Thursday, April 24, 2008

Swim Lessons and the 10 Minute Marriage...

As you can see Jackson has been taking swimming lessons this week. Boy has that been an adventure. I am not really sure what I had hoped he would acquire from taking swim lessons. In my day dreams I thought it sure would be great for Jack to know how to swim so this summer he could swim (virtually unassisted) while I tend to Madzilla (aka Madeline). The first night was not so successful. He did not want to do anything (except leave) Of course this is the night when 3 cameras (1 video and 2 regular) are on him. Doesn't it always work out like that though? Oh well, I lower my expectations for the 2nd night and he did great! I mean even swimming under the water (this was such a big step from the 1st night) Plus it was just he and I which was great for us! Ok so now my hopes are high again...well Wed. he tells me all day "I don't want to go swimming" My response "Too bad, we sometimes have to do things we don't like to do" (boy that is such a mom response) So he cried most of the lesson. Even through "circle time" when we sing a silly song and do motions (should I say the parents do motions and sing) And so today he tells me he does not want to go swimming. I am torn here. I am not raising a quitter, but I also do not want him to resent swimming if I force him to do this. (Now I feel myself remembering all my child psychology classes) Anyone else ever been in a situation like this and could offer up some advice?

Anyway...I have been able to talk to Jason daily which is so wonderful, but he is only allowed one 10 minute phone call a day. This is hard. By the time he talks to the kids and I catch him up on things that are going on it is time to go. Don't get me wrong, I am so grateful that we at least get 10 minutes, some people do not even get that. But I am being selfish here and wanting more time. (I am praying about that though) Jason moved from the tents to what will hopefully be more permanent housing for him. He should have an address soon for anyone who would like to write to him. I am not going to post it on the blog, but if you want it please let me know (email me at Thanks for continuing to check the blog and especially for remembering us in your prayers.

Monday, April 21, 2008

NY Trip Day 4 - Our Last Day :(

Today Show

Today Show

The security guard who thought we were movie stars???

Aimee laying on the nasty floor in the souvenir shop

the nasty "naked cowboy"

getting yummy cupcakes at the Magnolia Bakery

posing with our VIP ticket from the Mike and Juliet Show

about to ride the subway

Our week went by so fast! Hard to believe it was already our last day. But it was probably a good thing because we were exhausted! I mean completely and utterly exhausted!

We were up early once again, but this time it was so we could go to the Today Show (and get pictures for Aimee's mom Mrs. Ann) We did not make it in time to see the 7 am start, but we were there by 7:30 (so we were on the 8 o'clock hour) To get in we had to go through security (of course) and let them read our sign. Once in line we got a great spot right on the front. At the start of the 8 o'clock hour Matt and Meredith came out to talk to the crowd. Aimee almost got to touch Matt! (She would have been next, but he was pulled away) When the camera scanned the audience we got on TV! We called everyone so they could watch (with the hour delay for central time we could tell them exactly when to watch) As we were leaving the Today Show a guy walks up to us and says he is a producer for "The Morning Show with Mike & Juliet) and he would like us to be on the show! Aimee was a little skittish at first so he showed us ID. He told us the guests and segment line up (we got to see William Defow and Joan London) Well hook, line, and sinker we were in! On our way to the studio, the producer gives us a VIP pass! We got to the studio, go through security, and turned in our cameras (they would not let us take any pictures at all) The staff fed us breakfast then took us to the studio. We were put on the front row center! What luck we have! There we were in our "I Love NY" t-shirts pulled off the streets and placed on the front row! How crazy is that ?!? Needless to say some of the audience members were not pleased with us because they waited months for a ticket. Now comes the part where I make a complete idiot of myself. Aimee and I had decided the "lady" sitting next to me was not born a female. (just use your imagination for "her" appearance) So without thinking I turned to "her" and say "Did they pull you off the street too?" The "lady" replied "No, I am not like that!" I was soooo embarrassed! I quickly apologized and told "her" that Aimee and I were pulled off the street. WOW! Talk about embarrassing! The Mike & Juliet show was fun to be on. Mike & Juliet interacted with the audience a lot and they seemed very down to earth. Some prizes were given away, but all I got was a t-shirt.
By now it was 10:30 and we had to get back to the hotel and pack up because check out was 12 noon. As we were checking out the hotel security guard asked if he could have his picture taken with us because he thought we were movie stars! (of course he could have been full of it and is photoshopping our pictures-who knows) We store our luggage and grab a cab to Greenwich Village (or so we thought) The cab driver took us to Soho. Oh well, we explored a little then got another cab to Greenwich. This cabby knew where he was going (thankfully), unfortunately he was a Bush hater and anti-war. I have no idea what got this guy ranting about that, but he did. I began to cry (almost uncontrollably) and felt like I could not breathe. Aimee, being the great bff she is, told him about Jason and then told him to stop the cab. We walked the rest of the way. I was so glad to get out of that cab! (I miss sweet home Alabama!) We grabbed some cupcakes at the Magnolia Bakery. They were incredible! The frosting is out of this world! Magnolia Bakery is a must if your traveling to NYC! We had lunch at Penny Feathers. Supposedly known for their pasta dishes, but we did not want anything that heavy so we opted for the Turkey Reuben. (it was ok, definitely had better) After lunch we decided to take the subway back to Broadway (no more cabs for me thanks!) We did some souvenir shopping (and Aimee decided to lay down on the nasty floor) We saw the "naked cowboy" He was gross. Enough said. As we walked down Broadway a man approached us and asked if we would attend a taping for a show on Comedy Central. We politely turned him down (no telling what kind of show that would have been) By now it was time to return to the hotel and get our luggage out of storage so we could ride the Super Shuttle to the airport. UGH the Super Shuttle! It was yet another nightmare. The driver had no clue where he was going. The other passengers had to tell him where to go plus he kept talking on the phone on what sounded like personal calls. I felt like screaming "this is your job, get off the phone and drive!" But I did not. It took the guy nearly 3 hours to get us to the airport (and there was no traffic to blame it on, just his lack of direction) Oh well we finally arrived, checked in, and grabbed dinner. Our plane was delayed for mechanical problems (scary) But we had a great conversation with a lady from China. She was so beautiful! She had the most beautiful skin ever! She was 40 but did not look over 20! It was amazing! She shared all her herbal tips with I need to go back to Chinatown and get the herbs. It was great for Aimee to talk to her so she could learn a little more about Lily's homeland. Well after a nearly 2 hour delay a plane arrives to take us home! Yah! After it was all said and done we arrived at my house around 3am. And here we are. Back to reality! It was so nice to get away, but I sure was glad to see my babies! Well I hope you have enjoyed reading about the BFF Great Adventure!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

