Friday, April 29, 2011

Fashionable Friday: F21 Summer Dresses

In the summertime, I love to wear lightweight, flowy dresses to stay cool and comfortable in the humid, southern heat.

Forever 21 always has the best deals on said dresses (even if they aren't made to last). I've already expressed my opinion on Forever 21 before, but I just can't help but love these dresses:

Ditsy Floral Ruffle Dress $15.80
Strapless paisley dress $19.80
Geo Print Dress $24.80
Woven Flora Paisley Dress $19.80
Floral Fit & Flare Dress $19.80
Afternoon Picnic Dress $19.80
One Shoulder Maxi Dress $22.80
Tiny Flowers Dress $17.80
Sunny Day Dress $15.80
Ruffle Front Jersey Dress $17.80
Polka Dot Ruffle Dress $24.90
The only problem? They're all about 3 inches shorter than I need them to be. Sad face.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

we got a situation...

So, if you're from Edgecombe/Nash County you know that the Edgecombe County Public Schools Central Office is currently undergoing some changes.
In order to save some money and also keep teaching positions from being cut, our new superintendent has decided to cut three big positions at the C.O., our Director of Student Support Services, Associate Superintendent of Operations Management and my boss, the Director of Community Relations.
Now, if we don't have a Director of Community Relations, what does that mean for little ole me, the Community Relations Assistant?
Glad you asked...
I am safe. Praise god.
The decision came while I was on maternity leave, so I was constantly terrified that I my leave was going to end and I wasn't going to have a job to come back to.
Affective June 30, I will report directly to our superintendent with a few new duties and sadly, the exact same pay and title.
So, many prayers are needed and I hope God grants me lots and lots of patience.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's been two years now...

You may remember this post from 4/27/2010, but this day has come once again....

Mema, me and Papa after I graduated from high school.
This day two years ago, my paternal grandmother, Mema Kay, died after a long battle with her lungs.
Mema smoked for as long as I can remember until her doctor informed her that if she didn't stop, her body would quit for her. So after quitting and starting back a few times, she was diagnosed with COPD and finally quit for good. I think I was a freshman when she finally quit, just as she had to be put on oxygen if she wanted to walk more than 6 feet.
Mema continued to struggle to catch her breath when she was too vain to sport the oxygen tubes, but still trucked along fine to Atlantic City and Cherokee to play cards and the slot machines. My junior year in college the doctor's found a cancerous place on her lungs during a routine checkup, but it was quickly removed and all seemed to be fine.
In January 2009, my great-grandma (Mema Kay's mother-in-law) died at the age of 99 and at the funeral Mema complained about her hip hurting and how she felt a lump along the curve of her back. Daddy jumped right into P.A. mode and made an appointment for the day after Mammy was buried.
A week later we learned that although she quit smoking, the damage to her lungs was already too severe, the cancer was back. This time, the cancer attacked her lungs, bones and a few other organs. Mema underwent radiation treatment and tried a few medicines before deciding that the fight was too hard for a battle she would eventually lose. So, her wonderful oncologist, Dr. Heather White (who was also my other grandma, Mema Dean's doctor) made her comfortable and said that she wasn't a doctor that would put a time-limit on someone's life but that she didn't see Mema living over 6 months.
We NEVER EVER thought it would happen so quickly. Mema was diagnosed in January and lost her fight April 27, 2009.
If you knew Mema, you know she was a firecracker. Anything she thought popped into her head, and out her mouth without being filtered. She was stubborn, rude and opinionated and we bumped heads constantly over the silliest thing. 
But, I love her more than I can say. 
Whenever I get an attitude or fuss over something not going my way, Big Mark & Josh always say "Alright, Kay" because of how similar we can be.
In January, before we knew the limited amount of time we had left with her, Mema called to ask me what kind of dress she should wear to my wedding and I told her "anything but white". Guess what color dress she chose.... a white one. Not even a new white dress, an old one that she had worn to Big Mark's white coat ceremony. We fussed and fussed and she said "i don't want to waste any money on a dress that I will only wear once". Apparently, my wedding was not worth wasting money over. Today... I would give anything to have had her at my wedding and in my wedding pictures, I don't care if she went naked. I did pin one of her earrings onto the ribbon around my bouquet so that some part of her would be with me as I went down the aisle.
the white dress
(Uncle Jason, Mema, Papa & Daddy at his white coat ceremony - can you tell my Uncle Jason & Big Mark are twins?)
While Mema was very tight with her money during her lifetime, she decided she wanted to spend what she had before she died. She decided she wanted a flat screen so she could watch Oprah in all her HD glory, so she wrote a check and Papa went and got her one. She decided her recliner looked bad so she wrote a check and Papa went and got her a new one.
Her decision to spend money since she couldn't take it with her wasn't just used on her own desires. When Josh and I bought Mammy's house and decided to renovate it, Mema wrote US a check and helped us pay for our new floors and plantation blinds.
I was so happy that Mema was well enough in early April to go by my and Josh's house and see the floors Josh and ChrisMitchell spent so much time putting down and see how much progress we had made in making my Mammy's house into our own.
Towards the end, the cancer spreading in her brain caused her to see things and the morphine to help with the pain also made her drowsy and incoherent. She'd think the TV was on, but it really just be her reflection in the dark screen. She would look outside and ask us "what's that guy doing in the yard".
On April 26th she slept almost all day and the night of April 27th I knelt by her bed and starting to sing "You Are My Sunshine", which we used to sing while swinging in the hammock when i was little. She woke up, turned and looked at me and mumbled "What are you doing". I just said "I love you" and cried. She got this look on her face like "why are you so upset" and said "well i love you too" and fell back asleep. Those were the last words she ever said to me and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tail Wagging Tuesday: Queen of the Castle

