30 for 30

When I was in high school, I remember thinking that when I hit 30, I would officially be a grown-up.

Well, since then, I think I’ve learned that having a husband and child, moving to another city, starting your own business and paying a mortgage probably places you in the grown-up territory more than age.  But in any case, today is the day-I’m 30!

In honor of turning 30, here are 30 things about me:

1.  When I was a senior in high school, I dislocated my elbow two days before our first  competition.

2.  I had a Spanish minor in college and studied abroad in Costa Rica for a month during the summer.

3.  The amount of Spanish I now speak is pretty sad.  Nick laughs at me all the time because I can’t remember words and he always knows them.

4.  Friends is all my all time favorite show and the one where Ross gets a spray tan is one of my favorite episodes.  (I’m a 8!)

5.  When I was younger, I rode horses and wanted to be a jockey.  At 5″5, I surpassed the height requirements.

6.  I was a big boy band lover in high school and saw NSYNC, Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees in concert.  I still am a big fan of Justin Timberlake today.  Nick says I’m still a teenybopper and he’s probably right.

7.  Speaking of singing, if I could pick any talent, I would want to be able to sing.  In college, Jessica and I made a music video to Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow.  You definitely don’t want to see it because we are both terrible singers.

8.  Even though I’m a “grown-up”, I don’t like staying at home alone at night and sleep with a golf club or baseball bat when Nick is gone.  Intruders, beware.

9.  If I could have a pick of any jobs for a while, I would want to work for the First Lady or on the Bachelor.  I want all the TV show and White House secrets!

10.  I’m a terrible passenger on road trips because I immediately fall asleep in the car.  My husband is the same way, so we are not a good combination.

11.  If I’m wearing make-up, I can’t go to sleep without washing my face, no matter how late it is.

12.  I played softball for several years growing up, but I wasn’t that great.  Cheerleading and horses were more my thing!

13.  If you are a regular reader of this blog, I’m sure you already know that I’m a huge fan of Kate Middleton.  She’s just brilliant as they would say over in London (or at least they do in my books that are based there).

14.  Speaking of books, my bookcase is overflowing  because I don’t get rid of ones I really like because I read them again.

15.  When I walked to my office in DC, I always passed several homeless people sitting on the sidewalk by the metro.  I had this irrational fear of getting my ankle grabbed one day.

16.  I have a terrible sense of direction and routinely got lost in Knoxville and Nashville during high school and college.  For some reason, I was able to navigate around DC really well.  I don’t get it either.

17.  I am a lover of all flavors of ice cream, but a big bowl of chocolate is my favorite.

18.  I absolutely hate scary movies.  Actually, I don’t even like when the previews come on TV.  I always mute it!

19.  Sitting on the beach and reading a good book and then taking a nap is heaven in my opinion.

20.  In middle school, I decided I wanted to live in New York City or Washington, DC.  I got Nick to DC for three years, but I’m positive he would divorce me if we moved to NYC.

21.  I talk to my Mom on the phone several times a day and to my Dad several times during the week.  I think my parents are cool.  Too bad I didn’t have this opinion in middle school!!

22.  I almost majored in broadcasting in college.  When I see the anchors working on Christmas Day or at 5:00 a.m., I am very thankful I chose a different profession.

23.  I’ve owned three cars in my life-a Ford Escort, affectionately known as the Ford Beamer, a Scion TC and a Toyota Highlander.  I’ve paid for all three myself.

24.  I really like the house hunting process.  I love going in and seeing what a house looks like!  If I had an unlimited budget, I would restore an old farmhouse.  However, we are not rich, so we didn’t go that route!

25.  I am not handy at all.  I tried to put several pieces of Carson’s baby furniture together (swing, etc.) and failed miserably.  However, I put an IKEA bookshelf together last weekend without help.  Apparently directions that are solely photos and have no written instructions work better for my brain!

