Friday, October 31, 2008

Pumpkin Carving

Those pumpkins are HUGE!!! I had E send the pics off of the camera this morning and he only sent me the closeup picture of mine...not his! But we worked for a little while last night and got our pumpkins all carved up. Set them up on the front porch with a light inside each of them and put out 2 pots of mums that were left over from last year but bloomed again so why waste money on new ones...right? I put my Fall wreath on the door and called it a night. (pretend like you can't see my dead evergreen on the front's just having a hard time making a comeback since it was locked inside for 2 weeks during hurricane evacuation)

I honestly think that Maggie had more fun last night than we did. She kept coming over to the table and sneaking pumpkin seeds and pumpkin cutouts that we had discarded. She would take them out into the yard and mouth them until the flavor was gone, spit it out and start all over again.

I carved an owl and E carved an "Oh No!" face with both hand on their face (think Kevin McAlister in Home Alone after he puts the aftershave on his face).
He held up the hand cutouts and tried to give Maggie five but Maggie just wanted to eat the hands so it didn't really work.

Happy Halloween to you all and feel free to stop by tonight if you have kids. Our porch light will be on and we are full of candy!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Better Late than Never!

I know it's a little too late to be giving you stencil websites for your pumpkins but I found this one yesterday at Better Homes and Gardens and wanted to share it with you.

It's great because you can pick the right eyes, nose and mouth for the right size pumpkin. It's great. (And in case you are wondering, we still haven't gotten around to carving our pumpkins yet. E and I are both nursing the tail end of a cold and really enjoying our down time.)

If you don't think you are going to get around to carving a pumpkin this year, you can go here and carve a virtual pumpkin and email it out to all of your friends.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's Getting Closer!

Tonight is the annual Bailey pumpkin carving event. Last year was the FIRST ANNUAL and this year, I have high hopes that it will be much better.

Last Year Recap: (in case you missed last halloween, here's the link to the post)

E got home early on Halloween to start carving the pumpkins since we got a late start. By the time I got home from work, he already had both pumpkins gutted and he had almost finished carving his pumpkin. HOWEVER, he did the dog and I did the B, and evidently the dog was "incredibly difficult" because when I came home, there were tools and pumpkin guts EVERYWHERE!!!!! And by tools, I don't mean kitchen tools or a pumpkin carving kit (which we had forgotten to buy). I am talking about a jigsaw and drill. I am honestly surprised he didn't chop the top off with a circular saw.

This year, to save our tools for more important projects, we are learning from our mistakes and have already purchased a pumpkin carving kit just for this occassion. I picked out our pumpkin stencils yesterday. It is SO Super easy to find stencils online for free. Just google pumpkin stencils or pumpkin faces and see what comes up. This site had alot to choose here. And look how tiny Maggie was.

P.S. You should have seen me at the grocery store buying pumpkins the other day. Going through the giant boxes of heavy pumpkins trying to find 2 that looked remotely alike. And then I was for sure that I was going to man-handled for trying to smuggle a pumpkin out under my shirt...get it?...cause I am pregnant!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Saturday Bakes

Saturday I usually do alot of cooking/baking. I always make a special breakfast and normally at least one other thing. Well, this Saturday, I made Rachel Ray's Ham, Egg and Cheese Bake. While, I think Rachel has good ideas, they are normally starting off points for me and I will alter as I feel neccessary. Therefore I have changed it to Sausage, Egg and Cheese Bake. The ham wasn't good as well as some other ingrediants.
I also made Smitten Kitchen's Pumpkin Butter. If only I had some pecans on had. Mmmm...that would have been good. Once I made the Pumpkin Butter, I decided I needed something to spread it on so I made a Layered Pumpkin Loaf from Kraft's halloween recipes last year.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Boy am I glad we have moved on from this week. E and I have both been sick with a cold. He still has a few more long days of it though. I may have 2 or 3 more easy days left. We have both been severely exhausted due to meetings, work, travel, homework and just life in general, so Friday couldn't come soon enough this week.

But lots of exciting things happened this week:
-I found out that I am helping make Thanksgiving dinner (which I am actually excited about)
-E graduates on Monday night
-I finished a book for the first time in a VERY long time
-We settled on a first name for the baby
-An ER visit
-Having dinner with friends we hardly ever see tonight
-I am hosting a Dave Ramsey book giveaway!!
-I found a Pumpkin Butter recipe (per smitten kitchen) that I completely plan on making this weekend!