NY Trip Day 3...PAULA'S PARTY!!!

Aimee and Me with our Paula tickets with the "P"!!!

inside the studio (we snuck a picture quickly before being told no more photos)

carriage ride through Central Park

Central Park

about to go into "The Lion King"

Our day started so early again! We were up at 6 am (remember that is 5 am our time) But we had to get ready for Paula's Party so it was worth it :). We were ready and out the door by 8 so we could grab a quick breakfast. We decided to head to McDonald's-it's right by the hotel (and on every block) As we were walking down the street people were stopping and staring...we felt like movie stars. Well we get to McDonald's and eat-while there the janitor gives us 2 thumbs up---now we can rest easier with his approval :). So we leave McDonald's and Aimee steps into the street and gets us a cab-this was hilarious! There she was all dressed up waving down a taxi. We arrive at the Food Network Studios and stand in line forever (at least it seemed that way in 3 inch heels) While we were standing in line Paula arrives incognito along with her husband and assistants. We were so excited! During our wait the producers would keep coming out looking the crowd over. Aimee and I gave the biggest smiles we could and poured out our southern charm. The people around us kept giving us dirty looks while this was going on (we just could not help but laugh about it) We told the producer we were in the "special pile", but he did not seem to care.

FINALLY time to head to the studio! We go through security (you have to go through security just about everywhere you go in NYC) The producers gave us our tickets and hand write the letter "P" on it. No one else around us had a "P" We had no idea what it meant! A lady in front of us said her friend had attended a taping a couple days before and had the letter "P" on her ticket. She would not tell us what it meant except that it was a good thing!?!? Here's the moment at last, we enter the studio (after nearly 2 hours of standing in 3 inch heels) We finally realized the "P" meant we were getting to enter first and get the best seats. We were seated on the front row directly behind where Paula cooks! AMAZING! The producer told us we had the best seats in the whole studio! We were on tv the entire time! By the end of the taping our cheeks hurt from smiling and our backs hurt from having good posture.

The big moment finally arrived....Paula entered! She is so beautiful! SO funny! and Tiny! Yep tiny! The camera definitely adds 15 pounds (just what I need!) She talked to Aimee and me and we got to shake her hand. We were on cloud nine! Everything finally settles down and taping begins on our first show (we taped 2 shows "prime time cuties" and "taste of Italy") The first guest was Carson Kressley. He was a hoot! They made a raspberry trifle that looked delicious, but we did not get to try any. The next guest was Jason Priestly! Yeah, Brandon from 90210, except all grown up! (but still just as cute!) At one point I even made eye contact with him...;) He and Paula made some sort of potatoes and filet Mignon wraps. It smelled wonderful, but again we did not get to try any. :( Paula and Jason taped promos for the show right in front of Aimee and me! That was so neat!

