Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Miss Independence

My mother will tell you I've been independent since I was 18 months old and the first words out of my mouth were "Me Do It!!!"  My husband will tell you I'm stubborn and rarely ask for help.  I do not deny any of this.  I am very independent.  I rarely, if ever, ask for assistance.  Ask me to do something and consider it done.  Do not check up on me.  I will let you know when the job is complete and I will give you all the necessary details in written format so you have it for your records.  And don't hover.  Don't stand over me while I'm doing said task and listen in on my conversations relating to aforementioned task.  And don't make wild hand gestures while I'm on the phone.  You're less than 5 feet from me.  I can see you.  I am clearly ignoring you and your antics.  Most importantly, don't make me do duplicate work.  If you have already done a portion of the work, please share.  Don't ask me to call someone or do a task and then I hear you in your office making the same phone call.  Drives me insane.  Please let me do the job I was hired to do.

Rant over.  Thank you.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Profile Update

I've lived back in Maryland for over 15 months now. It's a new year and I think it's time to update my blog profile. The profile I've had for years and years.


  Transplanted Yankee raising 2 beautiful daughters and a hubby on a never-ending search for a decent bagel and a slice a pizza in the South. Short and sassy, loyal, funny, slightly sarcastic, practically blind, 40-ish, loves to read, travel, and spend time with family and friends. According to one of my children, I like to wear make-up and party. Still madly in love with (and married to) my high school sweetheart. Samantha Brown has my dream job. I like margaritas, can't stand coconut or banannas. I will do anything for a friend in need. Just don't mess with my family. I'm very, very protective. Pretty much a non-BS kind of gal; I have no patience for drama, ignorance or stress-inducing activities or behavior. 

 Let's break it down a bit:  

Yup.  Still considered a Yankee.
Yup.  Still raising 2 beautiful daughters and a hubby.
My search for a decent bagel and a decent slice of pizza has been successful.  
Yup.  Still short.  
Yup.  Still sassy.  And extremely loyal, funny, slightly sarcastic and practically blind. 
40-ish is debatable. 
Yup.  Still love love to read, travel and spend time with my family and friends.
Yup.  Still wear make-up.  
Yup.  Still madly in love with (and married to) my high school sweetheart. 
Yup.  Still like margaritas
Coconut or banannas will never touch these lips.  
Yup.  I will do anything for a friend in need. 
Yup.  I'm still a Mama Bear.  
Yup.  Still have no patience for drama, ignorance or stress-inducing activities or behavior.

So basically I'm still the same person I've always been, just live in a different town.  

Monday, December 29, 2014

I Survived!!!

The Annual Cos Fam Jam Christmas Festivities have officially concluded.  Grammie and Pop fly out this afternoon thus ending our lodging responsibilities.  I sure hope we get good reviews on Yelp from all our guests!  All told, it was a GREAT week with our families.  Lots of fun memories, lots of silliness, lots of good food.

Saturday KJ had a volleyball scrimmage in Frederick.  They played well but the coaches are still figuring out who goes where.  And that's what scrimmages are for.  KJ was the setter on her high school team, on the travel team they're trying her out at liberaro.  She's such a good, all-around player.  She'll do fine where they put her.

We left directly from the game and headed to my MIL's.  It was about 7 PM when we got to the home and had a nice visit before heading to Lynn's for pizza with Lisa and the kids.  Poor Kyler was horribly sick but Kayleigh was her usual silly self.  We spent the night at the Sheraton (gotta love being in the hotel business!  We haven't paid full price for a hotel room in years and years!) and headed to NYC after a great breakfast.

We met Joe, Laurie, Paige, Britt and Dan in front of FAO right at 11 AM and had a wonderful, low-key day.  We walked thru FAO, all along 5th Avenue, St. Patrick's Cathedral and had lunch at Rockefeller Center.  We walked around Times Square and headed over to Columbus Circle to see the decorations at the Time Warner building and we walked around the Christmas Mart and found our favorite waffle kiosk.  We walked around Central Park and played for a bit in the playground.  We left the city around 5 PM and were in our house by 8:30 PM.

