Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

I think I'm going to take Hudson to the Pumpkin Patch in Hayden next weekend. Its the one weekend in October that I have nothing to do. I hope he's not too little and it turns out to be a disaster. Typically anything involving the great outdoors is right up his alley. Has anyone else done this?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Just checkin' in

I just had to share my cute little man with you today. We've had some cool mornings and I'm getting in the "fall mood". AKA: I'm ready to carve pumpkins, put a wreath on my door and step on crunchy leaves when I step outside. Anyway....because it was cool today I threw on Hudson's khaki's and Converse sneakers. How precious is he!?

I hope everyone had a great weekend. We did! I had a photo shoot with some precious kids--I'll post those on the Lens Envy site and blog soon. I have been in the mood to cook, cook, cook lately so I was able to do some of that this weekend. We had our good friends Jason and Alesha over to watch football and we also worked in some fun outdoor games (cornhole) after I put Hudson to bed.

Now we're only a couple of days into the week and I'm already looking forward to this weekend. I'm photographing a PRECIOUS little guy, watching the Tide kick some more booty, and most importantly I'm kicking the boys out of the house Friday night and having all the girls (lots of them!) over for some much needed girl time. :) I can't wait! Good times are guaranteed. Stay tuned.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Lens Envy Christmas specials 2009

Check out Lens Envy Photography's Christmas specials. I have posted card examples and pricing. Tell your friends. Momma needs the money! Ha! :) Seriously, send some Christmas business my way and I'll give you a discount on your next photo shoot.

My little love

Cutest guy you've ever seen? Yep. I thought so too. :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I Yuh Yoo

I tell Hudson constantly that I love him. I know he probably gets sick of hearing "I love you!" Last night I watched him eat dinner as always. He looked so cute working diligently to get the spoon from his bowl to his mouth without spilling anything. (He will no longer allow me to help him eat. He has to eat by himself with a fork and spoon!) Anyway, he looked up at me and I said, "I love you, Hudson" and he smiled and said, "I yuh yoo!" I made me melt as you can imagine. I melted into such a big puddle I have no idea how I made it to work today. He amazes me daily. I know he doesn't know what "I love you" means and he's only repeating what I say, but its the sweetest thing you've ever heard when it comes out of your toddler's mouth. I myself didn't even know what it meant until I had him.

Monday, September 21, 2009

60th for Sue

The invitation I made. I've been dying to share, but couldn't spoil the surprise!

Hudson, Bailey-my niece, Angie-my sister, and me

Angie and me

The cake

Yummy food

Costco's brownie bites! So yummy!

Flower arrangement

Mom was shocked!

Chow time

Hudson enjoying some cake

Mom and Dad visiting and eating-finally.

opening presents

Mom and her BFF Yvonne

Mom and her brother and sis

The boys were bored.

Angie mom and me

This past Saturday we had a surprise birthday party for my mom. We successfully pulled off the surprise without a hitch. It was good to see lots of people I haven't seen since I was a kid. Good food, good times, good friends!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

School Update

I thought it was time for a school update. Hudson is doing great and seems to love school more everyday. He is learning so much. He cries less every time I drop him off. Today when I picked him up his teachers said that today was the best day he's had so far. They said he really came out of his shell today. They said for the first time in two weeks he laid his blankie down and didn't carry it all day. When I got there this afternoon I stood in the doorway for a second where he couldn't see me and I watched him play. He was playing with another little girl--they were throwing a ball around. So cute! He gets a report card everyday when we leave and he always gets a good report: "Hudson ate all his lunch, takes a long nap everyday, played well with others, chatty, helpful, cooperative, happy, etc". Today's report card included most of those things, plus it said he "smiled and giggled all day." His teacher said that during music time he stood up and showed them his dance moves. That's my Hudson. He makes things and brings them home at least once a week. This is the very first thing that he made and brought home. It is displayed proudly on the refrigerator.

