Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Working Girl and Blog News!

The week we got back from our anniversary trip I started getting ready for the JBF (Just Between Friends) Sale. It’s a HUGE children’s and maternity consignment sale that happens Nation wide. We have one here in Gainesville twice a year. This is the first time I consigned and it was a lot of work getting things ready – ironing and tagging and ironing and tagging! But, it was well worth it as I made a little over $50 for things I didn’t want or need anymore! Some of my friends seriously made out and got over $200 for consigning various items. I didn’t have that much to consign considering I’m having another girl and we need most all of the baby related items we already have. I did get a few steals on some cute little girls clothes – oh, and I can’t forget about the two best deals of them all – a wooden toddler bed with mattress for $15.00!! It matches Cori’s room perfectly and she LOVES it! It’s currently in our room because I’m not quite ready to move it into hers yet, but she makes sure to climb into it a few times a day! If you ask her where her “big girl” bed is, she runs instantly into our room! I also got a K’tan, which is an AWESOME baby carrier, for $19.00!! Those are normally priced around $60-70 and it looks brand new! I’m so excited!! It’s perfect for carrying around a newborn because it holds them much snugger than the Ergo does … more “womb” like and you can carry them a few different ways. The K’tan and Ergo are my two FAVORITE baby carriers in case anyone is looking for a recommendation on baby carriers! :) So excited to have them both!!

On top of consigning and shopping at the sale of course, my good friend, Lacy and I had a Premier Jewelry Booth set up all 4 days the sale was going on! Hence the first part of the title of my post! The sale ran from 10-7, Wednesday-Saturday. My mom so graciously came up to watch Cori Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. David’s mom came up on Saturday. I was so thankful to have them both up to help!! I couldn’t have done it without them!! After prepping to get things ready for this sale on Monday and Tuesday, setting up our booth, and working ALL DAY Wed-Sat, I know without a shadow of a doubt that being a full time working mom is NOT something I EVER want to do!! A few days every now and then are fine with me, but full time – no thanks! God makes everyone different and by no means am I saying that if you are a full time working mom that I condemn you. It’s just not for me. I saw my sweet girl for breakfast each morning and then bath and bedtime each night. If that was my real life, I would feel like I wasn’t even raising her. Not many “teachable moments” happen with only 1-2 hours of time spent together each day. I’m SO thankful to be back home with her!! Not only did I miss time with her, but there was certainly no time for me to take care of our home, grocery shop, run necessary errands, etc.  I feel like I’m STILL playing catch up! Whew! I’m so thankful for Premier, which allows me to work according to my own schedule and helps tremendously with our finances! It truly is the BEST job for this season in my life!!

Anyway, back to our Premier Jewelry Booth and the second part of my post title. When Lacy and I decided we’d set up a booth at the sale, we really wanted to have a banner with our business name on it to hang over our booth. We knew it could be rather pricey to have a banner made, but said we’d just split it and share the banner. Well, God must have heard our hearts because a few days after we had discussed purchasing a banner, I got an email from a woman at Build A Sign – Custom Banners. She said that she came across my blog and thought I was a great candidate to advertise for their company! She said to take a look at their products and if there was anything I was in need of, they’d be happy to custom make it for me for FREE if I’d just blog about it and add their link to the sidebar of my blog. WOW! Was I ever excited about this email!! Of course I said, YES!!! And with that, I (rather, David) designed a Premier Jewelry 3x6 banner for our booth. I ordered two so Lacy and I could both have one and the company gave us both for FREE! It only took about a week for the banner to arrive and it was just what we had in mind!! Thank you Build A Sign – Custom Banners!! :) It was the finishing touch on our booth!

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Build A Sign makes other things than banners, but everything is custom to your needs! Make sure to check them out. You can find their link at the top right corner of my blog! I LOVE my custom banner!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Celebrating 5 Years! – Part Two…

**Extremely LONG post! Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!!**

Well, almost a week later and here I am finishing up our anniversary post. I sure am slacking these days.. or trying to get my life in order.. one of the two! :)

Where did I leave off? … Well, now that you have the history background of Savannah, I guess I’ll share what we actually did on our trip! :) Our first night in Savannah we walked up and down River Street, just checking things out. We ended up eating dinner at the River House Restaurant. We both got Lobster Bisque, which was to die for, and shared some Calamari. It was delicious!! Just thinking about that Bisque is making my mouth water! Has anyone ever tried to make their own Lobster Bisque before? It is something I DEFINITELY want to start making in our family. Now if only lobster was a little less expensive!! … Here we are our first night in Savannah. It was rather cold outside. I grabbed that jacket as a “just in case” right before I walked out the door on Monday morning. Thank goodness!! I would have frozen if I didn’t have it!