Monday I had a doctor's appointment and did a few things around the house.  Monday night Cosmo and the girls went to the Caps game while I picked up my parents @ Regan.  I hate driving there and always get lost on my way back.  I wish they would just fly into BWI!  Tuesday I did my grocery shopping while T drove my parents around for last minute errands.  Wednesday the girls baked and wrapped presents all day and KJ went to Christmas Eve mass with my parents after our traditional Christmas Eve dinner.

We probably started opening presents around 8 AM and had our favorite sausage casserole for breakfast.  I don't know why I only make that once a year.  Russ and Barb arrived around 1 PM, Joe and Laurie and Paige arrived around 2 PM.  The ham was HUGE and delicious but, as usual, I burned the crescent rolls.  I was SO mad!!!!

Friday we headed into DC and went to both the National Archives and the Museum of American History.  I hadn't been to either museum since the first time we lived here.  The Archives were amazing and I loved the First Ladies exhibit at the American History museum (I especially loved the china patterns!).  The weather was spectacular and we ate lunch outside at the cafe at the National Gallery of Art overlooking the Sculpture Gardens and the Ice Skating rink.
http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/visit/ice-rink.html?from=home-page
We met Matt and Kristin at Carmine's for dinner and had a wonderful time catching up.

Joe and Laurie were walking out the front door Saturday morning when my bro and his fam pulled up in the driveway.  The timing was perfect.  And thus, Round 2 began!

My mom made her famous broccoli pasta for dinner and we just relaxed all day.  I never got out of my pajamas.  I was very, very tired and took a quick nap after lunch.  My brother brought his dog Toby and Trixie wanted absolutely nothing to do with him.  I mean, she actually sat on the couch and turned her back on him.  She wouldn't even acknowledge his presence.  In all fairness, he's still a puppy and she had never had another pet in the house before.  She was just like, "My house, my humans.  Be gone."


Monday, December 15, 2014

We have a Tree!!!

Had so much fun with my sillies yesterday morning!  For the second year in a row we went to Butler's Orchard to cut down our own tree.  Well, more specifically, us girls stood around and watched Cosmo cut the tree down and then we all applauded.







After cutting the tree we stopped in at the market and had some hot chocolate and caramel and apples.  I had to go to the office for a bit but when I came home they had the tree up complete with lights and baked macaroni (T's favorite) in the oven for dinner.  We decorated the tree and enjoyed dinner and just relaxed the rest of the evening.  This year's tree is HUGE and I think it's one of my favorites we've ever had.  The girls didn't want to use any of their hand-crafted "kiddie" ornaments so the tree is just balls and stars and candy canes.  It looks great!!!  




I will officially have been back to work a full month on Monday!  It's been so weird -- it's like I never left!  KJ and Cosmo have adjusted well and have helped pick up the slack at home since I have such a long commute.  I'm very, very fortunate.  I like both my job AND the people I work with.  KJ came into work with me the day after Thanksgiving and we helped make wreaths and decorate the hotel for Christmas.  The following week we had a Manager's Reception and the hotel looked absolutely amazing!  Plus, KJ received SSL hours for her help with decorating.  Bonus!

Since I went back to work with zero warning or notice (and my time in PA for my cousin's funeral), I'm a bit behind on my Christmas shopping and decorating but will manage.  T flies in tomorrow and I know she will be a big help to me.  She always is.  I can give that girl a list a mile long and she'll get everything done and then some.  She can help me with my wrapping and mailing cards and packages for me.

The "travel tree" is up in the family room (it's filled with ornaments from all of our travels over the years) but we've been waiting until T came home to cut down the living room tree as a family.  We'll take our Christmas card photo Sunday at the tree farm.  My dining room is semi set.  I have some tweaking left to do.  The family room mantel is also semi set and still needs some work.

