Wednesday, September 30, 2009







There is a lot going on right now. I can't share it all with you now. But it's seriously jacking my pregnancy emotions into overdrive. I sat at my desk today as my day wound down progressively getting worse and worse I flip-flopped from furious to tears. It's very rare that I get mad enough or broken down enough to end up in tears in my actual office but it took everything I had in me today to not just sit in my chair and bawl. I need some answers to these questions to relieve some of this pressure. Until then I'm going to gulp hot chocolate and pretend it's a mudslide.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Favorite Things: Yosemite Leaf

Besides reading my favorite hobby in life is photography. I love to take pictures. I've been shooting since I was 16 and once upon a time before digital cameras I developed all my own film and pictures. I always have a camera with me and have for as long as I can remember.

A few years ago my momma really started getting into photography as well. She got herself a nice digital camera and suddenly every time you turned around there she was with the camera in your face. And she is really good. She's gotten some great pictures of my nieces and her pictures from her trips to Europe and Hawaii are amazing. She's a natural at it. She's just one of those people that has the eye.

Three years ago she surprised me and took me on a photography tour of Yosemite. I had never been to Yosemite before. It was November so fall was in full effect. For 3 days we stomped around Yosemite taking pictures of every leaf, tree and rock. It was a blast. Not only was it fun to be able to spend that time with my momma but Yosemite was so beautiful! The weather was perfect and it was an all around good time.

On our last day there my momma and I went to the big resort they have there. The fancy, schmancy place where you can stay if you have all the money in the world. We walked around, got some great photos and then when and looked around inside. When we wandered through the gift shop my momma picked up this bronzed leaf as a reminder of our trip. I have had it hanging somewhere in my house ever since. It's so pretty and dainty and every time I look at I remember that trip and the time that I got to spend with my momma doing the thing that we both love.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Favorite Things: Jack's First Books

Okay because I'm an AWESOME blogger I posted exactly ONE favorite thing last week. So let's pretend that I am starting that this week, mmmkay? K.

These books were sent to me shortly after I got pregnant by my pal Michelle. Being the good pal that she is she knows how much I LOVE books. Obssessed with them really. And I fully intend to pass this love along to Jack. So Michelle sent me Jack's first books. I was so excited when I got them. I've already started reading them to him. Growing up loving books gave me such a great imagination in my opinion. To this day when I read a book I still can become a part of the story. And the books she sent are the GOOD one's! Thanks so much Michelle! These will be treasured!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pregnancy 101: Seeing Blue

Dear Jack,

Yesterday Daddy, Mommy, Nina, Papi, Auntie Coley, Uncle Ua, Auntie Chicken, cousin Butterbean, cousin Lovebug and cousin B all crowded into a room and a lady with a magic wand rubbed it all over Mommy's belly and took lots of pictures. She took pictures of your head and your arms and your legs and your spine and your heart and your bottom. We all oohed and ahhed as we saw all the little parts of you.

Baby Jack's first picture.

The best moment of the day for me wasn't even when the big reveal came. Daddy and I went in first with the nurse so she could take all the pictures of you. Mommy couldn't see the screen so she just watched Daddy's face as he watched you jump all over the screen. The room was dark and quiet and Daddy was mesmerized by what he saw. Then he whispered to himself, "This is so incredible." And Mommy cried. Daddy is a man of few words and that was a lot for him.

The Money Shot.

The lady with the magic wand actually had some trouble getting pictures of you at first. You were all curled up like a U. And no matter how much we prodded at you, you stubbornly refused to budge. In fact we would prod and you would kick Mommy! You were sleeping just like Mommy does too, with your arms wrapped around your head.

Look at that strong leg!

I have known you were Jack all along. Mommies just know these things sometimes. Secretly I was already calling you Jack. Daddy wasn't so sure. He really wanted you to be a boy since he already has his little girl but I think he was afraid to hope so he was convincing yourself that he was a boy. Auntie Coley and Nina knew you were a boy too and already had gifts for you! Even Aunt Michelle knew you were a boy! So see you were meant to be our all along.

I want you to know my little Jack that never was there a Jack more loved and wanted than you. You are already the love of Mommy and Daddy's lives. And while we are so anxious to meet you and see you and hold you we can be patient, so you stay where you are for a few more months. Grow strong and healthy in your little cocoon. We will be here when you ready. Love you my little man.

