Monday, December 29, 2008

Emptied my camera... so here's a long post for you!

I just emptied the pictures from my camera on to the computer... and realized I've got a bit to blog about, so this will probably be a long one! I also started this blog earlier, slowly adding to it, so it'll post on Jan 3rd, but the date will say sometime before then...

Miley/Samson Play Date: Let's see... before Thanksgiving sometime, (yes that far back) my friend Claire and her puppy Samson came over for a play date. He and Miley have a ball when they play together, and Claire and I enjoy the opportunity to chat and spend time together.... while letting the ''pup-children" get out some pent up energy! Here are some pics from the play date... although, I'm quite sure Samson has gained at least 10-20 lbs since these were taken! It was cold outside, so we had to move the "date" into the kitchen...wrestling between claire's legs lol

Baby-sitting for the Morris Boys: The weekend of the Auburn-Alabama game, Josh and I babysat the Morris boys: Gordy (5), Mack (3), and Sanders (2). They are precious. Gordy was in my class back when I taught 3 yr old preschool, and I've babysat for them occasionally ever since then... Sanders was about 4 months old when I first babysat him! Anyways, it was a pretty fun weekend... we watched some kid movies, played hide-and-seek, took the boys to our house to play with Miley some, and went to the McWane Center. Sunday morning, I looked over to see this cute sight... all three of them huddled in a box together, watching tv lol.

Dog and House-Sitting for the Turners: The week of Dec. 18th-23rd, Josh and I house and dog-sat for the Turners. Typically, it is just Bear and Phoebe, but since my cousins were with my aunt and uncle skiing in Park City, we kept Dill and Macy, too. Macy and Phoebe don't get all too well, so Macy (75 lb golden retriever) came to stay with Miley and me and our house, and Josh went to stay at the Turner's with Dill, Bear, and Phoebe. Miley had a BALL with Macy... it was her fantasy-new toys AND a play mate every day for a week- and we just scooped her in like one of the family, taking her on errands, getting treats, etc. Every now and then Macy would take a break to rest b/c she's a few years older than Miley, so she doesn't have that unending supply of puppy energy that Miley does :) . Although, as you'll see in the pics, Miley got worn out, too... so the breaks were welcomed by all. Haha. Over the course of the week, as they got to know each other better (and got some of the playing out of their system) they were able to just chill together. I took the love seat... they took the couch. Miley was relentless about stealing Macy's special Tiger, so she got one of her own lol. It was a fun week...we did, however, decide that we'll work some kind of "house cleaning fee" into keeping Macy...despite our vacuuming and sweeping, we're still finding Macy fur around the house haha. Here are some pictures from the week. We brought Dill over one day to play with Macy and Miley. They had a big time.Treats, please!
Miley's new tiger... b/c she wouldn't leave Macy's alone.
She loved Macy's bones (little did she know I had one hidden for her Christmas)
Miley does Cocina SuperiorNap time for Miley and Macy...Dill came over to play!"Everyone pile on Macy!" Miley's (Taylor's) fave Christmas present: Over the course of the week keeping dogs, I was doing some serious Christmas shopping. Apparently, this year I was in denial that Christmas was coming as soon as it was after school got out, and didn't really get on my shopping until about 1.5-2 weeks before Christmas. Fortunately, everything got here on time! One of my favorite things that I ordered was Miley's new crate! At 7.5 months and about 41 lbs, we don't think she's going to get too much bigger (maybe 10 lbs?). She had, however, grown out of her old crate, and would hit her head on the roof when she barked! Poor baby. So, we went ahead and ordered her a new big girl crate! What a great purchase--and might I add, I found a major deal on Amazon! I saved probably $30-$40. Miley has been sleeping longer before waking us up to take her out in the morning, so we're thinking she was definitely out of comfortable sleeping room in her old crate. She loves it, and it is a double door crate, so I've turned it sideways in the laundry room, allowing it to fit flush with the washing machine and it gives more room in there. :) Definitely a good purchase!
Trying it out in the kitchen after it arrived on Christmas Eve!Check out all of this stretching room, mom!!!
Christmas at the Brannon House: Josh and I spent Thanksgiving in Nashville, so we got to spend Christmas in Birmingham again this year with my family. Josh, Miley, and I spent the night at my parents' house, which is fun, b/c we get to wake up and open presents with everyone, but also b/c it's delightfully ridiculous... we live 0.87 miles from them! :) After opening great gifts, we headed home to drop off Miley and get ready for the day. My mom's side of the family gets together at my grandmother's house on Christmas afternoon for lunch and a rousing game of Dirty Santa. This year was special b/c my cousin Christopher and his wife Brandy brought their baby Braegan for his first Christmas! I got my good baby fix before we headed out to the movies. Josh's mom, Regenia, was on her way to see family in Shreveport, La, so she stopped in Birmingham Christmas evening to break up the trip. We were happy that she could join us at the movies to see "Marley and Me" since we was in town! The next day was Grace and Paige's birthday! 22 years old! I can hardly believe it... Time is flying. They are growing up into such smart, beautiful, talented, and interesting young women.