I am linking up with Miss Cassie over at Live What You Love for "Tail Wagging Tuesday" and discussing where our chocolate beast, Sookie lays her giant head every night.

How could you say "no" to that face?
Since our chocolate lab is indeed a 100 lbs. of completely spoiled goodness, she sleeps wherever she pleases - which usually means right on top of me or Joshua. It doesn't matter where we are...

... on the couch (forgive the poor quality)

.... on the futon in the man cave
... or in the rocking chair
But her absolute favorite place to lounge is on our bed... preferably between Josh & me.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Faithful Friday: He lives.

Usually Friday is saved for Fashion, but with Sunday being Easter today's post is going to be a little different.

April is a hard month for me, mainly because my favorite Great Uncle Ronald died April 18, 2009 and my Mema Kay died April 27, 2009. But I know that God has a reason for everything so I just have to have faith that he knows what he's doing. And what better time to remember our Savior and how he has a plan for us and pardoned us all than celebrating Easter?

"Through the Fire"
So many times I question the certain circumstances and things I could not understand

Many times in trials my weakness blurs my vision and that’s when my frustration gets so out of hand.
It’s then I am reminded, I’ve never been forsaken.
I’ve never had to stand one test alone.

As I look at all the victories, the Spirit rises up in me and it’s through the fire my weakness is made strong.

He never promised that the cross would not get heavy and the hill would not be hard to climb.
He never offered a victory without fighting.
He said help would always come in time.
Just remember when you’re standing in the valley of decision and the advisory says give in, just hold on.
Our Lord will show up and he will take you through the fire again.

I know within myself that I would surely perish if I trust the hand of God; he’ll shield the flame again.

He never promised that the cross would not get heavy and the hill would not be hard to climb.
He never offered a victory without fighting.
He said help would always come in time.
Just remember when you’re standing in the valley of decision and the advisory says give in, just hold on.
Our Lord will show up and he will take you through the fire again.

Just hold on.
Our Lord will show up and he will take you through the fire again.

I'm not perfect. I have road rage. I have a temper. And I may let a word slip every now and again, or take a sip or two... but I love God and I have faith that he forgives me for my transgressions. 
On this Easter holiday, spend time with your family and friends and praise for giving his only begotten son to save us from our sins.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

under construction

i am working on changing my layout (since Easter will soon be over) so just ignore the ever-changing colors and such as I work!

dah-dun, dah-dun, dah-dun... bathing suit season is coming

(okay, please imagine that those "dah-dun"s sound like the shark attack theme.)

it's coming, the scariest thing since that freaky girl from The Ring... bathing suit season.

This year, I am even more terrified than usual to don a revealing suit in front of people since I have now carried a giant child inside of me, stretching my stomach muscles, putting stretch marks in places I didn't know were possible and making me thighs the size of small countries.

Thankfully, I have actually stuck to my workout regimen so far, so hopefully things won't be so grotesque once the weather gets super warm.

So now the issue is, what do I wear? Bikinis are officially out since the stretch marks on my stomach and sides are horrible enough to scare small children (While I was pregnant I actually thought I wasn't getting any stretch marks on my stomach at all... come to find out they were hiding on the underside of my belly that I couldn't see... awesome). So, one pieces it is, preferably one that costs less than $50.

I like this polka dot one piece by St. John's Bay, especially since it has a thing in it called "Secretly Slender" that will hold in my loosey goosey belly.