26.  If I could do anything regardless of money, I would travel all over the world.

27.  Sometimes I tend to be selfish.  Luckily my husband isn’t, so he’s working on me. :)

28.  Riding horses on the beach was always a dream of mine.  I did it in Costa Rica, but it wasn’t as great as it sounded.  Our guide’s horse threw him off and spooked my horse, who took off and I had to duck under a giant tree branch.  Thank goodness for riding lessons!!

29.  I love to bake and even better, I love to eat the treats afterwards!

30.  When I took the ACT in high school, I made a 30 in English and Reading and a 20 in Math and Science.  I really hope Carson gets his math skills from Nick!

Here’s to officially being a grown-up.

Carson James-Eleven Months

Carson, I can’t believe this is the last update before you turn one!  There are still times when you seem like a baby when you will snuggle with us, but most of the time you seem to be leaving the baby stage behind!  You are constantly on the move and go from toy to toy and make laps around the living room.

You walk around all day with a smile on your face; you will stop playing and run over and fall on Mommy and hug me.  I absolutely love when you do that!  You get excited when GiGi and Aunt Heather come over to see you.  When Daddy comes home from work and you see him, you grin from ear to ear and start reaching for him.

You got a stomach bug this month and didn’t feel good at all.  You were a trooper and still slept well, but you wanted to be held during the day and whined if we put you down at all.




Milestones:  You are walking like a champ!  You have really taken off this month.  Daddy and I spend a lot of time saying, “oh” and “be careful” because you are still a little wobbly sometimes.  Daddy calls you a T-Rex because when you walk fast, you pull your arms into your sides. I think the nickname is going to stick.


You aren’t really saying “real” words yet, but you “talk” all day long.  You say Da-Da and occasionally Daddy and you have repeated a few words, hi, bye, dog and bubbles, but it’s mostly been a one time thing.

Sometimes you wave, but most of the time you just stick your arm straight out to wave.

Likes:  You still have a serious love affair with your lion and now a stuffed monkey.  You carry them around all day, which throws you off balance when you are trying to walk!  You like when we stack the blocks up so you can knock them over.  You normally start knocking them over before we can stack all of them.  You are really starting to like your toy cars and try to imitate the sounds Daddy makes when he pushes them.

You like being outside on a blanket, but you don’t venture on the grass yet.  You just aren’t sure about it!  You have started going for runs with Mommy in the jogger and you will just hang on to the sides and look around.

You are so quick when it comes to pulling off our glasses!  You love glasses, phones and the remote.  Basically anything you shouldn’t have! You still love the vacuum cleaner and get so excited when we get it out.

You are fascinated with toilet paper!  I was putting my contacts in one day and you had the entire roll off before I could stop you.  And of course, you thought it was hilarious!


Sleep:  You nap from 10-12 and 2-4 most days.  Most people say you will go to one nap soon, but you still seem to need your sleep!  We haven’t gotten you to consistently sleep all night without waking up at some point since Christmas.  When you start sleeping all night again, you start cutting a tooth or get sick.  It’s a vicious cycle.  However, on nights when Daddy is going to get up with you, you seem to snooze with no problems.  I’m not sure what kind of deal y’all have going on, but it’s rude!

Food:  You aren’t eating quite as much as last month, but you are still a great eater.  You love strawberries, bananas, spaghetti, cheese, turkey, pancakes, yogurt and beans.  You love your sippy cup now and we are getting ready to say adios to the bottle!  I don’t think you will mind at all since you don’t like sitting still to take it anyway.


Dislikes:  You are getting a little “stranger danger” now and don’t go to just anyone now.  You don’t like sitting still to take a bottle, but you are a little better about diaper changes.  Once you are done eating, you are ready to get out of that chair!