Bluegrass and Bar-B-Q: Every year, a few days after Christmas, a friend of my dad's has Bluegrass and Bar-B-Q at his house out by Oak Mountain. He invites musicians, novice and pro, to come out and "jam," along with friends and family to come enjoy some BBQ and great music. As you walk from room-to-room, you'll find a different group of musicians playing. This was Josh and my first year to go with my Daddy, and had a great time. I hope that everyone had a beautiful Christmas surrounded by friends, family, and lots of joy.

New Years Eve 2008: We spent NYE with the Byingtons, Schaefers, Cowarts (dinner), and Elams. It was a great night! We all met for dinner at Tavern at the Summit, and then headed back to the Byingtons' house for some mario kart, guitar hero, and "Things" board game! The guys' facial expressions were so funny playing guitar hero. They looked so serious, but they were really just concentrating! Ha ha. Josh and I are praying for a blessed, God-glorifying, prosperous 2009, constantly seeking God's perfect will for our live together and surrounded by faithful friends.Here's to a beautiful and blessed 2009!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Sorry to all.... I somehow temporarily forgot about updating the blog! Ha ha... I guess I've been too busy doing... nothing at all~! and it feels lovely :o) Well... not nothing, but just not as much as I was before I got out for Christmas Break.

I'd also like to mention that I made ALL A's this semester! This is the first time I have ever made totally all A's in a real college semester... even at Vandy. I'm pretty proud :o) (I always make A's in summer school when I just take 1 or 2 classes at a time, b/c I can focus on just those few classes.)

Monday was fantastic... I went to Montgomery, AL to visit my bff Eden and my precious nephew Wyatt! Lately, my opportunities to see Eden have been brief visits at her parents' house or a quick lunch and maybe some shopping when they are in town... so I loved having hours of quality chat time with her! Of course, there's never enough time, and we certainly weren't finished chatting... we're really never finished. Ha ha... It was wonderful though. I loved getting to see my sweet Wyatt, too. He is getting SO big and is suuuuch a good baby! The only time he was fussy all day was when he lost his pacifier in the car... and who could blame him for that!? When I got there we sat around chatting for a few hours while Wyatt napped, and then decided to head to lunch once he woke up... and let me tell you-we totally lucked out for lunch! We were originally headed to Chili's, but when we saw Mimi's Cafe, we decided to check it out. (I'd been 1 time before.) Well, when we got to the door, the manager told us that they were just opening and having a training day. If we would order from different sections on the limited menu and give feedback afterward, lunch was FREE! They chose an appetizer and dessert for us, both were delicious!... We ended up getting a $40 lunch for FREE! What a blessing! There is something about a FREE meal that just tastes better. Ha ha.