Really, really, really looking forward to having everyone here for the holidays!  It's going to be insane and I may have to get a prescription for Xanax or something!  Cosmo said he's going to pull a Clark Griswold and drink a lot of Jack Daniels.  We're meeting the Palm Beach side of the family in NYC prior to the holidays and then they'll be at our house for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.   Cosmo's niece and her hubby will also be at my house for Christmas dinner.  My mom and dad will be here for the entire week. The day after Christmas we're all heading to DC for the day and I've made dinner reservations for 11 at a fun restaurant in Georgetown.  Saturday the Palm Beach relations fly out, my bro and his fam arrive.

KJ has had a busy couple of weeks.  High School volleyball is officially over and we had a great time at the end of year banquet.  She went right into club volleyball and is doing really great at practice.  She is so intense on the court.  Both girls definately get their competitiveness from their father.  So, after the beginning of the year our weekends will be spent at volleyball tournaments (I think we're even going to a tourney in Atlantic City.  Haven't been there in YEARS!!!).  And she still swears she's going to play High School lax (yay!!!!).

T has been busy as well.  The weekend before Thanksgiving she competed in and won the Miss Amory title.  She is very, very excited to be working with Mr. Miller, her new diretor.  She had an incredible experience with her Miss Metro Jackson director(s) and Mr. Miller is very well known and very respected in the pageant community.  So far, she was in the Amory Christmas parade and also attended the local production of the Nutcracker.  She has a clothing sponsor this year which is super nice.  They dress her for all of her appearances.

She's had a great semester and I'm having a hard time accepting the fact that she'll be a senior next year.  She's still got her weekly DJ morning gig.  She's writing for an on-line Greek column, she was the Thursday night anchor for NewsWatch 99 and spent some time on the sidelines at football games for the Sports Photography class.  She's been applying for internships here in DC for the summer and has an interview scheduled while she's home.  At 20 years old that girl has quite an impressive resume!



Saturday, November 29, 2014

Rivals

Watching the 3rd Quarter of the Iron bowl (right now Bama is down 27 to 36).  Happy to see Ole Miss defeat Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl earlier today and glad the Egg will be in Oxford for the year.  T, The Dew and his sister Cassi were all at the game.  Cassi was also there for the win over Alabama so I think she's the good luck charm. (OMG, as I'm typing Alabama just scored.  It's now Auburn 36, Bama 34).

T had a lovely week with Pony Boy's family for Thanksgiving.  On Saturday she competed in the Miss Amory pageant (and won!) and Sunday they headed to Johnny Frat Boy's house for the week.  I haven't had a chance to really talk to her but I think they met up with some of his high school friends, she met almost all of his family, had lunch with his mom, and went shining and shot off some guns.  T said she's dating Elmer Fudd.

We had a very nice Thanksgiving which also involved a little bit of snow from Wednesday.  My cousin Alison and her husband Zach came over as well as two friends from work.  I always have a hard time with timing the meal but this year everything turned out just right.

I had to go into the office for a bit on Friday and took KJ with me.  We also helped with the holiday decorations and I took her for sushi for lunch.  On our way home we stopped and did a little black Friday shopping.  We made it home in time for KJ to go to the high school football game.  Damascus is undefeated and is going to the Maryland state football championship this week (Thursday).  Not sure if KJ can make it to the game as volleyball practice starts Tuesday.

Super duper proud of her . . . she made the 15/16 travel volleyball team.  Over 70 girls tried out and since the team is also comprised of sophomores and juniors (depending on their birth date) and they only took 12 girls, we were really unsure how it was all going to play out.  She has also said repeatedly that she is going to play lacrosse.  Which just makes my heart happy.

OMG.  Alabama just scored again.  The score is now Bama 42, Auburn 36).

This morning KJ and I met our bestest friends for breakfast and had such a nice time.  I think we sat in Panera for over 3 hours.  AG was invited to cheer in the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day parade so we met them just outside of Harrisburg while they were on their way back to Cincinnati.  And we did a little shopping on our way home, too.

Cosmo got some stuff done today while we were gone.  I think he was happy to have some peace and quiet in the house for a change!  He got the outdoor Christmas decorations out of the garage and also re-covered our kitchen chairs and bar stools.  It was time to change the black and white check and I found a gray and white link pattern I love, love, love!  Tomorrow I'll finish putting Thanksgiving away and start on Christmas.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Another crazy week!!!

