Monday, February 17, 2014

Valentine's Day

Last Friday was one of the best Valentine's Day I've ever had because of my littlest valentine and the happiness he brings me everyday!  He loves parties and holidays so he was super pumped Friday morning!  He was even excited to wear his Valentine shirt I found at Gymboree! 
He was excited to get to school to give his teachers their Valentines!  I got both of his teachers a box of candy. He thought he was pretty cool bringing gifts! Haha!
I really wanted to make homemade Valentines this year, but after spending a week working on over 100 items for consignment, my Dad's birthday gift (a scrapbook of his football season), and work, Michael finally convinced me something had to give. Nicholas was happy with his "store bought" Spider-man valentines and that is what really matters!  (More on this subject on my next working mom post coming this week!)

When we got home, Michael surprised me with flowers, crab and lobster that he was going to cook for me, and a bottle of champagne! Clearly he knows me well! :-)
We ended up spending the evening cooking together, having a dance party with our little valentine and just enjoying being together. While dancing around the kitchen, Nicholas asked me to "take my pishure Mommy!" Haha! 
We had a wonderful day. Valentine's is a day I used to hate and it is definitely not one of my favorites, but it certainly was a great day with two great Valentines that I love more than anything!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Day With Mickey

Today was a special day out for Nicholas.  A few months ago my cousin Katie invited us to join her and my other cousin Lindsey at Disney Live, Mickey's Music Festival.  It was such a fun afternoon!  As you know, Nicholas LOVES anything Disney and he loves music, so this was a win win for us.  We had awesome seats too front and center!  When we first got there Nicholas got a snow cone, which he sure did seem to enjoy! Ha!
Maybe this wasn't our best idea...
 The cutest kid in the area today!
 He wanted to bring his ears from Disney and Lindsey and Katie bought him a new Disney sword, which he loved!  Light up sword, what's not to love?
 My favorite of course is the Little Mermaid!  This was the Kiss The Girl part.  Probably my favorite part of the movie.
 The encore featured everyone, Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Genie, Aladdin, Jasmine, Buzz, Woody, Jesse, Ariel, Eric, and Sebastian.  It was so cute!

Thanks Katie for inviting us!  We had a great time and it is always fun to see Nicholas have a fun time!  Now I have Disney planning fever like crazy!  We are a little less than a year from going back with my mom, so maybe I should get started planning...

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Snow Day, Fun Day

This week we were pleasantly surprised by a "significant snowfall" as the weatherman kept calling it. We went to work on Tuesday with about 1/2" on the ground at our house in north Georgia, and by the time I got to work in Chattanooga (12 miles away!) the ground was completely dry.  This is what I left behind in GA that morning (this was the beginning. There was a lot more by the time I left). 
 Apparently my house was right on the weather line that day. Throughout the day Tuesday we were hearing more about snow for Wednesday into Thursday. Wednesday morning I woke up to this...

Given the forecast and the fact my area doesn't exactly handle ice and snow on the roads well, I made the decision for a snow day.  The roads were worse than they look and very slick and icy. By lunchtime this was the view. 

By late afternoon the roads were good again and we ran out to do a couple of errands in Michael's 4-wheel drive truck when he got home. By 6:30 this was my view on the secondary road by my subdivision. Nasty and scary!

Nicholas and I spent the entire day as couch potatoes. I had a head cold and he was just lazy. We watched the Olympics and I am pretty sure by bedtime I became one with my recliner. Nicholas even fell asleep on me around 9:30 while watching figure skating! I got up to put him to bed and he just fell over asleep! Poor kid! Our lazy day caught up with him! 

We ended up having 8" of snow by Thursday morning!  
For the third time in eight years, my office closed due to the weather, as did Michael's, so we had an official snow day fun day! 
 My tree was my favorite thing in my yard.  Gorgeous!
 My car didn't move for 48 hours so this is what 24 hours of snow will do!  Probably more than 8" there because Michael's car had less and it only sat for 12 hours at this point.

Nicholas wanted to build a snowman and have a snowball fight, so that is just what we did for about 2 hours. Luckily, the temperature was close to 40 by this point so we had a blast just playing without feeling like we were freezing to death! 
 Nicholas was obsessed with snowball fights.  He was smart and hid in his clubhouse!
 And then he did this... Haha!
 My child is 41" tall and it came all the way to his knees!
 Family Snowball fight!

