Saturday, October 27, 2012

Disney: Getting There: Let the Magic Begin (In the Airport)

We just returned from THE. BEST. VACATION. EVER.

No joke.  I want to live on Main Street, USA.

Almost one year to the date, I went to Orlando to a conference with my former supervisor (this also marked the beginning of the end of my career for me- my then-supervisor wouldn't pay for me to go to the conference I was PRESENTING at- long story).  I came home with Disney fever.  I wanted to make the trip with my family.  We decided to do it.  One of the best decisions made!

We've never taken a vacation that was just the four of us or not centered around a race (crazy, yes!).  Sometimes I feel like our social lives revolve around Chad's running and it does bother me a bit but then I have to stop and remember that we have great friends we've met because of running and that if Chad is going to be addicted to something, running is a positive addiction.

I think I'll break up each post into Disney days.  I want to document as much as I can about our trip.  I ordered the Photo Pass CD but it isn't here yet so I'll use our pictures.  I think I have over one thousand pictures total.

The first day was our travel day and Hollywood Studios.  We got up at 4AM.  We decided to fly out of Knoxville and we found a hotel room for what it would cost to park our car there so we spent the night before in Knoxville.  The TSA people in Knoxville must have a thing for me.  I never make it through security at McGee-Tyson.  I've flown out of several airports with no problems but never make it through Knoxville.  I packed my carry -on full of cereal and breakfast foods and some snacks (remember we have a picky eater in our home) and a pack of baby wipes.  Apparently terroristst can hide powder in baby wipes and cheerios because you would have thought I was a terrorist.  TSA took everything out of my bag and swabbed it.  I was LIVID.  I finally looked at Mr. TSA and told him that I was a mom trying to keep my family fed while at Disney and that I had a picky eater.  He quickly snapped that I wasn't allowed to touch anything (I didn't anyway and wasn't going to) and asked me what I had in my make up bag.  When I told him, he never opened the bag.  Guess no one has hidden questionable materials in a Vera Bradley makeup bag???!!

This is Carson and me screaming at security.  This same picture also sums up the way we felt after our Vols LOST their two games while we were gone!

Chad and Carson ready to take off!

Caylee's ready to go!

Before we left, Chad and I went to Target to get things for the trip (which reminds me- I need to blog about that adventure too!) and we bought the kids an activity to do on the plane and hid it from them.  It kept them busy the entire flight.  We had a direct flight to MCO (Orlando International Airport) so we were there in no time.  We boarded the Magical Express and headed to the beach- Carribean Beach that is!

Stay tuned for more!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Timelines: Blast from the past

This week, Carson (and his parents) had to complete our first family project for school.  We were asked to make a timeline of Carson's life.  A focus in the second grade curriculum is learning to read and make timelines AND a focus on Tennessee history.  As a class, they will make a timeline of important events in Tennessee history.  When I read all of this, I posed the idea of focusing Carson's timeline on the events associated with Tennessee (places visit, University of Tennessee, etc) as well as incorporating special events of his life.  We had to include pictures so I spent the better part of a day reminiscing and sorting through pictures.  I must say thank God for facebook and this blog.  I didn't do a baby book for him or for Caylee.  Facebook (and now instagram) are the easiest places to post pictures.  The blog is a close second best place.  I like that the pictures are dated on these sites.  I also like that my MacBook stamps the date as well.  All of those things SAVED the day for this project.

While I was going through the pictures, I was reminded of how much he and Caylee's infancy were a blur.  I was working and missed out on a lot.  There was a split second that I thought I'd like to have another child but the thought quickly left me.  I like having my kids at the ages they are now.  It isn't getting easier but it is nice that they are not totally dependent on me (and that they sleep through the night!).

Here are some of the pictures we included on the timeline:

This was the day after Caylee was born.  Gosh, how can my kids be 5 and 7?
 Carson's first trip to the beach circa 2006.
 First Tennessee Game circa 2007 (I think)
 First water boy game.  Poor kid couldn't even unscrew the lids.  He would hand them to the thirsty players to open then he'd fill the bottles up and give them back to the players!

Carson when he left the NICU.  This makes me cry.  I miss having a baby (sometimes).

