New home

February 3, 2010 at 8:28 am (random)

I’m offiically blogging at a new home now!!  Check it out at …

Still working out some things, but I’m happy to be there.  I’d love for you to take a look & let me know what you think!

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Top ten tuesday … the to-do list

February 1, 2010 at 9:06 pm (Blissdom 10, blogging, random, Top Ten Tuesday)


Going out of town is always so much work.  But almost always well worth it!

And this out of town trip, is definitely worth it.  On SO many levels!!! Girl time, no-kiddo time, blogging time … oh it’s going to be fun!!

But there’s so many things I need to do before leaving at 1pm on Thursday.  So this one is likely more for my benefit than yours, but maybe you can help me if I’m forgetting anything!!  And I can help you, if you’re forgetting something too!

1.  Remove pictures off my camera –  I’m horrible at doing that, but I want a fresh clean memory stick!!

2.  Pay bills –  Blah, blah, blah.  Ugh.  I hate paying bills!!

3.  Pack my bags – which also means figuring out what I’m going to take, leave, wear, not wear, etc.  The packing is the easy part!!  It’s all the deciding that isn’t!!

4.  Pack bags for the kids – they’ll be spending the night with my parents one night & then with Pepper the other two.   But Lord knows what they’d be wearing or not wearing if I didn’t get all that organized before leaving!!

5.  Get some dinners ready – I think they’ll only be home for dinner one of the nights I’m out, but still, it makes me feel better knowing I’ve left some of their favorites ready in the fridge.  That probably means Chicken Casserole & Chicken Pot Pie!

6.  Try to get my new site finished – yep, you read that right.  I’ve been working (not really me, but rather someone’s been working on my behalf!) on a new site for a little while now & my goal is to have it ready tomorrow.  I was going to wait until after Blissdom, and then went back & forth on what to do.  So we’ll see!   Lots of blogrolls & widgets still to change over.  But I’m excited!!

7.  Set up my poken – Eeek.  I haven’t even opened it!

8.  Look at the Agenda one more time – I need to remind myself of where I’m supposed to be, what classes I want to take, who I want to hear speak, etc. etc. etc.

9.  Think about all the random stuff – Camera Charger, Laptop Charger, Phone Charger, Blog Cards, Chewing Gum, Spending Money, Pillow, Notepads … what else??

10.  Try to remember everything I’m forgetting – Can you help me??

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The calm before the storm

January 27, 2010 at 5:44 am (random)

Evan & Megan ~ 2010

It’s not really the calm before the storm.  I actually can’t complain.  They really love each other very much & play great together!

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In this season

January 25, 2010 at 9:16 am (random) (, , , )

I’ve read Ecclesiastes 3 on many occasions over the years.  You’re probably familiar with it as well.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven.

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot.

(Continue reading Ecclesiastes 3 from the NIV)

And I think I’ve heard the same message every time.  I’ve always heard that we have seasons in our lives.  There will be good times and there will be bad.  Loved ones will be born and loved ones will die.  There is a time to cry and there is a time to dance.

Today, in church we looked deeper at this verse.  And for the first time verse 11 really stuck out to me.

It reads:

He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

We will have seasons on this earth.  And it’s ok if we don’t like the bad ones.  Because we weren’t created for this Earth. God created us for Eternity.  He put Eternity in our hearts … not a good and everyday perfect place here on Earth.

And I’m ok with that.  Because I’d rather live in Eternity than

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Things i love thursday … from the four year old

January 14, 2010 at 8:01 am (random)

Evan goes through stages of either wanting to eat breakfast or not wanting to eat breakfast. 

Right now, he wants to eat breakfast.  He wants to eat breakfast for breakfast.  He wants to eat breakfast for lunch.  He wants to eat breakfast for snacks.  And he wants to eat breakfast for dinner

 When he goes to bed at night, he reminds me that he wants to eat breakfast when he wakes up (*shew* I might forget otherwise)!

The catch?  He only wants to eat one thing for breakfast. 

The answer?  Quaker Instant Oatmeal – Dinosaur Eggs Edition!!

You may remember that this little  four year old loves dinosaurs.  And we hosted the Dinosaur of all Dinosaur Birthday Parties.  So when I found these in the store, I knew they’d be a hit!!

I asked Evan to help me write this post by asking him a few questions.  It went like this:

What’s your favorite thing about Dinosaur Oatmeal?:  The Eggs.

Why are they your favorite?:  Because I like them.

Why do you like them?:  Because they’re my favorite.

Well you can see how well this is going.

So, I’ll tell you my favorite thing about them … he eats it!!  No complaints.  No whines.  No worries.  He asks for it, we make it together, and he eats it!!  If only every meal could go so smoothly!!

They’re not the most healthy thing in the world for him – sugar is the #2 ingredient & the actual eggs definitely contain everything I’d rather them not contain, but they are made with Whole Grain Oats:)  And it’s better than him not eating breakfast!!  I’ll add some fruit or eggs to the side and it’s all good!