Here are a few scenes from this month:














Carson’s First Easter

We had the best Easter this year!  Our past few Easter’s have been very low-key because we never came home from DC.  Last year, I was almost 9 months pregnant and wasn’t feeling quite so chipper!! So this year was very fun to get together with our family.  My Mom and Aunt Della came over once everyone was home from church and we got busy in the kitchen.  I hosted Easter lunch for the first time and I have several recipes to share that we all loved.

We are all dressed and no one is covered in baby puke.  That’s a picture success these days!



Who can resist two sweet babies in their Easter outfits?!


This picture had me laughing once I pulled it up on my computer. Carson is looking at Lily like “what is the world are you doing to me?”


Carson wanted to channel Ross Gellar and wore some “salmon” colored pants to church-not pink! See how you can relate everything in life to Friends??


The Easter Bunny came to see Carson and Lily and they got lots of fun treats! How cute are their sand buckets for this summer? The Easter Bunny still comes to visit the grown-ups too. I got some platters, plates and cups for eating outside around the pool. Nick thinks it’s funny that the “Easter Bunny” still brings us baskets, but he doesn’t mind too much once his treats arrive!








Easter is one of my favorite holidays and we had a great church service and time with family. Hope all you bunnies had great days too!


We’ve had some roommates lately!  My Dad is in town for a few months for work and he stayed for a week until his apartment was ready.  Unfortunately for him, Carson was cutting a tooth and got a stomach bug while he was here, so he wasn’t the most pleasant baby.  But he’s still good company in my opinion. :)



Carrie also came to see us over the weekend.  Well, when I say us, I really mean she came to see Carson.  I’m not sure we are the source of anyone’s visits anymore.







It finally warmed up outside and we took advantage of the weather and played outside.  Carson crawled to the edge of the blanket and touched the grass.  When his hand made contact with a blade of grass, he jumped back and made the most awful face.  I’m sure he will be trying to eat it before too long, but he’s not a fan for now.








He also stood up for the first time from a sitting position!  He had been working on it for the past week, but he was never able to make it all the way up without falling over.  We were playing and all of a sudden-standing man!  We were so excited!



I am completely aware that that was a massive overload of photos of my child.  But I have three very good reasons:

1.  I got a real camera and I’ve been testing it out.

2.  We are so happy that it’s warm and we can get outside and play!

3.  We can’t get enough of him.

You should see the amount of pictures on my camera that I don’t post!!


Five on Friday

I’m linking up with Hello Happiness for Five on Friday!

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1.  Party Planning.  We are only two months away from Carson’s first birthday and I started buying some odds and ends this week so I can get started on the DIY projects.  I love planning parties and I’m beyond excited to celebrate his first birthday.  I am trying to keep in mind that he won’t even remember this and not go over the top, but I can’t wait to have all of our friends and family here!

run quote


2.  Running Outside.  I’ve been able to skip the treadmill and run outside the past few days and it has been glorious.  As much as I like watching House of Cards while I run, you can’t beat running in the sunshine and fresh air. It’s supposed to be warm today, so Carson and I will hopefully head out later for five miles.  Although sometimes I’m not sure what’s worse-the treadmill or pushing a stroller while you run.


3.  Boots and Bling.  I am only about a month away from the Nashville Half Marathon and they just sent out an email showing off the medals.  I love the boots and can’t wait to have that baby around my neck.


4.  White Chocolate Peanut Butter.  This stuff is glorious.  Buy it and you will thank me.

mantle 1

5.  Fireplace Mantle.  My handy husband is building a mantle to add to our fireplace and I’m itching to decorate it.  Of course I’m using Pinterest for ideas.  If Nick picked the decor, here is what would be hanging over our mantle.


Not exactly the cozy feeling I want while sitting in my living room!!

Happy Friday and even better, happy spring!

Hiking With 5 Under 4

I think it’s safe to say all southerners are over this winter weather.  At the first sign of spring recently, we all headed out to a nearby hiking trail to get out of the house and get some sunshine.

Have you ever tried to hike with 5 kids under the age of 4?  Nick said he felt like we were out long enough to do several miles, but probably did less than a mile.  If one kid wasn’t in the bushes (Asher), than another was running the opposite way down the trail.