At the end of May, I, along with several others, lost my job at the Sheraton.  I've been working since I was 15 years old and have never been laid off or fired from a job so you can imagine what a shock it was for me.  I knew it wasn't personal, I knew it was just business but still.  The hotel was doing poorly, they needed to cut expenses and since my position was a newly created position, it was deemed a luxury.  The timing actually worked out in my favor . . . I was home all summer with KJ, got to enjoy the pool every day and worked on my tan, I was able to see a lot of my lax family when they came up for tournaments, I was able to go to Vicksburg for 10 days in July for the pageant, I was able to spend quality time with T-Bone when she came home for a week at the end of July, I was able to drive KJ to and from volleyball camps and clinics and I was able to be involved in her JV volleyball experience.  I was also able to fly to Oxford for a few days in October and, had that damn hurricane not happened, I would have been able to enjoy a week in Cabo!  Now, the holidays are upon us and I was looking forward to hosting Thanksgiving and having all of our family here for Christmas.  Simply put, I have not been looking for a job.  But a job found me.

Tuesday I received a text from one of my co-workers at the Sheraton asking me if I was interested in a position in the Sales Department.  Something had come up and I was the first person they thought of.  On Wednesday afternoon I received a call from HR asking if I could come in Thursday morning to meet with the new GM.  Within an hour, I had an offer of employment.  My head is spinning!!!  I start on Monday.  Naturally, I ran to the mall to buy some new clothes!

We have got so much going on over the next couple of weeks, I'm questioning the timing of this new job but things have a way of working out.  We are also in the process of buying a house here in Maryland so I was very honest with the DOS and the GM.  I told them up front that I'll need some days off for the closing, the move, etc and I absolutely positively have to have off the entire week of Christmas.  That was not negotiable.

When we first moved here we decided to rent since we really weren't sure if we were going to stay.  Fortunately, KJ loves it here and is positively thriving.  She made the honor roll 1st semester of high school as well as all 4 semesters of 8th grade and we couldn't be prouder.  She's in all AP classes and did an incredible job of balancing academics and athletics.  This coming from a child who hated school in Alabama and begged to be home schooled.  Every morning was a struggle with KJ.  She begged to stay home, every morning brought a new ailment ... a headache, a stomach ache, etc.  She loves her school, likes her teachers, she's got a great group of friends, she's popular and she's got quite the social calendar.  So, we decided the time to buy a house was right.

Unfortunately, finding a house has proved to be difficult and not without it's challenges.  Obviously we want to stay within our current school district.  We do not need nor do we necessarily want a McMansion which seems to be the rage up here.  Houses in our current neighborhood start at $625K.  It's just the three of us for the next three years (we have accepted the fact that T-bone will probably never live in Maryland).  We do not need a 5-bedroom house.  We're trying to find a smaller house that fits our needs and a house that we can quickly sell once KJ is off to college and we can downsize even further.  Unfortunately, a smaller house in this area equates to a much, much older house needing updates.

We've been searching since the spring and think we may have found our next home.  It is an older home but the kitchen and master suite have been beautifully updated.  The house is on an acre and backs to the woods.  It's a brick ranch that has none of it's original floor plan.  The master suite is huge and also has a separate sitting room that was probably one of the original bedrooms, beautiful hard woods, his and her closets and one wall of exposed brick.  The family room is an addition it is also has beautiful hardwoods, walls of windows overlook the back yard and a wall of exposed brick.  The house has two fireplaces -- one in the formal living and one in the finished basement -- but my favorite room is the mud room off the garage.  I have always wanted a mud room!!!  There is a guest bedroom in the basement and KJ will take over the entire renovated attic.  So, if we do put an offer on this house and the closing goes through, we will be the proud owner of three homes and a lacrosse store!  Yup.  Our house in Hoover is currently being rented by a nice family from MS with 2 high school aged girls, the renter in our condo has been there for over 5 years and it doesn't look like he's going anywhere and of course we still have Stickhead.  We keep joking around that all we need next is a condo in Ocean City!!!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Road to Hell

Gah!!  It's been an incredibly long time since I've blogged.  I've been meaning to.  I had good intentions.  But you know what they say about good intentions . . . 

