October 29, 2010

My Prize Winning Sweet Pea

Our town hosts a fall festival each year and as a part of the festivities, there is a costume contest. I had not planned on dressing Joycelen for the contest - as I was saving her real costume for our church festival on Saturday night. However, at the last minute I bought this sweet pea costume at the dollar store. It was cute enough to win her 2nd place in the baby division.

October 28, 2010

Girl’s Weekend



Hi Everybody, Joycie here. Mama is once again very busy with work, so I will be guest blogging for her today.

I wanted to tell ya’ll about the great “girls weekend” we had last weekend.




My Aunt Gail came to visit for the ENTIRE weekend. On Friday, we went shopping – and I got lots of pretty new fall dresses. Then we met Daddy for dinner at Ruby Tuesday’s. He was late – so we ate appetizers – well the grown up’s at them, and Mama fed me tiny bites of the cheese biscuits.

On Saturday, Nana, Aunt Gail, Mama and I went shopping … and once again I got lots of pretty fall outfits.  Then we came back to the house where I played and played with Aunt Gail…


She sang silly songs to me, played patty cake, and horsey.



We even swang on the porch swing. I had a great time with my 3 favorite ladies. I hope we can do it again soon.



Bigger Picture Moment: Celebrating Life

There are only a few days remaining in October. As the calendear changes, the world's focus will likely shift from Breast Cancer Awareness to the upcoming holidays. But not for me - because each day I see a living reminder of breast cancer.

My cousin Tammi, who I have mentioned in previous post is a 2 time breast cancer survivor. She is also my co-worker. And each morning, as we chit chat at the coffee maker, I offer a silent prayer of thanksgiving -- that she beat the odds and defeated breast cancer.

This month, I have blogged about Tammi's story, what I have learned about breast cancer, and what we as women can do to fight this dreaded disease. This week's prompt for Write Pink is to write about how this month's posts have changed you, or about a breast cancer survivor you know and love.

Instead of retelling Tammi's story, I will simply tell you that the above picture was taken moments before Tammi and I mailed off our registration for the 3 Day for a Cure 2011 Walk in Atlanta.

When Tammi was diagnosed she dreamed of walking to one day celebrate her remission....and it was my vow to walk in her honor. Next October, we will due it together -- a celebrate of life, a celebration of family, and a celebration of VICTORY!

October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

October 18, 2010

Monday's Meals

Between my work schedule, training schedule, M's farm work, and church responsibilties, we often find ourselves stretched thin. There are many nights that we do not sit down to eat supper until nearly 9:00 p.m. On those days, I am grateful for one thing:
My crock pot. I love the fact that I can put a meal on in the morning, it is ready when I walk in the door after work -- and can stay on the warm setting if we can't eat until much later. For the next few Monday's Meals, I am going to share my favorite crock pot receipes. This week it is:

Easy Pulled Pork Sandwiches


2-3 pound pork tenderloin

1 - 12 ounces can of diet coke/coke zero/diet pepsi

1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce


1. Trim excess fat from your tenderloin and poke several holes in it using a fork.

2. Place pork tenderloin in your crockpot and cover with the diet coke and bbq sauce.

3. Cook on low for at least 8 hours.

4. After 8 hours, remove pork from crockpot, shred and return to the crock pot. Allow it to continue to simmer in the pot until you are ready to eat.

*M says that the meat gets more and more tender the longer it stays in the sauce mixture. We are usually able to get a few meals out of just one tenderloin. If you prefer your bbq sandiwches to be saucier, you can just add more sauce when you prepare your sandwich.

October 16, 2010

7 Months




You turned 7 months old on October 5th.  With each day that passes, you are becoming more independent – almost toddler like – and less of the tiny infant that we brought home from the hospital. Per the usual routine, here are your important statistics for the month:

  • You weigh 17 pounds and are 28 inches long.
  • You are still wearing size 2 diapers because you have absolutely no waist.
  • You are wearing clothing in sizes 6-9 months.

Last month you were practicing your M and B sounds. But this month, you are using words. You routinely say Mama, Daddy (although it comes out Da-DEE), and Ba-ba (which have come to believe is your word for bottle). You have also said Uh-oh, Nana, and Papa.

You are an accomplished sitter, and have stared trying to pull yourself back up when you tumble over.  While you are not yet crawling, you are beginning to get up on all fours and rock back and forth. Mama is fairly certain that you will only crawl for a brief time, as you already try to pull up when you cousins are standing around.