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Friday Night Lights

We spent a beautiful Friday night cheering on the Indians and watching our Future Spirit Shaker dance!  Earlier in the week, Caylee attended a junior camp with the Dobyns-Bennett Dance Team and they were invited to perform with the team, the Spirit Shakers, during pregame.  I think by noon I needed sedation for Caylee.  I am not sure what she was more excited about- dancing on the field or seeing Madison.

A little sidenote about Madison.  She is a young lady I hired back in the summer to sit for us.  She is a freshman and is a Spirit Shaker.  Her grandparents go to the church that my grandparents attended so we have known her extended family for a long time.  She dances at the same studio as Caylee and it hit me at recital last year that Madison would be great for us.  What I have learned is that Caylee really looks up to Madison.  Even though she has only sat with them one time, we keep in touch with her.  I am so glad that I know that I have a little back up!  She is pretty busy with spirit shakers right now but we look forward to having her over in the future!  I am glad that Caylee has a connection with older young ladies that are good role models for her.  She think she and Madison are BFFs!  ;o)

Carson thinks Madison is pretty cool as well!
Before the game, we went to the tailgate dinner, also sponsored by the Spirit Shakers.  It was nice because they had food catered from O Charleys and tables sat up in the dome lobby.  It was easy peasy since we had to buy tickets and take Caylee early to get ready to dance. We didn't have to factor in time to eat dinner.  

I think this might be a new favorite picture of mine. They are both looking at the camera and smiling!  ;o)

I made Caylee a bow for the game.  I would love to learn how to make cute bows-I guess I need to go to pinterest and look for a tutorial!  

A final note....  Carson has become a fan of this kid.  During warm ups, #15 caught a great pass (I think he plays WR) and Carson said, "WOAH!  Did you see him catch that pass?  That was awesome!  Mom, who is that?"  When I told him that it was Sam S and that I knew his mother, he couldn't believe it.  The WHOLE game, Carson watch intently as Sam played.  Sam is quite the player.  At one point, he told me that he wanted a #15 jersey for Christmas.  In the meantime, I send Sam's mom a message on Facebook and told her of her son's newest fan and asked if I could get a picture of them after the game.  This made Carson's night!  He comes from a great family as well so again, I am glad my children have positive influences to look up to!  

A second sidenote: Sam and Madison are an item.  Carson thinks it is cool that our babysitter dates his favorite player! I didn't tell him that Madison dates Sam until we got home last night.  
All that's left to say is:


Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Day Has Come

The day has come that my child is a faster runner than me.  I knew it would happen, I just wasn't expecting it this quick.

I really haven't ran consistently since my half marathon back in April (injury, family emergencies, life). I want to get back into it so I thought the Eastman 3K would be a good start.  I absolutely do not like the 10K race (course is terrible, the shirts are terrible).  I dislike everything about it (except the race directors and the expo) so I knew I didn't want to do it but Carson said he would do the 3K.  We haven't let him run a race by himself yet (due to safety) but I should have let him today since he had plenty of crowd support.  I honestly think I held him back.  He stayed with me the first half then just as soon as we made the turn to come back, he took off and I never saw him again until I finished. I am proud of him though.  I don't know if he will be a runner like his dad, but we sure are happy this is something we all can do together (well, Carson WAY in front of me!)

Waving to Dad at the start!

See the kid in the white hat and turquoise shirt?  Yep, he beat me!  He also beat this kid in the yellow shirt that looked older than him!!  ;o)

443 CARSON MCMURRAY          1349   7 M   KINGSPORT       TN   21:10 11:22 
495 TINA MCMURRAY            1348  34 F   KINGSPORT       TN   22:16 11:57 

Before I was beaten by a SEVEN year old.

Stretching out the legs prior to the start

Start line!

Post Race Celebration

Love my boy even if he beat me!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Show Us Your Life: My Laundry Room

Now that I am a SAHM, I spend a lot of time in the laundry room during the small amount of time I am home.  I drive a kid taxi for a living now!.  When we built our house, I thought I was getting a big laundry room but quickly realized once the washer and dryer were installed, my space wasn't so big after all.  If I were building a house again, I would make a huge mud room at the garage.  When you walk into the garage, you walk in to a massively huge mudroom with a sink, folding table, place to hang wet clothes, and nice built ins for storage of backpacks, etc.  We will not be building anytime soon, so I will keep what I have!

