Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Downtown Disney

On Sunday, as soon as church was over, we headed home to eat a quick lunch and change clothes. We had big plans that afternoon. We had told AB we were taking a little trip, and she was SO excited!

Not as excited as me, though.

These guys DSC_5220were in Orlando on a Disney trip with the rest of their family and we had planned to meet up for dinner on Sunday night!

Would we drive two hours there and two hours back all in the same afternoon to spend two hours with these guys? Absolutely! I’d walk to Orlando to get to see Steph! :) She is after all, the very closest thing I have to a sister. When I think of my life’s biggest, happiest, saddest, and even most defining moments, she’s right there in all of them. Living half the country away from someone is sure to make you appreciate the little time you do get to see them. DSC_5243

We hadn’t introduced her to Maybree yet either, so that was a must. :)DSC_5246

We walked around Downtown Disney and AB was so excited to see all the Mickey & Minnie stuff! Bless her heart, it almost felt like we were teasing her, by taking her to Downtown and not on into the actual park! She kept looking for the Princesses, and she was certain we’d run into Belle. At one point she told us we needed to find “one of those FastPasses, and go see Belle.” Ha… She’s got quite the memory! DSC_5251

We stopped in the Lego World store, and she loved seeing Woody! DSC_5212She also got her first Lego set. It’s so cute and I love that they make Legos for girls now! So fun.

We had dinner at The Rainforest CafĂ©. DSC_5226AB liked all of the monkeys and elephants, but she could do without the “rain storm” that happened every 30 minutes. DSC_5227Dinner was good and it was nice to get to catch up with Steph & Henry for a little bit.

We made a stop in the Disney shop, of courseDSC_5286…and AB chose a prize… a Minnie Mouse hat. DSC_5235

No meeting is complete without a big group picture, and the perfect spot was with the Lego family:


We said our goodbyes to Steph, Henry & Mickey Mouse and we’re hoping to see all of them again SOON! :)


Friday, March 23, 2012

For love of the picture…

For the past four years, as soon as Spring gets close, Carrie and I start planning Easter chick pictures. Also known as twenty minutes of pure chaos where we do everything imaginable to try to get a cute picture of our kids with the brand new, fresh-from-the-Mizell-farm chicks.

The first year, way back in 2009, it meant propping our baby girls in their Bumbo seats and singing “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” to try to get smiles from them.1

The next year it meant protecting chicks from Allie’s squeeze and keeping the chicks out of AB’s sight to keep her from crying!

Last year things got a little easier. AB was no longer terrified of the chicks, but it was still almost impossible to get BOTH kids to look at the camera. DSC_8640

This year, things got even more challenging since we’ve added two to the group. Whitt & Mamie were the easy ones, though. Those big sisters give us a run for our money and we resorted to full on bribery this year. I had two prizes in my car for the girls and Carrie had stocked up on M&Ms. Not even that worked this year, though. DSC_4978



Mamie was the chick-whisperer- they all loved her! DSC_5042



DSC_5052We didn’t get the perfect picture we’d imagined (we did get some cute ones though)…Allie got shoo-shooed on…AB was DONE after she saw said shoo-shoo…and the mommas were running on short patience yesterday. I even (accidentally, but I still felt terrible) knocked AB in the head with my camera after I had just gotten on to her. Not my finest Momma-Moment for sure. ALL for the LOVE of a picture.

We got changed and had lunch, then headed home. DSC_5110

Whitt & Maybree relaxing after lunch. :)

Both the girls slept the whole way.

I looked in my rear view mirror and saw those sweet sleeping faces and was reminded that it isn’t about the picture at all. Yes, I love a good picture of my kids, and when they are grown I want to be able to look back at all the pictures we’ve taken over the years, but more than that, I want the memory to be alive in them—not just a picture on paper. I want them to always feel how loved they are and how their momma loved doing things with them and for them. I don’t want them to remember me getting ill because they wouldn’t look at the camera and take a good picture.

I was really feeling regretful that I hadn’t taken the time to make the chick experience more fun for AB. I didn’t even let her hold them and play before I expected her to sit and smile for a picture. Don’t get me wrong, she’s three and we are working REALLY HARD on listening and following directions, and I feel as her parent, I should expect her to do what I ask her to do (even if its sit still and smile for a picture). But my problem was expecting that ONLY… I didn’t remember that she IS just 3 and maybe if I’d let her play for a minute, she’d have been more likely to cooperate better. Of course, like I said, she’s three, so she might not have. Ha.