I had a friend make a napmat for him. Lee is the queen of all things sewing. When it comes to sewing, appliques, and monogramming, no one does it better. You should see the outfits that she makes for little girls! OMG! Its a good thing that I dont have a girl or she would get my entire paycheck. She has started selling her handmade goods to some boutiqes! I'm very excited for her! Here is the napmat that she made Hudson. I LOVE it! It has a lot of padding, a blankie, his name on the inside, it rolls up nicely, has his name on the outside, with a carrying strap. A+!

Hudson loves his mat! When we got it I rolled it out in the living room, he laid down on it and said, "nigh-nigh". I can't imagine them getting Hudson to sleep in the floor on a mat at school, but somehow they make it happen. I guess he's just so exhausted by that point that he'd sleep on a rock. Hopefully Lee and I can exchange some services soon. Pictures of her girls or things she's made for clothes for Hudson??? :)

Keep your fingers crossed that the good reports from school keep coming. We have open house next Thursday night and I can't wait to see his classmates, their parents and his teachers. Hopefully he's made daddy and I something special and will introduce us to all his friends! :)

18 Months

Looking for ducks.

Cool tree I had to snap a picture of.

Silly face.


Laughing at the water.

Sweet boy.


Hudson will be 18 months old this Saturday. We got bored this afternoon and snapped a few pictures. I'll have more soon.

News Flash

Have you turned on the news in the last couple of days? If not, I'm about to tell you what you'll find. First, if you don't know what ACORN is, here is a link giving you a little info on who they are. A couple (guy and girl) went to different ACORN locations across the country posed as a pimp and prostitute in hopes of exposing ACORN. They asked different questions--how to skirt taxes, how to get 12-15 year old Mexican girls across the border for prostitution, how to avoid being detected as a prostitute and each time they were given answers and advice on how to do these things. How to break the law basically. ACORN does receive government money or grants. I read and heard different amounts but all of them were lots of money! In case you didn't know, that's your hard earned money. I saw last night that some members of Congress are asking that they receive no more funding. Here are links to some of the videos. If you wanted to do a little research on your own, the videos shouldn't be too hard to find on the internet right now.

Here is where ACORN was advising the guy on how to get illegal prostitutes across the US border. The ACORN representative basically tells the guy that he can help him if they bring the girls through Tijuana because he has contacts there.

Here is ACORN advising the couple posed as a pimp and prostitute how to avoid detection.

I just wanted to give you all the breaking news for those of you who dont regularly read or watch it. I heart America.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Farewell Johnny

Patrick Swayze passed away a few days ago and I'm really bummed about the passing of this icon. It's so important that I must take a minute of your time to tell you what Patrick Swayze meant to me. I've put it off for a couple of days but I've just got to do it! Dirty Dancing was my FAVORITE movie. I don't mean it's my favorite movie like every other girl says it is and it's my favorite now that the Swayz is gone like some people are doing. No. This movie was my world for several years. While other girls my age were singing along with Ariel in The Little Mermaid and with Jasmine in Aladdin I was dancing with my imaginary Johnny Castle in front of the mirror. On a rainy boring day, I STILL watch it! Dirty Dancing was the first movie that I remember being obsessed with and watching over and over and over. Again, during this time I should have been watching the Disney channel, but instead I was watching a PG-13 movie. Thanks mom. Ha! To her credit, she did make me hide my face during the scene that took place in Johnny's bungalow. Thankfully, at the time I had no idea the true storyline of the movie and I had no idea why Dr. Houseman had to make a 3 am call to Penny's room. I distinctly remember telling my mom while I was getting dressed to leave the house one day that, "I want to dress like Baby today." So I left the house in a tank top, cut off jean shorts, and keds with no socks. I would also practice walking/dancing down the stairs like Baby did. Remember the scene where she's practicing her dance steps as she walks down the stairs, across the bridge and they kind of speed it up to make her look a little silly while playing Wipe Out? Yep. That was my "Baby" outfit. I loved Penny and would have dressed like her, but all of her shirts were off the shoulder and I didn't own any of those when I was 4.

Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) is the reason that most girls in my generation have a little thing for bad boys. I mean, is there anything hotter than Johnny kicking over a post, breaking a car window and speeding off in the rain while Baby screams from the passenger seat, "YOU'RE WILD"!? Or how about the "ga-gum, ga-gum" scene while Hungry Eyes plays in the background. Yum. I always loved how he put the dorky little Neil in his place also. This is why we never fall for the nerds. We expect Johnny to sweep in driving his muscle car, wearing his tight pants and leather jacket and steal the show with us by his side. Oh...Johnny Castle, you ruined us all.

Now lets clear something up: I was never a big Patrick Swayze fan other than in Dirty Dancing. I probably can only tell you a few other movies that he starred in. That's because Dirty Dancing was the only one that ever mattered to me! We are now saying goodbye to Johnny aka Patrick and I feel like Baby left standing in the gravel parking lot watching him drive away after he was fired from Kellerman's (because he was falsly accused of stealing wallets). That scene always broke my heart but thankfully he comes back bigger than ever in the movie. I'm sad that Johnny, my first crush and heart throb has left us, but I'll still watch Dirty Dancing on occassion and recite every word, sing every song, and drool over Johnny. Thanks Patrick for giving us a life altering romantic masterpiece!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

18 months...Beggining of the Terrible Two's?

The parenting handbook that came with my kid didn't tell me that the terrible two's start at 18 months. Did anyone else get that memo. I'm finding this age to be frustrating for both Hudson and I. Even though I'm having the time of my life, there are days where I feel like I'm beating my head against a brick wall. Hudson has two new things that must stop ASAP or I'm selling him in the yard sale. Ha! Just kidding, I promise. Don't report me to DHR yet.

First, he has started this horrible little scream/yelp that he does when I take something away from him, when I'm not doing what he thinks I need to, or when he's not getting his way. It is like someone scratching their finger nails on a chalkboard. Every time this bratty little scream comes out of his mouth I yell "NO" at him, but I'm not sure if he knows what I'm saying no about. Communication lines are being formed, but in the meantime it makes for a very frustrated mommy and baby. He knows what he wants but can't always tell me and I know what I need from him, but he doesn't always understand it. We're learning quickly though and I'm sure this phase will be over soon.

Second, he has started running from me. Running from me started many months ago as a game. I moved towards him and he turned and ran giggling away as if to say "mommy chase me!" But now he's running for different reasons. Usually because he's got something in his hot sweaty little hands that he knows he's not supposed to so when I tell him to give it to me, he turns and runs. This makes me so ill!

He's testing the waters and I'm setting up boundaries where needed. I'm sure this will continue to some degree for the next 18 years. I just hope that I'm getting off on the right foot and that I'm taking the right steps in my disciplinary actions. I know that right now--while we're setting these boundaries--is a very important time. I've got to make it clear to him that while I can't let him get away with certain things, and I have to tell him no sometimes, and he has to respect and mind me, I still love him with all my heart. No pressure, huh? Ugh. Parenting is not easy, but it is the most rewarding thing I've ever done. When I look at him and tell him no and he slowly backs away and moves on to something else, it makes me so proud and makes me feel like I've done something right.

Even though we've had several intense moments lately, the good ones far outweigh the bad. He's such an angel sometimes. There are many times when he walks up to me out of the blue and wraps his arms around my neck or gives me a big kiss on the lips. Those moments make me forget all the ones when I'm having to be a mean mommy. I love him more than words can say.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Yard Sale Fun

I have been itching to write something in my blog the last few days, but I don't think you all would appreciate the day to day routine of my life. I don't think you really care about the grocery store trips, the laundry piled up in the hampers, Hudson and I sitting around watching Baby Einstien, or the mundane things us moms are required to do. So I've spared you the boring reading material.

In spite of nothing exciting happening over the last few days, we did have a good weekend. Our friends Jason and Alesha had a yard sale on Saturday and we went over Saturday morning sure we could find entertainment there. We just went to hang out and if you knew the Courson's you'd understand why. I haven't shared any of our "Courson Stories" yet, but they are always a doozie! There are thousands of Courson Stories to be told, but I'll share those on a rainy day. :) A quick little preface about Jason: he has more random "things" than I can put into words, he's a musician--plays about any instrument you put in front of him, a used car salesman, will justify buying just about anything under the sun--from a rusty old box truck to a flying pig, and is one of the funniest people I've ever been around. One of my favorite Jason stories occured several years ago long before he and his wife met at Lantis and my wedding. He invited us down to Tuscaloosa to tailgate before a football game where he was playing. He drove up in a Tonka truck--yes, a real life brightly painted truck with Tonka written on the tailgate. As if driving up in a Tonka truck wasn't strange enough, he had a pen full of chickens in the bed of the truck that he had picked up at a road side stand on his way to T-town. Get the picture here? So back to my story...

