Archive for the ‘Life is Grand’ Category

The Perfect Path

A Walk on the Beach




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I don’t want to be presumptuous about the election, but I am going to go out on a limb and say I truly believe folks are going to be coming out of the wood works tomorrow. I worry, however of a number of voter issues that will clog the system up- among them voter fraud (from all parties); voter purging (especially in swing states), and very, very, long lines in a number of states because of a variety of issues (not enough poll workers, faulty machines and insufficent time).

That’s why I am advising the following steps or rather throwing out some advice to help counter these issues!

  • Make sure you are REGISTERED to vote and you haven’t been purged! Visit this link http://www.canivote.org/
  • Make sure you know where to vote at! This is located on your voter registration card and should be available at the above link as well.
  • Have PROPER identification– a DL or state ID is sufficient enough, so long as you haven’t had a name change without updating your DL. If that’s the case, it never hurts to bring that trusty marriage license or another form of idenity along just in case. If there’s an issue and they try to turn you away, ask for a provisional ballot, this allows you to vote and then contest whether you are registered after the election.
  • Now, if you have moved and haven’t changed your DL with your correct address- you should be able to vote in your old precinct, although this is technically frowned upon, but so long as you haven’t changed the DL address or updated your voter registration, it shouldn’t matter. If you have updated either, you will be turned away at the old precinct and will have to travel to the new one. So be forewarned!
  • Many states have strict laws that prohibit any campaigning within a set amount of yards of the polling location- VA is one of these states. However, I had never heard of someone wearing a shirt being asked to leave (so long as they weren’t campaigning and simply voting) until recently on the news. Therefore, to be on the safe side, you might want to fore-go the Obama or McCain paraphernalia until after you vote.
  • DON’T pay attention to any flyers folks hand out about candidates, sometimes they are false to mislead voters (although, if the polling place is doing their job- no one will be campaigning within 500 feet or so of the building. And, pay no attention to emails claiming you can’t vote a straight ticket to get your vote to count- these are bogus and another ploy by parties to change the vote.
  • A new concept taking place to try to initiate election reform needed within our election process includes video-taping the waiting process and the way election officials conduct polling. I think this is a very good idea if we are to prevent the same scenarios of 2000 that played out. Here’s a link to find out more about this movement: www.videothevote.org (There’s two really GOOD videos you SHOULD watch on this site!!)
  • Last, but not least the BEST TIME to VOTE is during the non-rush hours to vote! Forget about going right before work at 8:45 a.m. and the last chance vote on your ride home at 5:30 p.m. because this will ensure that you are going to be standing in line for a VERY, VERY, LONG TIME! Lunch is also a bad time. To be really smart, either get up REALLY early and go when the polls first open, which are 5 a.m. (depending on your state) or go around 2 p.m.- both of these times have the least amount of folks trying to vote. Yet, most importantly- don’t get discouraged if you do get caught in a long line and REMEMBER exactly why you are voting and how there are still many people in this world that are not afforded the opportunity to vote.
  • Also you are AFFORDED by Law to leave WORK to VOTE!!
  • Polling hours are as follows: Voting operating hours in most states like California, Alaska, Delaware, Wisconsin, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Utah, and Montana, the poll will open at 7 AM and will close at 8PM. Voting operating hours in some states like Georgia, South Dakota, Mississippi, Texas, Nevada, Oklahoma and Florida is from 7 AM to 7 PM, Virginia 6 AM and will close at 8PM, Alabama and Arkansas are from 8 AM to 6 PM, New York is from 6 AM to 9 PM, Indiana is from 6 AM to 6 PM, Arizona and Missouri are from 6 AM to 7 PM, Colorado is from 9 AM to 7 PM, Hawaii is from 7 AM to 6 PM, Connecticut, Washington and Illinois are from 6 AM to 7 PM, Idaho, Tennessee, and Nebraska is from 8 AM to 8 PM, Kentucky is from 5 AM to 8 PM, North Dakota and Rhode Island are from 7 AM to 9PM, and Vermont is from 5 AM to 7 PM. (Be sure to check your local election office to be sure, though!)

