Tuesday, December 27, 2011


We had a good Christmas.  In fact, we had several good Christmases, & the merriment continues this week as Trey & I await one last gift we've been working on for Reagan (& us, too).

We had a magical weekend.  For the past few weeks, we've been receiving mail addressed to the once (& future!) buyer of our house, a nice daily reminder that everything fell apart :/  My mother-in-law & our family friend Dr. Bob Huffstutter both told me where our once & future home buyer works, so Friday, in the spirit of Christmas (& the spirit of trying to clear our house of junk before we move), I took the kind lady her mail that had been piling up on my kitchen cabinet for weeks.  She was grateful, & had some interesting news.  Early last week, someone viewed her current home, loved it, & is now under contract to buy it.  I hope everything works out for all parties this time around, but I'm not as emotionally invested in the sale of our house this time since we're buying our new home regardless.  On Thursday.  Yipppeee!  Of course, I truly want everything to work out so that everyone ends up with the home they want, & Trey & I are left with only one mortgage.  One mortgage = furniture much sooner.

On to the festivities . . .

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Baby Steps

Before the deluge this next week will bring (Christmas, closing on our house, & a wedding . . . ), here's what Reagan & I have been up to lately.

At church in the Christmas dress her Aunt Lisa gave her for her birthday, Reagan is busy cutting a few top teeth:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

This is Our Christmas Card

Were I to select images of our family from this past year & have them fashioned nicely together in a collage-type arrangement on a festive card to mail to our family & friends, these are the images I'd choose, & this is likely what the card would say . . . so don't wait by the mailbox, because here it is, no stamp required, our 2011 Christmas card:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lucky Thirteen

We've made it.  Today, Reagan is one year old, & while I am the same age I was yesterday, I feel a good bit older.  We continue to work on making a 'one' with our index finger, having so many reasons to need the gesture.  How old are you, Reagan?  What are the LSU Tigers ranked, Reagan?  How many terms will Obama serve, Reagan? 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Your Story

Before another year slips away & while I can still remember the details, here, Reagan, is the story of your entrance into the world.

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Mixed Bag

The real estate roller coaster continues.  I think it's starting to stress Reagan out:

After doing some thinking & some number crunching, Trey & I have taken matters into our own hands & decided to proceed with the purchase of our home.  It's probably the one house in this area that Trey & I agree on, & I also think he fears if we built I might bankrupt him.

I won't even mention what this means for me & my love/hate relationship with my new BFFs, the boxes.  I am excited that after all the turmoil & many weeks of sitting forlornly in the middle of my living room floor, the chances of my fake 9 foot Christmas tree seeing the light of day this year have improved dramatically.

More on this turn of events later, as I'm currently heavily involved in preparations for a birthday party.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Futility of Plans

Well, the good news is my box fever has lifted.

The bad news is that it's gone because I've unpacked most of the boxes & returned their contents to their rightful place.  The packing of the boxes experience was much more wistful & nostalgic than the unpacking of the boxes.  When packing the boxes, I assumed when I unpacked them I'd be living in our new house.  Optimistic of me, right?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Box Fever

I'm not sure where to begin this blog.  I'm finding it difficult to adequately select & manipulate words to convey the depth of my frustration.

This will be a little heavy on real estate details.  If you've ever played Dominoes, use that as a visual.  Often when people purchase a house, they've also recently sold a house.  Each sale is "contingent" on another sale.  I received a phone call on Monday & was told there were some "issues" with the sale of the home currently owned by the individual who is under contract to purchase our home.  If one of the dominoes doesn't fall properly, it skews the whole effect.

Wednesday, I was told our buyer was intent on closing on our house (which of course means we close as scheduled on our home, which is obviously the transaction in which I am most interested).  The sticky issue is, as always, the approval of some financial institution granting our buyer interim funds until the sale of her home is completed.  I've learned more than I ever wanted to know about real estate.

So, while we are under contract to close "on or before" December 6th, which, if you take a gander at a calendar you'll see is next Tuesday, as I type this everything remains up in the air (except of course the boxes that are all over my floor!).  

This leaves me sitting in a house full of boxes, trying to keep smiling despite my anal retentive nature flaring its head, demanding that the boxes be moved or unpacked.  This is not how I typically decorate for Christmas (that's our Christmas tree skirt laying on the top of that pile):

My wonderful friends on Facebook keep posting festive pictures of their Christmas trees, while mine sits in a box in the living room.  I love real trees, but decided until Reagan is older, an artificial one would be best.  So, about a month ago I bought one at Hobby Lobby while their Christmas decor was on sale (50% off!).  I'd love to see what it looks like, as I'm sure once it's assembled I'll hate it a little less than I do right now, sitting in the middle of the living room in a long box that continues to provide great entertainment for Reagan.  I may just give in & post this picture on Facebook as our 2011 Christmas tree:

We'll be home for Christmas this year, & are eagerly waiting to learn where exactly home will be come Christmas Day.  Regardless, Reagan has no idea what's going on & is happy as always:

She's not loosing any sleep over it:

So, I keep giving myself pep talks as I wait for a phone call to tell me what's happening next.  I have a healthy baby girl who won't even remember our box Christmas, a handsome husband who listens to me whine, a perky dog, & a brand new Christmas tree in a box that I know will be just beautiful once I'm able to assemble it somewhere.

p.s.  -  If you've recently received an invite to an event scheduled to take place at our new address, we have a contingency plan should one be required.  I guess I've learned a lesson about being optimistic. Stay tuned! 


