Tuesday, April 30, 2013

TOATS Sponsor Giveaway

During April, I was a Sponsor for Allie over at Tales of a Twenty Something. Today her sponsors have teamed up for this awesome giveaway. Good Luck!
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Today's the day y'all.
These lovely 20 ladies below have come together and are giving away one awesome prize!




Brin // Jenn // Ricci










Sarah // Meg // Betsy
Thanks to these wonderful ladies, one lucky person will win $115 dollars CASH!
Enter below via Rafflecopter!
All entries will be verified.


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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Weekly What? - My Blog Week in Review

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This is my first time linking up with Allie, Jenn and Ricci for Weekly What? Honestly, this has been one of my best blogging weeks.  It has been hard to keep up, and to write so many emotion filled posts, but that is the kind of blogging that I love.  I always want this blog to have substance... whether there are 3000 readers, or just a faithful 3. 

So, in case you missed a post or 2, here is a recap of the week. 

Monday

On Monday, I shared with you Detective Allen Pearson's story, and how it changed my perspective of "The Thin Blue Line"

Tuesday

On Tuesday, I shared with you what the cost of distracted driving really are... I remembered Ava Frances. 

Wednesday

Finally a happy post! I shared the What Will It Bee? Baby Shower that I threw in November. 

Thursday


Friday

Time for my Favorite Link Up!

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Friday, April 12, 2013

Pit & Peak... Tired Edition...

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Look at that fancy new button... super cute! 

You know the drill by now... so here's the most 'raw' Pit & Peak vlog I've done to date... Excuse my excessive eye rolls, and my broken out face, and the mumbling in spots...

Have a great weekend! I know I am going to! 
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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Nine

Nine...
...the number of innings in a baseball game.
...the number of Justices on the US Supreme Court.
...the atomic number of Fluorine.
...the number of squares on a Tic-Tac-Toe board.
...the number of years without my Grandma.

Nine years... one year less than a decade. I really can't believe it's been that long. April 11, 2004 changed my life forever. I find myself missing my Grandma Nellie now, more than ever. With each new baby born, with each new milestone reached, with each new health scare for my Granddaddy... I miss her.
This picture was taken in 2002, at a celebration for my Grandma & Granddaddy's 45th Wedding Anniversary. They would never celebrate 50. 

I so wish my Grandma were here to see these babies grow up. 

I know that my Grandma Nellie is in a much better place. I long more for Heaven, than I ever did before. Every single time I hear this song, I cry, thinking of my Grandma. 

"Knowing You'll Be There" sung by Samuel Jones at Kings Crossroads FWB Church. (my church)



I love you Grandma... and I miss you every single day.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What Will It Bee? Baby Shower

It's been a pretty heavy week so far here on the blog, so today I decided to lighten things up a little bit, by sharing with you a baby shower that I actually threw last year. (Yes, I'm just getting around to blogging about it...and the baby is almost 4 months old... better late than never, right?)

This shower was kind of 'thrown together' at the last minute. We had planned a date, but my cousin's Grandma had been in the hospital for a long time, so we didn't know if we were going do it when originally planned, or wait until after the baby was born. We went ahead as planned.  It was a small intimate gathering, but it was a lot of fun.

Wayne & Jessica decided that they were not going to find out the sex of the baby... so the theme had to be gender neutral. I was worried at first about what to do, but I turned to my trusty friend, Pinterest, for inspiration. I had a lot of big plans for this shower, but since I only had about 2 weeks definite notice, I scaled it back a lot, and then time ran out, and I had to make some other 'cuts.' But as things often do, everything came together.

Here are the details:
The Invitation
I designed the invitation, pulling in my favorite parts of some that I'd seen on Pinterest. 

 The Food
Menu:
Cupcakes
Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods
Lady Fingers
Cheese "Hives" (Like Cheese Straws, but made in the shape of bee hives)
Cream Puffs (Regular, and Chocolate Covered)
Honey Nut Cheerios Bites (I used these and cut in fourths)
Peanuts in Yellow Booties*
Lemonade
How cute is that Bee Hive drink dispenser

As you can see in some of the pics, I had menu cards to match the invitation. 

Decorations
I went very light on the decorations this time around. 
I used black and yellow netting to go above the windows, just to add some color. 

Black table cloths, yellow bee printed squares in the center, and a mini-diaper cake.

Other Details
Mommy and Daddy to 'bee' wore these little 'badges.' The bees are pink and blue to match the guessing game that we played. 

Guests taped up a blue bee if they guessed a boy and a pink bee if they guessed a girl.  As you can see, a lot of people guessed boy... and those people were right! 

Favors
The favors were candles with a label that said "Than you for bee-ing at Wayne & Jessica's Baby Shower!"


Not bad for something that was 'thrown together.'  I love planning and throwing these parties. Have you been to a shower lately? What was the theme? 

*I promise, a tutorial on these booties is coming soon... I have some to make in a month or two.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Remembering Ava Frances

April 9, 2011 was to be a happy day. My friend Rachel was all set to marry her sweetheart, and begin a lifetime of happiness. Until tragedy struck...