So let's see.  Last time I blogged we were probably getting ready for our trip to Cabo.  Well, Hurricane Odile took care of that.  While we were naturally disappointed, everything seems to be working out A-OK.  It looks like we may be doing a Mediterranean cruise next year so we have that to look forward to!  I believe the cities are:  Barcelona, Palma De Mallorca, Marseilles, Florence/Pisa, Rome and Naples.  Works for me!!!


KJ's JV volleyball season is officially over.  She had an incredible season and made so many friends.  Unfortunately, they played their last game on her birthday and lost.  It was a very tough loss and she was so upset that the loss happened on her 15th b-day.  This weekend she has travel team try-outs.  


KJ also had a great time at Homecoming.  They do things a little differently up here than they did in Hoover.  Very few boys ask the girls to the dance so they all go in a big group.  However, they do go out to dinner before the dance just like they did at Hoover.  I think there were 13 or 14 in KJ's group and 6 girls came back to the house for the "after party" (a bonfire outside w/ s'mores) and they all slept over.  It was a gorgeous night and we had so much fun taking photos and it was nice for me to meet some of the parents.  

Friday night, prior to kickoff, they have a homecoming parade into the stadium and then the Homecoming King and Queen are announced.  Our football team in undefeated and the student section rocks!  The kids really, really get into it and KJ loves going to the games.  Our Varsity volleyball team is currently in the play-offs so KJ has continued going to the games to cheer on the older girls.  Girls Varsity soccer just lost in the play-offs but they had a great season, too!  The principal tweets alot and 

I broke down today and bought the latest Taylor Swift CD.  I've heard SO many people say it's really, really good so I thought I'd give it a try.  "Shake it Off" sure is catchy.  

http://youtu.be/nfWlot6h_JM

Had such a nice although very quick visit to Oxford mid-October.  T was competing in the Miss University pageant.  She did awesome (as usual!).  I wasn't sure about her new gown but the judges loved it and she got some extremely positive feedback.  She was a little discouraged because she didn't officially place but after speaking with the program director, she feels much, much better about her performance. As always, it seems like there were a lot of politics involved.  

I flew into Memphis Tuesday morning, we did some shopping and had lunch at Zaxby's (we don't have Zaxby's in Maryland!).  We had dinner and drinks at Boure with the Dew.  T had to leave early for rehearsal so the Dew and I walked around the Square.  It was very nice to spend some time w/ just him and get to know him a little better.  Wednesday we had breakfast at BBB (duh!!!) and I had lunch w/ the girls at the AOPi house while T was in class.  She had her private interview that afternoon and then the pageant was that evening.  She had a great cheering section!  Me, the Dew, Amanda, a ton of AOPi sisters and one of her AOPi advisors, a bunch of her residents and several of her co-workers.  Her residents were super sweet and had a bunch of funny posters and hooted and hollered whenever she was on stage.  Afterward we attended the cocktail party at the U Club and Thursday morning we had breakfast at Bottletree Bakery before heading up to Memphis for my return flight.  The Dew and Megan drove up to Memphis with us to keep T company on the ride home.  

T is not coming home for Thanksgiving this year (she has to check everyone out on Sunday but be back by 8 AM Friday).  She'll have Thanksgiving w/ the Dew and his fam.  She hasn't seen Cosmo and KJ since July so we're super excited for her to come home for Christmas.  Christmas is going to be INSANE at our house this year!!!!  Not only will my mom & dad be here for the week but Cosmo's bro from FL and his fam will be here too!  And then Cosmo's niece (and her hubby) that live here in MD will join us for Christmas dinner.  And then my bro and his fam will be here for a few days after Christmas.  It's going to be one big slumber party!!!  And I'm SOOOO excited!  That's what we moved back up here for!!!  