For the second show the audience was moved around so no one would know it is the same audience. This time Aimee and I were moved to the front row in front of where Paula cooks. (still great seats, but can relax a little more because the camera is not on us the whole time) Cheri O'Teri (formerly on SNL) was the guest for this show. She is a spunky little thing! Paula and Cheri made a lasagna soup that smelled so good my mouth was watering! Unfortunately we did not get to taste any! We were there for nearly 5 hours and all we got to eat was popcorn, bread sticks, and olives with lemonade to drink. But hey, we saw Paula! It was such an amazing day!

The producers did not know when the shows would air, but check the Food Network website for Paula's Party with the show titles "prime time cuties" and "taste of Italy"

We head back to the hotel, change clothes (got out of the heels!) and went for lunch! We ate at the Brooklyn Diner. It was so yummy! I recommend this to anyone headed to NYC! After lunch we headed up to Central Park. We took a carriage ride through the park (not the horse drawn kind, but the bicycle kind) We had a great guide! His name was Adam and he was from Turkey. He was so funny! We could not hardly understand anything he said except cuss words ;) Central Park is such a neat place. I did not realize it was so big. Saw lots of statues (including one of Balto the dog), Tavern on the Green, the fountain on Friends, the buildings on Ghostbusters, the rocks on Home Alone, Trump Tower ("you're fired"), the building where John Lennon's apartment is at, and Strawberry Fields. I was very uncomfortable there. Lots of "make love not war" stuff going on....we quickly left because I felt like I might loose it. After our carriage ride we sat on the lawn and just tried to soak everything up. I talked to Jason. He just had another "Farewell Ceremony" this one was the last one though because he left the next day. Central Park was really neat and pretty much the only place with grass and trees in NYC.

It was time to leave and head back to the hotel to get ready for Broadway! On our way we passed the NYPD on horseback and asked to take a picture. When we finished the police man asked if we wanted his number. HA! We just kept walking like we did not hear him.

Broadway was unbelievable! Besides Paula's Party it was the hi light of my trip! "Lion King" absolutely took my breath away! I think I probably sat the entire show with my mouth wide open! UNBELIEVABLE! Our seats were fantastic (12th row center!) The only thing that shocked me was the clothes people wore. Aimee and I went with "cocktail attire", but the majority of the people we saw were in jeans and t-shirts (I have always thought you were suppose to dress up for it) Oh well.
If you get the chance "Lion King" is an absolute must in my book!

After the show we were too tired to move (thank goodness our hotel was around the corner) We were too tired to even eat! (which was a bad idea because we had not eaten since about 3 pm and it would be almost 2pm the next day before we at again!) We just went back to the hotel, popped more advil (still extremely sore from Tuesday and standing in heels all morning) then went to sleep!

Be sure to go back to my last 2 days and see the pictures :) There are lots of great photos on Aimee's camera so as soon as I get a disc from her I will do a slide show of all the pictures from the greatest BFF trip ever!

Stay tuned for the awesome adventure we had on Thursday (which includes 2 more national tv shows!)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

NY trip Day 2

Grand Central Station

The sign reads "Clothing Bargains For Millionaires"

Acting silly on the docks under the Brooklyn Bridge

Ready to begin day 2!

Picture with the bull in the Financial District

Riding the Staten Island Ferry

Shopping in Chinatown...wonder whats in the black bags???