I know you are reading this thinking to yourself, "That's not exciting!!" Well, it is for me and I will take what I can get!! So what book did I read? Well, I am so very glad that you asked. I saw E.D. Hill on TV on night promoting her new book. The author is a mom of eight heard me ...eight!! She is a promenant figure on Fox News trying to raise her family and hold a successful career. But the book is called "I'm not your friend, I'm your parent." I know I don't have kids yet but I thought it would hold my interest long enough to read it and I was completely right. I feel much more prepared for parenting this week than I did last week. And if you want to borrow this book from me, feel free to but I definately want it back. I fully intend on rereading this book several times before my kids leave for college. Good read...HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pay It Forward Giveaway!

As some of you may remember, I won a Pay It Forward giveaway a few months ago. Having hosted a giveaway at the same time, I didn't feel the need to do another giveaway so soon. But now the time has come.

As many of you know, me and E having been working hard this year to pay off all of our debt. We fell upon Dave Ramsey's book Financial Peace right before we got married and really put it into practice over the past year. What a life change. Not that there was any fighting about money before (because E was never home and I just did what I needed to do) but we wanted to make sure that we didn't end up being one of those couples who fights constantly about money.
We also wanted to have plans for the future, plans for our kids and no bills to pay. While that's not entirely achieveable, since we will end up paying the power, water and gas bill every month, I want to be able to live my life without a car payment, without a credit card payment and without a student loan payment. We want to be able to pay for large purchases without having to use credit! Insane right?? No to us and so many others that are working towards that kind of lifestyle. We don't want to owe anyone...anything!!!

Since we are one step closer to paying off our debt (if you missed this post, we paid off our cars 2 weeks ago), I have decided to do a book giveaway. And no you don't get to chose which book...sorry! I am giving away Dave Ramsay's Total Money Makeover (unless you would rather have another one of Dave's books instead). Great book full of common sense advice that will teach you how to get out of debt, save, invest, and live the life you want without debt's hold over you. And just so you know, I plan on giving away another one of Dave's books everytime I pay off another bill.

So comment on this post before Monday at 5:00pm, and I will put you into the drawing for the book. I promise, it will change your life! I will announce the winner on Tuesday, November 28th. Good luck to you all!!

Bedroom Redo

Since me and E got a new mattress a few months ago, and it wouldn't fit on our original bed frame, we needed to adjust our bedroom setup since the bed was originally in front of the window. Every night, I found myself sleeping further and further down the bed to avoid losing my pillows in the window sill. So we rearranged the bedroom and I FINALLY got around to putting pictures into the picture frames. I have been married for almost 4.5 years and still haven't gotten around to putting pictures in any of my frames that I got for wedding presents or bought for our house. I know... ridiculous!!

So here are the pictures of the room. Sorry one of them is so blurry. I think I need my eyes checked.

Saturday Night Ball Games

Boy, after leaving Alabama several years ago, I had forgotten all of the football fanatics that plague our state (and my family). But we agreed to go to dinner party to watch the game anyway. E ended up helping family members on their computers while I socialized with the women while we talked about what we were/weren't going to name the baby. My cousin's wife Tara made lasagna, salad, garlic bread and an AWESOME Blueberry Pineapple Cobbler. (BTW, Tara, I need that recipe)

To appease my immediate family who couldn't attend, my aunt took several pictures of me including one belly picture. (**Please keep in mind that this belly picture is not current and is, in fact, a month old since all of the these events happened during the hurricane evacuation. My current belly no longer looks anything like this...will post current pics soon)

My aunt wanted someone to compare my belly to for a picture she wanted to send my mom. Immediately, my grandfather stood up, grinning from ear to ear, pulled up his shirt and posed for the picture. TOO FUNNY!!!

Best Laid Plans

My trip to the Woodlands got cut short this week so I am back to the blogosphere earlier than expected. Due to an out of control heartrate over 2 days, I was told I needed to go to the ER and get checked out since I was out of town. To tell the whole truth, I was more worried about the baby because I hadn't felt her move since my heartrate had jumped up which was a bit unusual. But the ER said I was fine, but wanted me to go home where I could be properly cared for by my own OB and they wanted me to see a cardiologist. They also checked Baby Bailey too. No worries there either. She was stunning!! As soon as they started hooking monitors to my belly, she felt the need to start jumping up and down and kicking and hasn't stopped yet. In fact, E felt her move for the first time last night while I was sleeping. He was quite excited. He says he is still not in baby mode and probably won't be until all of his schoolwork is over with (which will be Monday evening!!!)

