Friday, May 30, 2014

Five on Friday

I am linking up with Christina at Carolina Charm and some other fab ladies for Five on Friday!

1. Josh and I stayed up and watched the Scripps National Spelling Bee last night and I have never felt more dumb. It actually ended in a tie for the first time in 52 years. I will say that I now feel less weird about "typing" out words with my hands in the air on an imaginary keyboard when I can't remember how they're spelled because I saw one of the contestants do it last night (even though she lost).

2. We leave for a week-long vacation in Hilton Head Island, SC tomorrow and I couldn't be more excited. My parents, sister, sister's boyfriend, and Mema Dean will all be there with us and I can hardly wait to have an entire week with my family, with no worries, emails to answer, or meetings to attend. We just have to get through the 6 hour drive with Sawyer first...
me and Sawyer during our last trip to HHI
3.  Speaking of vacation, I have been packing, un-packing, and re-packing for the last week because we are taking Josh's Tundra and I had to find ways to make things fit inside of big weather-proof/wind-proof totes that we can throw in the bed of the truck, then decide what bags will have to go in the backseat with Sawyer. Thankfully, I use a note-taking/list-making app called Evernote that syncs with my phone/computer/iPad so if I start a packing list on my computer, I can access it and make changes on my phone or iPad. My method is to break my lists down by items (i.e. Packing for Me, Packing for Sawyer, Toys to Pack, Stuff to bring from Kitchen) so that I am not looking at one super long list. Once I have almost everything packed except those items I need the morning of the trip (chargers, toothbrushes, medicine), I hand-write notes to put on the suitcases with the items that I still need, so I don't forget anything. 

this particular luggage will obviously be in the backseat
4. I have to climb on my soapbox for a second. Mopeds, or as we call them in my neck of the woods, "liquorsicles"  are an abomination. You take a woman/man's license because of numerous DUI's then allow her/him to drive a little moped on the roads at a snail's pace, backing up traffic and creating even more traffic issues. They are a danger to not just the driver of the moped but also the drivers around them. So many people try to pass mopeds in no-passing zones and when cars are coming towards them, it's ridiculous. Mopeds, in my opinion, should be taken off the road or at least the drivers should be required to have insurance for them. And yes I did get behind one that made me 10 minutes late for work today..


5. I cannot stop singing this song and I caught Sawyer singing "you know what to do with that big fat butt" the other day in the car, so I should probably stop listening to it with him in the vehicle...

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sawyer Says...

While Sawyer has been talking non-stop since probably the 1.5 year mark, lately his little personality has developed even further. He amazes us every day with his random statements and words that we wish he didn't know too...

Sawyer: Mommy, Plankton (little villian on Spongebob) just said 'stupid'
Me: Well, Plankton said that bad word because he is a bad guy, but we don't say that word because we're the good guys right?
Sawyer: Yes ma'am, but if I'm so good how come I keep doing bad things?

While visiting my parents and sitting in my daddy's lap eating chips:
Sawyer: Papa why is your belly so big, are you having a baby too?
Daddy: No buddy, that's just from eating so much.

The mornings are quite challenging. Sawyer is not big on having to get up and going (probably because he doesn't sleep more than about 7 hours a night).
Josh: Alright man, let's go get our clothes on and head to B's house.
Sawyer: I have a better idea, we could get back in bed and snuggle and watch Tom & Jerry.

My personal favorite (thanks Josh)
Sawyer: Mommy, daddy said you have a 'big booty'
Me: Well buddy, I do.
Sawyer: How come he married you then?

Sawyer's new favorite thing to do is run when he is in trouble. If we call his name in a harsh tone or if he does something wrong in front of us he immediately says (out loud) "RUN AWAY!" and indeed, runs away.

He has also developed a fear of being alone in the car, I have no idea where this came from but it is intense. If we put him in his carseat then walk around to our seat to drive, he wants us to walk around the front of the car so he can see us. If I pump gas at the station with him in the car, he wants me to open the back door so he can talk to me. I am praying this is just a phase because he looks just absolutely terrified every time we go to get in the car.