The Brooklyn Bridge

We woke up bright and early at 6:00am. We got dressed and grabbed some yogurt and fruit at Euro-pan. While eating breakfast, we get our game plan on. We figure out how to get to the subway and we're off! We get a little confused, and Aimee asked 3 people for help. Well, nobody can speak English. So, we just start pointing, screaming "That way? This way?" Ugh... Well, we found it and bought a ticket. Just our luck, here comes an empty subway car.... (note to self: empty subway cars signal a problem..) so we hop on. As soon as the door shuts behind us, we inhale the most awful odor you can imagine. Can we say pooey smell??? Body odor smell???? We both look over and there lies 2 naked bums. Lovely. It was more than my sheltered mind could imagine. I have been ruined for life. Its just not something you want to see....naked booty at 7:00am. Aimee and I are standing up holding the metal pole for dear life. Aimee's other hand is gripped onto my arm. We are praying to God to just let us survive this trip. Well, after 15 minutes, we finally get off the subway and arrive at World Trade Center. Not much to see, just a construction zone. But, it was scary to imagine what that day must have felt like. It made everything very surreal for me. At times I am so mad about Jason being deployed again in this war on terror, but after seeing that site it was a reminder to me why it is necessary. As we were walking toward the Trade Center site, Aimee said Good morning to a lady and the man in front of her, turned around and gave the dirtiest look. We forget sometimes where we are. We head over to Century 21 to shop. Well, this is a great place if name brands are what you are after. I really see no need in paying $200 for a shirt just because it says Marc Jacobs on the tag. But, whatever fits your fancy. I am a Kohls kind of girl. So, we head off to see the financial district. This is a neat place. Lots of business men, all obviously worried about their investments. Blah,blah, blah. We took pictures with the bull. We keep walking and head down to the Staten Island Ferry. We took the ferry ride across. Its was beautiful. It does not get close to the Statue of Liberty, but it is a free ride and it gets close enough. I would recommend this if you go to NYC. Once we got back across, we head over to City Hall Park and take some pictures. After this, we head over to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. I think Aimee and I ranked this as one of our favorites of the trip. This is a must if you visit. Once on the bridge, you can see the entire Manhattan skyline. Its just gorgeous. There are lots of people that walk the bridge, we even saw a bride having pictures made on the bridge. When we got to the other side, we go under the bridge to eat at Grimaldi's. OK, not joking, this is the best pizza I have EVER eaten. We got there just in time and didn't have to wait. By the time we left, there was a huge line outside that curved all the way around the block. We ate an entire pizza (it was a small). We ordered: extra cheese, black olives, and ham. YUM! Little Ceasar's will never be the same.... After pizza, we walk down to a dock that is under the bridge. We took lots of silly pictures here. So, we walk back across the bridge and head towards Chinatown. Chinatown is an absolute must see! I think we ended up staying for about 3 hours there. If you could have seen us, we were wearing a big smile the entire time! Everywhere we looked, there was little Chinese girls. Aimee asked me if she could kidnap one. JK. ( I kidding????) We would just look at each other and smile. I am just as excited as Aimee is about Lily coming home. OK....on to the shopping. I will try to paint a picture for you... Here's how it goes.... Aimee and I walk down the roads in Chinatown, little Chinese women and men come up to you and whisper...."prada prada prada, coach, coach. coach," It is hilarious. I wish you all could hear Aimee and I do our impression. So, you nod yes to them and they take you to a back room. (Sorry, everyone, we got caught up in the prada moment) The lady does a secret knock pushes on the wall, and it magically goes into a secret room. I know you all can imagine our faces. We also were taken down an alley, up a small hallway and into a room and were locked in, uh, dead-bolted. That was a little creepy. Yep, we went into 4 secret rooms. Sorry, it was way too much fun. Aimee got 4 purses, all for less than $30 each. And I got 2. Great deals on our illegal purses :) Thanks to our moms for the extra spending money! Aimee and I couldn't stop laughing. Aimee bought HG and Lily matching red Chinese outfits, a pair of Chanel sunglasses, and some NYC shirts. I bought a pair of Coach sunglasses, some I love NY shirts, and Madeline a pink Chinese outfit with matching shoes. We didn't eat in Chinatown, there were lots of raw fish and ducks hanging out.
After Chinatown, we went to Little Italy and ate amazing pastries. Canoli and Bavarian Creme something... Heavenly. I ate like a pig. After Little Italy, we get back on the subway (much better this time) and ride it to Grand Central Station. It was so beautiful there, and so busy. We then walked down to the NYC library. This is no local library, the ceilings look like Michelangelo painted them. It was breath taking. We asked to use the computer, but you have to make reservations. We were disappointed because we really wanted to update our blogs. Guess it was a good thing because we really did not have time on our itineraries. Well, then we went back to Times Square and looked around. Then we walked back towards our hotel to get our Lion King tickets. We buy great tickets, 12th row and center. This is a must too, but more about that tomorrow. So, as we were leaving the ticket counter, all of the sudden someone screams, "Mario, Mario!". We turn around and honey, we are looking right into Mario Lopez's eyes. Yep, Slater from Saved by the Bell. I am looking like a total do-do and I can't even speak. I was scrambling for a camera and before we could get it, he heads into the theatre. (He is starring in Chorus Line on Broadway). Wow, Mario Lopez looked at us.
After a short little break (15 min). we head off to grab a New York hot-dog. OH, can we say delicious?????? I think I ate it in 3 bites. YUM!! As we are walking to the Empire State Building, we check out Macy's. It is so pretty and big! The empire state building was so amazing. My knees got weak and I felt kinda dizzy at the top. We took lots of pictures and tried not to look at all the couples getting some sugar up there. Gross! Actually, we just both wanted our hubby's. :( After that, we are nearly delirious. Get a map and see, we have walked 10 miles today. Our legs were jello and we took a taxi home. It was a good experience for our first taxi ride. We had a good driver, but he would not tell us which celebrities he has had in his cab. We got back to the room and we started laughing so hard, we both couldn't breathe. Aimee fell on the floor laughing. I was talking to Jason and couldn't even speak. I know he must have thought we had completely lost our minds. But remember we walked for 14 hours straight! 10 MILES in one day!!! We were so tired, we were loony. We popped 3 Advil's and went to bed. What a day. More about Day 3 tomorrow. I can't wait to tell you about Paula. Ahhhh!!!