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Get 'Er Done

I fell off the blogging wagon for a few days but now am back.  It's been a busy week in our house!  Cosmo has been travelling a bit this week and is all over the place.  I had a haircut this week and had to exchange a pair of sexy shoes I bought for Cabo, KJ had two volleyball games this week -- one on Monday and one yesterday.  Monday's game was an absolute blowout -- they only had to play two games.  KJ is the starting setter but honestly, she barely touched the ball Monday afternoon.  I don't think she even got to serve in either of Monday's matches.  The other team was so bad, they couldn't return a serve so the two games went pretty fast.  We didn't even have to play defense and Sarah-Sparkley Headband just ran the board.  Yesterday's games were a little different and we only won one of the three matches.  We should have beat them in two but let's just say there were a lot of missed opportunities.  In the first match KJ had an incredible run and put up 11 or 12 points.  I lost track.  One thing is for sure though, KJ is her father's daughter through and through.  She's very, very competitive and very hard on herself.  And has high expectations of her teammates as well.  She has a couple girls on her team who just phone it in and it pisses her off to no end.

When volleyball is over, KJ will be faced with the decision to play travel volleyball again this Spring or to maybe play lacrosse.  She's torn -- she's a little worried that she may be "behind" the Maryland girls since she hasn't played lax in a couple of years (and also because she played in Alabama -- not exactly a traditional hotbed of lacrosse).  To which I said, Pish Posh.  She's very athletic and I think she'll pick it up again very easily.  Plus, The Legend can help her with her stick skills.

T is having an awesome Junior year so far and we're only a couple of weeks into the semester.  She will be a DJ again on Rebel Radio, she has an internship with the Lyric http://www.thelyricoxford.com/ a live music venue on the Square in Oxford) she's writing a few pieces for a Greek-life magazine and she found out she will be the Thursday night anchor for NewsWatch!  We are so incredibly proud of her!

This weekend I'll be in PA for my cousin's wedding, Friday KJ is going to the football game w/ friends, Saturday she has a b-day party and Sunday we have Redskins tickets.  I doubt I will be home in time for the game so it will probably just be Cosmo and KJ at the game (which makes me SO mad!!!  I'm the Skins fan in this house -- those two are Ravens fans!).

So, on to the next batch of Miss America photos!!!






Monday, September 8, 2014

Dancing with the Stars

Just saw that the contestants for the next season of Dancing with the Stars was recently released.  This is a weird group!

Here are the stars who you'll see vying for the coveted mirror-ball trophy this season and their ballroom partners:

Alfonso Ribeiro and Witney Carson (I think Carlton will do well; he's got rhythm!)

Sadie Robertson and Mark Ballas (not sure about this one; Sadie's a little young and conservative.  I don't think she'll show a lot of emotion and will be a bit stiff).

Michael Waltrip and Emma Slater (he's a NASCAR driver)

Lolo Jones and Keo Motsepe (I CAN NOT STAND LoLo Jones.  I think she's going to choke.  Just like she's done her whole life).

Jonathan Bennett and Allison Holker (he's from Mean Girls)

Lea Thompson and Artem Chigvintsev (Lea Thompson???  From Howard the Duck???)

Antonio Sabato Jr. and Cheryl Burke (Antonio's going to bring some Latin heat to the competition)

Randy Couture and Karina Smirnoff (retired mixed martial artist)

Janel Parrish and Val Chmerkovskiy (she's from Pretty Little Liars)

Tommy Chong and Peta Murgatryod (if Tommy Chong can stay focused and off the weed, I think he may be a surprise to everyone).

Betsey Johnson and Tony Dovolani (luv, luv, luv Betsey Johnson!  She's so spunky and sassy!)

Bethany Mota and Derek Hough (she's a video blogger or something like that).

Tavis Smiley and Sharna Burgess (he's a political commentator and PBS host).

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Football and Pageants (story of my life!)