In case you can't tell from his pics, homie is in the 92 percentile for his height, hopefully he will just learn to eat enough to keep up! He pretty much hates food, unless it's a boberry biscuit from BoJangles.

I can't wait to see how he truly handles being a big brother come November. He asks me every day when I get home from work "did it come out yet?!" and I have to remind him that it will be cold outside and I will be ginormous by the time baby makes an appearance.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

confessions: I still play with paper dolls

I confess, I Lauren Edmondson, still play with dolls. Not just any dolls, digital paper dolls via Stardoll. I learned of this glorious site from one of Jen Lancaster's books in '09 and have been addicted ever since.

In case you've never heard of it, you can visit and play all kinds of things such as dress up games for celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence or creating little scenes with different decor and outfits and "models" and such. You can also design your own clothes and jewelry. Best part is that you don't even have to pay for anything (unless you want more star dollars to buy clothes and decorations for your "suite") nor do you have to actually interact with anyone else on the site (which I don't, that would be creepy considering all the other users are probably tweens).

Yep, that's me and my girls Bey and Blake hanging out at Bey's chateau.

check my awesome jewelry design skills.
I realize this is super strange, especially seeing that I am a 26-year-old woman, not a 10 year old little girl. But when work is stressful or even if I just want to do something creative on my lunch break, it is a nice little outlet.

My stardoll (pictured below, can't you see the resemblance?)  has no worries, a closet full of fabulous clothes, a mighty nice four-room villa complete with a Moroccan-inspired bedroom and I can change her hair color, tan or mouth shape on a whim, free of charge.

Go check it out, it isn't as strange as it sounds!

btw, this post was by no means sponsored by Stardoll, I just wanted someone else to be as weird as me...

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

relaxing weekend

We were lucky to (finally) have a relaxing weekend!

Saturday me, Josh and Sawyer (and our friend Chris Mitchell) went to Raleigh to celebrate our friends LP & Ryan's little girl, Grace's first birthday!

Sawyer had a blast, mainly due to an inflatable pool that he refused to get out of

Sunday was a relaxing day of church and nothing else we didn't go anywhere and chose to be as lazy as possible all afternoon versus rushing back and forth between our families.

Monday was spent doing some painting with Sawyer and laying out while he enjoyed some time on his playset outside, then a cookout at Josh's grandparents after opening up their pool for the summer.
long legged rascal

I hope your weekend was as easy-going and relaxing as ours!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

high school - not all bad.

As I see a bunch of kids posting their high school graduation pictures (which is making me feel super old because I remember when some of these people were BORN), I have been reminiscing about the good parts of high school.  Not the drama and petty fights or the emotional roller coaster that goes along with being a teenage girl, but just a few things that happen during those four years:

  • all my friends being in one place - granted, we are blessed that most of our friends live within 1 to 2 hours of us, but none of us live right down the road from each other like our high school friends did
  • watching high school sports - I wouldn't trade my college football for anything, but high school sports are a different breed. Being at school all day with your friends surrounded by other people who are just as amped about the night's game as you are, being able to move around in the bleachers and visit friends, planning post-game fun (even if we did end up at BoJangles or Mama's Pizza usually). Planning out your outfits for the game like 2 weeks in advance...
  • having time to do things - There was no weekend dedicated to cleaning the house, doing laundry or mowing the grass and the only activities that were required after school were either practice, a game or our part time jobs. We spent weekends together at parties, having sleepovers, having girls nights (that always ended up including the guys)  and we had spontaneous, impromptu visits since we didn't have so many obligations like we do as adults. 
messing around in the McDonald's play place (that is a nasty plastic "window" we have our faces smashed against)
  • having a designated lunch time - Yes, this is a small thing but man did I take knowing I was going to have a good 30-45 minute lunch (that cost less than $3) for granted. Now I might work through lunch or run out to grab something and bring it back to my desk most days, thankfully I try to schedule at least one lunch date every other week to break that up but it was nice knowing I was going to eat (even if it was cafeteria food or a brown bag lunch) with my friends every day between classes. 
  • soccer - or really any organized sport. I miss working out not being an option thanks to practice and games. I was always my thinnest during soccer season (of course if you'd asked me then I'd of said "omg, I'm so fat.") I miss the camaraderie of going through a tough game together, singing on the back of the bus and of course knocking girls down on the field.
singing into our super flip phones on the way home from a soccer game
  • pep rallies - because they were awesome.
Then there's those specific random memories I have like stolen kisses between classes with a crush/boyfriend or riding three people deep in a two-seater truck because the back seat is just a GIANT speaker that made me giggle uncontrollably because the bass vibrated my chest so hard I couldn't even talk. Or crying through graduation because my best friend was the valedictorian and her speech reminded me about all the good things that I experienced in my little town that I just couldn't wait to get away from. 