My laundry room used to be a catch all from the garage.  It was terrible.  We've been in our house seven years and the laundry room has been neglected.  I started my laundry decorating project back in the spring.  I did a little bit at a time and I still have several things to do.

This was my inspiration and color pallet.

I loved the reds and turquoise.  I bought this mat at Lowe's.  It is very squishy so it feels good on my feet while I am loading and unloading laundry!

We bought this bench at Target and originally had it out in our hallway.  I moved it into the laundry room and squealed a little when I realized it was a perfect fit in our small room.  This is where I would love to have built ins but this works for us.  I use the red fabric bins from Target to store seasonal supplies and my microfiber cloths for cleaning.  We also store Caylee's ballet bag and random pairs of shoes here too!  The hooks are used for backpacks and coats.

 I purchased the curtain from Target.  It hides cleaning supplies, laundry baskets and other random stuff.  Oh, and the closet also houses one of my favorite things in the house- a laundry chute from the kids' bathroom. If you are building a house or considering building, the laundry chute is the greatest thing ever!  The kids' bathroom is above the laundry room so their dirty clothes come directly to the laundry room (most of the time!).
 This is the area behind the door.  Not pretty but necessary.  I would love to hide my ironing board (or get rid of it.  I hate ironing!).
 These are the finishing touches.  I covered cork in solid red fabric and will use the area to hang special things- like my friend's baby shower invitation!  I never thought of adding a lamp in the laundry room, but it gives it a relaxing feel.  I need to relax in the laundry room I guess!

 I got the idea of hanging pictures over the machines on Pinterest.  A mom had taken pictures of her dirty kiddies and printed them in black and white and displayed them above her washer and dryer.  I loved the idea so I did it too.  They make me smile while I am doing laundry!  I am not crazy about the white basket but it does corral my Purex crystals (MUST. TRY) and other things.
 Finally, my laundry organizer.  Before we purchased this, I would sort my laundry in the kitchen and hallway.  It was just plain ol embarassing when someone came over and would step over the laundry.  Nothing says welcome to our home like a pair of dirty underroos!    I  consulted Pinterest again and with some modification, Chad bought and built me this.  Thank you Closetmaid!  The top drawer is for lost socks, the middle is lights and darks (with a cute label!), and the bottom is towels and whites.  Now, our dirties are hidden and no  one steps on my Victoria Secrets as they enter my house!
 This has nothing to do with my laundry room but Caylee's kindergarten teacher bought her class canvas bags this year.  She is amazing.  She felt like backpacks were too tough for kindergarteners to maneuver up stairs.  These are much easier for them to carry.  She let them decorate them on the first day.  Her class is the only ones that does this so you know which children are koalas!  Great idea!

I still have some things I want to add to this room including Subway Art that needs to be framed then some more accents for the walls, maybe letters that spell out wash or laundry, and maybe even cover the cushion on the bench in fabric?  I am open to suggestions!

Thanks for stopping by!

It's Bristol Carson!

It's race week at Bristol!

We are incredibly thankful that we have been able to experience Bristol in one of the luxury boxes.  Chad's former company, Avisco, owns a box and we have been able to visit several times.  Chad still stays in contact with many of the Avisco employees.  I think it says a lot for Chad's character that Avisco still values him.  That company was a great company to work for.  He left because we knew that Upper East TN was home to us and we wanted to move back and start a family.  They were very understanding.  I am still very thankful for Avisco and their employees.

When Mitch called Chad about coming up to the box for the Nationwide race, we decided that Carson should go.  It was a shorter race and if Avisco doesn't keep the box (which may happen), Carson will still have the opportunity to experience Bristol before they sell it.  Carson had an amazing time last night and still is smiling!

Chad said the thought he sat in every seat in the box.  I told Chad he wanted to make sure he got every vantage point!  He liked the step on the bottom row the best!

 There was a rain delay (lots of empty seats too) but they didn't have to worry about getting wet!
What a better way to spend a Friday night than hanging out with Pat!  When Chad sent me this picture, I let out a little scream.  I was overjoyed for him.  Look at the smile on Carson's face!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Boys of Fall

I love me some Kenny Chesney!  When the song The Boys of Fall came out, it was quickly added to the iPod playlist.  It rings so true about high school football in our area!