Thankfully, children are way more resilient than our Momma-guilt lets us believe, because AB told everyone she saw yesterday about her morning with the baby chicks, how she’d had a fun day, AND about how they pooped on Allie. :)

So I’m guessing maybe I can redeem myself after all. Maybe she won’t grow up remembering me getting ill over her not looking at the camera, she’ll just remember all the crazy things her momma & Aunt Carrie used to get them into! :)

And while, I will STILL be snapping pictures of them left and right and bribing and begging them to look at the camera, I will also take time to remind myself that either way, we’ll never get these moments back. Whether we have a picture of it or not. DSC_4957


Thursday, March 22, 2012


My Momma’s birthday was back in February. I knew what we were going to get her the minute my SIL, Lauren told me about a painting class she’d been to with some friends. It was at a studio called “Corks & Colors” DSCN4527I thought it would be so fun to do something like that with my Mom. DSC_4967

Last night was our night to go and it was as much as fun as I thought it would be!


The “Corks” in the name, is because some people like to bring wine while they paint. No corks for me & mom, though.. our beverage choice? McAlister’s Tea. :)


This was the picture we were painting:


My blank canvas:


Our canvases half way through:



Momma & I decided that we were both going to paint our pictures for my Granny. She loves tulips and loves red, yellow and black, so Mom painted her’s yellow and I did mine red. My Granny used to paint, so we are going to find some tulips that she painted and hang all there of our pictures together. :)


So much fun!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lucky Leprechauns

I consider myself a pretty lucky girl.

Lucky to have a husband who picks me flowers from the road ditch and brings me my favorite Easter candy on a Friday afternoon…

Lucky to have in-laws I love like crazy. Lucky that one of them is a little sister, who happens to have her Sr. Prom coming up soon! We took a little trip south to Tampa to shop for THE dress this past weekend. DSC_4340

AB enjoyed a Chick-fil-A and park date with her Daddy & her Pappy, while Mamie spent the day being loved on by Grammy & Pop! Lucky girls. We big girls spent the day oohing-and-ahhing over dresses and drooling over our dessert at the Cheesecake Factory. DSC_4363You wouldn’t believe that the dress Kelsey decided on happened to be the very first one she tried on that day! How lucky is that? That never happens! It was meant to be. I can’t share pictures of THE Dress, though…(until after Prom, of course) but trust me, it’s beautiful…and after prom and I loose all my baby weight, I might beg Kelsey to let me try it on. :) It was such a fun day spent with three of my favorite “big” girls.

The little girls and I got Lucky and got invited to a St. Patrick’s Day party for our mom’s group today.

It was the perfect day for a party in the park!

There was lots of swinging, climbing and sliding. DSC_4387Of course there were snacks…DSC_4382Then even a leprechaun hunt! DSC_4397


So fun! DSC_4417

AB was most excited about the snack we took. DSC_4374I saw a recipe on pinterest for a pop corn cake, so I made ours with regular (rainbow colored) M&Ms, and named it “Pot of Gold Popcorn” complete with a little pot of gold in the center. :) AB didn’t see me putting it in the car this morning and on the way to the party, said, “Oh no! We forgot ours gold, Mommy!” :)

Mamie got lucky this evening and tried out the Bumbo… DSC_4440although she’s not so sure she’s lucky after all… (baby girl isn’t too sure about sitting on her own…she likes to be held, you know.) :)


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pinterest Recipes Take 3

These “Knock You Naked Brownies” are so good– they are a Pioneer Woman recipe and I made them on Super Bowl Sunday. I sent some over to Adam & Lauren and Lauren texted me: “I’m naked.” Ha. These really are super good… DSC_2719_thumb2

  • 1 box (18.5 Ounce) German Chocolate Cake Mix (I Used Duncan Hines)
  • 1 cup Finely Chopped Pecans
  • 1/3 cup Evaporated Milk
  • 1/2 cup Evaporated Milk (additional)
  • 1/2 cup Butter, Melted
  • 60 whole Caramels, Unwrapped
  • 1/3 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, chopped pecans, 1/3 cup evaporated milk, and melted butter. Stir together until totally combined. Mixture will be very thick.

Press half the mixture into a well-greased 9 x 9 inch square baking pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and set aside.

In a double boiler (or a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water) melt caramels with additional 1/2 cup evaporated milk. When melted and combined, pour over brownie base. Sprinkle chocolate chips as evenly as you can over the caramel.

Turn out remaining brownie dough on work surface. Use your hands to press it into a large square a little smaller than the pan. Use a spatula to remove it from the surface, then set it on top of the caramel and chocolate chips.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for several hours. When ready to serve, generously sift powdered sugar over the surface of the brownies. Cut into either nine or twelve helpings, and carefully remove from the pan.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Old & Pregnant

Friday, Carrie and I (along with all four kids) had a little outing. We did some shopping first, and then it was time for our standard lunch at the Chick-fil-A.