So we decided it was time for me to come home and my traveling days are over unless we are together. Fine with me. It makes me nervous not knowing where the nearest hospitals are in case something happens and now that I am married, I have no desire to be in an ER waiting room by myself. I like to think I am independent enough to handle certain things alone but at the end of the day, I don't want to be that independent. And I know it made him sick that all of this stuff was going on while he was at home waiting for a phone call with the prognosis. But we are back home now and hopefully life will get back to normal starting today!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Another Business Trip...

Well, we are headed out AGAIN on Sunday morning for, yet, another business trip. Yes! Another one! If you have lost count already, this will make four trips in four weeks. Hopefully this is our last...because this is definately my last one. The swollen feet have started setting in and I can take anymore traveling. But we are heading to the Woodlands in Houston until Wednesday night so I will be back to normal on Thursday. I hope you all have a great weekend!!

Knock, Knock...Housekeeping

So I told you I was getting a housekeeper right? I think the only reason that E agreed to it was because I couldn't clean the bathtubs anymore and he didn't want to. But for whatever reason, I am glad they are coming now. They come every other week to clean my floors, the bathroom, and the kitchen. Yesterday was the first day and I loved every minute of it. They cleaned my baseboards, the kitchen cabinets, the ceiling fans, the picked up everything and moved it to clean under it, the window sills, even my toaster oven. It is so awesome to know that all I have to do this weekend is laundry!

Thank you God for giving the world housekeepers!!!

Baby Kicks and Baby Names

While we were in NY, I thought I felt the baby move but I wasn't sure. Having nothing to compare it to, I thought the baby kicking. But last night while I was in bed, the baby started kicking up a storm after I finished off the last little bit of Ben & Jerry's. The kicks were so soft that I almost ignored them until something in my triggered..."IT'S THE BABY!!!" I put the tv on mute so she couldn't only hear my voice and called E into the room. She stopped for a while so I started patting my belly like a drum and talking to her. Sure enough, she started it up again. Everytime she would stop, I would beat my belly and talk to her again and she would start back up again. So amazing!! E was disappointed that he couldn't fell them but he is able to stick his ear up my belly and listen to her. That's something I can't do. Since I knew she was awake, we tried to get Maggie to talk too. Of course, she was too obstanate to cooperate.

Btw, we did pick a least a first name. We are still going back and forth about a middle name and haven't decided on that one yet. But we have decided to call her Rachel. We have been talking about Hope or Leigh for her middle name but both don't seem to fit yet so we are still brainstorming.

NY Recap

Me, Kimberly and Laurel had such a good time in the Big Apple! We couldn't have asked for better weather or better company! We ate lots of pizza and walked around until our feet were bleeding!! Here is the recap:


We met up at the hotel and then headed to dinner with my co-workers. We stopped at a few places in Times Square on the way back.


We had breakfast together and then headed to Chinatown to buy knockoff purses, jewelry and other crap. (this was the first of 4 trips to Chinatown for the other girls) We took the subway back and then had lunch at Grand Central Station. I had to go to work for a while so they walked around town a bit and then we met up for dinner. On the way home, we stopped at Rockafellar Center. It all made me wish it was Christmas and the big giant tree was already lit. They ice skating rink had just opened and everyone was on the ice showing off whatever skate moves they had.


I had to work all day ...I still can't figure out why I had to go on the trip in the first place...I literally did nothing!!! We went to Columbia University and toured a little bit of the campus and then started the session. I read a book the entire time or did the Sudoku puzzles out of the USA Today. We headed back and then I took the girls sightseeing. First, we hit the Empire State Building. We took the elevator to the 80th floor and then walked up the next 8 flights of stairs to avoid a 30 minute wait for an elevator. WHAT A MISTAKE!! I need to realize my limitations these days! I am just too pregnant for that anymore. We then we and had some pizza and I let the girls try tiramisu for the first time. Then we got lost!! We learned all about the subway by mistake. We tried to go to the Staten Island Ferry but somehow ended up in Chinatown again!! I still don't know how that happened. But we finally made it and honestly, I am glad we got lost because we got to see the Statue of Liberty all lit up at night. It was great and free and so the girls were super happy about that!! On the way back there was an imperative ice cream hunt where we searched several venues but ended up at an all night market pulling butterfinger ice cream pops out of their ice cream freezer.