 

We booked a trolley tour of the historical district for Tuesday. This is where I learned about all the history I shared with you in my first post. Such an informative tour and a GREAT way to see the city! We took the Orange and Green tour which is supposed to be the best. The trolley makes 18 or so different stops around the city and you can hop on and off as many times as you like. There is always another trolley 15 minutes behind one another. We grabbed lunch at this little artsy diner. The diner was actually inside an art gallery. So cool! David ordered a crazy sandwich (I can’t remember the name) but it was roast beef, turkey, ham, bacon, and cheese on French toast with powdered sugar and some amazing syrup on top. It tasted like heaven in your mouth! I must admit, I was a little jealous of his choice over my grilled cheese and tomato soup! Here he is with his delicious sandwich!

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A few pictures from the trolley ride…

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Waiting in the cold with some yummy warm coffee!

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Our feet – trying to be cool like Ryan and Missy on their anniversary trip! :)

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On the trolley!

 

Like I was telling you in my last post, Savannah was built around 24 different squares. They are basically little “parks” of grass with some benches and something historic. One of the squares is where a scene in Forest Gump was filmed. It’s the scene when he’s sitting on the bench with his chocolates waiting for the bus to take him to Jenny’s house. The bench is no longer there as it was just placed there for the film. The bench was actually in the exact same spot at that sign in the picture. Oh, Forest! “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get!”

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We also spent some time walking around Forsyth Park, which is the largest square. It’s one mile if you walk all the way around it. It’s beautifully lined with trees and there is a large fountain in the middle where they say lots of girls like to get married. I concur as it truly is a beautiful place!

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While walking along Forsyth Park, we noticed one of the side streets was barricaded off. We asked a police man what was going on and he said they were filming a movie. I thought was was so cool and took as many pictures of the “set” as I could!! HA! .. Looks more like an old time movie, huh? Nobody drives around buggies like that anymore!!

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Tuesday night we decided we’d pick a nice restaurant and splurge on ourselves a little. If you know us at all, you know our typical date nights include Moes (because it’s cheap) and Chilis (because we usually have a gift card). We were SO excited to expand our horizons and decided we’d do one dinner out in Savannah where we didn’t worry about how much money an entrĂ©e cost. Better yet, we’d BOTH get our own entrĂ©e, which NEVER happens in our family!! :) We went to Vic’s on the River. They sat us at a little romantic table for 2 by the window where we could overlook the river. It was beautiful. We started out with some delicious French Onion Soup – one of my favorites!! And had Vic’s famous crab cakes for dinner. Wow! Were they good!!

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On our walk back to the hotel, we stopped in Savannah’s Candy Kitchen where we got to watch Salt Water Taffy being made. It was SO COOL! I’m typically not a fan of Salt Water Taffy, but he let us try some fresh off the twisty machine and it was SO GOOD! I think I liked it so much because it was still warm and gooey. Oh, and it was peppermint flavor. YUM! … One of the coolest things about this taffy making process was after the machine twisted it, it cut and wrapped each piece (where he is feeding it into the machine), then it slid down that metal looking slide onto a conveyer belt that traveled around the entire store, and eventually dropped into the taffy bin where it’s sold. That description does NOT do it justice! It was really neat to see!

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Wednesday was the day I had planned to eat lunch at Paula Dean’s Restaurant. I had this glorious picture in my head of what it would be like to eat at Paula Deans … It’s buffet, ya’ll! Seriously, I’m not knocking Paula and her amazing food, but buffet?!?! Really?!?! All the food is lined up under warm lights that keep it “fresh” all day. Everyone we talked to about eating at Paula’s (mainly Savannah locals) said, “People eat at Paula’s to say they ate at Paula’s. .. People eat at Mrs. Wilkes House because they want some down home delicious southern cooking.” After much debate, we decided Mrs. Wilkes was the place to eat! I’m SO glad we ate at Mrs. Wilkes. OH MY GOODNESS! I would eat there everyday if I could! … So, Wednesday morning we got up and walked down to Mrs. Wilkes House. It’s actually IN HER HOUSE, ya’ll. So cool. They open for lunch at 11:00 so we arrived at 10:30 and there was already a line down the block. Here we are waiting in line…

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We actually made it in in the first lunch wave. There are two rooms open for lunch with 4 tables of 10 in each room. We sat with a lovely group of people. When you get to your table, each place setting has a glass of sweet tea waiting for you and 20 side dishes already out on the table for “family style” eating. Yes, 20 side dishes! I kid you not, there was EVERY southern side you could think of on that table – all fresh and homemade! My favorites were the cheesy mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and sweet potatoes. YUM!! On top of all those side dishes, fresh fried chicken and meat loaf were served as well. Oh, and I can’t forget about the homemade biscuits with homemade jam!! Delicious!! One of my favorite things about lunch at Mrs. Wilkes was after we were all seated, our waitress said with her most southern voice, “Please dig in, the food has already been blessed.” Love it!!