I've mentioned this before on my other blog, but we live close to our hometowns.  Chad grew up about 5 miles away from our home and I grew up forty five minutes away in a neighboring county.  The town we live in is full of cross town rivals.  The school that we "support" (more on this in a minute) is the school that everyone loves to hate.  In fact, when I was in high school, we had a "burn the teepee" bonfire party.  The Falcons didn't like the Indians.  Neither did Chad's cougars for that matter!
No Maroon and Gray on us!
My favorite waterboy and me!  One day, he said he want to be on the "field crew" for D-B- that's the fancy name for waterboy!

Fast forward seventeen years and here we are supporting the Indians.  The kids attend a school that will feed into Dobyns-Bennett and Carson is the water boy for D-B's freshman football team.  He does love the Indians!  His parents, on the other hand, is still adjusting to saying "Roll Tribe Roll."  Chad still hasn't said it!  He told Carson that if he played football for D-B, he'd wear maroon and gray to all the games but not before!  haha!

Last night was D-B's first game and of course, the Macs attended (without ponchos, might I add. We left at halftime).  We wanted to see the kids' babysitter dance with the dance team and watch the band.  We did that but didn't get the picture of Madison and the kids we'd hoped for.  The kids proudly wore their D-B shirts and I even wore gray and black.  I do have some D-B shirts given to me by my MIL (a former teacher there) but can't bring myself to wear them, yet!  I will be spending most Thursday nights in the stands while Carson fulfills his waterboy duties (for the third consecutive year!).  I will also be prepared and will leave a bag of weather related gear in the car!

It's a great way to spend a Friday night!

So I guess all that's left to say is:


Thursday, August 9, 2012

First Days of School

For the first time in ten years, I walked into school on the first day of school and was just a parent and not parent/employee.  It was a surreal feeling but a good one.  It is going to take me a while to get used to a quiet house and the fact that my children are growing right before my eyes.  The worries I had with Carson are the same with Caylee.  Will she know her lunch number?  Will everyone love her just as they love their own?  Will she make progress?  Will she make friends?

First up, the second grader in the house.  He is an old pro now at going to school.  He got in the car on Monday and said, "this was the best first day ever!".

 I gave Carson the task of helping Caylee learn her lunch number.  Within five minutes, she had mastered the task.  She even rattled it off to me this morning.  I am so proud of Carson for his help!
 Today was the first day for Caylee due to staggered enrollment.  We didn't have to buy her a backpack because Mrs. Krantz makes canvas bags for them.  They are easier to tote around than backpacks.  She is super excited about her lunch box though!

Her hair looks red in this picture.  Maybe becuase it is wet?

The house is really quiet this morning.  I think I'll go turn on cartoons to drown in my sorrow!  ;o)

Monday, July 23, 2012

FunFest 2012

FunFest- you either love it or you hate it.  For some, it is a time to gather with friends and family and celebrate summer.  For others, it is a time to leave town.  It brings out all kinds of people in our town. It is a nine day festival that includes various concerts, food, fellowship, and fun.  Growing up, I danced in ShowTime for nine years.  It was a musical variety show during FunFest.  The director, Louise, took a bit of a break but she says ShowTime is coming back next year!  WOO HOO!  Caylee and I will probably be in it.

This year, we went to the parade, Chad and kids to Crazy 8s (that was the day Juanita died), the Wolf Run for Chad, we saw Jeremy Camp, and watched the fireworks.  No wonder I have come down with a cold and both kids slept in today!  I'll let my photos do the talking….

My first attempt at hair bow making for Caylee.  This matched her FunFest shirt and can be used for UTC attire!  Score!

My babies!

Oh, I thought this was Chad.  Oh well, Papa Hood gets some blog love!  This was at the Wolf Run.

Jeremy Camp!  So, so , so cool!  They FINALLY brought a Contemporary Christian artist  in concert.  It rained that night so they moved the concert to the dome.  Fun night!

Caylee @Little 8s.

Breakfast with the balloons compliments of Dunkin Donuts!

Caylee and me at the parade.

Since AMT is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, we were able to get FunFest shirts with the AMT logo  on the back.  

Only in our town will you see a local celebrity riding in a bathtub.

Ice Cream @Taste of the Tri Cities

Fireworks/AMT picnic