Jason update

Just wanted to let everyone know that Jason has arrived in Kuwait. He called last night (Fri) around 10:30. They are temporarily staying in tents, but should move in a week or so. He has already emailed and called today (Sat) also. Jason seems to be doing ok. He is just trying to adjust to the time change, jet lag, sleeping in a tent, and the surroundings.

I will update more as it becomes available.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Exhausted to the point of death

Plane ride

view from the window of the plane

Walking down Broadway

NBC Studio Tour

NOTE: These posts may be written by me or by Aimee

Oh my! I am EXHAUSTED! Believe it or not, we accomplished everything on the itinerary plus some. My poor body is weak and it will probably take me a full week to catch up on sleep, but we have no regrets, it was a trip of a lifetime. So....I know you all are dying to hear every little detail, so I am going to post each day of our trip, one day at a time. There is so much to tell, and I want to give as much detail as possible (this is also a scrapbook for me!).

Monday morning: I jumped (literally) out of bed and got dressed and headed for Jess's house. I got to her house about 5:00am and we loaded up the car and she had to tell Jason good-bye. He had come home for a short visit before heading off to Iraq for 400 days. It was sad, but Jess is so strong. We had no problems getting to Park Spot 2 in Atlanta. When we got on the shuttle, there was 2 men and another couple. We were absolutely giddy. So, of course, they asked, "So, where are you going?" That was all we needed to hear. We both screamed, "We're going to see Paula!!!!" We were taking pictures on the shuttle bus. (I know, you would have thought we never get out) So, we get to the airport and check in our luggage. We tip the man good, because our precious Paula outfits are in those suitcases!!! We were still giddy at this point. (Maybe delirious because neither one of us slept the night before) We grab a good breakfast and board the plane at 10:00am. Plane ride was great, except for the poor girl who was having a panic attack next to us. We started pointing and screaming when we saw the New York skyline. We land in New York at 12:00pm and got our luggage. We walk out to the curb to wait for our Super Shuttle. Well, it doesn't show up for a while, come to find out, you have to call and make a reservation. Who knew? So after and small 30 minute delay, the Super Shuttle arrives. This is where things turn bad. The driver is the cutest little Chinese man. Really nice guy. We are on the interstate going about 60 mph(NY traffic is insane) and I look out the front window and all I see is a big construction truck sitting still in the middle of the highway. Driver man is NOT slowing down at this point. I look at the other 9 people in the van and they are in shock. So....I SCREAM!!!!!!! The man looks up and yanks the van into the other lane, thank God there wasn't a car coming. Are you ready......the driver was looking down texting!!!!! I was shaking like a leaf, and basically sitting in Jessica's lap crying for my mama. OK, not really, but I was so freaked out I could hardly breathe. The whole van is silent, like hear a pin drop silent. Well, we made it to our hotel, alive. We check in and take our luggage to our tiny little room. Later, we found out, if you can walk around your bed, your room is considered big. Our room was no bigger than my master bathroom. Really. But, who cares, we only slept there (and we barely did that!) So, off to see the town. We head down to Times Square. Everything was so big, and it made us feel so small! We looked like total tourist. First thing we noticed, everyone is in a hurry and nobody is friendly. We were smiling at people and they gave us weird looks. Everyone is wearing black, sunglasses, looks mad, and has an Ipod. While we were walking down the street, this bumb hollers out to us, "Hey, you, I am going to cut your (insert bad word) throat." I looked at Jess and we both decided to put on our "New York mad face". So with our mad faces, we head over to NBC studios and took a tour. It was neat. Jess and I volunteered and we got up and did a news cast. I did the weather and she did the news. The weather was so hard. I had to read the tele-prompt and point at the same time. Ya'll, I looked so ridiculous, I couldn't even tell left from right. Everything is backwards. Its like looking in a mirror. I just laughed and everyone laughed at my southern accent. Jess read her script so good and then she would say "And now, over to Aimee for the weather." Mine was something like "Ya'll, its gonna be 75 degrees in NYC today and there is a little cold front over here in the west..." You get the picture. Total hillbillies. We sat in the Conan O'brien studios and toured other neat things. After that, we go to Rockefeller center, St. Patricks Cathedral (so beautiful), Radio City, Saks 5th Ave, and all of 5th ave, and most of Broadway. We had fun in Saks 5th ave. We pretended we were rich and we were saying, "Oh, Jess, do you think daddy would mind if I charged this on his card? I just love this Prada purse. Its just $1,450.00." It was funny. People are so snobby in there. Where is the southern love????? I sure don't feel it.....

