Thursday, December 24, 2009

What's in a name?

This year at Nana's, Jackson was introduced to a new tradition for our family. She arranged for an Elf to come and live with us to watch over Jackson and Lincoln and monitor their behavior and report to Santa Claus. The Elf on the Shelf is a cute book that describes the elf that we adopted this year. The first step is to name your elf. We're still in deliberation on that. My suggestions included Willy, Billy, Buddy and Peter. Jackson's included Astro boy, Jackson, Batman,Super boy and Peter Pan. Our elf, which will for now remain nameless, has been found everywhere we have been in the last several weeks. He has traveled all the way from Dothan, AL to Nashville, TN. He can be found anywhere and everywhere. Each morning, he is in a new location and Jackson's mission is to find him. He then prides himself on showing us where the elf has landed. Some of the elf's more creative locations included a top shelf basket, the fire alarm in our opryland hotel room, and on top of the desk with the magnifying glass from our recent science experiment. Tonight, we will sadly say goodbye to the elf for another year. Maybe next year, he'll be lucky enough to have a name that sticks.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Baby, it's Cold Inside!

While some of our NC friends woke up to a foot of SNOW this morning, we woke up to a dreary, rainy day in Nashville. BUT, we were soon to be surrounded by ice, 2 million pounds of it! We visited the ICE display at the Opryland Hotel. This was part of the week long celebration of Jackson's birthday. He's one lucky kid! We had been warned that the lines were out of control so we precisely planned to be there at 9am when they opened. They give you these big long blue overcoats to put on OVER your regular coat because baby, it’s cold inside and I mean REALLY cold! It was Charlie Brown themed this year and the highlight was the ice slide. Jackson and I ran to it and rode down it in succession. We probably hit it 15 times before my bum was frozen and it was time to move on. The amount of ice and the things they were able to make from it were amazing. At the end of the attraction, there was a beautiful nativity as if it were frozen in time. There was a large angel over the display. The Christmas story was being narrated over the speakers. It was a great reminder for both me and Jackson that this is what Christmas is really all about. We walked out of there with cold noses and warm hearts!
Jackson really thought it was funny to be wearing a jacket on top of our jacket and especially one that wasn't ours.

The ICE SLIDE was the main attraction. Everyone had a turn. Dad thought he was too old to slide on the ice but Jackson told him otherwise.
Ice slide
Jackson just realized that he could see his own breath. It was then obvious that we live in a semi warm climate and when it's that cold out, we don't get out much. He told everyone around, "I can see my air!"

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!

Live from the Grand Ole' Opry

For Jackson's birthday present and as a birthday gift to my mom, we booked a room at the Gaylord Opryland hotel in Nashville, TN. It is a beautiful HUGE hotel with cascading waterfalls and lush green gardens throughout the hotel. Just to clarify, when I say HUGE I mean walk nearly 2 miles to the car and back Huge. And you have to pay $18 just to park you're stinkin' car there but I won't even go there.
During Christmas, there are TONS of lights throughout the hotel and it is a spectacle of beauty. Lucky us, they were also holding an ugly Christmas sweater convention here so we had the added bonus of poking fun at unsuspecting aging women AND men wearing their finest Christmas sweaters with pride. One man we spotted wearing a sweater depicting the story "Twas the night before Christmas."
We also witnessed a form of child abuse as a foreign family (likely European) paraded around a small child with a full blown mullet. Poor kid was having pictures made at every spot. Those will be useful as blackmail when he finally comes of age and decides that it's NOT cool.
In one of the atriums, there was a line of children at the mic singing Christmas carols and various other children's songs. The lineup included the ABC song, Row-Row-Row your boat and Twinkle, Twinkle. Jackson decided he wanted his 5 minutes of fame and he approached the mic to sing his best rendition of Twinkle, Twinkle. He was VERY loud when asked his name and proceeded to sing his song with a couple of repeat versus. I guess we all learn it differently. Then he told the lady he was from North Carolina and his Daddy was in Afghanistan. He got a round of claps and a special song, "This land is your land". I don't think I've heard that one since fourth grade. Jackson and Nana ended the night with a boat ride around the Delta atrium. I opted for the 'walking' tour of the boat ride so I could photograph. I'm pretty sure the guy beside Mom and Jackson thought I was stalking him (or "stocking him") as another funny shirt said today. Tomorrow we will visit the ICE display featuring the characters from Charlie Brown. The website for it is

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"My special day"-a 4 year old's photo journal

This is the photo journal from Jackson's 4th birthday. He had waited for this day all year proclaiming it was his special day. We spent the day in Dothan with my sister Tracie.
Shouldn't everyone's birthday begin with a spin on the carousel?

Hey, wait a minute, where does the big guy think he's going? I guess he's gotta eat more chicken!

Now we're on to Kidz Castle, a lower budget Alabama version of Chuck E Cheese. Jackson thought the place was just grande!

Jackson and Lincoln are my little space cadets! He said they were going to the planet that was hot and cold with the rings around it. You know "sat-on" (saturn!)
Just because I'm 30 doesn't mean I can't have a little fun too, right?
And finally we have arrived! The pinnacle of the day ends with germy kids games and over-priced pizza and a giant mouse.

Linc used Aunt Tracie's new sink as a bathtub. See Tracie, there's nothing to this "MOM" stuff. Get busy! (I want a niece to spoil)
A final trip to Toys R Us yielded the grande gift of a Batman Batcave complete with Joker, Robin and Penguin. It also scored Santa some much needed star wars stuff that he had been putting off.
Uncle Wyatt's just happy to finally have all the pieces out of the box. I think he's going to seriously look into that "stress free packaging" option that amazon has after the effort it took to get this thing free of the box.

The birthday boy at the end of HIS SPECIAL DAY!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

On this day

Four years ago, Jason and I gave birth to a perfect baby boy. After the perfect labor, at the perfect hospital, my perfect doctor delivered our perfect son! As you might have guessed, he had 10 perfect fingers and 10 perfect toes. Our parental journey began and we have never looked back. On that day, we were introduced to a whole new level of love that can never be replaced. I am still humbled that God would entrust us with such a precious gift to call our own and raise in His image. Of course there are days that perfect boy is a little less than perfect. There are days that he TRIES to make me crazy and thinks it's funny when I yell. There are days when his likeness to his daddy makes his absence seem better and worse at the same time. It's like having a mini version of Jason to live with everyday but also I must face this mini-me and play the role of both mommy and daddy and just HOPE I'm doing a sufficient job until that glorious day finally comes.
This morning, Jackson woke me up and said, (whispering) "Mom, it's my special day!" to which I wished him a Happy Birthday. I have to admit, it's a special day for both of us. Four years ago today, we brought a new life into this world and our lives will never be the same again.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

6 girls, 6 miles, 60 minutes!

A wise runner once told me, "sometimes you run your best race in inclement weather."
I guess for me that would be true. I ran my best timed race yet on saturday with 6 of THE BEST neighborhood girls and I ran the 10K in under 60 minutes!
We ran the 7th group association Jingle Bell Jog through the streets of downtown fayetteville. Compared to the Raven Rock Rumble, it was a nice relatively flat course. It was a dreary, misty, rainy, chilly day but at the end of the race with a crowd to cheer us on, we finished smiling! Then we totally endulged on pizza for lunch! That elusive half-marathon is getting closer!