The girls got up early and headed to the Today show set at Rockafellar Center, but not before calling me at 5:30am to ask directions...twice!!! They had the best time. I was really worried they wouldn't like it since Laurel didn't even know what the Today show was, but they stayed all morning and didn't come back until 10am. They saw Meredith Viera and Cosmopolitan Magazine's 50 hottest guys too. They came back on Cloud Nine after taking pictures with all of the guys. They were the only young girls there that day and so the guys naturally wanted to take pictures with them rather than women old enough to be their mothers and grandmothers. I worked that morning but got off early. We all met up for lunch and then headed to the World Trade Center Memorial. It was so moving to see everything the museum had in their exhibits. They also had a place where you could view the new WTC towers that are currently being built. I am really glad we went. We made, yes, another stop in Chinatown for last minutes gifts for loved ones back home and then headed back to the hotel early for frozen yogurt, godiva chocolate truffles and chocolate strawberries, then to change for the Broadway play we had tickets to. It was their first Broadway play and I enjoyed experiencing it with them. We went and saw Wicked. was such a good story that put a different perspective on the Wizard of Oz. Amazing talent too...the lead girls had such beautiful voices. The baby was craving late night pizza on the way back from the play, so who was I to deny her. We stopped and pigged out for a few minutes before heading to bed for our last night in the city.


I got up early and went to pick up breakfast before our last session started while the girls slept in and then went shopping for the last time in the city. We all piled into the limo and headed off the airport for home. My 3 hour flight turned into an 8 hour flight due to weather in Houston. Then because of the weather, there was flooding everywhere and car accidents at every intersection. Our hour and a half trip home turned into a 4.5 hour trip home. We finally got home at 1:30 am when I realized I had food poisoning from our stop at McDonalds on the way home. What a wild ride!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

New York, New York

Hello New York!! Here I come. And just in time too. I am allowed to fly for a few more weeks. And yes, I have to go for work!!

Lots of fun plans while we are there. First off, my cousins Laurel and Kimberly are staying with me. Whew!! Thank goodness. I asked E but he had no desire to go. I asked my mom but she wanted to save her days off for when the baby comes, but Kimberly jumped in like a champ and roped Laurel in too. This settles my nerves GREATLY as I really didn't want to go alone only to hang out with the people I work with. Blah!!

World Trade Memorial, Statue of Liberty, Grand Central Station, Columbia University, Times Square, Rockafellar Center and on the lookout for these chicks!! We are even planning to hit a Broadway show while we are in town. I am so excited that we got ticket (and cheap tickets at that!!) to go and see Wicked on Tuesday night. I have been dying to see this show ever since it came out. And it had just left the Houston Theaters when we moved to Texas. SO CLOSE!

In other news, I had to go and buy new clothes for the trip. First of all I needed jeans that actually fit. I am so in between sizes right now that it is aggervating. I really thought I would be bigger than this by now and would actually fit into my own clothes but, of course, that's not the case. (Why am I complaining that I am not fat enough??? Weird!) So I had to go spend more cash I could have been spending in New York this weekend on maternity jeans, comfortable walking shoes, scarves and gloves, and long sleeve maternity tops. (Yep, that's right, I am fitting into my maternity tops just fine...Thank goodness!) Here is some of the cute stuff I got!! (It's all Gap Maternity or Piperlime in case you see something you like)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

We are Having a Girl!!

The ultrasound was yesterday and we got the shocking news that we were having a girl!!! I honestly couldn't believe it! I have been thinking it's a boy this whole time so when she said we were going to have a girl...well, I was a little floored. Almost speechless. Even the last ultrasound we had 8 weeks ago said she thought it was going to be a boy. I couldn't believe it! Not that I wanted one sex over the other. We didn't care what we were having but I still wanted to know. E is a little shocked too. He has no idea what to do with a girl. This is going to be an interesting ride!

