Friday, August 28, 2009

The FIRST day of Kindergarten and a Home Invasion!!

I should warn you now that this is a LONG one, but if you like drama and you like pictures, keep reading.

Nolan started Kindergarten this week. Kindergarten. No. Really--he did. I can't believe it either.

I suppose I could start off with one of those "I remember the day he was born" stories.....(when we ALL know I remember the day he was born, because it was near about the hardest day of my ever-livin life! and when all was said and done, I had yelled at my OB, told him to do the darn c-section, (even though he didn't) and was well....just plumb 'tore UP. And that's not the worst of it...The extra baby weight I'm holding onto is another story...Let's see...where was I??...OH--Nolan started Kindergarten. That's right.

I was SO excited for him to start school and learn to read! He can write letters and numbers rather decent, but I'll admit I am a BOOKWORM--I want him to learn to read so bad! Books open up another world for people!

For starters, I woke him up to the Good Morning song, which my Mama sang to me EVERY year on the first day of school. I do mean EVERY YEAR--until the day I graduated high school, she sang this song to me on the first day...

"good morning, good morning, it's time to say good morning...with a hello, and a how do you do, today is your very first day of school, good morning, good morning to you!" He woke right up and got dressed and we headed to breakfast in the nook which was an egg and some fruit.

He looked so handsome at home that morning with his new clothes and backpack and "schnazzy" shoes......(he called them schnazzy, not me)

On our way to Kindergarten.........and YES. His backpack is monogrammed.

Hanging up his backpack on his FIRST day of school!

I know many, many people at the school he goes to and several of them peeked in on N. throughout the day......they all reported to me that he was smiling and having a good time!

The neatest thing is that I have a good friend, that I started Kindergarten with and went all the way through school with--and her little boy is in N's class too!

He had a GREAT FIRST day of school! But there's MORE! Keep going.....

Now, it's on to the REAL story of the day!.....(insert BIG sigh here)....

I had taken the whole day off work so that I could drop off and pick up N. on his FIRST day of school. After I dropped him off, I headed to G'ville because I needed to do a few errands. It took MAYBE 2 hours. (just giving you a timeline here people).

On my way home, about 3 minutes from my house, my cell phone rings. It's the alarm company for our house and the lady says "Mrs. Benton, the house alarm has been activated and no one answered the home phone, so we've dispatched police." I say to the nice woman, "yes, mam, I'm on my way, please do."

So....since I live in the middle of nowhere and have very few neighbors, and it's 11:25 in the morning, I flick my flashers on and go upwards of 120 miles an hour in the van (told you my Bessie had some get up to her!) and make it to my house in about 1.5 minutes! Yeah baby!
(sorry, got a little carried away there)....

Meanwhile, I've called the hubby on the cell phone and screamed, "get to the house before me WITH a gun and make sure it's loaded! The alarm is on!"

So the hubby and I are coming at each other from opposite directions and speed demon here realizes that if she in fact drives in on a robbery in progress, I have no gun with which to defend myself. I slow down and let C. drive in just ahead of me (as I swing in on two wheels)....the poor peanut pickers coming down my driveway probably thought I was crazy!

We go into the house and notice nothing except the alarm going off....we think it's probably just the motion sensor from the ceiling fan (which has never happened, but there's a first time for everything). We kind of walk around the living room and office and don't see anything, but figure we'd do a quick walk-through just in case and lo and behold we walk towards the kids bedrooms and we see GLASS EVERYWHERE.

Some stank crackhead had shattered my youngin's window with our own t-ball bat and crawled through the window. At this point, I'm just fuming. Seriously. I'll POKE YOUR EYES OUT if you mess with my youngin (or his window for that matter).

Immediately I head to the other side of the house which houses the master bedroom. It's the same sight it was 3 years ago....dresser drawers open, my jewelrey armoir flung all over the place, a pillowcase missing and no jewelry on the dresser. SIGH. That stank crackhead did it again. (we were robbed 3 years ago and the EXACT same situation--guns, jewelry, etc. were missing--the only difference then was that we had only lived in the house 4 days, so the alarm system wasn't on yet--this time it WAS!)

Meanwhile, the Deputy has arrived and is doing a walkthrough in the house to "clear" it.....I had to calmly tell him that it would make me feel a whole lot better if he would actually take his gun OUT of his holster to do so. He didn't. Oh well.