And did I mention that he eats it?  WITHOUT complaining?  These days that’s carries A LOT of weight in this house!!

If you’d like to try it (or basically any Quaker Instant Oatmeal), they’re still on sale this week at Kroger.  You can also visit MommySnacks for a Printable $1 Quaker Coupon to save even more!

For more Things I Love Thursday or link up to something you love, visit the Diaper Diaries.

*Disclosure – As the title implies this is something I love.  The title of this post is not “Things I love because Quaker gave them too me”.  They didn’t.  I bought it.  We eat it.  I blogged about it.  That easy!

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The closing of a decade

December 30, 2009 at 9:55 pm (blogging, memories, random)

I was reading over at The Vanderbilt Wife today and she did a great re-cap of her life this past decade.  I thought it was a great way to think about the last 10 years and highlight some of the major events in my life.  Also a way to remember it for many years to come.  So I apologize in advance if this is super boring,  just know I’m filing this one away for my personal memory bank!

In 1999 I was celebrating New Year’s Eve with my brand new husband on the beach in Destin FL.  We were with some friends & it was a great way to ring in the new decade because we got to celebrate the countdown twice – once for “Georgia Time” and once for “Florida Time”!  That way if the world came to an end when Y2K hit in Georgia, we had at least an hour to prepare – ha!!


  • Working at my church as an Assistant to the Children’s Ministry Pastor and the Pre-School Pastor.
  • Attending school Full-Time.
  • Celebrated my Grandparents 50th Wedding Anniversary!
  • Graduated from school with a Business Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing.


  • Took my first post-degree job for a company that I can’t even remember the name of (I didn’t stay very long because they were scum-bags … literally!!).
  • Accepted a job with a now-defunct division of LandAmerica OneStop.  This had nothing to do with my degree, but only to do with a paycheck!  I will however, always remember that job as the place I was when I heard of 9/11.
  • Visited the Bahamas for a summer vacation.
  • Purchased our first car as a married couple – a Toyota 4Runner … which I still drive today!


  • Began my career with Alucid Solution – a user interface company in Atlanta, finally getting to put my degree back to use!
  • Visited some dear friends in California & got to see parts of LA, San Diego & Beverly Hills for the first time.
  • Pepper and I both lost a grandparent this year.

2003 – this year is marked heavily with good & bad.

  • Closed on the house that we still live in today.
  • We lost Pepper’s 18-year old brother to a car accident.
  • Pepper quit his job in the Life Insurance Business because life was short and he didn’t want to sell something he didn’t believe in anymore!  (side note:  He believes in life insurance – it’s important & we have it!!  But he didn’t believe in how the company sold it … not looking out for the customer but only selling what gave the biggest commission!!).
  • Vacationed with my family on an Hawaiian Cruise!!
  • Became an Aunt when Pepper’s sister had her first child.


  • Purchased our first of four “flipper houses”.
  • Began traveling for work a fair bit … DC, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, and Los Angeles several more times.
  • Vacationed at El Dorado Royale in Mexico for our 5-year Anniversary
  • Visited the lovely state of North Dakota with some dear friends ~ a real life ranch experience that I never dreamed I’d ever have!!!
  • Found out I was pregnant with Evan in November of 2004 …


  • Finally announced to friends & family that we were expecting in February of 2005 (yes – we waited for 2.5 months … it was our little secret only!!)  I waited an entire month before even telling Pepper!!
  • Water broke just as Pepper was dealing out the poker chips of his last ‘free-man’ weekend party!!
  • Delivered a healthy baby boy 8 days early weighing in at 8lbs 6 oz.
  • Visited the Neurosurgeon with Evan for the most scared moments of my short life as a mommy … all was well though!!
Evan ~ 2005

Evan ~ 2005

Oh my gosh, we’re only half way there!!!


  • Stopped working at Alucid Solution to stay at home full-time with Evan.
  • Vacationed in Orlando with my family.
  • Celebrated Evan’s 1st Birthday with a Luau-Themed Party for our families.
  • Helped my sister-in-law open an All Natural Skincare Clinic.


  • Celebrated Pepper’s 30th birthday in Las Vegas ~ a first time trip for both of us!
  • Wrote my very first blog post!
  • Began working part-time with my sister-in-law  & went back to work part-time for Alucid Solution.
  • Started Evan in a Mother’s Morning Out Program two days a week.
  • Found out I was pregnant with Megan in November of 2007 …


  • Finally announced to friends in family that we were expecting again in January of 2008 (yes – we still waited … but we told everyone a whole month sooner this time!!!).
  • Finished my part-time work with Alucid Solution.
  • Delivered a healthy baby girl 2 weeks early after having to stop & get gas (while having serious contractions) and having to wait in the waiting room for a room to open!!!
  • Celebrated our 9th Wedding Anniversary over hospital food since Megan chose to come into this world on our Anniversary!!
  • Celebrated my 30th Birthday!!

