Tuesday, November 30, 2010

the best $3 I ever spent...

My latest snack craze is ANYTHING dipped in peanut butter. 

Ritz crackers, apple wedges, celery, graham crackers, my finger, it doesn't matter. 

However, apples seem to be my favorite (and baby's too).
After cutting up apples at home and bringing them to work in a little baggy only for them to turn a little yellow or  brown (even with the aid of some lemon juice) by the time I want to eat them, I went to Walmart and purchased an apple-cutting device for only $3 - I think it's called an Apple Corer.
Please excuse my crazy swollen face/nose - I AM pregnant.


These little boogers are $12.50 at Pampered Chef - so I am glad I found one at the local Wally World instead for a 1/3 of the price.
It makes life so much easier and I can just leave it at work and bring a whole apple with me each day and then cut into it when I'm ready to enjoy snack.

Monday, November 29, 2010

the Mac Daddy

I'm Still Here

Friend, please don't mourn for me
I'm still here, though you don't see.
I'm right by your side each night and day
and within your heart I long to stay.

My body is gone but I'm always near.
I'm everything you feel, see or hear.
My spirit is free, but I'll never depart
as long as you keep me alive in your heart.

I'll never wander out of your sight-
I'm the brightest star on a summer night.
I'll never be beyond your reach-
I'm the warm moist sand when you're at the beach.

I'm the colorful leaves when fall comes around
and the pure white snow that blankets the ground.
I'm the beautiful flowers of which you're so fond,
The clear cool water in a quiet pond.

I'm the first bright blossom you'll see in the spring,
The first warm raindrop that April will bring.
I'm the first ray of light when the sun starts to shine,
and you'll see that the face in the moon is mine.

When you start thinking there's no one to love you,
you can talk to me through the Lord above you.
I'll whisper my answer through the leaves on the trees,
and you'll feel my presence in the soft summer breeze.

I'm the hot salty tears that flow when you weep
and the beautiful dreams that come while you sleep.
I'm the smile you see on a baby's face.
Just look for me, friend, I'm everyplace!

This poem, and the story of Rainbow Bridge always help me get through this time of year. Two years ago yesterday, Joshua & I said goodbye to our sweet Brittany Spaniel, Mac Daddy.

Unlike our crazy Sookie, Mac was calm and docile. The people who run the local kennel (and bought my family's old house) gave us Mac my freshman year of college. They knew we wanted a dog but didn't have the time or space to raise a puppy, so Mac became ours.
He wasn't much on playing, but he did like to run and snuggle. Him and my roommate's dog Chloe were partners in crime. They would take turns ripping the stuffing out of their toys and get into all kinds of mischief together when left unattended.
Despite being so young (he was 3), Mac I took Mac to Albermarle Animal Hospital on Monday, November 24th after he'd been vomiting and having horrible diarrhea for a few days. This wasn't abnormal for Mac since he (like Sookie) ate everything in site and had a sensitive stomach, but we decided it had been going on too long.
On arrival, our vet Dr. Gregg, immediately thought that maybe Mac had gotten into some antifreeze, which is a common cause of kidney issues. But, our baby hadn't gotten near any antifreeze and didn't have the drunken-like stature like most pets who have ingested it.
We were so blessed that a pet urologist was at the clinic that day, so they shaved off Mac's beautiful white & orange hair on his swollen tummy and did an ultrasound.
Mac's pancreas was swollen and inflamed and because of the pancreatitis, his kidneys had also started malfunctioning. Dr. Gregg told us that he would do his best to treat Mac and to leave him over night to push IV fluids and monitor his progress.
The next day Mac wasn't a lot better. He was still lethargic and shaky and hardly noticed when Josh and I came to visit.
Wednesday, Dr. Gregg had to go to Mississippi to visit family for Thanksgiving so Mac was transferred to Tarboro Animal Clinic, another pet clinic in our area. Dr. Fong told us she would continue treatment and hope things got better.
They didn't.
We visited Mac Wednesday before Thanksgiving at the clinic and he looked terrible. He was swollen from the fluids, his eyes were glassy and he didn't even want to walk or stand up. I cried and cried the whole way home.
Thursday during Thanksgiving dinner, one of the vet techs called to let us know Mac's enzymes hadn't gotten any better. We knew a decision was ahead of us.
The next day, we had a home ECU football game, Josh and I visited the vet together and after seeing Mac we decided he'd been through entirely too much and we were being selfish to keep him here suffering like he was. We told Dr. Fong to put our 3-year-old dog to sleep and we rubbed him while Mac took his last little breath.
It was BY FAR the hardest decision I have ever had to be a part of. We had Mac cremated, we just didn't think we'd be able to handle driving his body home to bury.
Josh and I went on to the football game in attempts to get our minds off of the sad events of our morning.
We still miss our first dog, but Sookie does a great job of trying to fill his shoes. We saved a lock of his fur and have it inside a little tin with his ashes. People may think we're crazy for paying so much money to cremate an animal, but Mac was our fur baby and he was a huge part of our lives.

The day we brought Mac home
i heart both my loves

Me {and the freshmen 15}, Mac & Josh - Christmas 2007

Mac, snuggling with his daddy

Thursday, November 25, 2010

So thankful...

Today is Thanksgiving and I am thankful for the usual things like my absolutely wonderful friends and family, but a few other things really stick out in my mind....

