Road Trip!

August 31, 2007 at 1:45 pm (2year olds, Bob Marley, Friends, road trips, Santana, Stevie Ray, vacations)

I’m headed off with Pep & the little guy for a little Labor Day road trip to Charlotte NC.  It wouldn’t necessarily be the first place we’d choose for a vacation, but we’re really excited about going … 1- I’ve never been to Charlotte, NC (I don’t think) but 2 – we’re going to see some good friends!!  They’ve lived in Charlotte for about 2 years now & we’ve never made the trip to see them, so it’s finally time!  They also have a little girl that is about 1-1/2 so that will be fun to see the kiddos together. 

I’ve stocked the DVD player with Bob Marley, Santana, Curious George & of course Stevie Ray Vaughn so the little guy should be content on the road!!

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The Devil in a Blue Dress

August 30, 2007 at 2:17 pm (pregnancy, pregnant)

My friend Amanda blogged about this just recently & then my friend Alicia also touched on the subject during one of her posts … I need something to blog about, so why not this! Pep & I got married pretty young. I’m certain that certain people thought we were crazy. I can only remember one person voicing an opinion that we were too young … she was my mom’s cousin – by marriage – and she said, “don’t you think you’re too young to get married” (in a very snooty voice & stance). That was it – no “congratulations, but don’t you think” or anything like that. I never cared for her much anyways & she happened to be wearing a blue dress that night, so we quickly named her as this post’s title implies!!

We knew we were young and had plenty of things we wanted to do first, so from the very beginning our plan was to wait “at least 5 years” before having children. That was also always our pat answer for the ever annoying question “so when are y’all going to have children” … answer: “it will be at least 5 years”. As we got closer to our 5-year anniversary, the answer still remained the same; although, the more annoyed I got with that question, the more attitude I’d also give with the answer … “well you’ll certainly be t he first to know” (smirk, smirk)!

It started getting tricky though after our 5-year anniversary came & went and then we did actually get pregnant. I wanted to wait as long as possible to tell anyone (that’s probably a whole other post one day), so for 3 months we were pregnant & people would ask the annoying question. I think we used something like “we’ll just have to wait & see”.

When the time finally came to tell our family, we had both sides over for dinner on two separate nights. We gave each family member a gift (we were already celebrating other events, so it was a little strange to give everyone a gift but I think we pulled it off ok). The gift was a picture frame that read “first picture due August 14, 2005” … we got the very blank stares for a minute until it registered with everyone & then of course the happy screams!!

The first picture actually came 8 days early on August 6, 2005!!

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Wordless Wednesday – Cartoon Style

August 29, 2007 at 8:40 am (two-year olds, Wordless Wednesday)

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The Chili Recipe … that you’ve been ‘waiting’ for!

August 28, 2007 at 10:03 am (chili, football season, recipes)

To finish my post from last night … I prefer a hearty chili with lots of veggies, so if that’s not your cup of stew then you may not especially like this one.

1 lb ground beef, 1 medium onion (chopped), 1 medium green pepper (chopped), 2-3 teaspoons of ground cumin &/or 1 packet of chili seasoning, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Mexican stewed tomatoes, 1 can (15-3/4 ounces) chili beans in gravy, 1 can (15-3/4 ounces) kidney beans, 1 cup/can of corn, 1 small can of tomato sauce (optional … just depends on what consistency you prefer)

Cook beef until the meat is browned.  Drain.  While meat is cooking, cook vegetables & seasoning in separate pot over medium heat.  After meat is done, add to vegetables.  Cover & simmer until everything’s tender.  Pep usually steps in for additional seasoning at this point!! 

I prefer to serve topped with fritos, cheese & sour cream!

How do you like your chili??  Any good chili recipes to share???

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Football Season has Begun!

August 27, 2007 at 10:39 pm (Atlanta Falcons, chili, football season, Georgia Bulldogs, recipes)

Granted, it’s only pre-season but does that really matter to most men around the country!?!  The title of this post may appear that I’m excited about football season beginning … and I’m not upset, but excited is probably a little strong.  I would say ‘impartial’.  The things I love most about the start of football season having absolutely nothing to do with football – it’s simply that fall is just around the corner!  Leaves changing colors & then falling, the crispness in the air … since temps have been 100+ here in the ATL recently, fall being just around the corner is a beautiful thing!!!

Now don’t get me wrong, I also love to watch a good game of football, but between college & pro our TV will be consumed by football between now & the SuperBowl.  I think the main difference between me & a true football watcher (ok ‘main’ is definitely strong …. probably more like ‘one’ difference) that I watch to either pull for my team (Go Falcons … Go Dawgs) or pull for a ‘good story’ (I’m a sucker for good Bob Costas type stories)!  If it’s not my team, a playoff game, or a good story then I’m fine with some old mediocre television show or just “browsing” the web!

My other favorite thing about football … is the food!!!  It means I can officially start making chili – yum, yum.  I’m too tired to put forth the effort of posting my favorite chili recipe tonight, so I’ll leave that as a teaser for tomorrow’s post (I know all five of my readers will come back for that tomorrow … scratch that & make it four since one isn’t a fan of meat:)!

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My New Favorite Product!

August 23, 2007 at 6:20 pm (favorite products, skincare)

Terra Cotta Body Buffer&trade

It’s a Terra Cotta Body Buffer by Gilden Tree & I love it!!!  You know the little annoying bumps you get from time to time on your arms or maybe legs?  So if you don’t know what I’m talking about then this isn’t for you, but if you do then you should try this.  It’s basically a terra cotta loofa to “help exfoliate & smoothe dry skin”.  It retails for only $8-12.  I got mine from Skin Solutions in GA (I’m a little partial because I love the owner), but you can order directly from Gilden Tree or if you want some great all-natural skincare solutions & happen to live in the great state of GA, then check out Skin Solutions (cheap plug, I know)!  But it really is my new favorite product!!