Shesshh, I hope you guys got all that!

Whatcha’ waiting on….oh, yeah we still have another six hours before the polls open.

I want a head count, so REGARDLESS of who you are and who you voted for, I would LOVE to see a polling of how many folks visiting my site have voted. SO, if you are reading this be sure to post a comment stating that you have voted!!!! Also, you never know I might randomly choose someone to win a prize!!


1. Polling begins at 5 am EST and ends at 9 pm EST.

2. Be nice and do not badger each other, be respectful of all COMMENTS!

3. One comment per name (A simple “I voted” is fine or let us know what you encountered while voting, was it a smooth transition? did I give good advice or was I way off base? Is there anything you want other voters to know or be aware of? Anything and everything, just be sure to make a comment!!)

4. If you want to win something, then leave an email otherwise simply make up a name (Mickey Mouse is registered to vote by the way!) 

5. Link here if you have a site.

6. Take this poll ——>>>

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I love being tagged. I was tagged by Bri over at Such is My Life to come up with the 6th photo in my 6th online album. This seems like a fun concept, even though I know whatever picture that 6th one winds up to be, it will most likely not be the ‘ONE’ I would want it to be. That’s just my luck. I mean seriously, I browsed through some other folks that were tagged and their photos are pretty darn amazing. Bri’s picture was freaking taken by her daughter and it is beautiful. So, hmmmm….can I even compete in amazing land?

Well, since its been hectic around here I have yet to do this tag which was given to me about a week ago. Yep, I am officially a slacker. It’s right before work and I figure no more procrastination, let’s pull the photo out and see what we got.

Ahhh, that would be my dear friend Sarah holding up the ‘bootylicious panties’ she made for dear old me at my Lingerie Party last June, thrown by none other than my other good friend, Kimberly. Notice how those are granny panties, eh yeah thanks, Kim. That was such a fun night, full of dollar bill proposals (I’ll save that one for another day) and lots of drinking and dancing. It became my ‘bachelorette party’ in many ways since once Garrett was conceived that was out of the question. Oh, and for the record- see my wedding date on the panties, Miss Sarah (a BRIDESMAID mind you) forgot that date and had to ask. . . yeah, maybe one day I will let you live that one down. But, guess what? That day is NOT today. I do love you. I certainly had a blast that night, thanks to you girls. Such great memories I will always cherish.

Now, I must tag some folks of my own. Let’s see….I think AnneBecky and Leanne would have fun at this one! I can’t wait to see your photo. 🙂

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Since we didn’t get to go out to our anniversary dinner Monday or get to take a trip to the winery we planned to visit, I wanted to revisit our wedding by posting some pictures. It’s amazing that it’s been a year since we were married. It seems like it was just yesterday. It’s also hard to believe that I was pregnant with Garrett at the time. Or that it took Bryan and I, thirteen years to get to our wedding day. But, looking back I wouldn’t change a single little detail along the way.

I have tried to condense the number of pictures to share, there are so many I love…these are a few of my favorites. There are so many more I would LOVE to share…I’m not going to bore you guys, though!

The birds were even chirping!

The birds were even chirping!

First time seeing my Daddy.

First time seeing my Daddy.

Almost to 'I Do'

Almost to "I DO"

Swept Away...

Swept Away...

Our 1st Dance- "Into the Mystic"

Our 1st Dance- "Into the Mystic"

Our wonderful wedding party.

Our wonderful wedding party.

Our photographer rocked.

Our photographer rocked.

So pretty.

Probably one of my absolute favorites.

I miss my HAIR!!

My handsome husband.

My handsome husband.

