Friday, September 30, 2011

Flashback Friday: First Communion

No, I do not have a brother, that is my sister with a rather unfortunate hair cut.
One of the very important rites of passage for any good Catholic girl is the sacrament of First Communion.  I prepped for weeks with my small group.  We studied the bible, practiced the rituals, went to confession for the first time and memorized our prayers. 

But like any girl, I was totally obsessed with my dress.  My mother and her sister, my namesake, Kristi, both wore the dress.  It was so beautiful with a Peter Pan collar, lace trim and embroidered shamrocks scattered throughout the skirt.  I loved it.  Accessorizing the dress was almost as much fun.  I picked out white ballet flats, gloves and a veil.  Because I am a girl and how many times in your life can your life can you dress like a mini mail-order Russian bride?

And did I mention, I wore a corsage of fake flowers?  

Thursday, September 29, 2011

What We Learned: 11 Months

Eleven months old, wearing twelve month tops and size six month pants?  I married an average sized man and gave birth to an average sized babe with way below average legs.  He's hovering around the fiftieth percentile for height but that kid is all torso.  It makes pulling up, scooting, toddling, creeping and cruising very interesting.  It also makes clothes buying quite an adventure.  Not below average, but way above average?  That ninetieth head!  All the better for learning...

Bennett learned to cruise around the house holding hands, holding tables, holding toys.

We learned that  a day of bending to practice walking leads to a day of back pain.

Bennett learned to use his pointer finger and thumb to pick things up.  Like noodles and cheese and lint.

We learned that black spot on his lip was not lint.  Like maybe a bug.

Bennett learned to point.

We learned that he can identify a mouse.  Good night mouse.

Bennett learned that saying good bye to mom is good reason to cry.

We learned that good bye waves are not as good as good bye hugs and sometimes good bye tears.

Bennett learned that it is fun to feed himself.

We learned that Bennett is stubborn and determined.

Bennett learned the value of Eskimo kisses.

We learned that the hysterical laughter at bedtime is a sure sign that boy belongs in bed.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Flashback Friday: Sweet Savannah

Have you ever been to a city and just knew you belonged there?  While most of me belongs in Nashville, a small part of my soul lives in Savannah.  I love the Spanish moss, the pretty city squares, the shopping the friendly people, the history, the culinary heritage, and the pirates.  You can walk from one end of town to the next over cobble stones that have been their for hundreds of years.  You can feast with family and pass the Lady's biscuits or you can dine with your loved one over candlelight and stuffed crab.  It's quaint and romantic and quirky.  Kinda like me.
I first visited Savannah in 2001.  During my fall break at Vanderbilt, my two closest college friends and I drove nine hours through podunk Georgia on my very first road trip.  My dear friend Diana picked Savannah because she was up for the quirky and I was up for the cheap.  We walked around town posing for picture in front of pretty houses and pretty trees, reading guidebooks and listening to Tim McGraw's greatest hits on repeat.
Fast forward six years.  I had found a fiance and a deep love for the Food Network.  My parents were coming to terms with the fact that our little family of four was about to change for good.  So, we squeezed in one last family vacation between the dress fittings, the cake tastings and the bridal showers.  I appreciated the fact that it coincided nicely with my brief love affair with Paula Deen.  It was freezing cold but that didn't interrupt our long walks for ice cream, our pirate hunting or shopping.  And like my parents generations' memory of where they were when JFK was shot, I will forever recall where I was when Britney shaved her head - feasting on biscuits and gravy.
I couldn't wait to bring Rocky back.  Tours of haunted mansions are certainly special with your dad but carriage rides with your husband beneath the moss-covered trees truly carves out a place in your heart and soul.  We enjoyed hoe cakes at Paula's and scallops at the Pink House and a glass of champagne at the Mansion on Forsyth Park.  It was a perfect weekend in the perfect city.  I've been three times with different people each time.  Who's next?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Photo Dump

Has it felt like crickets took over the blog since July? Well, you see, life is a tad dullsville these days. We are home bodies because of the barnacle and the bank account and being lonely. But beyond the boring, I didn’t want to weigh you down with the bad. You know, the teething, the moving expenses and oh yeah, "crap we left behind a few dozen best friends in another time zone." There were leaky appliances and a broken window. And drives back and forth to the farm and rest stops without a bathroom. And perhaps a wee flea infestation. So, let’s gloss over all that and give you lots of pictures because let’s get real,you’re not here for my fashion advice or my witty commentary. It’s all Bennett all the time!
In a hand-me-down from Dad
Action Shot, Mid-Drool
Typical Family Photo
Miss Whitley's Visit
Coca Cola Commercial
He Loves the Swings
But not as much as he loves the slide
Gratuitous Cute Kid Picture in a Grautious Cute Kid Post

Friday, September 16, 2011

Flashback Friday: Going to the Chapel...

