Monday, April 26, 2010

Polka Dot Market

If you have kids you should check out The Polka Dot Market. She has the cutest stuff! You can follow her blog HERE or her website is HERE. She has great party ideas, gifts, birthday banners and clothes. Love her!

Discovery of the day!

I just discovered that I can post pics directly from my Shutterfly account to my blog! Hip hip hooray! I hate using Picasa because uploading is so slow. I love, love, love Shutterfly. I've been using it for several years. I back up all my photos to my account there. They have unlimited storage space for pics. They have fab products and services. Now I can upload my Shutterfly albums directly to my Facebook account and to my blog. That is going to save me lots of time. Of course, I'm the last one to know everything so I'm sure you've been able to do this forever, but I'm only just know finding this out. Oh well. Better late than never!

Lake Party April 2010

Click here to view these pictures larger

We had a blast at the Hamer's lake house again this year. They have a party at their lake house every spring and fall for the Talladega race. They usually host a fairly large crowd and some drivers. Becky is always the hostess with the mostess. She makes great food and makes everyone feel at home. We appreciate their hospitality. The weather on Friday was perfect for a great day on the water. We hung out on the pier and boat most of the day. They catered BBQ from Saw's then we ended the evening with some shenanigans in the bunk room. Fun times! Enjoy the pics.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Time Out

I have been a busy bee. We had a good weekend. We had a couples' shower for our friends Zac and Alicia. I took some maternity pics of Alicia which you can see here. I had another session on Sunday with an adorable family that I have not quite finished editing, but will hopefully have finished tonight.

Yesterday I decided to take some time out. I've been running constantly like a crazy woman since the beginning of March--probably before. Literally running. Half the time I only know what day it is because I have such a rigorous schedule to follow. My schedule is insane. I know you have all heard me drone on about it before but I'm serious. Full time job+two year old+small business+mommy chores+wife duties+house+more+more+more=a very tired me. Very. I honestly think my life would give some folks a heart attack and it may get me yet.

Don't get me wrong: I don't exactly succeed in all these areas which keep me running ragged. There have been weeks gone by that we had no groceries. Like NO groceries because I didn't have time to go to the grocery store. Those were the times when our freezer was being cleaned out. You know how you make the mistake of going in the grocery store hungry and you purchase bizarre things that you would typically not eat? Well, those kinds of crazy things were being put to good use during those no-groceries weeks. I started feeling bad when I found my husband eating pop corn for dinner and my not quite two year old was having to try peanut butter sandwiches for the first time because that's literally all I had to offer him. When all I had to choose from for dinner one night was Ritz crackers and salsa I knew I had to put some things on hold and go to the store. In light of all this I think I'm going to invent a grocery shopping service for the Birmingham area. I seriously would have paid someone at that time. Kidding. Kind of.

I think I need to hire a maid too. I'm incredibly OCD and Lantis swears that regardless of what I think that our house is the cleanest house on the block. Its not. I see every spec of dust on the furniture, every baseboard that needs to be wiped down, the dog and Hudson prints on the windows and glass doors, and every piece of trash on the floors. It would be one less thing to worry about if we had a maid service, but we're too cheap for that. Plus I think there's something rewarding and therapeutic about scrubbing toilets and changing sheets.

So back to my original thought: its time for a time out. Yesterday when I picked Hudson up from school I made a very spur of the moment decision to go to the zoo. We got there and found out that Tuesdays are half off admission so I was excited about that! We had a great time! Just Hudson and me and the animals. He loved the zoo. This was really his first trip. We went to boo at the zoo, but its dark and not about the animals. The first thing we did was ride the train. Hudson LOVES trains. I means LOVES. He sat perfectly still the entire time and watched the scenery and animals go by. He probably would have pitched a fit to keep riding, but I promised a coke, monkeys and candy when we got off. His favorite thing next to the train was probably the monkeys. He was fascinated by them. They put on a show for us too. He loved the zoo so much that I'm thinking about buying a membership so that we can enjoy it the rest of the year. They have a lot of events this summer. Next weekend the butterfly encounter opens up. I can't wait to take him to see the butterflies! Here are a few pics of our date yesterday.