Don’t you go hiking in your tiara and sunglasses?  Lily is all girl.





Asher was highly entertaining.  He was running in the bushes, picking berries and strolling in the mud.  I was laughing at him, but I’m sure I’ll be paid pack next year when Carson can walk!





At least they keep us entertained right?

No Gym, No Problem

The small town where we live does have a gym, but it doesn’t offer child care, so I didn’t join.  I figured there wasn’t any point in having to wait until Nick got home every night to work out.  This is the first time since college since I haven’t belonged to a gym.  I love working out at a gym-I believe I’ve professed my love for Body Pump and Body Combat on here before.  It’s been a change to only work out at home, but I’ve found that it’s not too bad if I find a variety of workouts to keep me entertained.  We also have a treadmill, free weights and weight bench, so that makes a big difference.

Workout DVD’s

I have several good workout DVD’s and I don’t mind spending money for the good ones.  Nick and I did P90X before we were married and I still pull that one out all the time.


Body Combat was one of my favorite classes to take at the gym, so I added it to my Christmas list when they put it on DVD.  I love it.  I’ve done almost all of the workouts and they fly by because the music and choreography are fun. Plus, the instructors have Australian accents, so it’s fun to listen to them!


I bought a Bob Harper DVD pack at Target for $15 and my favorite DVD is the Inside Out Method.  It’s like working out with a personal trainer-but it’s hard because he doesn’t give you a break!


I bought the Cathe High Reps DVD when I read online that it was similar to Body Pump.  It follows the same format of burning out each muscle group with low weight, high reps.  And it’s less than $25, so a it’s a great deal.  I’m going to order some of her other DVD’s.


Pinterest is a gold mine.  I have a Workout board and I’m constantly looking up new workouts.  I used to print and keep everything in a notebook, but this is so much easier.  Here are a few of my favorites.





xmas workout


TV Shows


I have been doing a lot of treadmill running because it’s been too cold to take Carson outside until recently.  I normally loathe the treadmill, but I have found a way to tolerate it.  TV!  I only let myself watch shows on Netflix when I run on the treadmill, so it’s a treat while I run.  Right now I’m watching House of Cards.  Oh, I love a good political drama.  My husband does not, so this keeps both of us happy!

My main problem with working out at home is getting distracted.  Now that Carson is older, I can only workout when he’s asleep, especially if I’m running on the treadmill because he would be trying to join me.  And of course there are a million things I want to do while he’s asleep.  So I always make his morning nap my workout.  Right before I’m going to put him down at 10, I go put on my workout clothes and shoes.  That way I’m ready to go as soon as he’s down and I don’t start doing something else.  This has been key!  There are days where I workout at other times, but I’m pretty consistent about this.

Have a favorite workout or DVD?  Do share!

Carson James-10 Months



Milestones:  You proved us right and took your first steps before you turned 10 months!  You took your first steps on March  4.  I had gone to take a bath and you decided to walk to Daddy.  I was not happy that I missed it!!  You did it again later that night as soon as I left the room.  Stinker.  I did get to see you walk the next day.  We were playing at Kayla’s and you took two steps over to her.  It hasn’t taken you long to figure it out and you are already taking 5-6 steps at a time.  


Likes:  You have a serious love affair going on with your stuffed lion, monkey and puppy.  They make you happy and you drag them around all day.  You also lean over and give them kisses.  You still love baths, going for walks, playing with any remote, grabbing our glasses, pushing your wagon, your teething monkey and Roxie.  You have become obsessed with doors and will go in your bedroom door and shut it.  When we open it, you sit there and laugh. You also love pushing the baby gate back and forth and opening kitchen drawers.