Two years ago, we went to our friends Mel and Benham's wedding in Indy.  It was the best kind of wedding.  Mel and Benham are two amazing people who, if I don't say so myself, have made some equally amazing friends along the way. It was great to be celebrating their marriage, but it was equally great to see all these old familiar, but not aged, faces too. With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, weddings often provide those rare moments when we can actually catch up with our friends. Mel and Benham's wedding was no different.
Weddings are also a great place to make new friends which we did when when the Colts' mascot, Blue, showed up at the rehearsal dinner.

 I admit it must have been hard to grow up Mel in Indiana. Her dad was everywhere we went, even at the After-Party hangout.

But the best was the photo booth at the reception. Not cool, was the gent who stole Mr. Colin's photo montage playing the part of Corpse in a Coffin. It is a good thing everyone else upped the cool quotient, because we are very obviously lacking in that department.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Silly Baby, Tricks are for Kids

A choking baby is no joking matter. Recently, I was washing dishes while Bennett played with a piece of bread in his high chair. He was less than ten feet from me and we were having a deep conversation regarding the science of antibacterial soap. He made a convincing argument and while I had my back turned to rinse a dish and make a retort, I heard this gagging sound. I spun around to see if he was ok. He smiled and laughed when he saw the concern on my face. I returned to my work and thirty seconds later, I heard the same gag. I ran to pat his back and the giggle returned. It happened two more times. This kid was playing with me.

Rocky didn’t believe me when I told him about Bennett’s new trick. No way was our ten-month old son playing mind games. He must really be choking and I must be a neglectful mother. Then, Bennett did it again for Rocky to witness. And I caught it on camera.

He’s a good actor. He’s got the cough, the red face and the watery eyes. I don’t know how he does it. But I swear he’s not choking! I have stuck my fingers in there to be sure there isn’t a lone puff or piece of rice. As soon as I reach over to him, his face clears and he laughs. I think we’re all in for it. This kid is a troublemaker.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Flashback Friday: Size Matters

Rocky comes from hearty sports loving stock.  He was wearing a helmet and cleets young and cheering for his hometown team, the Maryville Rebels even earlier.  So, it is no wonder he joined the boys of fall by running warm-ups, playing in scrimmages and likely, warming the bench. 

His height and his bad knees were not keeping him from playing what my Grandma June calls basketball, the squeaky shoe show.  This white man can't jump and his basketball career was (thankfully) a short one. 

Even in the peewee football league, he was a munchkin among men.  So, it's a good thing he's always had the heart of a fighter.  Any guy that can chase a girl as hard as Rocky chased me has to be one heck of a hard worker.  It is too soon to tell if Bennett inherited his father or grandfather's genes, but I certainly hope he has his father's persistence and work ethic.  If he got the short or long end of the height stick, this kid is destined to follow in his father's very average sized shoes. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Shrimp and a King

The shirt can't lie: Our Little Shrimp
Sometimes grandpas can be a little intimidating.  Especially when you're so little and he's Big Rock.
Bennett is one very lucky boy. He has a papa that loves him very much. His daddy never knew the first Papa Rock King.  They have so much to look forward to together, feeding cows, football games, tractor rides, donuts for breakfast and donuts for dinner.  So, today, we wish Big Papa Rock a very happy sixtieth birthday!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Flashback Friday: Back to School

With a title like that, you were picturing a pigtailed Allison, no?  Instead you've got a group of grumpy coeds. 

You certainly know you've found your niche in college when your roommates agree it's important to keep tradition alive and pose for a first day photo.  Combine that with cinderblock walls, a futon and August frizz, you've certainly captured the essence of your junior year in one single moment.  Little did I know that this was the first day of the year that would change my life forever.  My joints would never be the same.  I'd fall in love with Southern literature and a southern boy.  And amidst it all, the stress of living with five roommates would cement us for good.  Between broken ligaments and broken blenders, ladybug massages, dishes in the sink, and one silly staged photo on a disposable camera, bonds were being made for lifetime.  I just didn't know it yet.