Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pet Peeves

I don't mean to be a Debbie Downer (wahn wahn waaaahhhnnn - Do y'all remember that skit from SNL? Anybody? No? Click here.), but it's been on my mind lately. Me and my old friend Mary Katherine like to sit outside with a nice, cold beverage and talk about things that get on our very last nerve. It's one of our favorite past times. And it's so much fun because you would think talking about things that tick us off would put us in a bad mood but it ends up making us laugh like crazy. For instance, we both hate when people use unnecessary quotation marks. Like WE SELL "ORANGES." Do you really sell oranges? Or is that a joke? Why are there quotation marks? Or "WORLD'S BEST CUP OF COFFEE." This one really irritates us. Here is a list of my other pet peeves (in no particular order).


1. When people pronounce things incorrectly, particularly when they add sounds to a word. Like arthAritis or realAtor. I once had a teacher that said chicaRgo. And my grandfather used to say "Arr-ah" instead of "R." But that was charming in an old southern sort of way. My aunt says srimp. With no H. But that ones doesn't really get on my nerves. It's actually kinda cute. But another one that bothered me this basketball season was Jarvis Varnado. Every single announcer and MSU fan pronounced it Va-nar-do, not Var-nado. I don't know if Jarvis pronounces it Vanardo himself, but if he does he ought to be slapped. And there's always the old standby: irregardless.


2. When people are rude to waitresses. So uncalled for. Usually it's not even their fault. Think about it.... if your steak comes out medium rare instead of medium, is it going to do any good to be mean to her? She just delivers the food.


3. When people don't go the speed limit. I don't mind if you don't speed and drive 70 in a 70, but if you're doing 60 in a 70, that's just mean.


4. People that yell at their kids or jerk them around in public. Don't get me wrong, it would bother me if they did it in private too but Wal-Mart is not the place to whip your kids. Have y'all ever heard that Rodney Carrington bit about Wal-Mart? It's vulgar, but it is hysterical!! He says there must be a whistle that goes off at Wal-Mart that says "WHIP YOUR KIDS!!" Listen here. We were riding the boat across to the Magic Kingdom one night and this morbidly obese woman with 4 children was yelling profanities at her children, saying things like "I don't give a blank if you're cold" or "Sit your blank down and shut the blank up." It took every ounce of self-restraint for me to not punch her in the face. If you don't want kids, don't have them! Moving on....


5. People who can't spell. Especially ya'll instead of y'all (An apostrophe shows something is missing. The "ou" is missing; therefore, the apostrophe should come after the y); Class of '10' instead of Class of '10 (again.... an apostrophe shows something is missing); their/they're/there; and your/you're. I'm a stickler for proper grammar, spelling and punctuation.


6. People that slurp their coffee or make loud tinging noises with their spoons. Coffee is hot... don't drink it if you're going to have to slurp just to get it down. And there is no scientific reason why you should be making all that noise with your spoon while you're eating cereal.


7. When people call you and you just barely missed it so you call them right back and they don't answer. You literally called 5 seconds ago... what could you possibly be doing where you can't answer the phone?


8. Shady people. I don't like to talk on the phone... I hardly ever call just to chat. So if I'm calling you, it's probably important. And also, on BBM I can see if you've received my message. So if there's an "R" by the message and you don't answer, that's shady.


9. When people say "bummer." It sounds so sarcastic. Like when you're telling somebody a story about something bad that happened to you (For instance, "I just spilled coffee all down my brand new white blouse") and then they reply..... "Bummer." Ugh! I hate that. It makes it sound like the person you're talking to doesn't give a rat's patootie about what you're saying.


10. When people create 97 facebook albums and only have 4 photos in each album. And they're always the same type of photos too. For example, say I'm going to create an album for pictures of MaryCollis... but instead of creating one album that says "MaryCollis," I make a million different albums titled "MaryCollis" then "Baby MC" then "Our little girl" then "Me, Chad and MC"..... and only put a few pictures in each. Why wouldn't you just create ONE album?