Do you miss anything about high school?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

a new room for Sawyer

With baby number two due in November, we (and by "we", I most definitely mean "I") have had to start thinking about furniture for both the nursery and Sawyer's room.

Sawyer was sleeping in a full-size bed that converted from his crib, when he started flipping out so badly at night we purchased the pirate ship bed... which he slept in maybe 12 times (but loves to play in). With a $250 bed that isn't even being used sitting in our master bedroom and a baby on the way, we made a big decision to sell the pirate ship, which it did in almost 15 minutes after I put it on Facebook and Instagram last night.

goodbye little ship, we'll keep the angry toddler though
So now, I will be taking the bed from the spare bedroom to turn it into Sawyer's bed. That bed is mine from college and is just a bed frame attached to a hot pink upholstered head board so I will obviously be recovering it. This got me thinking, what else can we do to make Sawyer actually want to sleep in his room?

How about a reading corner?! Since now he will just have the bed and a dresser (and the smaller dresser/changing table will be moved to the spare bedroom) he will have a free corner in his room for something fun.

I am thinking about making this hanging tent type nook (hoola hoop + fabric + hook + rope) in some much manlier colors then adding some book shelves around it using rain gutters like in the pin below.

I've also been toying with the idea of a felt board. He loves stickers and magnets, so maybe he would like sticking felt objects to a board just the same?


Once we have his room set up we also have to tackle the really hard part: how to get him to stay in there. I've been reading up on different ways to get a toddler to actually sleep on their own and I think we're in for a doozy.

Monday, May 19, 2014

today will be a good day

I've decided that today will be a good day, even though it is a Monday. Here is why:

  • Today, my wonderful husband turns 29, his last birthday in his 20s! And although it kind of sucks that we're both at work and not together all day to celebrate, I have his favorite meal planned for this evening: hamburger steak and gravy (can you tell we're country?)

my favorite shot of Joshua taking a few years ago by his cousin Michelle
  • I had my first (of many to come) routine checkup this morning for Baby Edmo and everything is going great. Blood pressure where it is supposed to be, little Nugget had a strong heartbeat of about 163 and my nausea is finally going away. I had lost about 4 lbs, but I think that's a combo of the nausea and just eating better in general. 

  • I got to spend Saturday helping my best friend Hope shop and plan for the crafts we will be making for her daughter Ella's first birthday party and I am so excited about the party planning to come! I've been pin-crazy on Pinterest lately with ideas for the pink, mint and gold affair!

  • I have a calm week at work this week since most of the students are gone for the summer and our first summer session hasn't started yet so I finally get to work on some projects that have been taking the back burner (like some major changes to our website). 

  • Thanks to great sales (and some coupons) at Belk, Nordstrom and Target on maxi dresses, I am set for the summer and the last of the ones I purchased is due to arrive in our mail box today! I love a maxi, especially since I can wear them now while I'm rocking the bump and then next summer when I'm not too!
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 /
5 / 6 / 7 / 8

I hope your Monday is amazing!

dress up

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

goodbye big closet

On Saturday while Josh was fixing the yard as part of my Mother's Day gift, I set Sawyer up in the playroom with a movie and a snack and tackled the spare bedroom closet.