Tuesday, November 29, 2011


So, an update on the packing . . .

I decided to pack the bookcases in the living room first.  They are (were) full of books, pictures, & knick-knacks, & I thought they would be the most time consuming to box up.  I did get everything off of them & into boxes last week, but not without getting sidetracked more than once by their contents.

In one of the communication courses I taught when I worked at ULM, there was an entire chapter in our text on nonverbal communication.  One of the things I always discussed at length in this chapter is the term 'artifacts.'  In the realm of nonverbal communication, artifacts is a fancy way to say "people's stuff."  Remember when you first started dating someone & you were eager to see where they lived?  A primary reason for this is because you can learn a lot about a person from their belongings, & books are a treasure trove.  You may look to see if they have a Bible, or note that they share your affinity for Hemingway.  You may take a step back if you see Obama's The Audacity of Hope or anything by Al Gore.  Perhaps you give the person a chance to explain that the book was a gift.  People's things speak volumes about them, thus the inclusion of the concept of 'artifacts' in the nonverbal communication chapter.  The choices we make, from the clothes we wear to the movies we love to the books we read, say something about us.

I've been resistant to get a Kindle or other electronic device that allows you to download what you want to read.  I like books.  When I read, I highlight & make notes.  I've been told you can do these things on a Kindle, but, I prefer books, & I was reminded of why last Monday as I pulled book after book off the three bookcases that line the back wall of our living room.

This book belongs to my dad.  If you know him, he's probably recommended it to you (if he suggested you read The Librarian, he was actually recommending this book as he tends to get the title wrong).  This is on my reading list.  Ms. Kostova should cut him a check for advertising her work:

Other goodies I packed away:


If best-selling conservative authors make you cringe, abort this blog now.

My fun little obsessions:

So that Reagan will know that one day, a long, looong time ago, before he was the godfather, Marlon Brando was a hunk:

These are a  few of the paperbacks I read in high school.  I smiled as I packed these books into boxes I got from my friend Ashley who labored with me through four years of honors English in high school:

While at Louisiana College, Trey & I took Shakespeare together.  I was an English major & he was an English minor, but I guess we hadn't had enough college at the time to figure out that we should share a copy of The Norton Shakespeare, which probably cost around $75 at the time.  Thanks, dads!

The packing ceased for awhile as I flipped through our wedding album.  I have digital copies of every picture the photographer took that day, but I love thumbing through this album:

Two of the shelves were full of old, old books.  They all belonged to my grandfather, Dadoo, another English major.  Some of them he used while a student at Vanderbilt.  

Some of them belonged to Dadoo's mother, Reagan's great great grandmother, whose maiden name, Alma Meyer, is inscribed inside the cover of several of the books:

I put these books in their own box and labelled them with their new destination:

Reagan enjoyed the packing as well:

Her first encounter with bubble wrap:

So, I will point out the irony that may've already crossed your mind as you read, the fact that I am blogging online about shunning a Kindle because I adore books.  I am at present working on printing this blog for Reagan, which was was my intent when I began blogging.  I'm using a site called Blog2Print, which supports blogs from Blogger, WordPress, & TypePad.  I thought printing the whole thing might be a bit costly since I tend to be verbose, but as it turns out words don't cost that much to print, but color pictures do.  It gives new meaning to the old saying "a picture is worth a thousand words."

I think I will wait until after Reagan's Aunt Jessica marries on New Year's Eve, & then I'll print my blogs from this past year.  So, years from now, Reagan might be packing up her room to leave for college, or packing up the starter home where she & her husband became a family, & she'll pull a book off the shelf & smile when she sees her baby picture on the cover.  She'll take a break from packing to flip through the pages & read about her first year of life, what her mama was thinking & feeling when she was 4, 5, & 6 months old, where she went on her first road trip, & what she wore to church her first Easter Sunday.  She'll look at pictures of her daddy's smiling face when we greeted him at the airport after his first long trip away from his baby girl.  She'll roll her eyes at her mother's odd obsession with the Twilight books, & maybe note that her mom has aged well and barely looks a day older than 30.  Then, she'll notice an old book on the shelf & open it to find notes scribbled in the margin in her great grandfather's handwriting.

That's why I like books.  


Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Yesterday was Reagan's first Thanksgiving.  She was joined by her parents, her four grandparents, two aunts, & three of her great grandparents for an early lunch.  It was early because Squire Creek offers an 11 o'clock & a 1 o'clock seating on Thanksgiving, & we opted for the 11 o'clock.

Reagan was far more interested in what everyone was doing than in all the food.

Faces around the table:

Thankful for coffee:

Pictures courtesy of Aunt Jessica:

Stop taking my picture!:

Aerial shot of her outfit:

Tired, but trying to cooperate:

Post lunch photo shoot:

Ready to go home:

The early seating worked out well, as we were home & napping by 1.  Reagan was actually napping before we arrived home:

Busy planning her wedding & being a law student, Reagan's Aunt Jessica hadn't seen the latest Twilight film, so being the unselfish person I am, Thursday afternoon I accompanied her to a showing of Breaking Dawn.  Apparently, viewing this movie can literally be hazardous to your health (or, an alternate theory is that this guy concocted an elaborate scheme to ensure he doesn't have to go see Breaking Dawn, Part II next year).

Reagan has officially been indoctrinated with Thanksgiving lesson No.1: Turkey on Thursday, PIG on Friday.  Sooie baby, sooooooie!:

Both meals were especially delicious this year.