11. Last, but certainly not least... when people put an "s" on communication. And what's even worse is when they name their business something that has the word communicationS in it. Like "Patrick Communications." Gross. There is no S on communication. This was a HUGE deal to the head of the communication department at MSU (my friend Dr. John Forde)... and now it is a huge deal to me.




I could literally go on about pet peeves all day long. In fact, my friend Mac and I frequently spend our entire day sitting on Google Chat talking about things that irritate the stew out of us. It really passes the time. But I think 10 will suffice for today.... what are some of your pet peeves?


Cheers!
aarp

Friday, July 30, 2010

Ode to Starkville

Today is our last day in good ole Stark Patch. We'll miss it, but we'll be back often for sporting events (Go Dawgs!). A lot has happened over the last year. We celebrated Chad's 30th birthday, my 25th birthday and Gertrude's 2nd birthday; our first wedding anniversary; and a little surprise we like to call MaryCollis.

In remembrance of our time spent here, I'm going to list a few things I'll miss the most.

1. The Veranda - Goodbye cheese logs with homemade ranch (Yes, they are LOGS. And yes, they come with ranch dressing not marinara. But the trick is, it has to be homemade.). Goodbye phet whan shrimp and gorgonzola salad. Goodbye $2 house wine. Goodbye $6 blue plate special. Goodbye being able to walk 30 feet to our favorite restaurant.


2. Little Dooey - Fried pickles and BBQ nachos. Nuff said.


3. Krystal (or "The Krystchal" as my dad calls it) - Hattiesburg has one, but that ain't close enough my friends.


4. Little Caesar's (You can't beat their $5 hot and ready pizza. It feeds me 4 times... that's $1.25 per meal!)


5. Mugshot's - Hattiesburg may be home to the original, but everyone knows Starkville's reigns supreme.




Side note: Is it sad that my top 5 are all about food? I'm pregnant... give me a break.




6. Being on campus on Maroon Fridays (This is also a dislike... who wants to be on campus on Friday afternoons in the fall?)


7. Already being in town when my entire family arrives late on Friday nights


8. The Starkville Wal-Mart. So long you easy-to-navigate, not-at-all crowded, in-and-out, wonderful establishment. I'll soon be doing all I can do avoid the Laurel Wal-Mart.... which could easily be mistaken for a black hole. I swear, it's where people go to die.


9. Being able to attend absolutely any MSU event we want to. And boy did we attend a lot this year. Chad was in hog heaven.


10. Just being in a college town.... which means you can go ANYWHERE in pajama pants.


11. Starbucks - This has not been an issue recently, but before I found out about Nugget I could easily spend $10/day at one of the three campus Starbucks. Yes, there are three. I had a problem.


12. Being 2 hours (give or take) from just about anywhere. Literally. Laurel = 2 Hours. Oxford = 1.5 Hours. Tuscaloosa = 1 Hour. Birmingham = 2 Hours. Jackson = 1.5 Hours. Memphis = 3 Hours. Try it. It's a fun game.


13. Having lots of choices when eating out. Laurel pretty much has Sweet Pepper's, Sake Cafe, China Wok or Mi Casita. But at least we cover a plethora of countries!


14. Being on campus during Christmas. Being on campus the whole month of December is pretty much a waste of time. No students. Most faculty and staff are taking vacation. No sporting events. It seems like the month will never end... but there is one good thing about being on campus during the holidays: the decorations. The huge Christmas tree that stands in the middle of The Junction. The wreaths that hang beside the welcome banners all throughout town. Each and every sorority house decorated in white lights. It's truly magical.



Things I will NOT miss:

1. Highway 12 traffic


2. Being on campus on Fridays... It should be against the law


3. MetroCast Cable... It is evil, and it must be destroyed


4. Not having any friends or family where I live


5. Not having a good bakery or florist or anything that a normal town might have. Starkville just doesn't have it.... because why would college students need a bakery or a florist, right?


6. Being 5 hours from the beach. Laurel is only 3 hours from Orange Beach!


7. Not having a Ward's. Seriously. Chad and I have eaten Ward's 3 times in one day before. Do you know people here don't even know what Ward's is? Blasphemy.