After all that, (keep in mind, its just Day 1 !!!), we found Ellen's Stardust Diner. Oh what fun! This is a diner on Broadway St. where all the young people who are trying to get on Broadway shows work. They all sing. And they are sooooo good. They were singing numbers from Broadway shows. I felt like I was at American Idol, they were that good! It was constant entertainment. I would highly recommend this if you visit NYC. Good food too.

We decided after supper that we were going to catch up on sleep, so we could be ready for the next 3 days. Looking back, this was the best decision we made all week! Because Tuesday was a monster of a day..... I will tell you all about the 14 hour day tomorrow. Hopefully, my pics will be back from Wal-mart too.

Updates:NY and Jason

We're back....and I had an absolute blast! I am paying for it today however. I am so tired and every part of my body aches (even my hair!) I am so glad to be home and back with my babies. Aimee and I have so much to share about our adventures in NY (and believe me there is a lot to share!) ;) I am just way too tired to type it out or even download the thousand plus pictures we took. Aimee and I are going to get together and work on our blogs. I think we will probably just do them one day at a time and pictures from that day. So stay tuned for all the great stories from the ultimate girl trip! For a brief update refer to the 2 previous posts that Carlton posted for us.

I do want to let you know that Jason officially has "boots on the ground" He left out yesterday, so while I was flying home he was flying over seas. He called this morning around 4 while on layover in Germany. He should be in Kuwait now, but it will be a day or two before I hear from him. We are still unsure where he will be stationed, but as soon as that information is made available to me I will let you know so that you can write him (if you would like) Jason will also be checking the blog so please leave him comments here to let him know that we are thinking about him and praying for his safety. Please be in prayer as we begin this part of our journey. Pray for safety and peace of mind.

Check back soon for NY updates and Jason information!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Party Time with Paula!!!!

The girls wanted me to catch you guys up on all their adventures (this is the very condenced version because I am male!) They have not only kept up with the itenerary, they have added to it! Yesterday's adventure (Tuesday) covered 14 hours and 10 miles on foot!!! The pain reliever was well worth the fun of the day. Aimee and Jessica had a blast "undercover shopping," eating pizza under the Brooklyn Bridge, hitting up Grand Central Station, Harold Square, the Garment District, the Public Library (they tried to use the internet but you have to make a reservation for the computer), and they capped off the night at the Empire State Building! This morning they got up early to get dressed for the big show, turned heads all over town because they were looking like movie stars, sat on the set in the front row behind Paula, and got to take a close look at 90210 star Jason Priestly! The shows will air some time in the future under the titles, "Prime Time Cutties" and "A Taste of Italy." Now they are off for Central Park and more fun on the town, and tonight they are going to "The Lion King" where they will be sitting 12th row center. In the morning they plan to get up early, take in Greenwich Village and other fun attractions, and then fly home tomorrow night. Their flight leaves New York at about 9:00 pm eastern time so pray for safe travel! Thanks for keeping up with the ladies, and they will have lots to say when they get home. Later.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

WE Made IT!!!

This is Carlton reporting for Aimee and Jessica while They are in New York!!! Aimee and Jessica made the trip to New York just great. They do not have computer access, but they wanted me to tell you that they are keeping up with that packed full itinerary. As you can imagine, they have a ton of great stories to share with you. One that might peek your interest is the naked men on the subway ride!!!!! They are currently riding the Staten Island Ferry, and are headed to the Brooklyn Bridge. After the bridge they are off to see China Town and Little Italy. Yesterday they added to the itinerary by going to Ellen's Stardust Diner and enjoying some food and Broadway wan-a-bee singers! They will be going to the Paula Show taping in the morning. They are going to try to give me another update later.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Weekend Update

Hey everyone! Just a quick update. Jason has been home these past few days and we have really enjoyed our time together. Of course the time has just flown by! Jackson said the cutest thing this morning. We were outside playing and one of his friends came over. The boys were in the clubhouse watching Jason walk around the yard. Jackson turns to Jacob and says "that's my daddy, he's a good guy, he's my buddy" I truely felt my heart melt and my stomach flip at the same time. I do not want this to end, but I know our "visit" is almost up and Jason has to return. I do not want to say good-bye again...but I must.

Aimee and I are leaving in the morning for the big NYC trip. I am so thankful that it is has fallen during this time. Please pray for our safe travel. Pray that we find our way around.

Please pray for Jason and all his traveling this week.

One last request, please pray for Jackson and Madeline. Saying good-bye is so hard for them. They must say good-bye to Jason again and to me. Pray for their understanding while we are both away from them.

I am not sure if I will be able to update while I am gone, but I will try. I will post our pictures and all our details of the Paula Party show as soon as I return. ;)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Goo Be Gone, Day Be Gone...whatever...