That night, Josh and I had our Sunday School Christmas party (went home with some coffee and a pretty cross from Dirty Santa) and then, last night, we met our friends and December prayer buddies, the Schaefers, at Nabeel's for dinner. YUUUM! I forget about Nabeel's, but always like it when I go! After dinner, Josh and I returned a few movies, and rented another one. We are considering doing Blockbuster Online. At about $4.00 to rent 1 movie, it would pay for itself in only a few movies... especially b/c Josh and I usually rent 2 at a time.

Who has had experience with Blockbuster Online?
What are your thoughts?

Today, I am being more productive around the house than I'd originally intended... I love it when that happens. Ha ha. So far, I've been working on laundry, unloaded the dishwasher, talked to the mortgage broker about refinancing the house at the lower interest rates, and have been cleaning out the hall closet. My goal is also to go to the gym every week day and maybe weekends during break... I'm sad to say that I have been a major slacker in this area of my life ... well, I don't even know for how long... hopefully I can keep it up this time, and form a habit!

I hope everyone is having a beautiful Christmas season!

What have you been up to?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A childlike faith

I borrowed this from Shea. About this time last year, my father-in-law played it for me, and I was so pleased to see it on Shea's blog, and be able to enjoy it again. It brings tears streaming down my cheeks every time I hear it. I am humbly grateful for the reminder for us to have a childlike faith, and for God's sacrifice for all of us.

"So simple, yet so profound." So true...

The Sky Angel Cowboy

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bailey Louise Brannon

I'd like to introduce you all to the newest member of the Brannon family, Bailey Louise Brannon. (She has put on a little bit of weight since this picture.) My sister, Grace, picked her up (apparently she jumped in her car!) at a gas station on the way back to school after Thanksgiving break. Poor Grace got caught with Bailey in her dorm room, and called my mom in tears. My sister, Paige, recognizing that Grace doesn't cry often, knew this was serious, and drove all the way to Rome, GA to pick up Bailey and bring her to Birmingham. Bailey is currently on probation at the Brannon house to see if she's going to be allowed to stay... but between us, I seriously don't see this sweetheart going anywhere anytime soon! My dad is already talking about looking into an invisible fence for her. She's weighing in around 40 lbs, clearly a mix, a tiny bit larger frame than Miley, about a year old, sweet disposition, calm, loving, usually comes when called, has apparently had puppies in the past, and gets along with Miley and Elsie. Only faults so far: not spayed, she has a wild side that causes her to occasionally run off, and has a random play threshold so far with Miley (she'll play with her for a long time, and then she'll randomly warn Miley to back off- I will say, it is fairly understandable... she is from the streets, in a new environment, and Miley Jean, as a 6 mth old puppy, can be relentless when it comes to playing lol). I'm sure it'll get much better as they get to know each other more as time passes. Bailey and Miley did have a big old fun time Saturday, running around and playing in my parents' yard. Miley seemed glad to finally have a playmate about her same size that is so good at playing chase with her!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

"That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown", The radio station, Magic 96.5 FM, here in good ole Birmingham, festively starts playing non-stop Christmas music around Thanksgiving. Between songs, they occasionally play a little excerpt from A Charlie Brown Christmas that I think is precious... and I just adore it. I wanted to post the movie clip and the words, so y'all could enjoy it, too!

In the midst of the shopping, gifts, parties, traveling, and more, it is so incredibly important to not lose sight of the TRUE reason for Christmas:
The birth of our precious Lord and savior, Jesus Christ!

Here's the clip: A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Charlie Brown: I guess you were right, Linus. I shouldn't have picked this little tree. Everything I do turns into a disaster. I guess I really don't know what Christmas is all about.
[shouting in desperation]
Charlie Brown:Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?
Linus Van Pelt: Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.
[moves toward the center of the stage]
Linus Van Pelt: Lights, please.
[a spotlight shines on Linus]
Linus Van Pelt: "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'"
[Linus picks up his blanket and walks back towards Charlie Brown]
Linus Van Pelt: That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.