KJ had a GREAT time last night at the Damascus football game!  She said she wasn't sure what to expect coming from Hoover but said the game was great, the atmosphere was great and it was great sitting in the student section.  Overall, she said it was GREAT!  She said the band and the cheerleaders were great, too.  She said it was similar to Hoover and the seniors had "seniority" in the student section.  They got to sit in the front row with all the lower class men behind them and the seniors were the body painters.  Today she went to a pool party and then her friend Britt came over and now the girls are making cookies.

T was on duty last night so she and her friend Tana drove up to Nashville early this morning for the game vs. Vandy.  She didn't have a ticket and the box office was selling seats for almost $80 so she was getting a little frustrated.  Tana told her, "Just smile and walk in."  So she did.  She walked right through the security line and walked right through the gate.  That's my girl!  The Ole Miss game was kind of boring.  I'm happy they won but the game was pretty much a blow-out.  Not an exciting game at all.  Vandy obviously didn't eat their Wheaties this morning.  Cosmo has the Ohio game on and that stadium is positively rockin'!  Not an Ohio fan but I do think that would be a great place to see a game!!!

And now, to counter-act all that football testosterone, here are some more Miss America photos!!!

I luv, luv, luv the clean lines on this gown!   




Go Jasmine!!!  I think she's going to do great next Sunday!




Friday, September 5, 2014

FriDay = FriYay!!!

So happy it's the weekend!  Had such a busy day today, it's nice to relax tonight.  KJ is at her first official football game as a Damascus Swarming Hornet.  It's a gorgeous night for a game and she looked so cute in her cute pink camouflage t-shirt!

She had a pediatrician appointment today and afterward we ran a couple of errands before I dropped her back off at the high school for volleyball practice.  Although I think we've transitioned exceptionally well, there are some things that really trip me up sometimes.  For example, I didn't know I had to write a note for KJ to check her out early.  The attendance office told me if she has a note, she can check herself out and wait at the front door for me.  I don't even have to walk in the door.  Very cool.  Especially since my Alabama license doesn't work in the security reader at the front office!

I luv, luv, luv her new pediatrician.  She was super cool, treated KJ like an adult and everyone at the practice seemed very nice.  We then went across the hall in the professional building and made appointments for October with our new dentist.  Kind of weird to have to find all new doctors again.  Our pediatrician in Alabama was the only pediatrician KJ had ever known.  And the OB/GYN I saw for 15 years was the same doctor who delivered KJ.

T is so super excited -- her new gown came in the mail today so . . . on to a few more Miss America photos!






Had to include the following photo of Miss Maryland 2013 -- Miss Christina Denny.  We met her a couple of weeks ago, she was super sweet and this is the custom gown T tried on.  The gown was absolutely gorgeous, a big statement gown, and fit T perfectly!!!  









Thursday, September 4, 2014

More Miss America

Got a little behind on my blog posts but will catch up today!  Here's more Miss America photos from the recent Tony Bowls photo shoot.  Which contestant is your favorite?  Which gown do you absolutely love???


Such a pretty color!

Not a fan of the crop top / two-piece gown but wow!  Miss Florida is GORGEOUS!!!


Love the red!





Congratulations to Jasmine Murray (Miss Mississippi) and to Miss Alabama on being a Quality of Life finalist!  


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Here She Is ... Miss America !!!

Because T-bone FINALLY decided on the gown she'll be competing in at Miss University in October and in honor of the upcoming Miss America Pageant, I'll be posting photos of the contestant's recent photo shoot with the Godfather of pageant fashion, Mr. Tony Bowls (please note:  these are not the official evening gowns the contestants will be wearing during competition, these are from a Tony Bowls photo shoot while the contestants were in Orlando supporting their Outstanding Teens this summer).  www.MisAmerica.org

In alphabetical order (I'll post 5 photos for the next 10 days):



luv, luv, luv this red gown!  


One of my favorites!  

KJ and I wanted to go to the Show Us Your Shoes Parade so badly this year but the timing was tough -- I have my cousin's wedding in PA and then Cabo.  There was NO way I could get from PA to AC to Mexico without loosing my mind!!!  http://www.missamerica.org/parade/default.aspx  I mean, seriously!  How fun does this look!!













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