You love standing at the living room window and looking outside.  Your alphabet train was under it one day and you climbed on top of it so you could see better.  I moved it away so you wouldn’t fall, but you just pushed a box that was on the floor over to the window and stood on it.  I was impressed with your thinking, but I’m a little worried about when you are older!  You are a climber and I have a feeling we will see you in trees and who knows where else!

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You still prefer your Mama over anyone else, but you spent a night with just Daddy while I was gone and was pretty attached to him when I came back.  You normally want us over anyone else, unless Gigi comes over.  Once she’s in your sight, you want nothing to do with your parents!  You always cry when she leaves.

Sleep:  You go to bed at 8 p.m. and normally wake up around 7 a.m.  You occasionally wake up in the middle of the night, but have been going back down pretty easily.  You nap from 10-12 a.m. and from 2-4 p.m., sometimes even longer.  You are like both of your parents and take great naps. :)

Food:  You decided that you no longer wanted to eat baby food!  We talked to the pediatrician at your nine month appointment and he gave us the okay for table food.  He had actually told us at your last appointment that we could start you on it, but Mommy was a little nervous about choking.  Well, we should have switched you earlier because you love it.  You love spaghetti, yogurt, fruit, cheese, peas…..there really hasn’t been too much that you haven’t eaten once you figured out what to do with the food on your plate.  You prefer to feed yourself and like to occasionally toss a treat down to Roxie.  You’ve had apple juice mixed with water and you would drink gallons of it if we would give it to you.  If we are feeding you something like yogurt and not getting it to you fast enough, you throw your hands up repeatedly and squeal.

You still take four 6-8 ounce bottles a day, but getting you to sit still for them is impossible.  You had been doing better, but you’ve decided again this past week that you don’t want to stop to drink.  We are going to try giving it to you in a sippy cup and see how that goes because you love the cup.  I don’t think we will have a problem getting rid of the bottle.

Dislikes:  Getting your diaper changed tops the list.  We call you our little alligator because you roll like one and it’s almost impossible to hold you down.  The only thing that makes you stay still while we change you is singing “This Little Light of Mine.”  You are officially the only person who likes to hear me sing!   

Carson, I can’t believe we are in the double digits now!  I feel like my baby is disappearing and you are turning into a toddler very quickly.  I sometimes get a little sad when I realize you no longer sit in my lap for hours or take naps on me, but watching you discover the world around you is such a treat.  You are a little explorer and nosy about everything you see, which keeps us on our toes, but is also very fun as you learn what you like and don’t like.  You are the sweetest little guy I know and flash the biggest grins at us.  You aren’t as free with your kisses anymore, but sometimes you will just lean over and surprise us with a big wet one.  You are so much fun and I love spending my days with you-even if there are some days when I can barely think straight because you have worn me out!  I am so excited that the weather is warming up so we can get outside and let you play.  I can’t wait to see what you think about the outdoors!

Here are a few scenes from this month.







Happy 10 months baby boy!

Tutu or Tie

Annie and Jake have been busy since they got married and we have another little bundle joining us in August!!  We went to their house on Friday to find out if Baby Jones is a he or she.  She is only 16 weeks, so we thought we had to wait another month to find out, but they told her this week, so we got an early surprise.






Carson and I wore blue while Nick went with pink.  Most people were guessing girl, but there were a few of us that thought boy.  I tried to get her to tell me after their appointment and swore I would keep it a secret, but she didn’t fall for it.  I guess I made our friends wait three weeks to find out, so I deserved it!


When Annie and Jake were handing out the donuts, Jessica and Jake got a sneak peak of what color icing was inside.  They were just a tad bit excited!




Baby Jones is a BOY!









I’m so excited for Carson to have another friend to play with and we can’t wait to meet him in August.

Pure Joy

Carson and I went outside to take advantage of the warm weather and I grabbed my camera on the way out. These pictures just seem to capture him perfectly. The smallest things make him smile and he is truly happy. I know he doesn’t know anything about how harsh this world can be, but he teaches me every day to find joy in the small, everyday things.