Many wedding guests had already arrived at the church, and were waiting for the wedding to begin. As soon as I arrived, I noticed that something was going on, because the Preacher's wife was leaving as I was parking. I just thought that someone had forgotten something and that she was making a last minute run to get it. Until I got inside...

When I walked in the church, there were a lot of people still standing in the foyer. People looked panicked. People were crying. Something was wrong. Very wrong. A friend of mine told me what was going on, but I didn't want to believe it...

Then, the Preacher had everyone sit in the Sanctuary, so that he could make the announcement. Even 2 years later, these words still haunt me.  He said, "Today there was to be a wedding, but that won't be happening.  The Bridal Party was en route to the church, and there was an accident. The flower girl, Ava Frances, went to be with The Lord."

Shock. Collective gasp. No tears immediately. Complete disbelief. Was this real? This is the kind of tragedy that you see on Lifetime movies, but it doesn't happen to one of your good friends. Maybe the reports were wrong.  Maybe Ava was still alive.

But no. A day that was supposed to be full of love and laughter, quickly turned into tragic sadness. While on their way to the church, one car of the Bridal Party's caravan was struck head on, instantly killing 6 year old Ava Frances Kendall.


Let me tell you a little bit about Ava.  She was a 6 year old who was full of life.  Her beautiful red hair, and blue eyes were only matched by her outgoing personality.  Whenever Ava was in a room, everyone knew it, because Ava brought light with her, and boy, did she know how to light up a room. As my friend, Rachel, said in an interview, "She was explosive with personality... and she was beautiful." She never met a stranger, and would talk to anyone.  Her signature color was pink and she loved wearing her cowboy boots.

I'd known Ava for most of her life.  It was rare to see Rachel and not see Ava.  Rachel babysat for Ava pretty much her entire life.  This was not just some child that was plopped in her wedding as a flower girl... this was a role that Ava was born for. Rachel loved, and still loves Ava like her own child.

The cause of the wreck was distracted driving. Witnesses that were driving behind the lady that hit the car Ava was in, said that she reached down for something. Later, it was revealed that she was reaching down for her cell phone. One split second.  One simple thing that could have waited. It cost Ava her life.

We've all done it. I know that I have. You get that phone call, or that text message and you can't wait to see who it's from or what it says. Lately, when I hear that notification going off while I'm driving, I find myself thinking of Ava. At the crash site, there are flowers planted, and a garden flag to remember the sweet sweet life that was lost there. I drive by that spot all the time when I'm going to my parents' house.  Every single time, I think of her.  The next time that you are driving, and are tempted to reach down for the phone, or the radio, or whatever may be distracting you, I implore you to think of Ava, and that bright smile... and to focus on what you are really doing... driving.

The story passed the local news, and was picked up by the AP... and as I was googling to find the news story from 2 years ago, I found an international article about the accident.  However, as news stories often do, this one has faded into history, but people need to hear Ava's story.  People need to know the cost of distracted driving are.  In this case, the cost was the life of a 6 year old Kindergarten student, but Ava was much more than your average Kindergartner.  She was loved by all who knew her.
The Star of Bethlehem in our church Christmas play. 
Ava was a shining star here on Earth, and there is no doubt that she is making friends and entertaining on the streets of Heaven.  Rest in Peace sweet Ava Frances. You are missed so very much.

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Monday, April 8, 2013

The Thin Blue Line

I'm sure that somewhere, sometime, you have seen an image similar to this one.
You may know what it stands for, and you may not. This is the Thin Blue Line. It is a symbol for Law Enforcement, and is often used to show support or to remember fallen Officers. 

I'll admit, I never really thought much about Law Enforcement Officers, until my sister started dating, and then married one.  My brother in law is a Deputy Sheriff. Even when they were dating, and first got married, I never really thought about the sacrifice that these men and women make on a daily basis.  That all changed very early on the morning of April 8, 2009. 

Early in their marriage, my sister would spend the night with me when her new husband worked night shift, because she didn't want to stay alone. On that morning, around 2 am, she came into my room, visibly shaken, and in a panic. She told me that Brad had just called, and that he had been on the scene of a standoff, and shootout, and that 2 Deputies had been injured, and that things were not looking good for one of them. To say that there was little sleep in our house that morning was an understatement. 

Later it was confirmed that Detective Rickie "Allen" Pearson, Jr. had been killed in the line of duty. You can read the local news story here.  He was 29 years old. A life ended so very early, while he was serving and protecting the community. My eyes were opened in more ways than one. 

Over the course of the week, the outpouring of love and support that I witnessed was indescribable. What I saw was the entire Law Enforcement community pulling together to mourn the loss of a fallen brother. I spent the night with my sister the night before the funeral, and as I was driving home, I met line after line of Law Enforcement Officers driving the the funeral.  Over 200 Law Enforcement Officers attended Pearson's Funeral, coming from as far away as Texas and Florida. That, my friends, is a brotherhood...a tight knit family of people who put their lives on the line every single day to ensure the safety of others. 