This was the only yard I've ever been to that actually had musical entertainment. Jason had several instruments sitting around for sale and he would pick them up periodically and serenade the yard sale shoppers. Hudson would then dance along to Jason's music. They were a funny pair. He tried teaching Hudson to play the harmonica, but he didn't quite get it. I assured Uncle Jason he'll get it soon enough. This was also the best arranged yard sale I've ever been to. He didn't just have his piles and baskets of junk sitting around like I typically do, no--he had lamps displayed on tables and had them turned on, he was playing the instruments for effect, etc. He's now the only person I've ever known who made over $500 at a yard sale, got a lead on giving music lessons to a shopper's kid, and got a lead on selling one of his used cars. Now that's what I call a salesman! I'm sure that before too long you'll get to hear many more Courson Stories.

Other than our yard sale excitement, I was kind of lazy. I did have a photo shoot Sunday afternoon with a sweet baby boy--see my Lens Envy blog for those pictures. They are so sweet. Now we're back in the grind today and I have a very busy week ahead. I have some very exciting things coming up in the next couple of weeks that I can't share yet, but I will as soon as I can. Dontcha love those little teasers! :) One thing I can share is that we will participate in the annual Foster Rd yard sale on Saturday September 26th. My in-laws' entire street puts on a big yard sale every fall and there are always good things to find. Several families will be at the Hollis house for sure and probably every house on the street. If you aren't sure where Foster Rd in Leeds is located, let me know and I can give you more specific directions. We'll have lots of plunder for your bargain shopping pleasure. Come check it out!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Overstock Oversight

My much anticipated duvet cover arrived today when I got home from work. It was like perfect timing--the stars were aligned--because as Hudson and I are walking up the stairs from the garage the UPS man is standing on the front porch. HOORAY! I immediately tear open the box that I've been dying to receive and pull out a small package containing...a sheet set? This is not what I had in mind. I own several sheet sets already and don't need another. I ordered a duvet cover and matching shams, right? I then log into my Overstock account and review my order to find that I did in fact order the king sheet set that matches the duvet that i had my sights set on. Lesson learned: READ the fine print and not just order from the picture. This explains why I paid $44! I have already submitted a return order and these sheets will be back on the road tomorrow. Please tell me you all have made a mindless mistake in the midst of pure excitement!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

DIBS=yummy fun for everyone!

Have you all seen or tried the incredible, delectable little treat called Dibs? You can find them in the ice cream freezer at your local grocer. They are made by Edy's. They are very yummy and toddler friendly. Hudson goes berserk over ice cream no matter how it is served up. He would eat a bowl a day and I must say that ice cream is the one food that he is extremely precise with and spills nothing. He's so concerned with getting every drop in his mouth, that he doesn't risk a spill or mess for fear of wasting some. Anyway, regardless of how careful he may be with ice cream, sometimes I simply don't feel like dealing with the sticky stuff so Dibs are a great alternative. They are bite sized chocolate covered vanilla ice cream pieces and you'll love them and so will your little one. When I find something I love, I have to pass word along to all my fellow mommies and food lovers.

Long weekend=happy mommy=happy family

Hudson loved all of the water activities. I had to drag him away, otherwise he and I both would have been soaked!
We tried to get a picture of them both sitting in the fish mouth, but they were not interested.
My Huddy Buddy

Hudson and Gavin flying the plane. So cute!