Daddy and I have had to buy you new toys as you show no interest in the toys that are designed for your age range. Instead, you prefer playing with Lacey’s baby dolls, London’s pom-pom’s or Trevor and Trenton’s trucks.

DSC_0648You have developed quite an outgoing personality. While at the Georgia Tech game last week, you threw yourself from Mama’s arms into the arms of the security guard. Then you promptly gave her a big, wet kiss.  As we tell everyone, you are a happy, content, loveable, easy going baby.


Mama & Daddy

October 14, 2010

Write Pink! Kimberly's Story

My first cousin is a 2 time breast cancer survivor. After watching her heroic battle with cancer, you would think that I would be a breast cancer expert. But I am not. In fact, I am so uneducated that I do not even know to give myself a proper self-exam.

For this week's Bigger Picture Moment, I decided to do some research - after all knowledge is power. I went hour reading various documents, articles, websites, and speaking with breast cancer survivors and my own doctor. Here are a few of the interesting (at least two me) things that I learned:

- Women in there 30's have a 1 in 229 chance of developing breast cancer. By age 40, the chance increases to 1 in 69.

- My diet can be a factor in increasing/decreasing my risk of breast cancer. Some studies have found that a diet high in saturated fat may increase breast cancer risk, but a diet high in monounsaturated fat may lower breast cancer risk.

- Diet is not the only lifestyle factor that can have an impact on my breast cancer risk. Exercise has the potential to lower the risk of developing breast cancer by 20%.

- A lump in my breast my not be the only sign of potential cancer. When performing self exams, I should be looking for the following changes:
  1. Lump, hard knot or thickening
  2. Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening
  3. Change in the size or shape of the breast
  4. Dimpling or puckering of the skin
  5. Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
  6. Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast
  7. Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
  8. New pain in one spot that doesn’t go away

The most important thing that I learned this week is that this is my body. And because it is MY BODY, it is my responsibility to do all I can to educate myself about breast cancer. Then I have to put that education into action.

What new information have you learned about breast caner? How are you going to put your knowledge into action?

October 08, 2010

Making the Important Connection

I am a social media junkie. Each night, I come home, turn on my computer and read blogs, change my Facebook status, tweet to a few friends, and spend hours IM’ing. Social media has allowed me to stay conneced with family and friends who are not nearby. Given my hectic schedule, social media allows me to share glimpses into my life with out committing a lot of time.

However, in my bigger picture moment, I came to realize that social media was harming the most important relationship in my life, my relationship with M. Thursday night started out as so many others. M arrived home from work, we loaded up the diaper bag, grabbed our gym clothes, and headed to my parents house to drop the baby off. We arrived at the gym and I went to pull our gym token out of the console – it wasn’t there.

That set off a firestorm of frantic searching (by me) but to no avail. The token was not in the truck and without it we were not going to make it into the gym. By this point, I was beyond frustrated, so when M suggested we go home rather than get fellow gym goers to let us in, I snapped “Fine, just do whatever you want. Forget that I need the workout to distress.”

It was a long, silent ride home. Once home, I turned the house topsy turvy - determined to find the token – certain that if I had not lost it, my evening would not have turned out so poorly. After 30 minutes of looking, I found the token, in the pocket of the jeans I had worn to the gym the prior week. Excitedly, I went to our workout room to inform M of the good news. The sight I found broke my heart.

M was sitting on the weight bench, head in his hand, shoulders sagging. He was hurt – and there was no doubt as to who had inflicted the pain. I knelt in front of him, resting my head on his knee and with tears in my eyes and throat, I whispered “I’m sorry.”

Those simple words opened up a lengthy dialogue, in which M shared that he often felt ignored in the evenings. As he said, “You find Facebook and blogging more interesting in me.”

I assured him that was not the truth, but that he often came home and turned on the television, becoming so engrossed in the show that I felt neglected. So I was turning to Facebook and blogging to fill the void.

But Facebook, blogging, My Space, and twitter can not replace honest conversations with my husband. Myth Busters, Sports Center, and The History Channel are a poor substitute from laughter shared between M and I. So now I have a new rule for myself – no blogging, Facebook, or twitter after M arrives home. That’s our time.