Love, Mommy

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Favorite Things

So this week I'm going to show a few of my favorite things that reside in Casa de Bwildered. Once again, after cleaning out the junk room AKA baby room I came across a lot of things that I forgot I had and I love! So here's a little peek at the things that mean a lot to me.

This book was given to me by my dad the day before my wedding. Unknown to me he had been writing in it for years. There were places for him to write his favorite memories of me as a kid, what he felt and thought during different parts of my life, etc. It is such a beautiful book. To have something like this, written for me by my dad is so wonderful. Every time I read through it I cry. I'm going to have to give it back to him though to finish filling it out because it even has a place for him to talk about how he feels about me becoming a mother. What a wonderful keepsake. I want to find something like this for my baby.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pregnancy 101: 19 weeks

Today I'm 19 weeks. Just shy of 5 months pregnant. I can't believe how fast it has gone! I keep waiting for the glorious 2nd Trimester feeling but I have to tell you I have actually felt WORSE in my 2nd Trimester than in my 1st.

Two Thursdays ago I was beat down by the flu. The doctor says maybe the Hog Flu but really who knows. So I had that for 4 days (over Labor Day Weekends which caused me to miss out on my family reunion!), went back to work for a whopping 2 hours when I got the MIGRAINE FROM HELL. And yes it must be capitalized. I have had migraines before. Some pretty bad but never, ever like this. This one made me physically ill, unable to eat and lasted for three days. Yes. Days. So I was out of work for a whole week. Awesomeness. I am, however, feeling much more like my snarky old self now so all is good in the hood.

The big news this week is that in just 4 days we are all taking a little field trip to radiology, they are going to squirt some goo on my ever growing belly and if my child isn't TOO modest we will know whether or not to go out and buy a football or a shotgun. And while it seems like it has taken forever to get to this point, it also seems like its taken just a minute. I'm so excited to know. We have our names picked out and we can finally stop calling him/her "The Baby" and start calling him/her by their rightful name. So look for the big announcement on Saturday!

Friday, September 11, 2009


I remember exactly where I was when 9/11 happened. I was living in GA at the time and had just gotten to work when a friend instant messaged me and said, "Did you see that a plane hit the World Trade Center?" I hadn't so I pulled up the news and there it was. At first the plane looked so tiny I thought it was just a puddle jumper. We all thought it was some sort of mistake at first. And then things get very hectic and very blurry. All the sudden things were going in fast forward and people were dying, other planes were falling, buildings collapsing. Somewhere in there a friend reminded me that my sister and her husband were supposed to be on a plane to NY. After many frantic minutes I finally got a hold of her to find out they had been grounded before they even took off.

For the next month I couldn't concentrate on anything else. As soon as I got to work I would jump online and read all the articles about 9/11. As soon as I got home the TV went on to the news or the memorial or whatever. I bought all the magazines and newspapers. And slowly, slowly, slowly I sank into a depression. I cried all the time. I was so broke but when they asked for money I gave. I couldn't get away from it. I couldn't let it go. My dad told me I had to turn it off and walk away but I couldn't. I couldn't stop thinking about the lives cut short, the children who lost their parents, the brave men and women that fought back.

I remember one night many, many weeks later sitting on the couch in my house in the dark watching yet another memorial service. I was crying hysterically and hoping my roommate wouldn't be home anytime soon. And suddenly it hit me. I had to go on. I wasn't responsible for mourning those lost by stopping my life. That night I turned off the TV, packed away all the things I had collected and didn't go back. It was so hard but slowly but surely I got happy again.

I found all my 9/11 stuff when I was cleaning out the junk room the other day. To this point I have not watched anything else or read anything else. For me it is simply a road I can't go down. Because when I start to I feel that tug of sadness that I know will overwhelm me. I have come across my stuff before and have always quickly shoved it back into the box and moved on. This time I took it out and looked through it. And I was able to let some of it go. I did keep some of it though because I think that's important to share this piece of MY history with my child. Who knows what my child will see? Hopefully nothing as horrific as our history. But I want them to know that when it really counted this country came together and lifted each other up. We mourned together and cried together and slowly but surely got better. In a country so divided for a brief shining moment we were all Americans.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

School Days

You are not ready. You are SO not ready for the crazy looks I am about to show you. Much to the embarrassment of myself I'm going to show you some of my school day photos. Even the bad ones. So settle in and grab a tissue (for the tears of laughter). Let's go. And I scanned all of these directly from the yearbooks. No touch up here.