Thanks for looking. 🙂

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Mommyhood truly is a full time job. Nursing is a second full time job. Cleaning the house is a third full time job. Cooking for anyone, save myself is sometimes impossible. Remembering what I need to do at my ‘part time real job’ the following morning is pointless. Making time for my husband and then for myself is a nano shy of obsolete. Where are my personal assistants when I need them? Oh yeah, I don’t have any…that’s right. So exactly why does a celebrity like Britney go cuckoo?

I’m jumping on the whine train tonight and I so wish that meant a red bottle of wine, like the good old days. But, shamelessly it doesn’t. Rather it means five minutes on the deck as I take the trash out for Monday pickup as Bryan tries to coax Garrett back into LALA land.

Let’s be candidly real for a minute. I miss me time and really miss we time.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my baby more than anything in the world. He’s perfect. He’s always happy…that is, he is happy now. Once upon a time, I had a colicky baby…miraculously that period ended as if someone hit a switch when he turned six magical weeks old. No doctor bills or prescriptions needed. Luckily, the days have gotten much much easier. But, the long days have not ceased to exist and neither has his growing need for attention.

My day begins around 9 a.m. as we all begin to wake up. Depending on the day, I am either off to work by 10, sometimes by the grace of God I make it out by 8. But, that’s on a very good day. Most days Bryan is off to work at noon and works a 11-12 hour shift. On lucky days like today, he leaves at 10 a.m. and doesn’t return until 12 a.m. These days remind me of those first few weeks with baby Garrett and truly tempt my sanity. It’s a day of constant struggles, in how to fit in all of my jobs without compromising Garrett’s growing and learning.

I feel guilty if he doesn’t get enough attention or if I take a moment to make myself a sandwich or browse the Internet for a few moments. He usually wins. No, he always wins.

We interact, we talk non-stop. I always had been told I was a talker, hence my name Brook. Yet, now I am a flood of words. We read books, sing songs and sometimes simply talk about everything. I tell him the who, what, where, why and how of everything. And Garrett eats it up and looks up at me with a twinkle in his eye, gabbing back as if he is in conversation over the most fascinating discovery. And I am certain that he is.

Today, he has completely found his toes. He grabs at them and holds them, feeling them with his fingertips. I try to show him my feet too, that way he knows that I have feet also. He has started perfecting his laugh. His first giggle was when he wasn’t even 3 months old. We were in Walmart as a lady started talking to him. Of course, he has yet to giggle like that again, but he is getting close. I know any day now it is bound to come out! I am almost sure he laughed at the lady like that because we were playing with the giggle stuffed animals right before she spoke to him. So tonight, I bought a giggling frog. I know I ‘m a sucker. And yes, I made a trip to Walmart at 8 p.m. on a S-U-N-D-A-Y. I hate Walmart, but with a child it becomes an experience and somehow makes the hours fly by.

Back home, we settled in to complete our nightly tasks. OK, those would be my tasks…I start cooking my dinner, make sure the dogs are taken care of and change Garrett’s diaper before laying him down for bed. No night-time stories or a bath. We are both, too pooped for any routine other than the bed and the boob. He comes from a long line of sensitive skinned people and too many baths a week would surely ruin his precious baby skin. No lotions, either. Besides he smells sweet as it is. Of course, do I really need to justify this?

Except this go around, Garrett doesn’t want to sleep without mommy. Yuck. Two tries and still a baby fussing. Finally, I bring him out to the living room and hold him, as I eat. Multitasking has taken on a whole new meaning. And then, finally at 11:53 my sweet relief walks through the door, takes a shower and keeps baby for twenty whole minutes.

I emerge renewed and remember why we decided to become parents. Tomorrow night I need to make time for ‘we’ so Bryan remembers that, too. Because, what would I do without him? He makes mommyhood and all it entails so very worth it.