How’s is working? Last night, M arrived home, we stretched out on the floor, conversing about our day, a mock wrestling match ensued, which resulted in M chasing me thru the house while I laughed hysterically, and Joycie looked on in wonder and amazement.

And it was way more entertaining then any television show, blog post, or Facebook game.

October 07, 2010

Bigger Picture Moment : I'm doing this for Joycie

Seven years ago, I along with my family sat in the surgical waiting room while my cousin Tammi underwent her first mastectomy. I can remember sitting next her daughter Tamela, as she read the note that her mother had written her - a note that told her not to worry, that she was going to be okay. And I remember the haunted look in Tamela's eyes - because in spite of her mother's assurances, she was not certain that Tammi would win the battle. Truth be told, none of us we certain -- we were all terrified.

That image - the stark terror etched in Tamela's eyes has never been far from my mind. Now, as a new mother, I find myself hoping/praying/ that my daughter - my precious Joycie - will never have to experience that kind of fear. But hoping/praying is not enough. I have to take steps to
lower my risk of breast cancer . I need to perform monthly self breast exams to ensure that I know my breats, that I would be able to recognize any change in them, not just a lump .

But I will not stop with just me. There are countless other women in my daughter's life that need to know - her Grandmothers, her Aunts, her cousins, and even perhaps her someday. And beyond Joycie's tiny world there are millions of others who need to be made aware.

Because if we are know, then we can fight, and if we can fight then we can win. And if we win, no more daugther's will sitting in waiting rooms with terror in their eyes and fear in their hearts.

October 06, 2010

What I’m loving Wednesday….

It's Wednesday! Today I'm linking up with Jamie to share the things that I am loving this week.



The fall decorations in my living room.


This little scarecrow that sits among the “pumpkin patch” above my living room window.

pumpkin spice candles

I’m in love (maybe even obsessed) with pumpkin spice candles. I have them in my kitchen, living room, bedroom, and bathroom. They smell amazing and embody the fall season.

white chocolate mocha

As soon as the weather turns cooler, I begin craving hot tricks. I am loving White Chocolate Mocha’s from Starbucks. Unfortunately, the nearest one is nearly half an hour away. But M promised that he would treat me to one this weekend….

bobby dodd

I am loving the fact that this weekend is Homecoming Weekend at Georgia Tech. I am so excited to share the Homecoming traditions with Joycie, Mikey and my parents. I am also excited about reconnecting with friends.

6 months 9-24-10 #4

And lastly, but most importantly, I am loving my baby girl’s laughter. She has been giving little giggles for the past few weeks. However, she has not started laughing – deep belly laughs that have her little body shaking. Her joy at the world around her is something worth loving!

What are you loving this week?

October 04, 2010

Monday's Meals: Kickin Chicken Chili

Lyndsie at A Love Worth Waiting For , is hosting a new link up called Monday’s Meals. The idea is for each person to share favorite recipes, and then each week we can get inspired for new meal ideas. M and I often eat the same 5-6 meals week in and week out, so I am eager to participate and get a little kitchen inspiration.

Over the weekend, the temperatures here grew cooler. Saturday night is was chilly enough that I needed to wear a sweater when we went out to dinner with friends. The cooler temperatures immediately had me craving warm foods – soups, stews, chili – so I thought I would share my favorite chili recipe.

Kim’s Kickin Chicken Chilli

*This receipe was modified from Gina’s Recipe.

1 bag of frozen pepper and onions ( You can also use freshly chopped if you prefer)
1 16-oz can black beans
1 8 oz can dark kidney beans
1 8 oz can light kidney beans
3 cups of corn (I usually grill ears of corn and then take it off the cob. However, you can use canned or frozen)
2 cans of diced tomatoes
2 jalapenos chopped ( If you prefer things less spicy, use only 1 jalapeno)
1 packet taco seasoning
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1.5 pounds of chicken breast
To prepare, place the beans, peppers, corn, tomatoes, and seasoning in your slow cooker. Place the chicken breast on top, cover, and cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours. About half an hour before you are ready to serve, remove the chicken breasts and shred them and place the shredded meat into the slow cooker.

When you are ready to serve the chili, you can top with sour cream, avocado, cheese, and crumbled tortilla chips. My husband likes to mix a mashed avocado with a bit of ranch dressing and use it as a topping. And while it sounds weird, it tastes great and the cool ranch is a lovely contrast to the spice of the chili.