Kindergarten here. I don't know WHY I colored my lips. But still I'm cute here.

My buddies from kindergarten. Helen, Gwen, me & Jamie.

First grade. How much do you LOVE the hair? And also the terrible smile.

My best friend from elementary school, Mel.

5th Grade. Nice bird's nest on top of my head.

7th Grade. And the nest is growing. Awesome.

Somebody please help me. 10th grade. I had the world's biggest glasses AND braces.

11th grade. Got rid of the glasses and the braces. Things are looking better.

Senior year. I'm sorry but I'm pretty here. Not a stitch of make-up. LOOK at that skin!

Second year of college. This was NOT the shortest my hair was. YIKES.

Last year in college. My most favorite hair I ever had, besides when it's super long.
And there you have it. Bree through the school years. It was a little touch and go there for awhile but I think in the end we ended up okay.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Gena's Words

My hubby's mom loved to write. She wrote poems and stories for her friends and family. There are pages and pages of her writing and I've read it all. Over and over in hopes of learning as much as I can about the women I'll never meet. Someone, I'm not sure who, might have been my SIL, put together a collection of her writings and gave a copy to my hubby. I remember when I first found them I cried. I know how much I long to have something that tangible of my own dad. I'm glad my hubby has them. I wanted to share just a few things she has written.

This was written to her husband Max in May 1983 (typed just as she wrote it). I believe she wrote this before they actually got married:

A Southern Springtime Storm
You came into my life as "liken unto a southern springtime
storm." Hard, fast and just as powerful. You made me stop, look and
listen. Like "Thor" you could make my heart beat as wildly as the thunder and lightnings shake the heavens. Just as vehemently as the whirling winds blow to clear the stale and pouluted air from out took the bitterness of past hurts from my heart.
I saw the strength of you in the hail, dangerous to the naked
eye, but melts to the tender respectful touch, as a thirsty land you gave my womanhood a much needed drink, before you came, my heart was dry, cracked and very hard. I was use to showers and like the earth, only the surface was touched.
The seed of love had been planted before, but soon the flower
would die, because it could not break through the soil to give roots. Like the hard and plentiful rain touches the lands, you touches my heart. What was a barren land where nothing could grow, now is fertile soil, planted with seeds of love waiting to grow and be harvested. And as the storm is to nature a are to me. Just the storm, you left as suddenly as you came but not in waste. You left me refreshed and I can love again. I believe one day you will come again to me and not just as a storm, but to share all of natures wonderful treasures. I wait patiently,
after all my darling Thor, I'm Venus your Goddess of Love.
Gena wrote this next one as a tribute to her dad after he passed away in December 1990:
Tribute for Elmer Eulis Thompson..Mineral Springs
Arkansas..Dec. 1990
Tribute to Daddy
What words could we use to describe how we feel? None
would be the same because each of us will have different experiences, different
memories of him, save for one, which is love. Regardless of the sweet, or
the bitter, we loved our father, and we knew without a doubt, that he loved us
as deeply, and that he was proud of his children.
There were some things that he felt very strongly, and they were
passed on to us. Not to lie, not to steal, to work hard and carry your own
weight in life and that you ARE your word, for those things my dear Dad, we
thank you.
Daddy has said he was lucky, he had two good wives and he lived
a long good life, which is true.
Our mom, we loved her so much. She was truly a previous
Our Ruby, we loved her too and how we appreciated her for her
goodness to Daddy, and keeping him a live longer. She was truly a gift to
all of us, and to our children also.
As for our Daddy-how can it be put? I guess just say
"We'll miss our diamond in the rough."
by Youngest Daughter
Gena Bea

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My Wedding Story

Hubby and I got married in November of 2007. I'm SURE I've said this before but the most important part of the day (besides the obvious, GETTING MARRIED) was the photography. It was the first thing I started working on, started looking for. I talked to probably 5 to 8 photographers before I made a decision. I ended up hiring the first photographer I spoke to, The Memory Journalists (whom I now actually shoot for! Yay me!). I knew I wanted them all along but it was a little more than I wanted to spend and I felt obligated to at least look at other photographers. Even my mom knew by the time we got down to the fifth or sixth photographer that there just wasn't going to be anyone else for us.

