Top Ten Tuesday: Where’d My Baby Go?

This is a picture of the Princess as Thomas O’Malley in a production of “Aristocats” at a local children’s theater last week.

Do you see how big she looks? Do you see? What in the world? What happened to THIS LITTLE GIRL?

Where has my baby gone?

It’s not just the pictures that are telling me my baby is growing up. Oh no. We’ve got all kinds of “big girl” coming out here at the House of Hills. I can tell you that we are literally in the middle of a “tween” invasion.

How do I know?

Oh, let me count the ways…

1. I no longer get a hug and kisses when dropping her off at places without demanding asking for them.

2. She actually cares about what she’s wearing. First time in her life she’s had an opinion. (Yes, I know I should be thankful we’ve gone this long.)

3. She actually cares about her hair. As in the box of all the clips and hair bands and what not that she’s had FOREVER is actually on the counter and in use. She even asks her daddy if she looks “good.” What? What?

4. She’s asking questions, lots of questions, about boys and girls and changes and such. (Yes, this is an entire post unto itself as to how to answer all of them. Maybe it’s a series of posts. Maybe I need to read a series of posts. Anybody got a good series of posts on this?)

5. When we go through the Chick-fil-a drive through, I’m now ordering a #5. I can no longer get the kiddie meal. It doesn’t fill her up. Seriously.

6. She now wants to be an “official” volunteer at church. Why? Because she really likes being with the kids and helping them. No longer is it to be with Mommy. She actually feels like she has a purpose with the kids. (This one is pretty cool I think. And, she’s great with the little ones.)

7. She’s going to be in the fourth grade in a week. THE FOURTH GRADE! What? I taught fourth grade. Those kids are big! Oh my heart.

8. She is only 9 inches shorter than me. Now, I’m short. Let’s just get that out there. However, it is still hard to accept the fact that your child is up to your shoulder. Seriously. Hard.

9. She’s learning to control her emotions. The other day I said something she didn’t agree with. She took a deep breath, thought for a moment and then explained in a reasonable tone why she disagreed with me. Didn’t whine. Didn’t throw a fit. Gave a very good argument. (Again, love this one, but still means she’s getting older. And no, I didn’t give in.)

10. She is becoming more and more helpful, more a part of the House of Hills team. She does what’s asked without complaining most of the time and is even picking up her room every once in a while on her own. She’s starting to see what needs to be done and doing it. Wow!

So ya, my baby is growing up.

That’s what she’s supposed to do right? Grow up.

Sometimes it hurts my heart because I miss the cuddly little cutie that giggled and twirled and said, “Watch me Mommy!”

Other times it hurts my heart because it wants to burst with pride with the young woman she’s becoming.

I guess it’s not so bad… the growing up…

I mean. She’s still my baby right? She’ll always be my baby.

And at night… when she’s tired… she still crawls in my lap and cuddles.

And it is pure bliss.

Linked to Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Recipes I Need To Blog

I was reading my friend Mary’s, blog today and saw something in her post that made me pause. Then I got excited. Then, I was sad… so very sad.

Mary posted an extremely yummy looking (and WW point friendly) recipe for Baked Apple Crumble. That was exciting. Even MORE exciting was that she was blogging the recipe (Let me pause here. Can I use the word blog like a verb? Is it both a noun and a verb? Like text is now a noun and a verb? It’s something to ponder.) Where was I. Oh, she was blogging the recipe as part of a Secret Recipe Club.

Excuse me… SecretRecipeClub. What? I am so in! I wanna be in! Sounds AMAZINGLY FUN right? Well, for me. Amazingly fun for me. I quickly clicked over to join this fabulous club. Only to realize {cue the tears} I don’t qualify. I’m not “good enough.” That is to say I haven’t blogged enough about food. **GASP** The rules say I need to have 60 recipes on my site to participate. I am a SERIOUS rule follower. I did a quick count. I’m at 12. Yep, 12 recipes. That’s all I’ve found on the House of Hills. (They are all lovingly filed under my Recipes Tab now.) Since I do a terrible lousy not so great job of tagging my posts, there may be more. I just don’t know where they are.

You can see where this is going. Right? My new challenge… cook and blog the recipes more! Looking at my photos, I’ve got pictures of some recipes that I’ve just never put up here. Guess what’s coming soon friends… MORE RECIPES! Whoop!

In true Top Ten Tuesday fashion, these are some of the recipes I shall be blogging (There we go using that word as a verb again.) in the VERY near future.