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Here’s our table

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And my plate :)

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Enjoying some southern food with my sweet husband!

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Saying goodbye to the Wilkes House after lunch. Our tummies were feeling very satisfied with our choice to eat there over Paula’s.

Mrs. Wilkes has passed away, but her home and her food continue on to be one of the best things about Historic Savannah. They only take cash or check when you pay, so I wrote a check out to Mrs. Wilkes herself. So sweet. :)

I did take some pictures of Paula’s to have as memories sake…

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After our lunch at Mrs. Wilkes, we spent some time walking around and enjoying the beautiful architect, trees, and squares of Historic Savannah.

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Wednesday night was supposed to be our trolley ghost tour of the town, but unfortunately, it got rained out. I’m not much into all that stuff anyway so I can’t say that I complained that we didn’t get to take a ghost tour! We ended up eating dinner at Moon River on Bay Street. It’s a brewery and a restaurant. David was very excited about that! We actually stopped in our first night in Savannah and knew we wanted to make it back for dinner before we left. It was a great choice! We actually got a little bit of our rained out ghost tour in while we were there. They say the top floor of the restaurant is haunted. Our waiter took us up to the 2nd floor after we finished dinner. We didn’t dare go all the way to the top. You can’t even climb the stairs to go up there anyway. But it was creepy just being near anything that is supposedly haunted!! No thank you!

Thursday was our last day in Savannah and the weather was not cooperating! It was rainy and dreary so we decided to pack up earlier than expected. We did take a quick stop at this place called Pinch of the Past which houses old remnants of houses that have been renovated. They had TONS of neat stuff in there! One day, when we have a little extra cash and a bigger house, I’d like to get some things from there to decorate with.

After another quick stop at the Pirates House on the river for lunch we headed home. It was such a wonderful anniversary trip and I feel so blessed to have spent 5 years married to my amazing husband! David, you are my best friend and love of my life! I am looking forward to MANY more years devoted to you!! I LOVE you!

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Celebrating 5 Years! – Part One…

Well, part of the reason I haven’t blogged in so long is because Dave and I were gone celebrating 5 years of marriage in the Historical District of Savannah, Georgia! This trip was a big deal for us because (1) we really haven’t been on a trip by ourselves since our honeymoon (other than a few marriage retreats here and there), and (2) this was our FIRST time leaving Cori Belle overnight.

Sunday, March 6th, we loaded up the car and headed to Tampa to drop Cori off with my parents. We originally were going to meet half way between Gainesville and Tampa, but since it was the first time leaving Cori, I decided I’d rather drive the whole way down and get her settled. So down to Tampa we went. Cori really did great! We hugged her and kissed her, told her we loved her, and that we would be back in a week. She didn’t even cry when we left. Better yet, I didn’t even cry! HA! I did get a little teary eyed thinking about not being with her for so long, but I held it together! It felt so weird driving away with out her in the backseat, but it also felt great to know that Dave and I were finally going to get some alone time – especially before we add another baby into the mix!

We headed home Sunday night to get ourselves packed up and ready to leave for Savannah the following morning. We decided that we’d better get an oil change before the long trip so I took the car down to Tires Plus early Monday morning for a “quick” oil change. 2 hours, an oil change, 3 new tires, and a lot of money spent that we didn’t expect to spend later, we were on the road! Off to a great start! :)

Our first stop was at a little drift wood place off the side of the road in Starke. David had done some research on traditional 5 year anniversary gifts and found out that “wood” was the typical gift. He thought it would be a great idea to get some piece of wood to paint on and hang it up in our room to signify our anniversary. Our style of decorating is very beachy, so I thought it was a great idea! The first piece of wood I looked at upon stepping out of our car was carved into a giant fish. I knew that was it! We really aren’t into fishing, but it’s beachy looking and we both loved it. So, we decided to take it home! David carved our names and our anniversary into the back and it is now hanging on the wall across from our bed. … The first time Cori saw it, she pointed with great amazement and said, “ish!” Melt my heart!

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After the fish stop, we were on the road again. We arrived in Savannah around 4, just in time for check-in. Our hotel was amazing! We stayed at the Riverstreet Inn directly on River Street. It is the oldest cotton warehouse in Savannah. The history there was incredible! The first 3 floors are original to the building and the top 2 floors were added later. The entire street is filled with old cotton warehouses converted to office buildings, restaurants, and hotels. Words can’t even describe the beauty of the old stone and brick. It’s just something you have to see for yourself! Here are some pictures to help you visualize…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking up from the bottom floor, the hallway to our room, and looking down to the bottom floor. The pictures don’t even do it justice!