Fast forward to this year and NJ, the office manager extraordinaire, had been submitting our wedding/photography to different wedding magazines trying to get it published. And it got picked up by Real Weddings. How cool is that?!

As I was cleaning out the junk room today I ran across the magazine and sat down to read the interview. The thing I remember the most about being engaged (besides the STRESS) was how freaking happy I was. In fact one of my aunt's was teasing me saying I was a cheese ball and couldn't stop smiling. And it was so true. I was so excited to be getting married and more importantly than that to be getting married to my Hubby. As I read the article it came back to me. That excitement. That intense peace that I felt knowing I was making the BEST decision of my life.
These aren't the best scans but I wanted to show you the article and pictures in the magazine. Read the full article below the pictures.

November 17, 2007
By Kelley Saia
Photography by The Memory Journalists
From the Winter/Spring 2009 issue

For Bree and ?, mother definitely knows best as Bree’s mom (with the help of her cousin) is responsible for this match made in heaven. The couple was set up on a blind date and while they took their time getting to know each other, once they fell, they fell hard.

After dating for just over a year, ? took Bree to Macaroni Grille for
lunch, which happens to be the same place they ate together for the first time.
During their meal ? took advantage of the paper-covered tables and wrote
something under his plate, hiding it from Bree. At the end of the meal, he
finally lifted the plate and showed Bree what was written: “Bree, I love you!
Will you marry me?” She immediately started crying and then discovered he had
placed a ring on the table, causing her to cry even harder. The newly engaged
couple left the restaurant and headed to Bree’s sister’s house where her family
awaited with an engagement party for the happy couple.

Bree and ? dove head first into wedding planning mode and picked a date
only nine months away. Because they had initially met at church, they agreed
they would get married in a church. Bree immediately thought back to when she
was 17, attending a small church, where even at that age, she told her mom that
she would one day get married there. With one big decision down, every thing
else fell into place, but not without the help of her mom and sister, who Bree
calls, “party planners extraordinaire.”

Bree has an interest in photography, and planned her wedding accordingly—in
search of the perfect picture. She even moved the ceremony start time from 5:30
p.m. to 3:30 p.m. per their photographer’s suggestion to achieve that perfect
picture she so ardently craved. And, she created a charming fall theme—the
picturesque details included autumn leaves scattered throughout the ceremony and
reception, taking the place of flowers, and caramel apples as favors. Yet her
greatest decision (and we agree) was purchasing several vintage umbrellas for
the bridal party to carry, which truly became the perfect picture.

Throughout the planning process, Bree’s Type-A personality was evident as
she stressed over every detail, but it was a simple email from a friend that
allowed her to enjoy her wedding day stress-free. Her friend advised Bree to
stress all she wanted prior to the big day (which she did), but on the day of
the wedding, focus on the reason she was there—to marry Bill and celebrate their
life together. Bree took the advice and soared.

On her wedding day she awoke with a sense of peace and calmness she had
never experienced before. When her dad acknowledged this unexpected carefree
attitude, she said, “There’s something to be said for knowing you’re making the
best decision of your life.” Bree maintained her calmness for the entire day and
says she was determined to stand there, especially during the vows, focused on
just her soon-to-be husband and their life ahead. Because Bree was so focused on
being in the moment, she now has more than the perfect picture…she has the
perfect memory.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Getting my words back

It's building. I can feel. Slowly they are forming and the fog is lifting and I'm starting to see them clearer. Or at least I think that is what is happening. Because I'm coming up with a plan until I have something to say. I've made myself a little schedule for the next two weeks for "themed" posts. I've come up with two ideas to get us through the next two weeks that I hope will be mildly entertaining and will hopefully start the words moving in my mind. So here we go, week one.

For the next week I'm going be posting special things from the past. Sometimes it will be just a picture and sometimes it will be a story. I started cleaning out the junk room AKA the baby's room and started finding stuff that I think it will be interesting to share with you. A little blast from my past so to speak. Here's hoping this jump starts my creativity.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Truth

"A woman is like a teabag - you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I need a giggle

And this commercial makes me laugh everytime I see it. And today I really need that. I hope it makes you laugh too. Oh and send your best jokes. Like I said, I need a giggle.