 Even Mommy made a snow angel!
 We had a 6 ft tall snowman who changed identities several times throughout the day.  1st he was Captain Snowbeard...
 Then Nicholas wanted him to have my scarf and he was frosty...
 Eventually Nicholas joined the rest of the kids on our block and had a snowball fight.  He was the youngest, but he holds his own with them!
 By 3:00 this was our fort and snowman.  They melted a lot but actually there is still a significant amount of them still there today, 48 hours later! (this was Thursday afternoon)

Truly one of the most fun and best days we have had in a long time!  It was fun to play together in the snow and to just have a couple of lazy days.  By dinner time the roads were in pretty good condition, so I was able to keeps plan to attend a consignment presale!  I didn't find much, but as soon as I got home I went back to being one with my recliner. I think God knew that Nicholas and I needed a couple of days like that! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Weekend Wrap Up

Friday night we went out to eat with Michael's grandfather. He is 80 and was sick at Christmas, so we missed seeing him then. Nicholas was excited to spend some time with him. This was the first time he has realized that they all have the same middle name and it seriously made this kid's day!  He kept saying "we ALL have the same Allen name!" Haha!
It was so good to see him and spend some much needed time with him. 

Saturday was a crazy busy day. I had several errands to run, with the wild man preschooler. While we were out I ran in Hobby Lobby because I have been stalking a canvas for the playroom for 3 weeks. It was finally 50% off, so it is now mine waiting to be hung this weekends 
Saturday night we went out to eat with our friends and off to UTC for the basketball game. It was so fun for me, but at the same time, a weird nostalgic moment. When we first got there it was weird being there as a 32 year old with a family rather than a 20 year old there with a boyfriend and friends!  
It was so fun and Nicholas loved it!  I can't wait to take him to some football game this Fall at Finley Stadium. I definitely have some really great memories there! 
Our good friend and neighbor is the announcer for the Mocs, so he told us to come down to the court after the game. Nicholas and Michael sat down court side and it was so sweet to see them talking about the game! 
Sunday we spent the day cleaning, doing piles of laundry, and making food for the Super Bowl party!  We went to our neighbors for a fun night of watching my main man Peyton! For those of you who wonder why we are Peyton fans, we don't really have a NFL team around here and I had a unique experience of spending some time around Peyton when I was in college and I have always respected him as a person and player. I put on my blue and orange and cheered loudly with my friend Sandy! Here we are doing our "it's ok, there is still time!" face in the 2nd quarter...
And here we are again at the end of the game. There were no words. Just sadz. Just plain sadz. 
It's ok though Peyton, I still love you!  I also do not believe he will retire this year. He is too driven and too hungry for better to go out after a loss like that. However, I am also happy for the Seahawks, especially Derrick Coleman and Richard Sherman.  Both should be praised for hard work, being drug free and nerve arrested, and that they have overcome huge obstacles to get where they are today! Congratulations to them! 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Other Side of Football and Buffalo Chicken Dip

Today is Super Bowl Sunday!!!  We are getting ready to go to a party with friends, but I wanted to take a minute to look at another side of the game tonight, the personal side of the game.  As someone who views the game of football in a different light than 99% of you who will read this post, I don't see football as just a game.  As a coach's kid, I see it as a job, I get the importance of wins vs losses, the pressure the coaches/players/and yes even families face, and I understand the emotions behind every move.  I have had several thoughts racing through my mind the past two weeks as we learned about different players in this year's super bowl.  We all know about Peyton Manning and that he is as good of a person as he is a player.  However, most of us in the South had never heard of Derrick Coleman or Richard Sherman until lately, at least I haven't.  These three are going to be mentioned a lot in the pre game today and as a coach's kid and now as a mom of a little boy that loves sports, I have some mixed emotions on that. 

Nicholas LOVES football and he loves his Pawpaw's "boys" (also known as his high school football team).  He intently watches them and their actions on the field every Friday night.  He sees high school boys pray together, take a knee and pray when an opponent gets injured and he sees them help opponents up after they have been tackled. That is the kind of athlete I want my son to look up to.  

Peyton Manning shared how he views football and faith in his book.  He believes that the most important thing in his life is his faith, not football.  He is a humble, serious player.  He has earned the label best ever by working hard.  He is a Christian and he isn't afraid to share his faith.  He gives huge sums of money annually to charity, primarily his charity, The Peyback Foundation, which benefits inner city children. That is also what I want my son to see. 