Megan ~ 2008


WoW – if you made it to the end of this you should entered in a giveaway or something!!!  But sorry, I don’t have anything!  Thanks for letting me remember though!! Did you do a decade recap post?  If you did be sure to leave your link … I owe you the courtesy of reading it all:)

Happy New Year!!!

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Gingerbread days

December 21, 2009 at 6:04 am (random)

This is what the house looked like on the box …

Gingerbread House

This is what a certain four year old and his one year old sister looked like in action …

Fake smile:)

And this is what our finished product looked like …

Gingerbread House 2009

I was just happy it stood up!!!

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The sisterchicks do christmas

December 18, 2009 at 6:26 am (Christmas, Finer Things Friday, random)

This past Saturday, we had our 10th Annual Sisterchick Christmas Party.  10 Years we’ve been getting together for Christmas!!  These are my very best girlfriends – some of them date back to diapers!!  Seriously.  I wore diapers when I first met ohAmanda and her family.  And now we’re changing diapers on our babies … crazy!!

Since we’ve been having an “official” Sisterchick Christmas Party for 10 years now, we’re pretty good at planning them.  In fact, I think next year’s is already half-way planned!!

Anyways.  Back to this year.

We always have the party at someone’s house.   My husband asked very sarcastically “why don’t y’all go out or something?”  Um (I said very sarcastically) because where would we go that we could spend one hour eating and five hours opening presents and taking pictures?!?!

Christmas 1999

Sometimes getting the date is the hardest part. It’s tough to do and there’s only six of us.  But the key is to plan a date early in the year & know that everyone can make it.  If someone says they can’t come, then we’ve been known to drive 2.5 hours to meet them in a different state!!!  We can’t have a Sisterchick Christmas Party without one of the Sisterchicks!

We can’t just have a get-together for Christmas.  Everything must be planned.  And everything is always theme-based.

Food theme – This is the fun part!!  We’ve had mexican, fondue, chili, soups & salads, pizza, casseroles, and more.  This year we had breakfast for dinner … YUM!

Gift theme – We each bring one big gift.  Sometimes we play steal the gift.  The last several years we’ve drawn names.  Our themes are always silly.  In honor of our 10th Anniversary, our gift theme was numbers.  Our gift somehow had to represent a number(s).  All six of us had a different spin on it.  It’s so fun to see how we each interpret the theme every year.  Explanation of this will require an entirely big & long post … maybe over the holidays!

This year we even threw in an Attire theme –  We’ve never done this before.  But this year, it just seemed appropriate to all agree to PJs since we were having breakfast.  Plus we usually hang out til after mid-night so it made for a comfortable evening & easy to hop right in bed!

Christmas 2009

It’s important to always take lots of pictures:

Pictures of pictures

Add a game or two:

"The" Prize

And have lots of deserts

served on the floor:)

These aren’t just my girlfriends … these are my Sisterchicks!

For more Finer Things Friday or to link up your own, visit Amy at The Finer

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Christmas memories

December 9, 2009 at 12:08 pm (random)

My 16 Month Old Evan

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Top ten tuesday – more randomness

November 24, 2009 at 12:14 am (random, Top Ten Tuesday)

I must be in a funk.  That or my procrastination is just catching up to me & I don’t have any posts ready.  Either way, looks like you’re stuck with another set of Random Facts about Mandi again!!

1.  My car has been hit on THREE separate occasions while it was parked!!  In a parking lot!!!  Two of those times were to the same car.  Is that normal???

2.  I cannot clap on beat.  Seriously.  Just ask my husband (and anyone else that stands near me in church).

3.  I just randomly became a Pampered Chef Consultant (so if you need anything let me know!!).  I was only hosting the party because the Sisterchicks wanted to have one.  And I became a Consultant.  Go figure!

4. I have 1 older sister & two younger twin brothers.   So I’m sort-of like the middle child, even though there’s four of us.

5.  I got married before I could legally have a drink … that’s why we honeymooned in Jamaica (totally kidding Mom!!).

6.  We call my grandfather CaCa and yes, I totally know what that means in Spanish … but we say it ONLY with pure love!! (He’s name is Carl.)

7.  I was sick as a dog at my 10th (I believe that’s right) birthday party.  I was vomiting as my friends were skating around the roller rink!

8.  My husband & I got a private tour of a lot in Hollywood – we got our picture taken and even splashed in the water of the famous “FRIENDS” fountainI loved every second of it!

9.  The sight of hair (no longer attached the head) will seriously make me gag.  My Dad always cleaned my hairbrush as a child & now thankfully my husband will!!

10.  In highschool & college, I dyed shoes for a living … just ask ohAmanda!

For more Top Ten Tuesday or to link up to your own list, visit

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