As a mommy to two toddlers I am all to familiar with "goo be gone." Now if someone would just invent "day be gone." Ever had a day like that? Well today was one of those days for me. I have dealt with more "junk" (insert your own expletive here) in the past 24 hours than I care to deal with again, ever. The only thing I can do is smile and know that tomorrow is a new day (thank you! thank you!) Oh I had such an enjoyable afternoon yesterday. I was able to run errands, grocery shop, and have a mani/pedi all alone (thanks to my wonderful helpers) But I am paying for it today. My kids are dealing with some serious separation anxiety issues today. WOW! I can not get out of their sight at all.
The days really are getting easier (for the most part), but there are still those days when I honestly just want to throw my hands up and say "day be gone." Oh, but how sweet it is that even though emotions change like the days, one thing does not change and that is Christ. His faithfulness, grace, love, forgiveness etc are always the same, always constant, never changing.

"For I am the Lord, I do not change..."
Malachi 3:6

I am so grateful for that stability, that constancy! Please don't think I am complaining, really I am grateful. I am grateful for this journey and how I am learning to rely on Christ so much more now than I have ever before. (Which is hard for me because I am a control freak and now I am in a situation to which I have no control over.)

Jason will be home soon for his pass. We are looking forward to seeing him again! Jackson is so excited. He has planned out so much stuff for his daddy to do with him. :) Madeline is just Madeline...I am not sure if she understands that daddy is coming for a visit. She will be greeting him with a few new bruises (imagine that from my active child) I have no idea how she got the bruises, but if I ventured to guess I am sure it was from one of her many climbing adventures. :)

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Pressed out of measure and pressed to all length,
Pressed so intently, it seems beyond strength.
Pressed in the body and pressed in the soul
Pressed in the mind till the dark surges roll.
Pressed by foes and a pressure by friends,
Pressure on pressure till life nearly ends.
Pressed into knowing no helper but God,
Pressed into loving the staff and the rod.
Pressed into liberty where nothing clings,
Pressed into faith for impossible things.
Pressed into living a life in the Lord
Pressed into living a Christ-life outpoured.
Amy Carmichael

There are times when daily events just seem overwhelming. I feel myself spread so thin and I think how much more of me can I give? It can be exhausting (both physically and emotionally) when all responsibility seems to "fall in my lap" so to speak. I feel so guilty for feeling this way. Believe me I know Jason would love nothing more than to be home and not leave me alone to handle everything. But it is not the path God has chosen for us right now and that alone gives me comfort. God knows me completely and He alone knows my needs best. I have found such comfort in keeping God's word on my mind and in my heart. Only Christ can bring satisfying peace.

"You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You." Isaiah 26:3

We are looking forward to the end of the week when Jason gets a 4 day pass. He is going to come home (can you imagine me trying to travel with the kids??? WOW that would be quite interesting) It is going to be so wonderful to see Jason again! I have not told Jackson yet, thinking I will wait a few days. The timing of this pass has really worked out for us. I was so afraid it would fall during my NY trip, but it did not. :)

Speaking of the NY trip, my fabulous bff Aimee (being the planned person she is) has come up with our itinerary:
MONDAY: April 14th.
Depart ATL: 10:40am
Arrive NY: 1:00pm
Take Shuttle to Hotel/Milford Plaza (located in Theatre District)
2:30- Check in Hotel, Get a Metro Subway Card for the week
3:30- Refer to page 14. Go to Central Park South and walk south: Highlights: The Plaza, Fifth Avenue (FAO Swhartz, Tiffany’s, Trump Tower, Henri Bendel), CafĂ© 2, Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Saks Fifth Avenue- Grand Central Station
Evening: Times Square, Get Broadway tickets (47th and Broadway)..Hang out in Times Square/Eat NY hotdog
9:00pm- Empire State Building (go to top and enjoy the view!)
8:00am- Big Breakfast
9:00-Take Subway 4,5 or 6 to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall
Explore Chinatown and Little Italy (page 82), Purses here! Get HG and Lily matching outfits on Mott Street.
12:00- Head towards Brooklyn Bridge (pg. 108) Grab a Starbucks at bridge entrance and walk across the bridge. Head over to the famous Grimaldi’s Pizza in Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. After lunch, walk over to Brooklyn Heights Promenade for a breath-taking view of Manhattan Skyline.
4:00- World Trade Center (pg.6), Century 21 (shop!!), City Hall Park, Walk down to Financial District, Staten Island Ferry (take pics of Statue of Liberty)
Evening: Decide when we get there. We might need to crash after this day!
Get up early and get ready for Paula! Show theme “TV Dinners”
8:00- Take Cab to Chelsea Market
9:00- Arrive at Paula’s Studios
11:00- Taping begins
2:00-Change clothes at hotel and head for Central Park (take Subway to Central Park North (pg. 100) Grab food for a picnic on the Great Lawn, People watch, explore Central Park, (wow, its big!)
Broadway Show (8:00pm)
9:00- Take Subway N or R to 8th Street and explore historic Greenwich Village. (pg. 75) Take walking tour from book. End at Magnolia Bakery, famous for 100 kinds of cupcakes. Yummy!
Food: Corner Bistro
Explore trendy SOHO
*Do anything else we were too exhausted to do. Re-visit places we loved, Shop Macy’s, etc.
Depart NY: 9:00pm
Arrive ATL: 11:40pm.