While we love Starkville and are going to miss it (especially Chad), I am excited for what the future holds. We did not think we could have children, so we moved to Starkville on a whim hoping that I could chase my dream of becoming a public relations teacher and Chad could spend his free time hunting and fishing with his best friend Tom. It was a nice dream... and then a little miracle happened. I am not sorry we moved here... I think of it as a time when we did what Annalee and Chad wanted to do. We took a risk and had a wonderful year in a place that we dearly love. We tried new things, met new people and discovered things about ourselves that we didn't know before.

It was a great year, but I am really looking forward to being near friends and family again. Growing up, I spent my weekends at one of two places: my grandparents' house or my aunt's house. I would spend every single weekend hanging out with Mim and Pop or Barbara. And it was fabulous. I know that we will never regret moving back home because my baby will get to spend the weekends with her Umpy and Gamma or her Ily B. And that is something that you can't put a price on. I cherish all the time spent with my grandparents growing up. Especially now that Pop has passed and Mimi is in a nursing home with alzheimer's. MaryCollis will never get to know them, but they will live on in our hearts.... and I will share those wonderful memories with her one day so she might know how special they were.

The past year has certainly been eventful, and I am giddy with anticipation thinking about what this next year will hold for us. In just a few short weeks we will have a baby girl... a real, live person to take care of... and that will bring adventures like never before!

Cheers!
aarp

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Swelling

For those of you that don't know, I have had major issues with swelling over the past 2 weeks. The first week (week 32) wasn't bad... I mainly just had one bad day and it was due to being on my feet for over 18 hours. But this past week (week 33) has been terrible. It doesn't seem to matter what I do - drinking water, staying off my feet during the day, watching the salt - my feet and hands are just going to swell.  The only thing that seems to help is elevating my feet WAY up above my heart... and I can't do that while I'm at work. (Only 2 1/2 more days!!!) I think the swelling is a combination of the heat, carrying around extra weight, trying to move back all of our belongings to Laurel, wanting to stay up late to do "nesting" things and just being pregnant. Here are a few photos.


This was the very first day I had swelling. July 9, 2010. I woke up at 6am that day and didn't stop. Lauren and I spent the entire day shopping for the nursery, and once we finished shopping we stayed up until nearly 1am making that 1940s window into a piece of art for the nursery. This photo was taken after I had taken a long bath and relaxed for about an hour.


This was the worst day. This photo was taken last Friday, July 23. I woke up at 6am and didn't slow down all day. I had a hair appointment at 8, Dr. Weber at 11, pedicure at 12, maternity photos at 3, family dinner at 6, then Chad and I braved Wal-Mart before finally heading home. But you know once I got there I couldn't help myself. Into nesting mode I went, and I didn't get in bed until about midnight.


Same day. Both feet. I couldn't even wiggle my toes, y'all. It was so painful.


This was taken yesterday, July 27. You see the indention my shoes left? It's pretty sad when even your flip flops don't fit. My ankle looks more like a tumor than an ankle. You haven't been able to see bones in my feet for over a week.


This was taken this morning, July 28. My toes don't look too bad, but I still have the tumor.

I haven't taken any photos of my fingers during all this, but they are swollen too. I haven't worn my wedding rings in about a week. I miss them. The good news is I only have 2 more full working days left and then I can prop my feet up 24 hours a day. That is, until I leave next Wednesday for Amber's wedding and have to be on my feet doing bridesmaid stuff for 4 straight days. But that's why I'm taking Lauren... so she can demand that I rest when I need to. Gosh, I really can't wait to be a stay at home mom. Even if it's only going to be for a few short months!

Cheers!
aarp

Monday, July 26, 2010

Welcome to the Home of Miss MaryCollis Malone Patrick

Chad and I finally finished MaryCollis' nursery this weekend... and it thrills me to share photos with you.  


The beautiful silhouettes hanging in antique white frames above the changing table were designed and printed by my dear friend Erin Napier (principal of lucky luxe couture correspondence). They are easily my favorite thing in the entire room.