These would have been cute photos if a bee hadn't been flying around me and a giant ugly vulture flapping around in the cage beside us. Hudson was a little freaked out here. I had great light and a cute little setting, but not a willing subject. He wouldn't even think about looking at my camera because he was so worried about the bee and bird! Oh well, we'll go back and try again!

I loved the old truck. Too bad a couldn't get a decent shot thanks to mother nature and her critters surrounding us.

This is when he saw the bee and started freaking out. His face cracks me up! It was just a wood bee and it had no intention of stinging me, but try explaining that to a two year old.

I had trouble uploading pics today for some reason so you can see all the photos from our zoo trip HERE. We had a blast and I'm so glad I took a time out to enjoy my Hudson. There's nothing more delightful than to watch your child having fun and learning. I plan to do this much more often than I have been. There's nothing more important than the time I spend with him. He's growing up so fast. I am going to take many more time outs to soak him up. If not, I know I will look back and wish I had. I already have several fun things lined up for us in the coming weeks.

Lantis and I are taking a time out with some friends this weekend. We are attending a fun semi-annual event. We weren't able to go to the party last fall, so it's been a full year since we've hung out with these folks. We are really looking forward to it. It involves the lake, NASCAR drivers, and our boat. It doesn't get any better. I'll blog about that next week. :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Check out...

If you dont follow my Lens Envy blog check it out today. I've got a lot of new posts. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Kindling my love for reading

For Christmas Lantis gave me a Kindle from Amazon. If you are a frequent reader this puppy is for you.

We realized a couple of years ago that I'm a tech nerd. Bad. Especially when it comes to gadgets that I think will make my life easier, more productive, and faster. I'm a sucker for it. Lantis is literally an educated computer nerd. Can program computers and do ridiculous things behind a keyboard, but I'm the gadget girl. iPods, phones, iPhones, TV's, Blu Ray DVD players, video camera, stereo equipment, computers, you name it, I gotta have it and I've talked Lantis into buying it. Most men would probably love to have a wife that was bouncing off the walls about buying a Harmony remote control. My hubby? Nope. He loves it deep down but feels obligated to keep me reigned in. I think my jubilation over gadgets has overshadowed his by far. He's jealous. Best Buy loves to see me coming. The smell of new plastic on an electronic device gives me goosebumps. I get as excited, maybe more, about gadgets as I do new clothes and accessories. Get the picture? What? I'm a passionate person!

So I had been eyeing the Kindle for awhile and dropping hints. Its not a cheap little thing so its not something I could just go run out and buy. I was secretly hoping that Santa would keep it in mind and he did.

This thing is amazing. It downloads books directly to your device in less than a minute. It uses AT&T's wireless network to download books where ever you are. If you're sitting in your reclinder or on the beach, it doesn't matter. It sends the book right to your Kindle in less than 60 seconds. All that is absolutely free. It even works around the globe! You create an Amazon account--or use your existing one if you shop on Amazon--and it bills your card for the book. Kindle books are dirt cheap. The last few books I've read were all under $5. The most expesive book I've bought on it was $10. It was Dan Brown's last book. When it came out in stores in hardcover for $25-30 I got it on the Kindle for $10. Its dirt cheap because you aren't paying for the book. You can also get newspaper and magazine subscriptions on it. It holds up to 1500 books. All these downloads to your Kindle are saved in your Amazon account. So no worries if something ever happens to your Kindle, you've still got all your books online that can transfer to another.

One thing that I've noticed about the Kindle is how comfortable it is. I typically read in the bed as I'm winding down at night. With certain books I have a hard time getting cozy, but this thing is easy to hold and comfy anytime, anywhere.

I know some of yall out there are big into library books and just books period. I have two jobs, a kid, a house to maintain, etc. I do not have time to go to the library or book stores! Most of the time I barely have groceries! Really. For awhile I was buying used books on Amazon. I was able to find used Stephen King books for a penny, some Sandra Browns for 20 cents! That worked out well until I kept getting caught without a book and waiting for the next one to arrive. I'm impatient.