I took the easy route and left Carrie at the table with the kids while I ordered our lunch. She thought I was being generous and paying for lunch (since she drove), but really I was planning to enjoy the five minutes by myself in line. :)

Chick-fil-A is always busy, especially during lunch time and Friday was no exception. All the open registers were full and there were lines behind them. I thought it was definitely my lucky day when one young employee opened another register and motioned for me to come down to place my order with him. He was very pleasant and friendly, but most importantly, accurate, when taking my order. Accuracy, you know, is top priority to picky eaters. I was already considering this lunch a major success. That’s when said young man gives me my total: $19.83

The total wasn’t what caught me off guard---afterall, there were four of us eating for under $20.00 – it was what he said after the total…

With a little laugh he said, “ your total is $19.83…hey, that’s the year I was born…” Then he started laughing hysterically like he’d just made the funniest joke EVER and said, “Ha! Not really!” The look on his face was evident that he was mocking 1983, acting as if it were SO.LONG.AGO.

That’s when it became that awkward moment and so I said, “oh…(giggle)…yeah…(giggle)…well, um, that’s the year I was born.”  The boy looked at me like I had three heads and said, “NOT AH!!!! REALLY?? Well, you don’t look it AT ALL!!!” Then to make matters worse, he proceeds to tell me, that he was actually born ten years later in 1993.

I’m not really sure when 1983 became SO LONG AGO or when kids who were born in the 1990’s became OLD ENOUGH to WORK... ????

I mean REALLY…WHERE are the years going???

Carrie and I discussed the above over our lunch and I was able to laugh about my obviously-aging-way-faster-than-I-thought self it by the time we’d finished.

We let the girls play in the play area for a while and then it was time to go. Carrie took Whitt and Maybree to the car and I took one for the team and took AB & AC to the bathroom. While waiting in line, I had both girls by the hand and we were discussing the things you talk about with three year olds…just the standard why we have to wait in line, what’s taking so long, what was on the floor, what was on their shirts, where we were going next, yada yada yada… 

That’s when the white haired lady behind us smiles and points to my belly and says, “Well, are we getting a boy this time around?” I didn’t want her to feel bad so I just smiled back and said, “maybe”… to which she replies, “Oh, yall haven’t found out yet?” OH.SWEET.MERCY.  I just shook my head no and hung it low as we headed back to the car and I asked my BFF WHY she hadn’t told me that I look at least FIVE months pregnant???

It could have been a lot of things that lead this lady to believe I was pregnant…(and since she thought I already knew what the baby was, I’d have to be at least FIVE months pregnant)… It could have been the way I was standing…I have terrible posture. It could have been the leggings and empire waist dress I was wearing…which I told Carrie I would be burning as soon as I got home. And of course it could be the baby pooch that I have been holding on to since AB was born and has only doubled since Mamie entered the family. :)

I guess yall would understand why I am saving up for either a double jogging stroller or a treadmill. Heck, while I’m at it, I better throw in some anti-aging serum. :)

Here’s some pics of the kids once we made it back to our house on Friday afternoon…

The big sisters took turns playing on the scooter: DSC_4234

DSC_4262While Whitt and Maybree had a little talk…DSC_4209

Whitt did most of the talking, while Mamie did most of the smiling…


Funny thing is, I think these four keep us young AND make us old all at the same time. :) I’m not sure what keeps me chubby…must be the Chick-fil-A???


Monday, March 5, 2012

Pinterest Recipes Take 2

The next Pinterest supper recipe I tried was pretty good, too. Crockpot Ranch Pork Chops. I am loving anything I can cook in the crock pot these days. And while that can of cream of chicken soup doesn’t make it the healthiest fare, at least it’s not a fried pork chop. Ha. :) 


Crockpot Ranch Pork Chops:


  • Pork Chops
  • Ranch Seasoning Dry Mix Packet
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken plus 1 can water as needed {or 2 cans cream of chicken}  This will depend on how fast your crockpot cooks and how long you’ll be cooking it. 


Combine all three ingredients in the crockpot and mix well. Cook for 4-6 hours. Serve over mashed potatoes or rice.

It was BEYOND easy and was actually pretty good. It’s something I would make again. The crockpot is the big selling point to me.

I haven’t fried a piece of meat in over a month. I don’t even know myself.

One would think that having my “fried” days behind me, I’d be at least a little thinner. However, the REALLY good recipes I’ve tried lately have made sure that didn’t happen. :)  I’ll post about the Red velvet treats, gooey brownies, and homemade snickers next!