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My Little Picture People Celebrity!

August 22, 2007 at 10:05 pm (Picture People, pictures, two-year olds)

He has his own little wall!!

I got the litte guy’s 2year old pictures taken earlier this month & they liked them enough to display … which, I mean really (not partial at all), who could argue with that one!!

So he’s not really a celebrity … it’s just a local store & no funds were received, but (again, not partial at all) … he certainly could be!!

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I Feel A BLOG Coming On

August 22, 2007 at 5:58 pm (blogging, customer service, soapbox)

You know the feeling I’m talking about … the event, cirmcumstance, or just plain soapbox that makes the little voice inside say something on the lines of “I am so blogging about this”.  I try to resist that voice when it’s just a soapbox … I can tend to be negative & sometimes it helps to get it out & move on then other times it just makes me dwell on it & get more negative.   I’m not sure which side this one is on, but I’m going to blog about it anyways!!

I hate poor customer service!  This week I’ve been surrounded by it.  It all started when I tried to place an order but it was on backorder.  The Customer Service Rep couldn’t tell me when it was going to be back in stock (or wouldn’t) so I asked to be transferred to her manager.  I had to leave a vmail for the manager (not a good sign & makes me more upset) … that was Monday AM – I’m still waiting on that return call.  So Monday afternoon, I sent an email to that Manager’s Manager … I’m still waiting on that reply too!!!   The apple sure doesn’t fall far from the tree on that one!!

Then today, I had to pick up an order I was having engraved.  It was supposed to be ready yesterday.  Today, I’m told “she’s starting on it now, it will be about 20 mins”.  20 Minutes is not a big deal for me (it is a very big deal however for the little guy that is stuck running errands with me)!  My frustration though is that it was supposed to be ready yesterday & I’m sure she ‘just happened’ to start on it only because I ‘just happened’ to come pick up my order!!

So during the 20 minute wait time, we (me & the little guy) trucked over to your local superstore to pick up a few things & develop some digital prints.  Of course the Kodak machine is not reading my card, so the employee directs me to the 1-hour machine (which is fine b/c I now have an extra 20 minutes to waste anyways).  Except as I’m printing off my receipt I overhear the employees tell another customer that the 1-hour developing is down so it will be late afternoon before they are ready … now why in this world did the employee not tell me that before I got started … it was down for a scheduled repair & had been so all morning!!!! 

So I continue in the local superstore picking up the remaining items I need as the little guy informs me he needs to go potty.  I’m not sure where the restroom’s at, so I ask an employee … our conversation goes something like this:

Me:  Excuse me ma’am (who is stocking shelves), where is the closest restroom.

Employee Stocking Shelf:  (No Kidding) … It’s down there. 

Me:  (what I wanted to say out loud) … Oh down there, well that certainly clears that up since this store is huge & we’re in the very middle of it!!!!

Me:  (what I actually say) … down where?

Employee Stocking Shelf:  Right past the shoes, take a left.

No how hard was that to begin with!!!!

Now I am a firm believer that the customer is NOT always right.  But I’m also a believer that the customer has plenty of reasons to doubt the employee!  Sometimes I think it’s a personal issue … that it truly is just hard to find good, competent help.  And then alot of times I think it’s a company issue … that wether they find the right person or not, they just don’t do a good job training people. 

I’m not asking for much; I would just like the employee at the check-out line who hates their job to smile & say hello, the customer service rep over the phone to provide accurate information in a pleasant voice & most importantly for the employee at the fast food window to give me my darn straw!!!

 Whew … I *think* I feel better:)

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The Great Eight Anniversary!

August 21, 2007 at 6:35 pm (anniversary, Pepper, wedding)

scan0001, originally uploaded by mandiholcombe.

It’s been 8 years today since Pep & I said our “I-do’s”. We’ve known each other & been together for almost 13 years!!! That’s crazy to me because that’s almost 1/2 my life!!! I think a birthday or an anniversary of anything has alot to do with reflection … looking back on what makes a specific day special, important or significant & looking forward about how to make today a significant day of it’s own.

So when I look back over the last eight years, I see that like everyone else we’ve had some really good times, done some really cool things, gone on some really great vacations, taken some pretty crazy risks & of course had our share of heartache along the way.

We’ve gone parasailing, snorkeling, rock-climbing, hiked through a rain forest & taken tours by canoe, helicopter & even 4-wheelers! We’ve traveled to some awesome place – Jamaica for our Honeymoon, the Bahamas, a couple skiing trips to Colorado, our West Coast Adventure from San Diego to Beverly Hills/LA/Hollywood, a cruise of the Hawaiian Islands (thanks Mom & Dad), Mexico, Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, a couple trips to FL, and even the great state of North Dakota (thanks Alicia & Josh)!

Between the 2 of us, we’ve had 9 jobs … which I’m not sure how that’s even mathmatically possible since two of those jobs we each had for 4.5/5 years!! We’ve had 6 house (only 2 of which we’ve lived in … that’s the “risk” referenced above)!

Along the way we’ve lost an aunt, two grandmothers, a grandfather and a brother. But we’ve also been blessed by a now 2year old little boy that birngs his own little set of adventures for us to share!!

So it’s our anniversary, a day to reflect on an important day that happened in our past but like any other day to stop & think about how today will become significant in our future (and no Staci … even though I may look like it, I’m not pregnant:)!

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Wordless Wednesday – Take 2 via flickr … The Picture Behind the Picture

August 15, 2007 at 5:54 pm (Uncategorized)

The Picture Behind the Picture, originally uploaded by mandiholcombe.

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