We notice a nice, big footprint outside the window and immediately we all think the same thing!! HE'S ON FOOT! The police man calls in back-up! And LAWD have mercy did it come! Our driveway looked like a funeral procession. There were about 8 or 9 deputies there, 2, count them TWO K-9 units, 2 undercover cars and then....we hear it....a glorious, glorious sound.......the helicopter from the next county over! Yes ma'am. That crackhead was gonna get caught! I had a picture of the whole line of cars, but it had 2 of the undercover cars in it, so I figured I wouldn't post it.

Until.......the K-9 tracked him to an area of woods behind our house where they find car tracks....the crackhead had DRIVEN his car to MY woods, parked it, got out, robbed MY house, jumped back in the car and left. SUCKER. I tell you what--if I ever see him, I'll poke his eyes out and cut his fingers off. (I'm working on my anger here people, just let me have my moment, okay? I'll forgive later. Like...when he's on death-row or something and I'll be pushing for the State NOT to administer any muscle relaxers)

I'm a little embarrassed by all the action in our driveway and I just know the man plowing the field next door things we were secretly living the Mafia life, but no, just a simple home invasion--aka. ARMED ROBBERY, since the crackhead stole a gun. The funniest thing about the whole day (if you can find something funny in all of this) is that one of the deputies asked C. if his gun was loaded. Really? Someone in this county not having his gun loaded? I just looked at him and said "did you really just ask that?" He just started laughing.

By now, it's almost time to go pick N. up from his FIRST day of school and we collectively decide, since it had been raining and real windy to tell him that the storm did the damage to his window.....there's no sense in scaring the poor child to death!

All in all, I should be thankful that the crackhead didn't get my cameras, my pictures, or most importantly, my family. If I had not stopped off in town at the post office, I would have walked in on the robbery. For now, we have a lead, and think it's the same person that robbed us this time as did the last time.

I guess I'll have to let the Lord deal with the crackhead. It "ain't" gonna be easy, and I'm sure not gonna like it, but I guess I'll let Him. (unless of course, I get to the crackhead first, which shouldn't be too hard since he lives about 2 miles from us). And when I get there, he BETTER not have my apple green iPod on his nasty crackhead! and his stank, crackhead girlfriend better not have my diamond earrings on, or else you gonna see a CATFIGHT.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Meet the Teacher

Last Friday was "Meet the Teacher" at Nolan's school. I was so surprised at how many parents and students were there! I think it's going to be a great year!

Nolan got Mrs. H. for his teacher and he is so excited! (and if you think HE is excited, you should hear how excited I am about it!)!! Mrs. H is a great teacher and very creative. I have heard that she really pushes her students to learn more and go above and beyond, which is what Nolan needs.

There are TONS of boys in Nolan's class, and maybe about 3 or 4 girls. Here is Nolan and one of his friends, who also has Mrs. H....

Mrs. H's room is "magical"....that's what she says! Nolan starts school this week and of course, I already have his little outfit out in his cubby (he has hanging daily cubbies in his closet).

I am nervous for him, after all, he IS starting Kindergarten, but I think he'll do well and shouldn't be a problem...he can be a bit sassy sometimes, but I told the teacher to feel free and bring him back down to earth! I can't wait for him to learn to read--that will open up a whole new world for him!

I'll be sure to post on his first day of school!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Let the Good Times Roll!

This past weekend, Cecil and I traveled to Georgia (Tifton). Y'all know I have a story here right?.....

Y'all know that I vacation in Daytona every summer for 2 weeks and it used to be 3, then reality hit, I got married, had babies and began working. Anyhow, during those weeks at the beach, (we have a condo there) the same families typically vacation there EVERY year.

When I was about 8 or so, we met a family that had 2 children, a boy and a girl. The girl and I were about the same age and her little brother was just a few years younger than us. We had a blast every summer together and stayed in touch when we weren't at the beach. To this day, we still call each other sisters and brother.....we're that close!

Amy, Erik, and me at the wedding

Amy, Mrs. Vivian, me, and Erik

The years passed (all too quickly) and we all "grew up"......First, Amy got married to Jeremy (whom we love dearly!) She'll kill me for posting this picture on here, but I didn't get one of all of us at the wedding, so this will have to do!
Amy and Jeremy

Then, Cecil and I got married about a year later--(on Amy's birthday and we have never lived that down).