 

This was one of the MANY flights of stairs taking you down to River Street. These stairs used to take you down to the loading docks on the river so boats could transport cotton back and forth. Now, these stairs lead you down to all the restaurants and shops on the water. You can definitely tell they were made “back in the day” as none of the stones are even and every step varies in width and depth.

 

This picture was taken from our balcony overlooking Bay Street. You see all those walkways there? Those are the platforms cotton buyers would stand on to check out all the different kinds of cotton below. They would walk from warehouse to warehouse on those platforms before making their cotton purchase.

There is so much history in Savannah as it is one of the oldest cities, established in the 1700’s. I had no idea that it was actually a “trial” city developed by the English. The entire city was actually drawn out and named before the English even left England. A city built around squares. A certain group of people were selected to come over and start the city. It was meant to be a city without corruption, based on Christian principals. As all things in this world though, corrupt it became and the English actually determined the city to be a failure. … However, 22 of the 24 original squares that the city was built on still exist today. Most all of the buildings are still the original structure from the late 1700’s to the early 1800’s. Of course they have been restored to last. And, most say the buildings are haunted, but we didn’t get to take our ghost tour because it got rained out! Maybe next time!

This is turning out to be a much longer post than I anticipated! I hear Cori in the back ground. I guess nap time is over :) .. To be continued…

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

YES! I’m still here!!

I have gotten quite a few comments, emails, and questions about where I am! Well, I’m still here! I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve posted, but it’s the effect of being on vacation for a week and then working full time for a week. Whew! I LOVED being on vacation, but I’m so glad that work week is over! I have quite a bit of catching up to do – house cleaning, blogging, and quality time with my sweet girl!! I do have LOTS to share with you though! I’ll try to get a post up each day for the next few days here until I’m all caught up! It’s really more for me than for you because this is my life’s memories wrapped up in a book each year, but I like to hope that some of you like reading about our life! :)

I’ll be back soon! Don’t worry!! Until then…

Friday, March 4, 2011

23 Weeks!

Yesterday marked 23 weeks. I can’t believe that next week, during our 5 year anniversary, I will be 6 months pregnant! Time sure flies!

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I love reading this blog, Kelly’s Korner, and she is pregnant with her second baby girl as well. Something she has done weekly is a pregnancy update. I have really enjoyed reading about her pregnancy. So, here is my update this week…

Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along: 23 Weeks

Size of baby: Finley is almost a pound and is the size of a small doll.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: Gained 10 lbs – man, that feels like a lot!

Maternity Clothes: I can still wear my regular pants with the help of a hair tie or belly-band! However, maternity pants are MUCH more comfortable! Everything else is still the same.

Gender: It's a girl!!! Finley Grace Smith

Movement: She loves to move when I’m sitting down. I LOVE feeling her move!

Sleep: Sleeping great! Love that I can use David as a “maternity pillow” :)

What I miss: Nothing really - maybe sleeping on my stomach?

Cravings: SWEET things! I am loving me some girl scout cookies at the moment. Too bad we are out of them. Girl scouts, here I come!! :)

Symptoms: I am a bit tired at times and definitely have some pressure in my upper right leg, which occurs after long periods of standing or working out. Dang sciatic nerve!

Best Moment this week: Hearing people at the gym tell me I’m their inspiration! They are so sweet to say that!

Week 23

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Wow, what a difference in my belly size! I knew it was growing faster this time around. Maybe that means Finley will come early or on time instead of being 5 days late like her sister!! :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

It’s the Little Things…

Cori and I just finished breakfast and took the dog out. We are off to a late start this morning since she decided wake-up time was at 4:30 this morning. I finally got her back to bed at 5:45. Needless to say, I didn’t get up at 6:30 to read my bible. We both slept until 8:45.

I just sat down at the computer to check my email. I had 30 new messages since I didn’t check it yesterday at all. Cori is pretty good about playing independently for a bit. I do appreciate that about her!! I was about 5 emails through when I heard a whistle blowing. I looked over at Cori and this is what I saw…

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Yep, she had gone in her basket of sensory toys and found a whistle we got a few weeks ago at a friends birthday party. She put it around her neck, sat down next to my computer chair, and began blowing, as if to tell me, “Mom,  your time starts now. You have 10 minutes on that computer and when I blow the whistle again, you have to play with ME!” :) To say I was tickled at the sight of her blowing that whistle is an understatement! It was the most precious thing I have ever seen! For today, anyway! :) So glad the little things can make me smile!

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