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It’s sorta like a three ring circus when she comes to town. A SIGHT NOT TO BE MISSED. That is unless its 12:30 AM. I woke up last night as she and her friend Debi were making their way into the house. I quickly made sure Garrett was still sleeping and huddled closer to him. I was not in the mood to get up and make chitchat. Not even for my own mother. Don’t get me wrong, usually I will stay up and wait for her or I will get up when she arrives, but last night I was exhausted. It just wasn’t happening. This morning at 6 am I heard her rumbles again and the coffee maker grinding. (The coffee maker I thought I would use religiously after our wedding. The coffee maker that has now become void with a baby. Who needs the pick me up aroma of fresh ground coffee when you can have the fresh smell of poo at 730 every morning?) Of course, I can smell neither but that’s a story for another day.

Anyway, continuing to Nana…I then hear the screen door open, then close. As quickly as I hear this, I turn around, startled as she stands gazing over us laying in the bed. She tries to contain her excitement as she gets a quick glimpse of her other, much newer grandson before her daughter quiets her down. All the while hoping, (I assure you) that his eyes will open the harder and longer she stares at him. I hurriedly shoo her away, as he needs at least 2 more hours given our rocky day yesterday. (He is still refusing to take a bottle and now is struggling with sleeping without the ninny. Bryan also had off yesterday, which on those days his schedule gets a little haywire.)

Again, back to Nana. I follow her out and we talk small talk, Garrett’s daily routine, her drive down and why in the world she’s up at 6:30 in the morning. Apparently, she wakes up every morning at this time regardless of what time she goes to bed. Lord, I couldn’t and don’t want to imagine. I have been sleep deprived enough for the last 3 and half months. Yet. it feels very good to have her here and to actually be up this early. Somehow, I feel refreshed with only five and half hours of sleep. How is this possible? I’m sure by lunchtime, I will have the makings for a migraine. If I’m lucky, maybe I will escape the sleep deprivation’s torture today. That reminds me, I am going to have my hair cut today!!!! It has become my one indulgence since being pregnant. I believe this time I am going to get it all cut one length, which means it will be cut up to my ears! I have been missing my long hair and hating the layers I allowed the last few haircuts. By getting it cut one length I can let it grow back out again! Whoohoo! Having a short haircut makes me feel so very ‘mommy’. Not that its a bad thing, but it adds to the inevitable of growing old and being frumpy. Luckily, the weight is shedding and I am starting to fit tightly back into my pre-pregnancy clothes again. Yes, I said it 4 months later I am very close to being 135 lbs. again!!!

I am so off topic. By 7:30 I come back to bed and change little man’s diaper and hope for the best. Hopefully, he has at least another hour of sleep in him and I can shamelessly blog until my heart’s content.


I’m excited for what’s in store for the coming week. Nana is staying unit next Wednesday, which means Bryan and I get to go out one GLORIOUS night A-L-O-N-E for the first (read 1ST) time since June and only the second (read 2ND) time since he was born. That’s along time for those of you who might not know. I reiterate this is along time not going out together alone. OK, you get the idea.

I’m almost tempted to book a hotel room. Did I just type that?

On second though, we better not, least we have another bambino in the oven. I’m definitely not ready for that. Not yet anyway.

Unfortunately, a hotel room would be out of the question even if we wanted to because we are on a limited cash flow. Which means two things. 1) We will have to have dinner at the house and 2) we will have to hit only bars where we know the bartender. Now that we are in our ‘old’ age, this means approximately ONE bar. Shuckers. I’m sure the night will consist of us becoming bored by ten or eleven. Well, at least that’s what I expect for myself. I truly wish we had saved up some money for this night and thought up something more original then going out to a bar and going drinking. It seems to me that for this momentous occasion, we should have chosen something more fun to do together, like taking a stroll on the beach (free, maybe not extremely fun but relaxing nonetheless- of course we could still do this) or visiting the local art gallery (I could hear Bryan now…”oh, how boring.”) But can’t we find one thing more exciting than drinking at a bar? Now amidst our dilemma in finding something of value to do on our night out, I worry we will only converse on the topic of baby. That we as a couple will have forgotten how to have a conversation with one another.