And finally....Erik......(sniff, sniff) got married this past weekend at Gin Creek Plantation in Hartsfield, GA. Erik's new bride, Jana, is a sweetheart---I can see why he loves her so much.
me and Erik ("brother and sister")

Everyone at the wedding had a great time--here is Brad, the best man, dancing with all the women at the reception. This is the first time I had seen Brad in years! I met him when we were probably 18 or so? at the beach.....he was in a car accident a few years ago that left him paralyzed from the waist down--it was very hard for me to see Brad like this, because I had only ever known him to be fast paced and on the go--but he has not let the wheelchair slow him down any! We had a blast with Brad!

On Saturday morning, we met Amy and Jeremy at Cracker Barrell for a nice, hearty breakfast before we headed back was sad to say good-bye, but Amy says she'll be at the beach next year! (we'll see about that!)

Congratulations Erik! Your sister in Florida loves you so much! Amy--I already miss you girl--we have to get together again soon!!


Monday, August 17, 2009

Honeymoon--last in a series

Okay. I know you're sick of seeing my wedding and reception pictures. I promise this is the last in the series...then off to more wedding pictures (not of mine silly--of one we went to this past weekend!)

After our honeymoon, we flew to Montana to see some of the beautiful sights there...was definitely NOT my first pick for a nice, romantic spot, was gorgeous there and we'd love to go back someday and take the boys.

(see how long my hair is? I grew it out for the wedding and the day we got home, Aubrey cut it off for me!)

We had a 3-story condo at Big Sky. That part was really nice! It was so relaxing there and you just wanted to veg out!

Mostly, we toured Yellowstone National Park. You can drive for hours every day and see something new every day! We saw TONS of animals too! Check out this elk! This is serious people! The rangers tell you not to try and feed the animals or you could get seriously injured (i.e. gored to death).

You just can't believe how beautiful it is there! The mountains and such are like nothing you've seen and "Old Faithful" is the most gorgeous sight you'll ever see--We saw Old Faithful, the Teton Glaciers, Willow Flats, The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Lower Falls, Hanging Valley, Firehole Falls, and lots of hot springs! We even got our picture taken at the Continental Divide!

so in SKINNY.

One afternoon, we took a gondola ride to the top of Big Sky Mountain and saw snow (in August)! One of the best days was when Cecil played golf on a really nice course at Big Sky and I took advantage of their spa, then we met for lunch and went on a horse ride (hours long) to the top of a mountain and had a nice steak dinner! That was really special!

It was a great time and a great week! There you go. No more of my wedding posts. Hope you enjoyed them all....our anniversary was last Monday and I've finally finished posting about it!


Thursday, August 13, 2009


Finally! The long awaited post on the WEDDING. Our wedding was...well, it was an event for sure. We had a large wedding party and lots of chiefs and not many indians. (you understand what I'm saying?)......People should have known that I was going to be the only chief there. Ah, well....the wedding was perfect!

Here is a scan of our program, which I loved. A good friend of ours, B.L. did the programs for me. We just sat down one night and went through line by line and got it all done. As if you couldn't guess, I loved my programs too!

Our colors were periwinkle and white. I didn't really want more than one color, so I just used white as the accent color. My girls dresses were periwinkle and the guys were black tuxes with vests. Cecil wore a black tux with a silver vest.
Me and my bridesmaids!

The whole wedding partyMy cute flower girls--who went barefoot for the wedding and such!

I had dreamed, since I was a little girl of the type of wedding I would have. I knew I wanted elaborate--but didn't realize how expensive elaborate would be. I still had a really nice wedding, but maybe not quite as I had imagined and dreamed--don't get me wrong, it was massive, elaborate, and very nice, just not over the top. Come to think of it, it was just perfect. ; )

My mom passed away the year before I got married, so to remember her, we had a candleabra that had 9 candles on it. Each of my mom's brothers and sisters lit a candle, and 1 of her friends lit a candle, my brother, myself, my dad, and then Cecil lit one too......while this was going on, one of my mom's other friends had pre-recorded a song "There You'll Be" and it was playing in the background. She had to pre-record the song because she kept crying through it during all her practices, so she decided to pre-record, which was fine with me. She did a beautiful job and I love that song--still makes me teary eyed to this day.

My and daddy lighting our candles in memory of my mom.

I have a good friend who was in the US Marine band and he played "Regal Trumpet Call" on his trumpet when the doors opened for me to come into the sanctuary. Now THAT was one thing I did dream about! It was really neat--and I've not heard too many do that at their wedding.

Getting hitched!

After my dad and I got to the front, a family friend sang "The Father Says I Do" which is a beautiful song about a daddy giving his daughter away--basically the song talks about the dad giving his daughter away (hence the words the father says I do) and then the second verse talks about a married couple committing themselves to the Lord and asking who has the power to bind the two as one...."The Father Says I Do"...... It's a beautiful song.