Then along came Kindle and changed my life. For my lifestyle this is perfect and it has saved me money. Not to mention the fact that its technically a gadget! ;-) I do love the smell of a book, the feel of the pages in my hands and hearing the spine crack as I read. I will probably buy or borrow a book from time to time just to remember that good comforting feeling, but the times are a-changin' and I'm ready to roll with it. I absolutely adore my Kindle! It has changed my life and I highly recommend this bad boy to any avid readers. Put it on your wish list for the next birthday and/or holiday. Do it.

Oh and they also make really cute cases for them! Accessorize my Kindle? Why, yes I believe I will.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Birthday Celebrations


I heart conversation pictures.

Can't you hear the big SLLLLUUUURRRPPP?

Love it.

The Hollis'

The Courson's doing their thang!

Alesha, me and Tatum

some surprise guests...Jay and Kyle.

You're caught! You cheese dip thief!

Tatum and me

Superior had my reservation listed as "Holland".

Akash and Tatum

I love it when other people get hold of my camera.

Tatum and me

Saturday night we went to Superior Grill with friends to celebrate Lantis' birthday. Since last weekend was Easter there was too much going on already to celebrate bday too. We had a great time! Enjoy the pics.

Yall start these engines!

Saturday and Sunday afternoons Lantis and I had the honor of attending the inaugural INDY races at Barber...with half of America. No really. It was packed. Not so much Saturday. It was actually the perfect sized crowd on Saturday. I think I heard there were over 100,000 people there.

Lantis is a huge race fan--he loves INDY, Formula One, NASCAR, motorcycles, you name it. If it has a big engine, is loud and goes super fast, and there's a finish line involved he loves it. He's even gone to some of the driving experiences at Barber and was able to ride in some race cars on the track. Needless to say, when it was announced that an INDY race was going to take place literally in our back yard, he was ecstatic. There was no doubt that we were attending but then several free tickets apeared and its official.

I am a very girly girl, but I got chills when George Barber--who's dream of hosting INDY racing has come to fruition--announced "Yall start these engines!" and they fired up and starting rolling out of the pits. It was so exciting and we were officially a part of INDY history.

Check out a few photos I got...

Dario Franchitti. Or in girly terms--Ashley Judd's husband.

I dont remember who this is...

Random racers. The first one is Helio.

Little Miss Danica in her Go Daddy car.

The winner-Helio Castroneves (sp?) making his victory lap. In girly terms: also winner of Dancing with the Stars a few seasons ago!

Lantis and lily white thunder arms. Seriously my arm looks gigantic, white and flabby in this pic, but its the only one I got of us the entire weekend. Salads the rest of the week!

The Howard's. Andrea and Brandon left Gavin with the grandparents and joined us on Sunday! We don't get to hang out with them nearly enough so its a pleasure when we do.

We've been to Barber several times for other events and we love it out there. Its a fabulous facility. If you've never been, you should take a ride out there to the museum or something. The scenery is beautiful and the track is like none other. They spared absolutely no expense in building it...except maybe the parking lot. So after all this fun its time to leave...

We were lucky enough to score some free tickets but not parking passes which means there's no where for us to park on site. Keep in mind, we live a rocks' throw from this place, but we had to drive to the Birmingham Race Course to park, and then be shuttled back to the track on a Hoover School cheddar. The B'ham race course is only 10 miles from Barber, but on the big cheese 10 miles is like 25 minutes. We hung around a few minutes after the race end and watched the end of The Masters tournament on the jumbo-trons thinking that would allow some of the traffic to die down. When we finally made it to the holding area where people were being staged to get on the shuttles our mouths dropped open. We were astounded by the sea of angry people waiting to get on the school buses. Some of these people had been in line since before race-end and this was an hour after the final lap. The line was at least 8 people wide and went on for miles. I've never seen anything like it. I tried to take pics, but I dont think the pics do it justice. I wish I had an aerial view of what that line must have looked like. We ended up calling my in-laws to meet us at the park entrance and give us a ride out of there. If we would have stayed in that line I have no doubts it would have taken us two-three hours to get to our car. Check out this mass of big camera was already packed away so these are from my phone. Sorry for the poor quality.