  1. Crock Pot BBQ Pork

  2. Pizza Roll

  3. Chicken and Rice

  4. Crock Pot Mac & Cheese

  5. Hot Cocoa Mix

  6. Breakfast Casserole

  7. Egg Nogg

  8. Pigs in a Blanket

  9. Buffalo Chicken Dip

  10. Pumpkin Muffins

People, I have pictures of ALL but the last one. Meaning, I had intended to blog the first nine and just haven’t. What’s up with that? What, I say, is up with that? I would be so much closer to the Secret Recipe Club if I had just blogged what I intended to blog! **sigh**

I’ve got some work to do. Don’t I know it! So, the question becomes… which recipe should I blog first? Thoughts?

Linked to Top Ten Tuesday.

Top Ten Tuesday: Hardest Things To Move

So, hopefully we are closing on our new house today and moving in on Saturday. Yes, we’re moving again. Yes, that does mean we’re moving twice in seven months. Yes, we are INSANE. Not really, it made sense to us.

Luckily, this time we are literally moving ten minutes away. From door to door it is roughly ten minutes. Eight of those minutes is getting to the front of the neighborhood in which we currently live. Seriously, we’ve timed it. That short a move means that many things will just be taken from one house, thrown in the mini-van, and then put away at the new house. We even have what I’m calling a mini-van brigade happening with some of my friends.

Even with such an “easy” move, there are still things that are hard to move. I will share them with you.

1. An exercise ball. You could deflate it, but then you just have to blow it back up again. I’m cheating and getting rid of those. Of course, I still have to get them to the people who want them.

2. The stuff in the refrigerator. We’re moving ten minutes away. That means all our current fridge contents can go with us. But we’ve got to pack it in a cooler, drive and then unpack it. Pain in the rear! And, one of the fridges is going with us. That means it’s got to be emptied to move first thing in the morning.

3. Washers and Dryers. I am so glad I am not a man when it comes to the washer and the dryer. Nobody expects me to manhandle that thing into it’s proper place. Whew!

4. The open box of pasta in the pantry. Really, is it even worth the risk.

5. Chocolate. I’m in Georgia. Chocolate will melt in the car nine months out of the year. It’s got to be the last thing in the car and the first thing out.

6. TVs. We’ve got this giant screen thing now. How do you move that? Again, glad I’m not a man and therefore not in charge of those!

7. Bathroom Stuff. For one thing, um, some of it can be rather personal. So, you don’t want random acquaintance opening that box for you. Second, there are lotions and soaps and what not that need to remain upright. It must be packed well!

8. Knives and other sharp kitchen things. You put them in the box carefully. You label the box that there are sharp things there. You then stick you hand in the box and bring it out with blood running down your finger. Oh, is that just me? Never you? Oh.

9. The Lego Hogwarts. It’s got to make the trip without falling completely apart. Ya, not sure that’s going to happen.

10. Electronics cords. You put them in a box that you’re sure you’ll remember when you get to the new house. You then spend two hours opening box after box looking for them. Of course, they are in the “last” box you open.

What do you find is the hardest thing to move?
Is there anything you thought you moved but you haven’t found yet?

Linked to Top Ten Tuesday at Go check out her post today. It’s awesome. Seriously, it is.

Top Ten Tuesday: I’ve missed blogging

I’ve missed you all – my readers, my friends. I REALLY have missed you!

My sweet Katie went to be with Jesus on February 15th, just five days after my last post. I was able to serve her and her family in her final days and the week of insanity that followed. I was honored to write her obituary and give her eulogy – both incredibly difficult things to write. I was able to give ALL of my awesome to her and her family because of the amazing network of family and friends I had surrounding me. For that, I am eternally grateful. Thank you to everyone who blessed me during that time.

Now, I’m trying to get back into the swing of real life. I’m not over my grief. I don’t think it will ever totally leave me. I lost my best friend. It’s hard. I rejoice one minute that she is healed. I’m sad the next that she is gone. I’m mourning, which is healthy.

However, it’s time to blog again. I enjoy blogging. I REALLY do. So, I’m back! To get back in the groove, I thought I’d make a list of the ten things I’ve missed about blogging.

1. Writing – I write for my job, but it’s not the same as writing for me (and my readers).

2. Reading – When I blog, I read other blogs. I’ve been too busy to read much lately. I miss all my bloggy friends.

3. Link-ups – I LOVE linking up to Top Ten Tuesday, Works for Me Wednesday, Things I Love Thursday. Those are so much fun. I’ve missed them.

4. Sharing pictures – One of the reasons I even started blogging in the first place was to share with family (originally) things that were going on in the House of Hills. I’m sure they are in need of a Princess pic. So, here’s one.

5. Sharing stories – Same as above, but stories… I’m sure you want to know the story behind that picture – right?

6. Sharing recipes – I’ve tried a couple of new recipes over the last few months that I’ve yet to share. I’m excited about doing that.