A few other songs we had were "I Will Be Here" (during the unity candle) and "Parents Prayer" when Cecil's parents were seated. Also had "Grow Old With Me" which I LOVE TO THIS DAY. It's just the sweetest song you've ever heard.

After we were married, just after the pastor pronounced us married, he turned us around before the guests and said a few words about us...and then, after I had composed myself through most of the wedding, he said that he knew my mom was smiling down from heaven and that she would be so happy...and then came tears. From the pastor. From me. From Cecil. sheesh. There went the make-up. The pastor that married us is a family friend that my mom grew up with, and he also pastors our church. Mr. Wes (that's all I've ever known him as) also did my mom's funeral and would later dedicate both my babies to the Lord.

In the video, throughout the whole wedding, you can hear people crying--not sure if that's a good sign or bad, but either way, you could hear the sniffling. Especially during emotional parts like the lighting of the memory candles and at the end when Mr. Wes talked about my mom.

It's official!

We had our reception at the country club where we live (which is small, but we didn't want people to have to travel far). Anything that stood still had white tulle wrapped on it. Cause let's just say the country club needed a little decorating help.

I loved my cake, which was huge! You can hardly see the cake for all the flowers, but I loved it!
It was 5 layers of sweet goodness! The cake was cream cheese pound cake with a different filling in each layer--one had strawberry, one had pineapple, one had blueberry, one was plain. It was SOME KIND OF GOOD TOO! We had NONE left. And when I say NONE. I mean NONE. We had our top layer for us to take home and that was IT.

The cake!

And here's Cecil's cake....what else but a watermelon field? The inside was red velvet with chocolate chips to look like a watermelon! How cool was that????? Love it.

For gifts, we did pretty bookmarks with a bible verse on them and also a packet of flower seeds that had a pretty saying on it.....

There's probably a few things that I forgot to tell you that I really wanted to, but you can at least get a good idea from the pictures and such....

So, that's the wedding. Hope you enjoyed a glimpse of our day.........we honeymooned in Montana, so I'll post that in a few days!


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Bridal Portraits

I guess y'all figured out I wasn't going to be able to keep up and do all the different posts I really wanted to do. Sigh. Sorry 'bout that. Not that you all care about all the little details of my wedding (which was 7 years ago as of today--Monday). Today is all about Bridal Portraits and then in a few days I'll do wedding and reception (which will have equally as many photos!)

I figured I'd just skip all the "ditty" and get right to the nitty gritty. Here are some of my bridal portraits. I'm not sure how many of you did it, but I did Bridal Portraits several months before the wedding. (it's just a thing here in the south) I'll do Bridal Portraits today and then in a few days, I'll post wedding and reception pictures and talk about the colors, napkins, cake, etc. (you know, the important things!) ha-ha

A word (or two) about my dress. You know how when you're a little girl you just dream of the dress you'll have one day when you get married? I HAD THAT DRESS! I saw this exact dress YEARS before I ever got engaged and just loved it.

When I finally got engaged and started looking for it, only two (2) stores in the entire USA had the dress. One in NYC and the other in Miami, Florida. THE DRESS had to be imported from overseas (it was french couture). Thankfully, Miami is only 6 hours from me, so I was able to drive down there and get THE DRESS. I had to go once to find it and try it on, then again a few months later for final fitting, etc.

It was a big, poofy dress and had appliques on the bodice and matching appliques placed sporadically on the layers of the bottom. Additionally, the dress had a cathedral length train which was LONG. I wore 2 veils in my hair. One, a short 3-tier veil and the other was a single piece veil which went the length of my train and extended another few inches. Oh-did I mention I wore a tiara too? Needless to say, my head was killing me before the night was over.
THE DRESS was VERY heavy, hence the reason I had 3 little pages, or train bearers carrying my train down the aisle. I wore a crinoline underneath the dress, and the dress had 1 built in, so you can imagine how poofy it was.

I'm going to put several of my bridal portraits on here, cause I loved THE DRESS. In one of the pictures, you'll see the whole "team" of people it took to get me out in the middle of the field I had the portraits in. I had my best friend, my mom's best friend (my mom passed away a year before this) and my hairdresser. Bless their hearts, they held veils, lifted the dress, fixed the hair, sprayed the hair, and generally did whatever the photographer told them to do.

All my portraits were done by Renaud Photography. I realize you'll think I'm bragging for putting all these bridal portraits on here, but really. I LOVED THE DRESS.