Everytime I've been to an event at Barber I've had a great time. Regardless of what was happening its been fun! This weekend was no different. I had a blast. I love the roar of those engines and the smell of burnt rubber. What I love most about a Barber event is that you can take your blanket or lawn chair, a picnic and a cooler and enjoy yourself. We did just that! It is an event that we wont miss next year. I do hope they have a better solution for getting this herd of people back to their cars. I'm sure thats a big complaint from all who attended which will force them to figure out a new exit strategy if they want to keep everyone coming back. This is the first year and I think it was an overall amazing event taking that into consideration. Moving that many people is not a simple task so I don't envy the person in charge of it. I have no doubts Mr. Barber was in a meeting this morning with event coordinators talking about exactly that. Maybe they'll even use some of the vast amounts of lands around the track to create parking. I'm all about tree hugging too, but it looks like its a necessity for this event.

I give the INDY race at Barber Motorsports a big thumbs up and I look foward to next year! Go if you can!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The things they say...

Hudson's two new sentences that have cracked me up this week are:

1.) I told you Daddy. (can't imagine where he heard that)

2.) You talkin' to me? (after being asked a question)

3.) I need _______.

It used to be Huddy wants _____. Now suddenly he's realized the urgency of "need" and everything is a necessity. Everything. I need a cookie, I need to go outside, I need you to play with me mommy, I need to watch the Movers, I need milk, I need my monster truck. You get the picture. He's in great need of everything.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Happy birthday to my hubby, Lantis! He is 32 years young today. It was a beautiful day (even for a Monday) to celebrate his birthday which his mom informed me was exactly what it was like the day he was born. Hudson and I sang to him this morning and showered him with kisses before we headed out for work. We had a nice dinner with his parents this evening, had some playtime with Hudson, and then finished the night with presents and chocolate ice cream cake from Bruster's--Lantis' favorite! It was a great birthday. We plan to celebrate with some friends this weekend and I'm looking forward to it!

Lantis, I'm so thankful that you are in my life and so happy to be your wife. You are such a smart, hard-working man. You have taught me so much about life, love and myself. You challenge me daily and inspire me to be better all the time. I can't thank you enough for the unending support you've given me and I wouldn't be where I am right now without it. I can't imagine a life without you. I love you so much and thank you for loving me even when it hasn't been easy.

Ok these are yuck photos because it was late and I was too lazy to set my camera to get some good shots without a flash. Oh well. I'm tired. Deal with it. Its a wonder I got my camera out at all!

Lantis and Hudson. Our serious photo look.

The big cheese!

Sweet boys. Mwuaah! I love you both.

Here's a look back in time...

Our graduation cruise in 2002...yes, he was graduating college and me from high school. We'd been dating about a year.

The first company event I attended with him. Probably 2003-ish.

I don't know what year this was for sure, but maybe 94. I don't know who the lucky date was, but I know I would have totally dug his Zack Morris hair. I also know for a fact that he had the phone to match.

This is what I have to look forward to. Some men play it safe with hunting, hiking, and fishing. The Hollis men are a long line of dare devils. Lantis already has his and Hudson's first bikes picked out.

I love this picture. Too cute. They look like they are having a blast.

I see a little Hudson somewhere in this pic.

Was he not the cutest little guy ever!?

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to everyone! Ours was great. It was a beautiful day and everything Easter Sunday should be. We went to my mom and dad's church that morning. It was great to see everyone that I haven't seen in years. After lunch and naptime we went by Lantis' parents house where the Easter bunny left a tricycle for Hudson. We were all amazed that he hopped on and started pedaling. He needed help making turns and going up any inclines, but otherwise is a tricycling champ. These little people amaze me. We obviously don't give them enough credit for everything they are capable of.

Hudson on his new bike. I'm sure this will be the center of many photos this summer!

Hudson and his amazing blue eyes.

Ready for church but no time for decent photos. We were running late as usual. I plan to take him out soon for some good pics anyway. Maybe I'll get the Easter outfit back out for that.

Hudson giving Rufus, his new monkey, a kiss.

I love this silly kiddo. He decided that he didn't want breakfast Sunday morning. Instead he wanted rice cakes while sitting in mommy's lap loving my fuzzy housecoat.

Rummaging through his loot.