The window hanging above her crib was truly a labor of love and was homemade by me and MC's godmother Lauren. It is a 1940s window taken out of the house where Chad and I used to live in Laurel (which belongs to my aunt). I am very proud of this piece... it took us nearly 5 hours to make it! The "Child of God" canvas was given by my MSU co-workers and compliments the other colors in the room well.


Here's a close-up of the vintage window.


The noah's ark print hanging over the rocker hung in my room as a child. The monogrammed growth chart hanging on the door was given to MC by my close friend Jennifer who lives in Boston. The tiny pink rocker was given by MaryCollis' fairy godmother Lauren (we call her the fairy godmother because she always comes bearing gifts).


The shabby chic table was made out of an old window (which compliments the other vintage window which hangs directly across from it) and was made by local artist and Chad's high school friend Guy Glorioso. The children's prayer print hanging underneath the pink cross also hung in my room as a child. The lamb play mat underneath the table was also given by MC's godmother Lauren.


Here is a close up of the silhouettes. Chad was a real trooper while we hung these yesterday. For about an hour, it went something like this: "Right there. Nope.... a little higher..... oh wait, a little lower..... uhhh, maybe to the left a little? No, no.... to the right. Ok. That's it. Perfect....... well, maybe over just a hair." Ha. It was a nightmare, but he was really sweet and didn't stop until Mama was happy.


The rocking chair was my grandfather's and is decades old but matches our crib almost perfectly! The dresser is an old piece from my mom's house and compliments the other furniture nicely. The diaper cake was made with love by Jennifer Rogers, who is a good friend of mine and lives right down the street!



I was trying to capture the detail in this photo, but the glare was messing everything up. It's really something you have to see in person.


In case you haven't heard, Chad and I have been collecting lambs for MC's nursery... she has an abundance, and we get more every day! It has kind of become like a game for us... we're always on the hunt for precious lamby things. See all the little lambs poking their heads out?


This is a view from the hallway. The chandelier was hung with care by Erin's husband Ben whom I call to help me when Chad is not in town!


The only thing we have left to do is fill the picture frames and hide those annoying wires from the lamp and baby monitor. But we are so pleased with the way it turned out! I could spend hours in there. I hope you love it as much as i do... and just know that the photos do not do it justice. Come visit us to see for yourself!

Cheers!
aarp

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Laurel Baby Shower


Me & MaryCollis at 33 Weeks.



And here are some photos of the Laurel baby shower. It was way too much fun!


Sweet little gown Mrs. JoLynn gave us. MaryCollis will be wearing this in the hospital!


I can't tell you how obsessed I am with this homemade bib and burp cloth set my friend Sara gave me. One of my favorite gifts to date. Thanks, SaSa!


Everyone loved the precious bulldog card my mom gave me. It said, "Life with a princess can be a royal pain in the #@*!." We love these cards... They sell them in Starkville with all kinds of cute little sayings.


Me, Raz & Hopey. I love these gals. I am SO glad to be moving back home where I have such good friends!


Mrs. Tamara couldn't help herself. Her daughter-in-law is due just 2 weeks after me. She loves to touch the bumps!


The wonderful hostesses. They did such an amazing job.... the food was outstanding, ladies!


Me, mom and ily b. You think I look like my mom? Just a little?


Me & Ba. "I love you the most!"

The shower was so much fun, and I got to see lots of folks I haven't seen in a while. Gosh, I can't wait to move back home so I can be near family and friends all the time - not just on special occasions. This week is my last week at work... then it's on to stay-at-home-mommyhood!

Cheers!
aarp

Maternity Photos



After a long day of getting "made up," my good friend Erin Napier and I went out in search for fabulous spots to take photos. Like I've told you before, her talents are endless.... so when I was looking for someone to take unique, vintage-type maternity photos, she was the first person I called. She just bought a great professional digital SLR camera, and I knew she would capture exactly what I was looking for because we both kind of have the same style.... we're both the shabby chic/traditional with a twist/classic/modage (modern/vintage) type. And let me tell you, I am so glad I did not pay a ridiculous amount of money to have a professional photographer shoot me doing really awkward poses in his/her studio. How boring would that have been?