-Sorry for the blurriness--I have no idea why they are so blurry--they're not blurry on my editing software--must be the quality it has to be in to be able to upload. good grief.-

In this picture, you can definitely see the "short" 3-layer veil, and can almost see a few inches of the LONG veil on the grass.....

Well, there you have it. A few of my bridal portraits. Hope you enjoyed. Look for the wedding and reception pictures in a few days.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

An Almost Anniversary! and a glimpse of our engagement!

On the 10th of August, it will be our SEVEN year anniversary! I absolutely LOVED my wedding, right down to the color of the carpet! (if you didn't read Annie's post on the carpet color at her wedding, you'll be totally lost here. If you did, then you know what I mean!)

Anyhow--I LOVED my wedding! I loved the dress, the colors, the cake, the flowers, the b-maid dresses, the flower girls' tiaras, the EVERYTHING! The big joke at wedding time was that we had a three-ring circus. We had.....(sing to the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas)......7 bridesmaids, 7 groomsmen, 2 flower girls, 1 ring bearer, 3 pages (train bearers), one bride, one groom, one pastor, and a partridge in a pear tree!

I thought I'd take a few days and a few posts to give you the nitty gritty of the wedding ditty! (ha-you like that? It's late. I'm tired. Give me a break's all I could think of.) Today will be the engagement and a photo of the engagement......then, I'll move on to the dress shopping, bridal portraits, parties, misc. and finally, the grand finale--the WEDDING. Maybe I'll make it through all that by August 10th...we'll see.

A long time ago, in a land far away, there lived a princess, errr...I mean, a long time ago, in a land far away, there were two high school students who were insanely busy and one of them studied all the time and the other had to borrow pen and paper to scrape by...guess which was which? ha!

Cecil and I met in high school and dated throughout high school and then into college. He was a football player, I was a cheerleader. He was into farming. I was not. C was a year ahead of me, so he was a Freshman in college and I was still in high school, but we made it work. We're both the type that didn't have to see each other every minute of every day, so that was NICE. Plus, he played college baseball, so we didn't have time for that nonsense.

After I made it to college and then into more college, we were serious. We had been through a lot! High school, college, and even the death of my mother. By this time, we had been dating about 8 1/2 years. We got engaged during the Florida/Florida State game in 2001 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium--during our tailgate party! It was great! Cecil proposed with a beautiful, princess cut diamond with baguettes down the side! I loved it (and him)! I was 21 when he proposed and he was 22, almost 23.

Here's an engagement photo for you. Two things. One, I'm NOT that skinny anymore. Two, I do NOT have forty-volume peroxide blonde hair anymore. If you need to know my true color, you'll have to ask Aubrey-cause LAWD child--I have NO idea what color my hair is...depends on the season, the cut, etc.

Cecil & Charon, engagement photo! This was not my favorite one, but the one I wanted to scan in, I couldn't find, so sorry--you're stuck with this one! Yes, even then I was addicted to color coordinating for pictures AND I could wear horizontal stripes, cause I was skinny!

Hope you enjoyed reading about our engagement--stay tuned--I'll eventually get to the wedding!


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Wasn't That Sweet?!?

On Thursday afternoon, my boss' wife brought these in for me.....

WASN'T THAT SWEET? I NEVER get flowers from anyone and she got me this gorgeous bouquet! I love them!

On Monday afternoon, she brought me this, which was just the "icing on the cake!" I just love Paula Deen!

Lots of times, people ask where I work. For the record, I work at Gleim Publications. I am the Assistant to the President (you can see him here). Basically, that means I do all of his emails, transcription, lots of paying bills, filing, phones, travel scheduling, speaking engagement scheduling, and general day to day issues that arise. This probably seems very mundane to most of you, but I can never explain how in depth this stuff is....a quick example--we have almost 2500 emails in our in-box right now! It's nothing for me to go through several hundred emails per week or even in a few days, if we're really busy! I always say I have several college degrees but never use them, when in fact, the 2 degrees I have, I use daily in doing what I'm doing!

I really like my job (most days), and my boss is really good about being flexible! For example, this summer, he let me have off every Tuesday so I could spend time with my kids! Me being off one day a week (and Cecil taking off one day a week) allowed us to save $200 a month in daycare!

Hopefully, he'll also let me do some volunteer work in Nolan's classroom too, when he starts Kindergarten this year. I sure do want to volunteer and take in treats and go on field trips!

Overall, I really like what I do and the flowers and Paula Deen magazine are just great perks!