WHOA! I am pretty sure that Aimee has covered every square inch of NYC.

I am still debating about my attire for Paula's Party (am I putting way too much emphasis on this?) Thank you all for the suggestions on where to look for the perfect outfit. I did however get me some "easy spirit" shoes...don't laugh I will be comfortable walking the entire state of NY (like Aimee has planned for us to do) ;)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Help, PLEASE!!!!

Ok all my blog readers out there I need some help. Aimee and I received our email reservations today from the "Paula's Party Patrol." We already knew our attire was to be cocktail dress so we got our dresses (both black of course) In the email it suggests to wear bright colors because they photograph best. So now I am in a panic...we are back to square one in the hunt for the "perfect" outfit.

This is what the email said:
What to Wear: Dress your best! All audience members may appear on camera. To go along with the show theme, we ask that you dress in “cocktail attire”. Think classy NY style. Dresses, skirts, dress pants and buttoned shirts are encouraged. Bright colors photograph best, and we ask that you refrain from wearing white. Absolutely no hats, t-shirts, sleeveless tops, sweatshirts or logos permitted.

Aimee and I have been to every (and I do mean every) store in Anniston. Anyone know of a great place to look for a dress? (perhaps in the Gadsden or Birmingham area) I have some great "tummy control" black pants so a cute top would also be great. Your input is very much appreciated here.

Oh our theme is...."TV Dinners" wonder who are celebs will be??? I know she has done a show in the past with this theme so it will be interesting to see who the celebs will be this time.

ok bloggy friends help us out ;)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I Will Survive...

Sometimes that thought crosses my mind and I just have to laugh. I got an email from a friend that was celebrating that I made it through another week. Pretty amazing considering there are times when I think "Am I going to make it through lunch?" Take for example, I took my kids shopping Friday so I could get a cocktail dress for Paula's Party. It took 3 adults, 2 bags of goldfish, a pack of crackers and several rides on the carousel to "occupy" them so I could try on dresses. What was I thinking??? One positive thing did come out of it...I got a dress! (now I just can not eat until the taping so I can be sure to fit into it)

I also have a new "list" That is a list of places we can not go to for at least 6 months in hopes they will not remember our faces :) Sunday I thought I would take the kids to Lowes and we would scope out the flowers and play on the tractors (Jack's favorite thing to do) Afterwards I thought lets eat at McD's and play on the playground. (What was I thinking??? That I just cleaned the house and wanted it to remain clean thru the evening at least) Well after 3 (yep 3) full cups spilt, countless bits of food to pick up off the floor, and 2 screaming kids who would not get out of the tunnel we left. (as I was leaving and apologizing for the
3rd spill I asked them to wait to cuss me until I got out the door) So McD's goes
1st on the list. The #2 spot occurred yesterday. We met some friend's for lunch at Wendy's (again just me and the kids - what was I thinking? had I not learned my lesson yet?) My kids left a mess as bad as a tornado (and they were as loud as one) My friend tells me "People are staring with 'that look'" Oh we all know "that look" don't we? That "my kids would never do that" look. Oh I've given it before, now I am the recipient of it. (OUCH!) So Wendy's is now on the list. In light of this we will remain at home today (and the next time I see a mommy alone and having a hard time I'll offer my help or a friendly smile instead of "the look")

Things are getting into more of a routine around here which is good. We have been able to use Skype to see and talk to Jason. He is still busy training in Ft. Bragg. Looks like he will get a 4 day pass soon. He is going to come home (easier than me traveling with the kids) We miss him so much and are looking forward to seeing him for 4 days (even though I am not looking forward to saying good bye again)

I continue to keep myself in God's word. I find Him revealing Himself to me more and more everyday through the truths in His word. I am learning that this journey is not for me to decide. A Christian life is not guaranteed to be a life free from pain, suffering, anxiety. BUT God's grace is sufficient and He supplies me with all I need to get through the day.

Lamentations 3:22-23
Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning, Great is thy faithfulness.

God's mercy is His love for us. No matter how difficult things may seem, God's love is always surrounding us. My needs will be provided for if I trust God and leave my anxieties and burdens with Him.