Chad was absent from this photo session, so we will hopefully be going back sometime next week to get some snaps of us together. Erin and I both had such high hopes for the couple shots, so we are very anxious to get back out there! Here are a few of the shots we took last week. Enjoy!












Cheers!
aarp

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Beach, Summer Cleaning & Moving Back to Laurel

Last Saturday my mom and I loaded up 4 of her yearbook girls and headed to Orange Beach for a yearbook clinic. One of my best friends was down there having her bachelorette weekend (I did not attend for obvious reasons), so Saturday night I met them for dinner. It was really fun to see everyone. Here's a photo of all the girls at Cosmo's.


I spent the next 3 days at the pool on my new Belly Flopz float that ily b got me. It was spectacular. It was funny though... everyone at the pool would stare at the float with puzzled looks on their faces. I'm not sure why they couldn't put two and two together.... large pregnant woman carrying a float with a hole in it that reads "Belly Flopz" in large lettering.... it just wasn't clicking for them. Here's the ole gal hanging out by the pool:


When we returned home Wednesday afternoon, I immediately rushed over to our new house to meet the Lowe's installation men. They delivered our new washer and dryer, and I immediately started washing MaryCollis' clothes. The whole time I was doing loads of laundry I kept thinking it was really hot in the house but I would blow it off and just chock it up to me running around like a crazy person washing 45 loads of infant clothes. I refused to believe that we were moving into yet another house where the air didn't work. Then my mom came over to help and she mentioned that she thought it was hot. And my biggest fear became a realization. Our air conditioner was broken. Awesome. Just add that to the list of things that need to be repaired... right along with the fence, the ceiling fan, the deck and the carpet.

After Mom and I finished folding massive amounts of onesies and trying to find all the teeny tiny missing socks, we went back to her place and started cleaning out her upstairs. It was horrible, you guys. HORRIBLE! We found cub scout uniforms, art made from macaroni noodles, broken toys, clothes that haven't fit any of us since about 5th grade, science projects and lots and lots of dust. It took us four 18-hour days to clean out my room and closet and bathroom, Andrew's room and closet, Will's room and closet, the upstairs laundry room and the upstairs den/workout room. We did not make it to the built-ins in Andrew or Will's room or their bathroom... and those will probably take a full day all by themselves. I wish I had photographs to show you the before and after of her house.... but Cindy put her foot down. She plainly stated "NO photographic evidence." You simply would not believe it even if you saw it. It was really hard work, and I don't think I've ever seen my feet swell like that. At the risk of having you never look at me the same way again, I'm going to post a photo of what my ankles looked like after being on my feet for over 16 hours.

It doesn't even look human, does it? It looks like an elephant leg. And this photo was taken after I had bathed and relaxed for about an hour. In other words, it had looked even worse.

So after 4 insanely long cleaning days at Mom's house, Chad arrived with our furniture. We immediately scooted over to our rent house and unloaded everything (into the house with the broken AC, remember?). It was so hot and miserable. After getting all the furniture into the house, we went back to Mom and Dad's and enjoyed a delicious dinner of ribeyes, loaded baked potatoes, salad, bread and turtle cheesecake. I think everyone thought the day was over, but Chad could tell I was in nesting mode and I would not be satisfied until our house was complete. So back we went. And Mom and Barb came too. By the time we left our new house at 10 minutes until midnight, we had hung every single piece of art, placed every single picture frame, arranged the furniture, dusted and vacuumed, organized all the dishes and finished the nursery. 

On Sunday, Mom and Dad took over the 2 bookcases that used to decorate my grandfather's law office downtown. After they were placed, I filled them with photos, books and other memorabilia. When we left Sunday afternoon, our house looked almost completely lived-in. Mom and Dad took our dining table over to the house yesterday and Mom dressed it with our linens and china, and she also added 4 brand new bar stools to the counter in our kitchen. Also marked off the ole "To Do" list yesterday was the installation of our BRAND NEW air conditioner! That's right. Brand spanking new. Today, Barbara took her yard man over to the house to bleach and power wash our deck and windows. (Thank God for family, right? I don't know what I would do without them.) And our brand new fence was put up today.... along with the chandelier in MaryCollis' room (a HUGE shout out to my dear friend Ben Napier for being my handy man when I need him. I love that guy). It's been a very productive week... and I wasn't even there!