Does anyone have suggestions? Seriously, what did each of you do when you finally got your ‘night’ out together? Did it turn out successful or did you worry all night and talk all night about the little one?

OK by 9 am, Garrett is wide awake in the bed as I am typing, so I have decided that maybe it is time to let Nana play with him. Morning time is his best time and she deserves to see that. Naturally, I will still be able to blog. Well, that’s what I thought. It seems I can’t help but want to join in their play. So, I guess that’s it for blogging this morning, maybe I can sneak and get a free minute later today…and just maybe I won’t be all over the place.

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Bryan came home tonight and said he drove home thinking, “Man, I’m married and I have a kid.” And he had to pinch himself, because its still so hard to believe some days. Which made me automatically think of the song, ‘Once in a Lifetime’ by Talking Heads. It took us a few moments to name the band, even though both of us are huge fans. Bryan even mistakenly thought that the Talking Heads box set in the living room have always been his. I simply shook my head. Then he believed I gave him them along with a few other Cd’s one Christmas. I had to actually think back on that one. But no, the box set is still mine. However, since we’re married, I let him believe it’s always been his. Because that’s what you do when you’re married.

I have to agree with Bryan about the reality of our ‘new’ lives though, we’ve experienced a whirlwind in the last year that has accumulated from fourteen years of knowing one another. For those that don’t know our story, let me elaborate for just a moment. (To those who can sing our story in Latin, please bare with me.)

Bryan and I met working at a local grocery store, called Food City. 14 years ago. We were dating by that October. I was a senior in high school. We were in a car wreck together. October 28, 1994. We stopped dating but remained semi-friends. Bryan moved to Blacksburg. I stayed in Marion. In 1997, I moved to Blacksburg. Bryan and I are better friends. In 1998, I leave for Houston, Bryan leaves for Myrtle Beach. We lose touch. Fast forward to Christmas 2002. We run into one another back home and start corresponding via the tele. This continues for 3 years, with a few visits in between. I move to Myrtle Beach in February 2005. Bryan proposes September 2006 in Miami while on vacation together. We plan a wedding for October 2007. We paint our upstairs bedroom Duke Blue in July 2007. We lose a tree in August 2007. We find out I am one month pregnant in August 2007. We get married in October 2007, me 3 months pregnant. We vacation in the Riviera Mayan, Mexico; me 3 months pregnant. December 2007 we buy an Envoy. April 6, 2008 at 7:43 p.m. Garrett is born. Our lives as we know it are forever changed.

You can pinch me, but I know I’m not dreaming. At least not anymore.

I love how we got here and I love that its a ‘Once in a Lifetime’ feeling that we both get from all of this. And I’m pretty darn sure Bryan feels the same exact way. Not only because he told me so, but because he shows me. Every. Single. Day.

In Honor of that feeling we share:

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful Wife
And you may ask yourself-well…how did I get here?
Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by, water flowing underground
Into the blue again, after the moneys gone
Once in a lifetime, water flowing underground.

And you may ask yourself -How do I work this?
And you may ask yourself-Where is that large automobile?
And you may tell yourself-This is not my beautiful house!
And you may tell yourself This is not my beautiful wife!
Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by, water flowing underground
Into the blue again, after the moneys gone
Once in a lifetime, water flowing underground.

Same as it ever was…same as it ever was…
same as it ever was…Same as it ever was…
same as it ever was…same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…same as it ever was…

Water dissolving…and water removing
There is water at the bottom of the ocean
Carry the water at the bottom of the ocean
Remove the water at the bottom of the ocean!
Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by, water flowing underground
Into the blue again, in the silent water
Under the rocks and stones, there is water underground.

(I ommited the last lines because it doesn’t pertain to us) 😉

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