You see, that spare bedroom is going to be transformed into a nursery in Nov. for baby number two ( who I have affectionately been calling "Nugget), however most of my clothes, crafts, decorations and gift-wrapping supplies  are currently stored in there in that room's closet and all of my fold-able clothes are in my old dresser from my college apartment in there. So, I figured why not use a free Saturday while I am still able to move well to at least get started on cleaning it out.

the spare room in its messy glory.  Side note: anyone interested in purchasing that Lilly Pulitzer comforter?

Since I am going to have to move all of my dresses into the (much smaller) closet in the master bedroom, I had to do some serious thinking about what to keep, give away, store or throw out. I divided my clothes into seasons so I could store the winter/fall stuff in totes in the attic and bagged up a bunch of items to go to Good Will and two bags of items to try to sell at a consignment store/on the blog (because I can't imagine taking old Lilly dresses somewhere without getting at least a little money out of them).

poor little jam-packed closet - Josh's stuff is on the right side behind the door

My next step for the master closet will be finding another home for that plastic set of drawers holding all my t-shirts and sweat pants since that is where my dresser is going to have to go, I think.

Once I'd handled the clothes, I tackled the crafts. I had half-finished craft projects, scraps of ribbon, scraps of fabric and glitter EVERYWHERE along with rolls of tulle and faux flowers from various parties, showers and wedding things. So in the spare closet in the hallway (that was housing a hodge podge of junk), I organized my decorations by season and color and finally folded all my fabric into plastic drawers.
top part of the "craft closet "

bottom  part of the "craft closet "
Best part of the organization was finding a box of old CDs from high school and college. We're talking scratched up, decorated and super random mixes of my favorite jams. There was one entitled "I Don't Even Know" and it had hits such as "Jolene" by Dolly Parton, "Still Not a Player" by Big Pun, "Temperature" by Sean Paul and "Think of Me" from Phantom of the Opera. #eclectictaste

So I made good progress on cleaning out the spare closet, I still have to find a home for all our luggage and extra tote bags (which I think will have to be under the bed in our room, along with several under-the-bed storage things). I must admit that I am super jealous that baby number two is going to have a bigger closet than me and Josh.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Lady, don'tcha know we love ya?

(just in case you didn't know, this post title is from the Tupac song "Dear Mama")

My little crew and I celebrated Mother's Day all weekend long since we knew that Sunday would be busy as we visited both sides of the family to see our mama's and grandma's.

Saturday, we all got up and headed to run some errands as a family (versus me and Sawyer going while Josh stays home to work in the yard like we usually do).

Our second stop (after a quick run to Harris Teeter for some groceries) was to pick up some hydrangeas for our mothers for their Mother's Day gifts. We waited until the last minute to insure minimal dying for the plants since I have a black thumb when it comes to gardening. Sawyer mainly just enjoyed riding around on the little hand cart.

Josh also picked up some flowers for the yard to replace a giant dying bush that has taken over our landscaping. He took him several tries to get that monster out of the ground and eventually had to put a tow rope on it and pull it out with his truck (which he totally loved). We couldn't get all the roots up, so we had to cover it up with some mulch and buy this little hangy-tower thing. I'm thinking the new flowers are a major improvement

We headed to church Sunday morning where Sawyer promptly told my mema and mama that "we got you a mother's day surprise, it's flowers!" before we could even get into the sanctuary. Little surprise-ruiner.

After service, we went to my parents house for lunch prepared by my dad, made super obvious by the dirtiness of the kitchen.

