was to read she finishes so well.

In honor of making a choice, Sara, I am spending these days plopped in the floor with my grandchildren, right in the midst of the mess and the clutter...and delighting in the smell of their hair, and the banana smashed under his nose, and the hair falling in her eyes.  As I type Audrey is playing in the rain in her socks and I'm smiling.  I'm ignoring all the stuff that doesn't matter and just breathing. them. in.

Today I'm walking to the mailbox in the rain, and I'm skipping the umbrella.  

As a matter of fact, I think I might just trot down the street until I get that stitch in my side that I dislike but am oh-so-very fortunate to suffer ;)

Thank you, gitzengirl, for encouraging me to love Jesus better and to love people better...and to love my very own life better.

Godspeed, sweet girl!

Monday, September 19, 2011

On Grapes and World Peace

So I've been busy this weekend doing all manner of fun stuff, and at this very moment I have a tiny one shaking a Tylenol bottle (childproof cap!) and perhaps needing a diaper change, and A and I are enjoying a bit of Kipper.  We've only just met, but I'm really diggin' his accent, ha!   

Anyway, I thought I'd share a couple of observations that I have made while immersing myself in the full-time care and feeding of the babes.  These would be in no particular order, because Time?  I'm short on it...

1.  There's seriously no better self-esteem-booster than a two-year-old.  "Naynay you look so pretty!"  Before the shower?  Delightful.

2.  Even after consuming a shocking amount of food, a 10-month-old still needs his bottle.  Can't explain the cranky?  Hellloooo!

3.  Buzz = at least an hour to do the dishes.

4.  If you want to ensure you baby sleeps through the night just tell Naynay he doesn't, hehe.

5.  Overnight potty control goes right. out. the. window when it comes to Naynay's new sheets :)

6.  The contents of a baby boy's diaper can vary as many times as it needs to be changed.  Don't believe me?  Just give him a few beets and see what happens.

7.  The theme song from Backyardigans is quite catchy and tends to stick.  I believe it will. never. die.   

YOUR backyard friends, the backYARDigans...

Like seriously.  NEVER.

8.  A baby not waking during the night can disturb your sleep as much as a wakeful tot.

9.  There is nothing more fun that maneuvering around the obstacles placed in the path of a baby determined to climb the steps...or the little girl wishing to climb the outside of said steps.  Nothing. more. fun.

10.  I'm not kidding when I say a broad smile peeking around a paci could bring on world peace.   

11.  I'm pretty sure Audrey just might be my very best friend.

and finally, 

12.  Grapes go with everything.

Happy Monday!

p.s.  Photo by their mama.  Thanks Kate!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Because Broccoli Does a Body Good

Well peeps, I'm thinking today is a fine day indeed to share another recipe favorite with ya.  

I had this earlier in the summer before we were completely exhausted from all The Hot, and the sweet memory lingered long after that lovely day at the pool.  In fact, I enjoyed it so much I begged Bethany for the recipe so I could take it to the beach with us.  

I am an avid fan of dishes that I can eat for days and days on end, and this dish is perfect because a) it's yummy and holds up well, and b) it makes A TON.

Now I'm just going to confess right now that this might be my laziest post yet, seeing as how sweet Bethany sent me the specifics via Facebook and I went to all the effort of cutting...and then pasting, the following

because I love ya so much.

and because I want you to enjoy all the goodness that broccoli has to offer.

and because this salad is many different kinds of TASTY.

Bethany calls this Oriental Slaw Salad, 
but I have very cleverly proclaimed it Broccoli Salad.

Because I'm clever. 

(not to imply in any way that Bethany is not clever.)

(I'm just sayin.")

Broccoli Salad

1 pkg. fresh broccoli florets
1 pkg. broccoli slaw mix
2 bunches green onions diced
1 C slivered almonds
1 C sunflower seeds
3 pkg. chicken flavored ramen noodles

Layer the first 5 ingredients in a big bowl in the order listed. Do not mix. Break up the uncooked ramen noodles and sprinkle on top of other ingredients.

Mix together the following ingredients in a smaller bowl for the dressing:

1 1/2 C vegetable oil
3/4 C sugar
1/2 C white vinegar
3 seasoning packets from the ramen noodle packages

Pour dressing over noodles and vegetables. Let sit for 20 minutes without stirring. Then mix together.

Word on the street is you can make it early in the day and keep stirring it to marinade well or prepare it closer to serving time (1-2 hrs) so the noodles stay crunchy.  Donna and I liked it as the noodles grew softer, and it really was tasty for pretty much our whole time at the beach. 

I hope y'all have a great day :)

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Successful Surgeries and Joy in the Puttering

This would be what I have not been doing...


I'm thinking when I disappear for more than a day or so you can pretty much bet there have been plenty of BIG DOIN'S in my neighborhood.  When things are all peaceful-like and I'm viewing many episodes of Netflix-y goodness you hear from me regularly.  

However, when I have many errands that cannot be postponed and all-day-long events at church and surgeries of an emergent nature that involve my sweet Shayne, I tend to slack off on the blogging.  

This is primarily due to the fact that there are only so many hours in the day and I merely have two hands and it is very difficult to putter while blogging.  and also I get tired. 

All that to say Sorry Y'all! for seeming a little all-over-the-place regarding my bloggy timing.  I have slight OCD tendencies and prefer to be consistent, but let's face it.  I'm probably not so much.

I believe I'll save all the myriad of minutia regarding said events for another day, but suffice it to say, since we last visited I have had Much Action and ZERO staring at the wall.  

(I suppose this would be what is known as an inside joke.  Sorry 'bout that...let's just say "staring at the wall" is what I do when fatigued and a little, shall we say - overdone.)

(It is also how I brag to my friends with all the husband-y/children-at-home-y responsibilities.)

 (I cannot stop with the parenthetical usage today!  or slapping a "Y" at the end of my nouns, rendering them adjectives!)

Anyhoo, this blog post is coming to you straight from my sister's couch while Shayney sleeps in all his painkiller-induced glory.  

Have I mentioned this morning how much I LOVE MY FAMILY?  It can be exhausting and messy, and occasionally sometimes often results in drooling on a sister's sofa and wearing yesterday's mediocre fashion choices.  

But I'm not gonna lie.  I never feel more at peace than when I'm schlepping around All a up, or picking up, or fetching something for someone I love.   

Unless it would be when I'm actually squeezing their necks...or perhaps when a certain nephew is saying "Love ya, Aunt Nae."

A Thousand Gifts #745-763)

successful surgeries and reassuring hugs and good reports from the people who should know

all the joy in the puttering

visits with people long unseen...and all the hugs! and the smiles! and the flat-out pleasure of seeing so very many old friends

singing praises with hundreds of women

receiving a fresh Word

time set apart...a whole day without the phone, or the laptop, or pandora, or television

crisp evenings and sudden downpours

sticking with it

patting her belly and baby boy heartbeats 

getting to know her friends and reveling in the enthusiasm this generation has for HIM...and marveling at their maturity

fresh appreciation for the abundance of mercy and grace needed - and granted - as a result of my lack of maturity at their age

knowing that I know, that I KNOW that He will provide....and wondering how

my mom, and enjoying her good news

His completely dependable, and satisfying...and sufficient strength

Happy Monday!