Now there are only a few things left to do. Today I am taking a HUGE load of stuff, including DVDs (which will complete the den), linens and pillows (which will complete the bedroom) and a few tubs of clothes (which will complete nothing since I can't fit into any of them). It seems as though we will only have one more load of stuff to get after this weekend, which is particularly handy since we MOVE next weekend. But every time I think, "Okay, this is going to be the last load," it's like everything starts multiplying. I've packed 3 tubs of clothes, and my closet still looks completely stocked. Packing the clothes is the most frustrating part too because I know that they are going straight into storage. The boxes are literally labeled with tape that reads "STORAGE: Jeans/Pants that don't fit" or "STORAGE: Winter Clothes." And I haven't even touched my winter closet or my cocktail dress closet. Yes, I have 3 closets. Don't judge me. Oh well... It won't be winter for a while... we'll get it all to Laurel eventually.

As soon as I arrive in Laurel this evening, I am meeting my close friend Lacie at Jones County Young Professionals. We first met at JCYP, so it's kind of nostalgic for us... and we decided we'd go for old times sake. She lives in Kansas now, and I haven't seen her since March... so I am really excited to see her. This weekend is going to be jam-packed with friends, family and fun. Friday will be insane. I start my day with a hair appointment at 8am, then I go for a prenatal appointment at 11 and pedicure at 12. Then I'll zoom home to change clothes/freshen up and meet Erin Napier to take some maternity photos at 3. After that, we have a family dinner at 5:30. After dinner I'm sure I'll go directly into nesting mode and do tons of stuff around the house until about midnight.

Then Saturday is my Laurel baby shower! Hooray! A lot of people have told me they are going out of town and won't be there, but I am super excited to see everyone that is coming. It's going to be a great time. And Sunday after church me, Lace, Jenna and Ash are going swimming... I'm telling you, if I could live in a pool I would. Gosh, I just can't hardly wait for this weekend to get started!

Cheers!
aarp

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Baby Photos

Remember when I told y'all that I was so nervous MaryCollis wouldn't have any hair? And that it simply did NOT make sense that she didn't have hair yet because I came out with a head FULL of jet black hair? Well, I thought I'd show you some evidence. Seriously. You won't believe it.


The first photo of me & Cindy together.... I was fresh out of the womb. Look how alert I was already! And LOOK at that hair!! 


Okay.... so I was Chinese as an infant. Big deal. The cuteness comes later. But seriously.... that hair.



We were some cute kids.... Especially Andrew. Look at those bowl cuts.



The look on my face says something like, "Get me out of this damn swing, woman." This must've been at the church nursery. Mom would've never had such ugly decor in my room.



My first Olan Mills portrait. What was it about the 80s and Olan Mills?



And then this happened. My hair turned brown, and I transformed into the cutest friggin kid you've ever seen. I mean, seriously. Have you ever seen one cuter?



Case closed.



I thought I'd throw this one in there just to show you an image from my Little Mermaid birthday party. It was the best birthday ever. My mom threw dinglehoppers and other treasures in the pool and let us dive for them. It was spectacular. And MaryCollis will definitely be having a Little Mermaid party.

And now for Chad....



Chad was born with just a small amount of blonde hair.



And it took a while for it to come in really thick (maybe that should've been a sign that he would be bald one day?)



But when it came in, it REALLY came in.... and it came in bleach blonde! And then it turned super, super curly. And I really hope MC gets his curls.



Chad is ALWAYS wearing a hat, so I don't have many photos of his curly hair.... but you can kind of tell in this picture. Little ringlets.

So.... both of us were born with at least a little hair. Hopefully MC will have some when she arrives. Little bows and headbands just won't look the same on a bald little girl.

Cheers!
aarp

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