While I did not know Allen Pearson personally, his story has definitely impacted my life.  I now have the utmost respect for what Law Enforcement Officers do on a daily basis. My thought process never includes "that jerk of a cop" anymore. 

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, over 20,000 LEOs have paid the ultimate sacrifice while in the line of duty. Today, I remember one of those, one that hit a little too close to home for comfort. 


"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13


After his death, Allen Pearson's family and friends formed the Allen Pearson Emergency Services Foundation. I have included a video below that will show you more about Allen Pearson, and the great work that this foundation is doing to honor his memory. 


Today, and every day, let us be grateful for Law Enforcement, and let us remember the things that the willingly encounter to keep us safe. Rest in Peace Allen Pearson.  Remembering you today, LC105.


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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Hey Facebook... I get it...

Hey did you know that I'm single? Facebook does... and their suggestive marketing takes every opportunity to remind me. I used to get the occasional ad about a dating site... now, with their new "Suggested Post" content showing up in my News Feed, every time I log on, they're trying to lure me to another dating site. Who knew there were so many out there.  They're even going as far as to tell me "How to Get a Boyfriend" and "Go On A Date Now."

Here is a sampling of the things that have shown up in my News Feed, and as ads in the last 24 hours!
 

Apparently, there are secrets in the "Love Super Guide"
 

Cops are more my Sister's type.
 


I am seriously not cut out to be a Military Spouse. I've seen Army Wives.
 

 

Yeah... what is she doing with that dress?
 
 
I'm sure I've missed some of the things that Facebook has tried to sneak in, too. Should I ever forget that I am almost 28 and bitter and lonely single, I will always have Facebook to remind me! 

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Saturday, April 6, 2013

About to Pop Baby Shower Part 5: Games and Prizes


This is the long awaited last installment in the About to Pop Baby Shower series.  I started blogging about this months ago, and really only planned for it to take a week... but we know how that goes.  In this post, I want to share the games that we played and the prizes.  

Here, a lot of baby showers are floating, and I'd honestly never been to a shower where games were played.  I knew that I wanted this shower to be fun, since it was only a few close friends and family. Of course, the games had to relate to the theme.  We played a total of 4 games: 

Baby Pop Culture Game
For this game, I created a list of questions from Pop Culture about babies, songs or movies with the word "Baby" in them, etc.  I had each question printed on a sheet of paper and read the question aloud.  The first person to answer correctly, got the paper with the question on it.  After all 10 were answered, the person who had the most questions correct, got a prize. 

You can download the questions that I used here. (I realized that I don't have the answers on that file, but if you need a certain answer, just let me know.) This is easy to change and add more questions as well.  You just have to do a little research.  It is really fun if you have a lot of people who are Pop Culture Junkies. 

How Big Is Mommy's Belly? 
This is kind of a traditional game played at baby showers... but instead of using ribbon or toilet paper, I decided that guests would blow up balloons to measure against Stephanie's belly. Each person was given a balloon, which they blew up how ever big they thought her belly way.  Then, we took each one and measured. The person with the closest balloon size won a prize. 


Pop Quiz
I created a "Pop Quiz" with questions about Mommy, Daddy and Big Brother.  I had a copy for each person, and after they answered the questions, whoever got the most right, was the winner.  My mom kind of had an unfair advantage, so she gave the prize to another person. 

You can see the Pop Quiz that I created here.  You will have to recreate it with your own questions. 

Pop the Balloon
Remember those balloons from the earlier game? Well, we used them for this game too.  I gave each person a piece of ribbon, and had them tie the balloon to their ankle.  They all stood up and tried to pop each other's balloons.  The person whose balloon wasn't popped, was the winner. 



The Prizes
I did simple, food prizes because who doesn't like food?! And who wants some hokey picture frame or something like that?  

Since I had 4 games, I needed 4 prizes.  I decided to do 2 versions, and just do 2 each of them.  For the first one, I picked up some Kettle Corn and Tootsie Pop Drop candy from the Dollar Tree.  Put it in a gift bag with pretty tissue, and voilĂ ... nice prize. 

For the 2nd prize, I created "Blow Pop Boquets" and put one of them in each gift bag.  To make these, I found cute ice cream bowls at the Dollar Tree, and wrapped a styrofoam ball in tissue paper.  I stuck Blow Pops in them.  I used some giant blow pops, as well as regular sized ones. 

Everyone loved playing the games, and it was really fun.  It really tied the whole "About to Pop" theme together.  

This concludes the About to Pop posts (finally!)  If you have any questions about anything that I've posted about this shower, please feel free to comment or to send me an email

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Friday, April 5, 2013

This Week's Pit & Peak

It's Friday... which means that it is time for my favorite link up of the week...

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and this week, it is even more special, because Allie and Brin have allowed me to Co-Host with them!  



My shortest vlog ever! Sorry about the stupid fly-aways... my hair is a mess. Have a great weekend! 

So now it's your turn to link up!
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