I also like this ruffle one-piece by Merona at Target (I really like the $34.99 price tag) but I wish it was in another color, because I already have a navy bathing suit - also, why are ALL ruffle one pieces navy, brown or black these days?!

then there's this shirred one piece by a.n.a. at J.C. Penny, but I wish it was patterned since I already have so many solid suits.

Here's a fun printed Bisou Bisou tankini suit, it may not be a one piece but at least it would hide my stomach

Of course, there are plenty of one pieces I like that are over $50 but my darling husband has put a cap on my spending, you know since we have a butt to diaper now.

For example, I adore this Trina Turk "Palma Sola" suit... but it's $109 over my budget

And this precious La Blanca 'Tangiers' Sweetheart One Piece, which is actually on sale for $78, but still too expensive.
And this Carmen Marc Valvo Mozambique Printed Maillot one piece that is also out of my price range.

Spanx also has a great suit (in both style and the fact that it will suck in everything that's hanging out) called Sheer Elegance but it is WAY more pricey than allowed at $178.

I really like these two Ralph Lauren one pieces too, the paisley print is so cute and it's nice to see a ruffled bathing suit that isn't blue! But at $103 it too costs more than I am allowed to spend.
Why are all the cute ones so pricey. sad face.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Worldess Wednesday: Guess where I am going!

July 10-13 I am heading to a wonderful location for the annual NSPRA (National School Public Relations Association) Conference. Here are a few hints...


The Marriott Rivercenter - where the conference will take place and where I will be residing
The Shops at La Cantera - plan on doing some serious damage up in there
pretty obvious huh?
I am going to San Antonio, Texas!

Since I didn't want to go by myself, the Wendy is going too so we can enjoy some mommy-daughter time (when I am not in seminars). And the date works out perfect because Josh will be at the beach with entire family so Sawyer will be surrounded by "mommy's" to help Josh take care of him!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

you might be from the South if....

.... local restaurants offer liver & gizzard snack packs. yes, seriously.

ahhh, the taste of home - it's finger-lickin' good.

Monday, April 18, 2011

arrghhh (that's "thank you" in pirate)

thank you to the ladies who helped me find some East Carolina tailgate dresses for the fall!

Miss Sarah over at We're Just Like You, Only Prettier suggested a dress that I somehow missed on ECU's site (which is amazing considering how often I visit their online shopping section!)
I adore this dress, it is comfortable and casual yet cute. I have already asked Sawyer to get it for me for my first mother's day :)

East Carolina Pirates Ladies Purple Burner V-neck Dress

A Lot of Moving's Melissa suggested I check out American Apparel since they usually have a bunch of just solid colored, light-weight dresses and I found a few things there too (but only a few since they are so short and I am so tall).
This was my favorite one at American Apparel 
I was also informed that the Alumni Hall at Crabtree has some ECU dresses that I must have missed last season, so I will have to make a trip since their website is such crap.

Then  Josh's cousin Melody found a few purple & yellow options at Belk too. Thanks for all your help ladies!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fashionable Friday: Pirates need dresses too!

Football season is getting closer and closer and I want a freakin' tailgate dress or cute top for the first game.
Usually I wear an ECU t-shirt with a variety of different bottoms throughout the warm months then purple and gold sweaters and my ECU hoodies when it gets cooler but I keep seeing all these cute tailgate dresses and I want one too dag-on-it.

I really started getting jealous when I saw Miss Pink LouLou in her University of Kentucky dress,

so I started frantically searching the internet for an ECU dress, or even an LSU dress that doesn't have "LSU" or a tiger on it (since they share our purple &; gold colors) that I liked.... no luck.

I only found ONE East Carolina University dress and it is atrocious, see below.
Ew, what is that crest thing!? there's not even a pirate on there!
Alumni Hall has tons of ECU stuff, but no dress.

Etsy has amazing game day dresses and tops such as the ones below, but no ECU ones!
Tube dress by LoveMyGameDress
Precious top by Score on Gameday - made out of a t-shirt and bathing suit top!
Dress by Score on Game Day
I found a few more dresses but yet again, no East Carolina ones.
Then I found Livy Lu and fell in complete lust with the precious dresses. But sadly, I'd have to be a Texas, Oklahoma or Tulsa fan to actually wear them.

Cute little ruffle tube dress by Livy Lu

Finally I stumbled across Judith March's blog  and she had a one purple and yellow dresses. But it isn't sold anywhere around here.

So I am going to attempt to make my own. I am going to cut the top off an old dress or the bottom off an old top and combine it with the bottom of a very large East Carolina tshirt.