Then we posed for our standard Mother's Day pictures.
photo by my daddy
You might ask, "Lauren, why isn't Sawyer in pictures with you on Mother's Day?" That would be because he was too busy playing on his pirate fort with Josh.
photo by my daddy

photo by my daddy
Sawyer decided to play with every toy he has at my parents while we were all enjoying lunch  (that he wouldn't eat) and Josh went to "clean it up", 10 minutes later this is what I found:

We spent the evening at Josh's parents' house where Sawyer discovered his Uncle Jordy's tent and was fascinated by it - but mainly just fascinated by walking in and out of it and tripping over the little doorway.

He also demanded that he get to help his Mimi stir the macaroni and cheese.

I am so blessed to have amazing women in my life who have truly paved the way for the steps I want to take as a mother (and a grandmother later in life). I am so thankful for my mama, Mema Dean, mother-in-law and grandma-in-law and really missed celebrating with my Mema Kay, but know she was having a great Mother's Day in Heaven.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

thank a teacher

I was blessed throughout my school years with some absolutely amazing teachers. People who took the time to mold my little hyperactive mind into one that could focus and learn when I was younger and provided me great constructive criticism or advice when I was older. However, some of my wonderful educators stick out above the rest, so when's a better time to write about them than during Teacher Appreciation Week?

My second grade teacher, Mrs. Pat Calfee was the teacher that inspired my love for reading and writing. Despite second grade being so long ago, I can remember discovering how much I loved creating new worlds and putting my jumble of thoughts onto paper instead of swirling around in my head. I truly started to understand why reading was important and how it affected my writing.  Side note, I won "Best Speller" in second grade (and also "Most Fashionable Girl"). I have never been so proud as when Mrs. Calfee found my blog and commented on it! Mrs. Calfee is still inspiring children through her line of children's books called "Issy Books" that her granddaughter Issy illustrates, you can check them out here.

That very next year I had another great teacher in the third grade, Ms. Joyce Stokes. Ms. Stokes wasn't just a teacher to me, she was a counselor. When my friend Katheryn and I got into a big fight (like most third grade girls do), Ms. Stokes wasted no time in pulling us aside to make us apologize to each other. I will never forget her trying to make us laugh together by saying, "Y'all can't be mad at each other, both of your mamas play the 'pinano'." She also saw potential in me when I could not sit still in class. Instead of informing my parents that I needed medication or to be treated for ADHD, she told them to buy me a squishy stress ball that I could hold during class and focus my energy on when I felt like moving all about. I am so lucky that Ms. Stokes still lives in my hometown and I get to see her often at my mom's drugstore, she was also sweet enough to come to my wedding and baby showers.

Fast forward to sixth grade, I had Mrs. Ary Pritchard. Now, let me just tell you that Mrs. Pritchard was legendary at South Edgecombe Middle School. She was an almost 6 foot-tall, fierce-looking lady and feisty to say the least. I was terrified when I first walked in that classroom, and even more scared when I was saw her take a string and tie a male students pants up high around his waist so he would quit sagging and showing his underwear. But she taught me so much. I learned that you don't have to be soft-spoken and super sweet to be kind and that respect is earned, not given. Mrs. Pritchard also taught me to appreciate my height, which was something I big time struggled with as all my friends were petite little things while I was already taller than most of the boys in my class.

In the ninth grade I transferred to a new school 30 minutes from home. It was a big change for me, going into high school and transitioning from a big public school with over 140 kids in my grade to a small private school with only about 50 students in the whole upper school. But, in my new environment I found my love for Spanish with my teacher Miss Laura Robl. We watched a cringe-worthy Spanish soap opera called "Destinos" and I loved every minute of it. I loved Spanish so much that I went on to choose it as a minor for my first three years of college. Miss Robl taught me a new way of studying called the "chunking" method where you keep a stack of flash cards on you at all times to pull out and study whenever you get a moment. I used that idea throughout my college years.