So we are excited. We started talking about which room would be the baby's and automatically people have been volunteering their bedding and hand-me-down clothes. That's great news to me! Free Stuff! But the one thing we haven't talked about is girl names. We haven't even discussed one...only boy names. I guess it's time to get moving!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

20 Weeks Marks Halfway Point...and other updates!

Whew! Halfway done. And as the Dr. said yesterday "You are looking ripe." I guess that means I am starting to get fat. I asked E yesterday if he would still love me when I was fat...his response was that he would still love me and that I was ALREADY fat! Thanks E! Your the best!

We went to the Dr. yesterday and had some blood work done. The heartrate is good, I have gained a total of 13 pounds, he is 6.5 inches long and we go today for our ultrasound. SO PUMPED!!! I feel like once I know if it is a boy or girl, I can finally start getting ready for him to come home. (Sorry, still using the pronoun him...I still think it's going to be a boy) So I will post pictures tomorrow and let you know what we are having. I feel like a kid trying to sleep on Christmas Eve. I can't wait to see him.

E has 3 weeks of school left and then we can get the house ready. He also said that I could get a housekeeper to help me out too. Hallelujah!!! I have past that point where I can clean the bathrooms and load the washer and dryer. This was mostly a charity act as there is a lady who cleans houses that lost alot of customers after the storm and is trying to pull her life back together. However he does it, I am just thrilled to have help finally.

The plumbing is finally fixed however, now we just have to replace the subfloor where the leak had ruined the floor. Turns out, the previous owners used a straight lead pipe (bent into an L-shape) instead of a PVC L-shaped one. And of course there were SEVERAL holes where the pipe was bent. I think E had to fix the plumbing 3 times. Everytime he thought he completed the project, he would find another leak. Luckily I was out of town.


I finally got back into a bible study this week. Of course I will be out of town for the next 2 but at least I have a place to go once I get back. I really felt like I had a much closer relationship with God when I was involved in a Bible Study last year and I really need that again. I have so many worries on my mind that I am ready to completely give away and trust the Lord to take care of. Lack of sleep, epsiotomies, epiderals, raising a child, future moves, working after I have the baby...I feel like they are all just causes to worry about but I am ready to give them up and live knowing that someone else has a better plan for my life than I do.

Erika invited me and Kristi along this week and it was a little different than I thought it would be but at the end of the lesson, I needed to hear everything that teacher had said especially at this point in time in my own life. So it's all uphill from least spiritually.

Luke's Birthday Party

Well, in all of the insanity that occurred last week, I had almost forgot about ourlittle friend Luke's birthday party. His mom, Erika, sent me an invitation and I quickly read it and thought it was a Star Wars party. I was ...kinda off. Turns out it was a Wall-E party.

But before I knew it was a Wall-E party, I had already bought a Star Wars gift. I actually got a little excited about buying a Star Wars gift to be honest. I am a big Star Wars fan. I guess I can thank my dad for turning all three of us girls into Star Wars fans/geeks but it all worked out. I married a Star Wars fan/geek so I guess the good Lord had a plan after all!

I found this Star Trooper Spud at Target his weekend and knew Luke (3) would have to have it! It was just too cute! (And just in case you are wondering, my kids will be subjected to all 6 six movies in their lifetime...however, I will not make them sit through the animated movie "Clone Wars" like E made me do while we were out of town for the hurricane evacuation...LAME!!!)

One Step Closer to Being Debt Free

2 and a half years later, (a year and a half early) we finally paid off our car. Ahhhhh One less payment to worry about! Yes, we will end up buying another car later on but for the next year or so, I will be such a blessing to drive 2 cars that are paid for in full.

So now that we have paid off the car, my student loan is the next bill we are tackling. For those of you that are reading this with a confused look on your face, here's a little bit of background. After me and E got married, we decided that we wanted to live debt free. E had been to a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University event and really wanted our life to reflect what he taught. We really didn't stick to it for the first few years. We still used our credit cards and then bought a car, and boy, have we been paying for those years of anti-discipline!! We finally attended FPU together last year and have worked really hard to pay off everything before the baby comes. While I don't think we will make it in time, we will be SOOOO close.

We want to be able to put money away for our kids college, buy a car without having a car payment, invest heavily for our future and give away as much as possible. We don't feel that we can do that if we still owe student loans, car payments and credit card debt. If you are interested in living debt free, Dave Ramsey has a podcast on iTunes and several books. I highly recommend "The Total Money Makeover."