Richard Sherman makes my head spin in that I have such mixed opinions regarding his presence in the media this week.  On one hand, I think he has a wonderful story of how he got where he is.  He overcame growing up in one of the most dangerous, gang populated communities in America and graduated from Stanford.  He wasn't drafted until the 5th round and had to earn his spot as a starter.  He also has never been arrested or failed a drug test. That shows that he has perseverance and the will to succeed. Also something I want Nicholas to admire in an athlete.  However, I do not agree with his behavior in his post game rant to Erin Andrews and have several thoughts about it, which won't go into here. THAT is not the type sportsmanship I want my son to see, but I understand emotions run high after a game, especially when you are the one who made the big play to win.  It saddens me that his life achievements are not what is being talked about by the media, but a moment when his emotions got the best of him. That makes me sad for him, his sport, and kids watching on TV. 

With that being said, what really, really makes me sad is that our society only are we focused on the bad stories, and not the good story buried under the headlines of Richard Sherman. It is a story that every little leaguer and high school athlete in America needs to hear.  The story of the first legally deaf NFL player to play in the Super Bowl, Sherman's teammate, Derrick Coleman.  Can you imagine the battle this kids has gone up against to get where he is today?  I can't and I pray I never have to know the pain he and his parents have faced.  He is the true hero in the Super Bowl this year.  This article says so much about his character.  I am blown away by his story and cry every single time I watch his commercial.  My heart hurts for the way he was treated as a child. I also cry knowing that football is a hard sport to learn and to play for someone without any disability, much less learning plays and playing with such skill he actually made it the highest level!  Now that is someone I want my child to know about.

I want Nicholas and other little boys to know that if you have a goal and you work hard, anything is possible.  You can be up against a disability, a bad environment or even a privileged child like Peyton, but anything is possible!  I want him to be humble, and I want him to always put his faith first. I hope we can put the big headline to rest and focus on the good things. 

So, now that my rant is over, who wants a yummy recipe?  I have had had 2 texts today asking for this recipe, so I thought I would share it here...

Buffalo Chicken Dip
2 cans of chunk chicken
3/4 cup hot sauce (I use Hooter's hot wing sauce)
1 cup ranch dressing
2 packages of softened cream cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
chicken flavored crackers

1. Drain chicken and make sure it is nice and shredded, no big chunks.  Heat over medium heat with the hot sauce.  
Next, add ranch dressing and cream cheese.  Stir well until melted and blended.  
Add the shredded cheese and continue to stir well until melted, then pour into a small crockpot.
I heat for 2-3 hours in the crockpot before serving.  Serve with chicken crackers and celery.

Hope everyone stays safe and enjoys the game tonight...
and GO BRONCOS!!!! 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Surprise Snow Day!

Nicholas and I had a sick day on Tuesday  because he wasn't quite himself and his low grade temp was back. We had an appointment to see his pediatrician at 11:00 and the only thing in the forecast was maybe a few flurries, nothing to get excited about.  This was my view at 9:40, 30 minutes after those flurries started
By 10:00 this is what I was faced with as I started to panic about getting to the doctor across town. 
This is a good time to give the Southern Snow Storm disclaimer...we do not get snow very often (once every 2 years at most), so we do not have equipment to deal with this sort of thing like Northern cities, therefore traveling is not easy. 

By the time I got to the pediatrician I had slid several times and barely made it up a small hill. I called Michael to come take us home in his truck! Good news was Nicholas didn't have strep as we thought but an upper respiratory infection. He was given antibiotics and off we went at 11:30. It took 2.5 hours to go 12 miles home. There is no way my car would have made it. It spent the night at the dr's office! 
 This was our view all the way home. 
We saw wreck after wreck and I don't know if I've ever been so happy to get home safely! 
Nicholas has an awesome pediatrician and I told him he was lucky because she told him sick or not, he was to go play in the snow!  We have a great sledding hill in our neighborhood so we bundled up and off we went!  Nicholas loved it! 

We had a fun afternoon of sledding, eating chili, and hanging out with our neighbors.   Nicholas LOVED his snow day and keeps asking when he can have another one.  Sorry buddy, we don't get many of these kind of days around here!