In college, I once again made a big move transferring from UNC-Wilmington after my freshman year to East Carolina. While I had started out as a marketing major with a Spanish minor, I transitioned into an English major with a communications minor since I had basically no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Then I took a Intro to Fiction Writing with Dr. Bill Hallberg and Writing for the Electronic Mass Media with Dr. Laura Mixon and I knew that whatever I did with my degree, I wanted to write. Dr. Hallberg taught me so much about my own writing style and through his process of having each of his students read each other's papers, I learned how to not only give constructive criticism but take it as well.  Dr. Mixon taught me how to use those skills and creative juices to write for the media in various formats and that there are actual jobs that would allow me to utilize what I'd learned.

I know that teachers are in the news constantly as the general assembly and politicians spend a lot of time discussing salaries and ways to better teach today's children, but know that no matter what the government tells them about their jobs teachers are some of the most passionate people you will ever meet. So to all my friends who teach, thank you. Thank you for the long nights of grading papers, writing lesson plans, completing assessments and worrying about "your" kids. Thank you for suffering through endless professional development conference and meetings. Thank for you continuing to do an amazing job educating our future leaders even when your curriculum gets changed every year and you get told that you are going to be evaluated by the success of your students (even when you can't control how their home life affects their school performance). Thank you, thank you, thank you.
A very special thank you to Mrs. Calfee, Ms. Stokes, Mrs. Pritchard, Miss Robl, Dr. Hallberg and Dr. Mixon, because without you I truly have no idea where I'd be today.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Successful Relay

This past weekend was the Edgecombe County Relay for Life that I co-chaired along with my good friend Caroline and it was not only successful, but also an amazing time. I've blogged before about Relay and my passion for raising awareness (and money) for cancer research (read here) but this year was even bigger as it was my first time being SO involved in the whole planning process.

big cheesing at 3 in the morning (I think I was mid-laugh)

We were busy all week prepping for the big event, running last minute errands and making sure we had every thing we needed for a successful Relay.

at the track Thursday afternoon hanging banner with Caroline and "Mr Relay", Steve
In case you've never heard of Relay for Life, it is the trademark event of the American Cancer Society. People form teams to raise money and awareness for cancer research and create themes for their campsites which are set up at an all-night event, usually held on a football field with a track. All night long, teams sell items or raffle tickets for fundraising and participate in games and other fun things to keep them up all night, celebrating the lives of cancer survivors and caregivers and remembering those we've lost to the disease.

one of our new teams and their awesome "Giant Slayer's" theme and campsite
The event always involves a survivor lap where survivors are applauded and cheered on as they make a lap around the field then a caregiver lap for those who have provided aid to cancer patients, followed by a team lap where each team walks around the track with their banners.

the AF-JROTC leads the survivor lap

We not only had the usual entertainment of performers and dancing but also enjoyed a woman-less beauty pageant that was absolutely hilarious (and involved some twerking).

check out those lovely "ladies"
my friend Lee, working hard for the money

Our torch lap that begins our luminary ceremony where we honor survivors and those we've lost to cancer is probably the most touching ceremony and most definitely the one that makes me cry the hardest. We turn out every light in the stadium so the only light is coming from the luminaries stationed around the track (torches, white bags with candles and gold bags with candles), our candle displays on the bleachers and the big torch that is walked around the track by either the family members of the person being memorialized or the survivor being honored. We also sell giant lit balloons that are let go at the end of the ceremony.

the luminary ceremony
via Ashley Marie Photography
Throughout the night we do theme laps to try to keep people up and moving, having a good time. Since cancer doesn't sleep, neither do we. We also had an entire hour of line dancing.

Blurry photo from the beach lap, and hellooo baby bump
This year was different for our county because we moved to a new location. It was quite the logistical adventure and I am so thankful that Caroline & I had an amazing committee who came up with ideas and plans to make this year work.
me and Caroline (and her daughter Haley & our friend Chad) throughout the Relay planning process
While I adore Relay, this year was super difficult for me. All night Friday night I had horrible back pain and nausea, I just thought it was from being pregnant and standing up for almost 24 hours so I suffered through, thinking of all those cancer patients who go through so much worse. Then Sunday morning I woke up and passed my first ever kidney stone!

Do you Relay?