They held hands in the car. Sweet little buddies. :)

We had a super fun holiday weekend! I love long weekends so much I can't stand it. I was able to get a lot accomplished around the house and I have almost finished my cleaning out extravaganza. We spent a lot of time with our dear friends Andrea and Brandon. We have all been so busy that we have not been able to hang out with them in awhile, but we made up for lost time this weekend. They came over with their little boy, Gavin, Saturday to watch football and grill out (Roll Tide by the way!) along with our friend Jeremy and his children. It was a fun night. We had three little boys all age two and under running around the house. They were so stinkin' cute. They are going to grow up to be good buddies. I don't know how any living being can have as much energy as the those three. There's not a quiet or dull moment with any of them around.

My best friend Rachel had a minor procedure done on Friday so we spent a little time at her house over the weekend checking in on her and giving her some company. Hudson was excited about seeing "way-way" (Hudson speak for Rae-rae).

Lantis and I were able to get out on the boat by ourselves at one point. That was the first time that we have been boating by ourselves in two years. It was a nice change of pace for us.

Andrea and I also took the boys to the McWane Center. They had a blast. I have been to the McWane Center for a few events in the past and to the Imax theater, but never through the activity and learning areas. We decided we would try it out. Even though the boys are young, they were very entertained by everything. The place is huge and there's a lot to see and do. Hudson particularly loved the aquarium portion. I think we will soon pay the Atlanta Aquarium a visit since he loved it so much. I posted a few pictures of Hudson and Gavin having fun.

Hope everyone else had a great holiday weekend also.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Have you ever started looking around your house and thought: "Where did all this STUFF come from?" I'm talking about STUFF--extra linens, shoes, clothes, decorative items, dishes, cookware, etc...and it seems to triple when you have a child. Yes, this happened to me this week. I think bringing home all of our STUFF from the lake really sent me over the edge.

I'm a neat freak, a germ-a-phob, and the organization queen, but somehow while I've been living life and working hard my STUFF has accumulated and gotten way out of control. I occasionally get in "clean out" moods and when this happens, watch out! Lantis gets scared when this happens since he has pack rat tendencies and I'm ruthless when it comes to cleaning out and throwing away. I dont have the "I might need this one day" or the "so-and-so gave this to me" mentality. If I dont need it now or have a place for it, then it needs to go. If I need it down the road, I'll buy a new one. I've been so busy since I had Hudson that I haven't had the time that I used to have to keep the house as spotless as it used to be, or to keep things as organized as I used to. If you dont constantly stay on top of the clutter and maintain the neatness, then it gets way out of hand, which is what has happened in our home. I have begun planning a yard sale for sometime this fall (stay tuned for those details). Now that I'm home a few more hours every week I thought this would be a great opportunity to start purging things and getting the Hollis House back into shape.

I go up to the guest room earlier this week and open the closet door...OMG!!!! I have clothes, shoes, bags, purses, old college books and projects, old comforters from my parents house and Lantis's houses, and photo albums galore! What am I supposed to do with all this? I stand there looking at everything in that closet and I nearly had a nervous break down so I close the door and run away. I decide I'll start downstairs. I open up my closet and dont even look around; I just start pulling out boxes of shoes--I have a keep pile, a yard sale pile, and a garbage pile. I had no idea how many shoes I had. I filled up two garbage bags of yard sale and garbage shoes and I'm still left with a TON of shoes. I begin couting the pairs of shoes in my closet and AFTER I threw away God knows how many pair, I reorganize the boxes and I cout 103 PAIRS OF SHOES in my closet. I then cleaned out tons of clothes and realized that I constantly buy new clothes--a shirt here, a pair of pants there--but I haven't thrown out anything in awhile. I am always bringing new stuff in, but never sending old stuff out and that why there's so much JUNK in my life. Rather than throwing out all the old clothes and shoes, I've been throwing it to the back of the closet and taking it up to the guest room closet. So I decided that tomorrow I'm continuing my journey and I'm going to tackle the guest room closet. Rather than sorting through those clothes and shoes I'm going to put every bit of it in a trash bag to be used in the yard sale. I dont even know what clothes are up there, but I dont care--its all going away since I obviously dont wear it and have forgotten about it.