I am so thankful....
that I can worship God without persecution and serve a church that I love so dearly.

for this sweet little bun I'm baking

for my job, despite how I may gripe about my boss/office politics sometimes

for this big ball of chocolate, she brings me smiles on days when I feel like I can't, as does that handsome man holding her in his lap like a baby instead of the 105 lb. animal she is. (ignore her demon eyes)

that I still have my Mema Dean and Papa Dude, a lot of people my age have already lost all of their grandparents and I am so blessed to have one on each side of my family.
Mema Dean
Papa Dude (photo by Melanie Mansfield)
For the miracles of modern medicine, I know I will be calllllling on them come due day when an epidural is completely necessary (for me at least)

For this blog, it is one of the best thing I've ever decided to do. It's nice to have somewhere to vent, share and just get things out. Not to mention, I have met some wonderful people through it.

May your thanksgiving be full of happiness and turkey!
Love ya'll!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

(kind of) Wordless Wednesday: 2005-2006, a year of firsts

 found thess pictures, can't believe how young/thin Josh and I were, thought  I would share.
In 2005, I....

fell in love with my future husband

graduated from high school

went on my first vacation with a boyfriend (and his ENTIRE family)
let's not even mention how crazy tan and thin I was... ahh those were the days
that sweet little asian girl in my lap (Josh's cousin Lyndsey) was one of our flower girls, and Kasey (on my right) is now a recording country artist

went to college
puttin up the clothes
Puttting up clothes... once again, how did I ever manage to get that tan?!
the card in the flowers Josh sent me on our anniversary
experienced my first Greenville Halloween... and never made it downtown

and then fell in love again with this amazing four-legged creature
i heart both my loves

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The 5 Love Languages

Josh and I are in a great Sunday School class at our church for young, married couples and we recently started a new lesson - "The Five Love Languages" by Dr. Gary Chapman (an NC native). 

We have loved it. 

After we learned what the five love languages are (Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Acts of Service or Receiving Gifts), we guessed at what each of ours were. 

I knew immediately that Josh's main language had to be Physical Touch. While I enjoy a hug, kiss, snuggle and such, I also like my own personal space, but Josh is the opposite. He NEEDS to have his head rubbed or for me to hold his hand when we're in the car and he came from a family that loves to hug and kiss and such. I guessed his secondary love language would be Receiving Gifts, just because Josh loves to open presents.

Hubby guessed that my primary love language would be Words of Affirmation, just because I say "i love you" or compliment him or thank him so often. I agreed. I don't get off the phone with family and friends until I say "i love you" and I like it to be the last thing I say to Josh before I leave the house in the morning too. He guessed my secondary would be Quality Time.

Then...we took the assessment to see what our language really is.

My primary was (as we guessed) Words of Affirmation. But my secondary was Acts of Service
After reading more about what a person whose language is Acts of Service needs to feel loved, I can see now why it's my secondary love language. I feel so loved when I come home and see that Josh has already washed the dishes or vacuumed... so Josh learned he needs to work on this.

Joshua's primary love language was also as we had guessed, Physical Touch. I informed him that I would try to do better about this, usually I start to rub his head and get bored with it very quickly. I did inform him that he married the wrong Harrell sister if he wanted to be touchy, feely all the time (my sister is a major snuggle bunny). His secondary language was Words of Affirmation. This one really surprised me. Usually he gets sick of me saying "I love you" all the time, and I've never known him to give too many compliments. 

Our Sunday School class learns about each language in depth each Sunday and I have really enjoyed the lessons, as has Josh and the other people in our class. I highly recommend the book and suggest making the recommendation to your Sunday School teacher too. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Nursery, Chapter 3: Stick'em up

Now that the walls are done, Josh put together the baby's furniture and we stuck our pirate decals on the walls.

We got our "pirate's life for me" and pirate ship decals from The Sticker Hut on Etsy and I am so impressed with the color and how well it matches the bedding (or well, it matches the valance that we got to go with the bedding - still need to tell ya'll the story about the bedding, promise to do so next week).

And since we had the crib put together, we went ahead and attached the mobile too. 

I'm still a little unsure about the room layout - we'll have to see how things look once the glider and such comes in.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fashionable Friday: Marvelous 'Maids

You've probably all seen "27 Dresses" by now (if you haven't, you really should) and have therefore witnessed how horrendous bridesmaids dresses can truly be. Lucky for those of us who are honored to call ourselves a bridesmaid or maid/matron of honor, these dresses have come a long way since the 80s and 90s.

My best friend Hope is getting married next Sept. and we recently went to David's Bridal to pick out dresses for the wedding party (and the bride). Luckily, her fiance's sister and I (and of course Hope) agreed on this beautiful dark purple number that will flatter the shapes of all four members of her wedding party:
I think this dress will be great since it is a loose jersey knit under the bust so if I haven't lost all the baby lbs. yet, I'll still be able to wear it.

Here are the other lovely bridesmaids dresses I wore this past year:
Lovely strapless, black, taffeta, tea-length dresses with coordinating sashes for Dana's wedding
Floor length, champagne-colored dress with side gathering and beading for Carla's
And my personal favorite, navy, cotton poplin, strapless short dress with pockets for LP's
Here are some other bridesmaid dresses I wouldn't mind wearing....

From David's Bridal


From J. Crew