7. Sharing ways to serve – We love to serve at the House of Hills. And, we love to share what we do so you can do it too!

8. Your comments – I miss my comments. I love comments.

9. Dreaming – When I blog, I’m always thinking of ways I can help/serve my readers. I had been dreaming about some neat ideas. I want to start dreaming again.

10. My friends – My readers are my friends. Whether you comment or not. Whether I “know” you or not, you are my friends. You take a minute to peek at my life. You are interested in what I have to say. I’ve missed my friends.

There you have it friends. I’ve missed you. But, I’m back. Hope to see you tomorrow.

Linked to Top Ten Tuesday at Ohamanda.

Top Ten Tuesday: Blissdom Recap

It’s the post you’ve all been waiting for. I know you have. You want to know ALL about my trip to Nashville for Blissdom. Well, I don’t know that I will ever be able to process ALL that was Blissdom, but I will do my best to get some of it down. Without further ado, here is my Blissdom Recap – Top Ten Tuesday style.

1. You can room with three people whom you have never physically met and have instant bonding based on the relationships you’ve built online. I had the BEST time just hanging out in the room with Hilary from The Other Mama (and Mint Julep Monograms), Mary from Giving Up on Perfect, and Kate from Savvy Little Women. These ladies are AWESOME and FUN and HYSTERICAL. There my have been crying due to laughter at some point.

2. The women attending Blissdom were perhaps the most giving group of people I’ve ever been with. There were people there from all walks of life with all different ranges of experience and with all different abilities. ALL of them were willing to share. Willing to share their knowledge. Willing to share there fun. Willing to share their snacks. Even willing to share their jewelry. It was AMAZING! And comforting. And humbling. And loving.

3. Ohamanda is a FABULOUS driving partner, well passenger. We decided to drive up from Atlanta the night before to avoid driving in ice first thing in the morning. Amanda kept me laughing and awake for the entire drive. Then, she introduced me to MANY folks at the Wisdom Workshops so I didn’t feel quite so lost with all those mega bloggers walking around. Love her.

4. The sponsors of Blissdom were OUT OF THIS WORLD! We got a fun box before we even went to the conference. In it was popcorn from Conagra foods, which we thoroughly enjoyed and coupons for Freschetta pizza that the family enjoyed while I was gone. Hallmark gave us a great recordable book that I did for the Princess before I left. She listened to it every night. That doesn’t even include ALL the AWESOME vendors who had booths at the conference. I came home with so many goodies that I don’t even have them all unpacked yet. I think that’s an entire post in and of itself.

5. There is SO MUCH I DON’T KNOW about blogging. I heard terms I’d never heard before. I saw so much on the first day that I had never seen before that I was COMPLETELY OVERWHELMED! But, as the days progressed I understood more and was given many resources to help me figure it out. What I REALLY learned this week is how much I don’t know. And that challenges me. I’m excited about learning more over the next year and returning being able to go into the more advanced tracks.

6. If you stalk follow around the Lands End rep, you will end up winning something from Lands End. Look at this AWESOME bag I won by reading a post on Twitter and showing up at the right place at the right time. I also won a shirt for My Sweetie. In addition, I made a new friend with the Lands End PR rep. She’s so very nice.

7. Twitter is KING of the blogging world. Never in all my days have I seen so many smart phones. And, they were all out ALL THE TIME. If you weren’t tweeting it, it wasn’t happening. At least that’s what I felt like. In fact, my Twitter thumb was TIRED after the conference. As in, it was sore. Seriously.

8. I got to room with (well, even share a bed with) Mary, whose post about weight loss literally changed my life. Her openness and vulnerability online translated wholeheartedly into real life. It was a pleasure to spend time with her and our late night conversations have formed what I hope is a life-long friendship.

9. Massive pajama parties are tons of fun. There is nothing like walking around a huge hotel in your pjs to go eat pizza, dance and get a massage. We played telephone (yes, that childhood game) and LAUGHED hysterically.

10. Finally, I learned that my family can survive without me. They missed me and I SERIOUSLY MISSED them, but they survived. I will say that My Sweetie had a very relieved face when I walked in the door. He was also extremely thankful for all the preparation I did before I left. We used the iPhone Face Time for the first time. I LOVE that technology as it allowed me to give the Princess kisses each night. Although, I think it made me miss them more being able to see them.

That’s a quick recap of my trip to Nashville for Blissdom. Was it everything I learned? Nope! Was it everything that happened? Nope! Was it all I’ve processed so far? Pretty much.

Thanks my friends for indulging my Blissdom posts over the last few months. Hopefully, they are coming to an end. However, integrating all that I learned into the blog is just beginning.

Linked to Top Ten Tuesday at Ohamanda and Blissdom Recap Carnival at Musings of a Housewife.