Now, for all you fellow mommies out there...what in the heck am I supposed to do with all the clothes that my child out grows daily? Wow. I have three tubs full of clothes he's outgrown in our attic and I've given away/sold three tubs of clothes. I've kept only the outfits that were sentimental or that I really loved on him (again, I'm ruthless), or that I thought I would use again if we had another boy. I'm keeping all the baby gear for now of course--swings, high chairs, etc. I dont know if we'll have another child, but just in case I can't let any of that go. Anyway, there is a constant turn over in wardrobe for this kid. Keeping up with which clothes he can wear and needs to go back to the closet, and which ones he can't and need to go into a tub is exhausting. Then after he outgrows it, I have to decide if I want to save it or not. IF we decide to have another, and IF we have a boy, then I'll be glad that I saved this stuff. Otherwise, I have a lot of baby clothes taking up precious space in our attic that are never going to be worn again. Oh well...maybe I'll look back one day and cry over his sweet clothes that he once wore...for a fleeting moment. Ha!

Included in all this STUFF at our house, I have a lot of home decor items. After I started selling Southern Living I accumulated way too many dishes, serving pieces, and decor. We have 4 sets of flatware!!! So when the yard sale happens, I'll be letting go of lots of old stuff that is taking up space in closets, drawers and cabinets.

I'm headed to Wal-Mart later today to find some shoe organizers and buy more Rubbermaid tubs for the things I must save. I have no idea how you're supposed to organize 103 pairs of shoes in a very small space. My problem is I want all of this stuff done yesterday. Once I get started on a major project like this I wont stop--would probably not sleep or eat--until its done. Matter of fact, just being at work and thinking about all the things I could be doing at home is driving me insane. Ugh. I should seek therapy for OCD. I'll keep you all updated on the yard sale status. I just want all this STUFF out of our house so what doesn't sell will be taken straight to Hannah Home!

ok...I feel better after venting about it. :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

But I NEED new bedding....

So I have been battling the urge to buy new bedding. I have resisted because I've tried to be frugal and I thought Lantis would spill my blood on the beautiful bedding I so badly wanted if I came home with it. Our bedding is at least 5 years old and although it is pretty, its time for an update. I think a 5 year lifespan for an interior designer's bedroom is pretty dang good. I really wanted a bedding set at Pottery Barn, but knew that would surely end my life if I paid well over $300. So a friend kindly introduced me to some bedding on that is VERY similar to the PB stuff. Again I've resisted until today when I get this email shown below. I figured if "Overstock recommended it" it must be a sign that I should buy it, plus its only $44!!! My fellow females can side with me when I say "Where can you find bedding for $44?" This stuff may arrive and look like the cheap $44 version of the nice PB stuff that it is and I may have to send it back, but I have a good feeling about it. Afterall, "Overstock recommended it"!

hehe!! Just had to share! I'll keep you updated with this bedding saga.

From: "" <>
To: <>
Subject: Erin, recommends...
Date: Thu, 3 Sep 2009 02:07:34 -0600

Use this link to shop

Erin, recommends:

Sateen 300 Thread Count Hotel Collection Sheet Set
Our Price: $44.31

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My wild man

Any of you who are also my facebook friends have already seen this. This picture describes my son as he is all the time--Evil Knievel. This is truly the unedited version of Hudson.

Hudson goes to school

Handsome little man.
clapping--"yay, we're going to school!"
Today is a big day for us--Hudson started school! He was such a sweetheart this morning. We got up, ate breakfast together, and got ready for school and work. As soon as we walked through the doors of Brook Hills, he started crying. He knew I was about to leave him. The tears had turned to screams by the time we made it to his classroom. I unloaded his things into his cubby and turned to leave. He had found comfort in Mrs. Stacey's arms by this point and I waved to him and told him good-bye. He looked so pitiful sitting in her lap with alligator tears streaming down his face. If that wasn't torture enough, he then waves to me and blows me a kiss through the tears and snot. I nearly melted on the floor and knew I needed to race to my car before I lost it also. I'll be headed back to pick him up in a couple of hours. I'm sure he's had a great time today playing with new friends, playing on the playground, eating lunch, and napping on a mat like a big boy. These first few weeks will be an adjustment for him, (and me) I'm sure, but this too shall pass.